It’s not just surface politics and it’s not just religion but the smart combo of the two that made these leaders successful.
In the United States, we tend to frame spirituality as a solitary pursuit, but the history of social justice and environmental movements—both at home and elsewhere—calls us to think differently. Some of the most formidable and effective activists have also been dedicated spiritual practitioners. They lived a kind of heroic wholeness in which their personal and political missions harmonized in an activist spirituality. While none were perfect personally or politically, and though we might disagree with them in philosophy or tactics, they all showed what can happen when a transcendent goodness inspires political actions that enact our highest consciousness and virtues.