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Faith and Politics: How the "Moral Values" Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Togetherby John C Danforth
Synopses & Reviews
A former U.S. senator and ordained Episcopal priest examines the controversial intersection of faith and politics in America
As a former three-term Republican U.S. senator from Missouri and an ordained Episcopal priest, John C. Danforth has watched the changes in his party and the church with growing alarm. After penning two op-eds for The New York Times criticizing the right for its focus on wedge issuesÂ—abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage, the Schiavo case, the public display of religionÂ—that drive people apart, he speaks out again to call for a change.
“The Republican Party has been taken over by something that i‛s not” Danforth says.“People do not want a sectarian political party, including a lot of people who are traditional Republicans” In Faith and Politics, Danforth provides suggestions for moving toward a more secular Republican party that inspires trust in the people of the United States. Based on years of hard- won political experience and a life of religious service, he calls for Christians to look to the Bible and Christian teachings for ways in which they can practice their faith day to day and turn the countr‛s focus to a common ground once more.
As a respected former senator, special envoy for peace in Sudan, priest, as an author, Senator Danforth is uniquely qualified to call for the change we so desperately need. He writes openly about his political life and ambition, humbly about his achievements, and above all with clarity and reason that both Republicans and Democrats hear all too little of.
"Danforth, a Missouri Republican as well as a lawyer and Episcopal minister, tended to avoid nasty partisan politics during his three terms in the U.S. Senate (with the notable exception of his defense of his protg Clarence Thomas during U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings). After voluntarily retiring from the Senate in 1995, Danforth accepted appointments by White House Republicans, including ambassador to the United Nations and envoy for peace in Sudan. But the partisanship of President George W. Bush, a variety of other Republicans and quite a few Democrats has now led Danforth to urge political rivals to pull together to strengthen the United States, so the nation can in turn promote world peace. Danforth oozes sincerity and good sense as he excoriates 'Christian conservatives' (naming James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson, among others) for corrupting religious doctrine on reproduction and marriage and inappropriately inserting it in government. Conceding that he's an imperfect human being who sometimes failed as a student, husband, father, lawyer, minister and senator, Danforth comes across as a welcome paragon of virtue. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"John Danforth was a Republican senator and is an Episcopal priest, and he is deeply disturbed by his party's engagement with religion. He knows whereof he speaks in this meditation about the contested terrain where politics and religion intersect." George F. Will
"Danforth's is a welcome voice of reason and moderation during a time of divisive and polarizing rhetoric. As priest and politician he ably sets forth the deeper truths of the Christian tradition with clarity and compassion and applies them to the issues of our time." Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, Episcopal Church
As a former three-term Republican U.S. senator from Missouri and an ordained Episcopal priest, Danforth calls for Christians to look to the Bible and Christian teachings to practice their day-to-day faith, and to turn the country's focus to a common ground once more.
About the Author
John C. Danforth is an ordained Episcopal priest, former three-term U.S. senator (R- MO), and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. In 2001, President Bush appointed Danforth as special envoy for peace in Sudan, where he worked to broker a peace agreement that, in 2005, ultimately ended the twenty-year civil war.
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