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Faith and Politics: How the "Moral Values" Debate Divides America and How to Move Forward Together [Hardcover]

By Senator John Danforth (Author)
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Item Number 27041  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6.1" Height: 1"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 31, 2006
Publisher   Penguin Group USA
ISBN  0670037877  
EAN  9780670037872  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
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 issues?abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage, the Schiavo case, the public display of religion?that drive people apart, he speaks out again to call for a change.

?The Republican Party has been taken over by something that it?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 country?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.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Like an auto mechanic discussing nuclear physics  May 9, 2008
Although Mr. Danforth may be an ordained minister it is obvious he is of the "unsaved" variety. Basically we wants the religious right to compromise their values to get along. Compromising values is what makes values worthless. A wishy-washy liberal mainstream protestant but obviously a politician first. The liberal elite will praise this book.
Boring Do not operate machinery while listening to these cd's  Sep 2, 2007
I very rarely review audio books. I have listened to 100's over the last 20 years. This has to be in the top 5 most boring. Its hard to believe people voted this guy into office. This audio book makes Al Gore look like wild man. This should have never been published. Shame on Penguin for putting out shuch dribble.
Moral Relativism at the Forefront  Jun 30, 2007
Danforth is indeed a career politician. He admits he was unsure of his career path into theology. Both of these facts come through strongly in this book. He is willing to compromise on any point. Although not stated, it appears Danforth would be of a mind that all religions are correct and atheism is not too bad either. Christians who take strong positions, who fight for what they believe is truth are divisive. In the liberal left world of moral relativism, truth is irrelevant. When a Christian takes a stand on a "wedge issue" that is just flat out wrong. Even though the Christian viewpoint is generally the majority outlook in this country on most of his wedge issues, it is the Christian who is driving the wedge, not the other side. It doesn't take "two to tangle" here, it is the conservatives who are the problem. Politician Danforth says they should cede to the minority so there is healing. When brutal forces oppress Christians in Cambodia or the Sudan, it is the conquered who are to love their enemy. When peaceful compromise fails, he does not blame the oppressor, it is the victims fault because they do not succumb to their tormentor's will. This line of thought probably works in getting some things done. But there is a cost in ignoring truth for political expediency.
A thoughtful book on uniting rather than dividing  Mar 12, 2007
John Danforth speaks from the heart in Faith and Politics, as he urges us to move forward together rather than fight over wedge issues.

In his career, Danforth has mostly been a lawyer and a politician -- both professions that generally reward aggressive, adversarial stances. Yet in this book, Danforth's thinking draws more on the accommodating, uniting position that most would associate more with his third, much more peripheral career as a priest. Tying those three viewpoints together in a thoughtful, personal discussion on a variety of issues makes for a book that is a pleasant but important read.

The chapters on abortion and gay marriage caught my interest the most. Danforth does not takes sides on these issues as much as question whether they should have the importance they do. That makes sense. Does it really matter to the vast majority of us how these issues are resolved? Not really. Given their relative unimportance, it seems that we could find a way to take the heat and anger, on both sides, away from these issues. A win by either side will, practically speaking, mean little to the losing side.

But as Danforth points out, "church fights" too happen all the time, and often over less than important administrative issues. (As he notes the most ferocious fighters on these battles over church issues are retirees, who presumably have little else to do with their time.) As many college deans and presidents have noted about faculty issues, the most heated battles tend to be on the least important issues. In politics too, the same applies.

As others have noted here, Danforth does not offer much in the way of a solution. And what he does suggest is not the value that this book offers. Instead, the way he thinks and the way he writes on these issues provide us with a wonderful guide on how we should address them as well. With compassion, not just passion. With thoughtfulness, not anger. And looking for areas on which to agree, not disagree.

As a model on how to discuss wedge issues, Faith and Politics has a value beyond what Danforth says on the issues themselves. The words are not too important. How they are said is.
Interesting  Feb 7, 2007
As a 19 year old college student who is a currently a philosophy major and agnostic, I found this book extremely interesting. I grew up with a family of christianity and a sibling who and will pursue it for the rest of life itself, so needless to say it takes alot to get my attention on the subject.

After reading the first chapter alone I was absolutely blown away at what I was reading. Danforth may be too little too late but at least he made an effort period. His concepts, to me, display the truth about politicians using christianity for profitable gain in any form possible (in a nutshell). He spends much time clarifying his points with text from the bible and making an attempt to interprete their purpose in politics today. The fact that he's a republican is even more impressive that he had the guts to write such a novel.

Please understand...

This book was not written to give answers to all the problems. It figures that people would despise this book because it doesn't give an answer, and typical at that. As a famous artist once said, "Computers are useless because they only give you answers". This book is the inbetween. We as people have become computers only interested in finding the answer ALONE not concerned with the thought process that it takes to GET to the answer. With that mindset, we will never find the answer. It is the INBETWEEN that is the most vital.

To myself, this novel provides yet another vital step to understanding faith and politics in attempt to reach that answer that we seem to try to find. Bravo to Danforth.

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