Religion: The Business of the Church

To help "make the Christian Gospel more effective in society," U.S. Congregationalists in 1934 created a Council for Social Action. Council members, drawn from the ranks of church liberals, thereupon set out to sell fellow Congregationalists and all other Americans on some forward-looking ideas. During the '30s, the council gave its blessing to the consumer cooperative movement, demanded a national referendum before a declaration of war, attacked student military training and conducted critical studies of the private-enterprise system.

Since World War II, the council has lobbied in Washington for compulsory health insurance, federal...

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