1. Except it was more the evangelical pietists from the mid-19th century who embodied that quote. More painfully their believe their salvation is tied to saving society from its "sinful" ways. Then they "evolved" into the Progressives of the late 19th century with their war on demon rum and finally split with part abandoning Christianity for secular Marxist/socialism. Both the bane to our existence for the last century.

  2. The conversion of much of the body of sanctimonious, crusading Progressive Christians to being a body of sanctimonious, crusading Progressive secularists took several decades. As you said, it probably started in the late 19th century, but it wasn't until sometime well into the first half of the 20th that the religious aspect really fell away. As late as 1912, when the Progressive Party's national meeting, they largely considered themselves Christians, and in fact ended that meeting by singing "Onward, Christian Soldiers." And the disarmament movement of the twenties that helped cause the conference that led to the Washington Naval Treaty of 1921 was largely pushed by Christian Progressives, particularly ministers and the like (plus a small portion of the fiscal conservatives). So, more of a gradual process, than a sudden change.

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