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Thursday, September 28, 2006

 

John Danforth's Sane Voice


A Republican "for old reasons" - Is anyone listening ?


Not for the first time, John Danforth, former Republican Senator from Missouri, an ordained Episcopal priest, spoke out about the Christian Right. "CHICAGO. Sept. 27 -- The potency of the Christian right in the Republican Party is limited, former senator John C. Danforth of Missouri is telling audiences this month. A lifelong Republican moderate disturbed by his party's direction, he contends that the political center has a future." In the cacophony about red herrings -- gay marriage, women's right to choose, and school prayers -- Danforth's warning is not likely to have much impact. Fundamentalist Christian groups have tasted power. For the first time, they have an ally in the White House who is openly supportive of them. Thomas Jefferson's "Wall of separation between church and state" has been eroded. Pulpits are increasingly being used for political campaigns. They are not going to relinquish their hard-earned influence. Tolerance has no place in their belief. They are waiting for the Third Awakening....and Armageddon.






Excerpts - The Washington Post

Describing himself as a "a Republican for the old reasons," Danforth, 70, is promoting a new book that describes religion as a divisive force in the United States today and accuses the religious right and its political supporters of creating a sectarian party.

"I'm trying to shed light on it," Danforth told a gathering of more than 100 people at Chicago's Union League Club on Tuesday, ". . . but I'm really encouraging people to get mad, to speak out on this and express themselves. That's when politics will change."

The GOP leadership habitually strives to please its base at the expense of meaningful compromise, he maintains, proving to be neither humble Christians nor effective politicians. His reasoning holds that social conservatives cannot prevail because a majority of Americans do not share their views or appreciate their style.

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