New York Times–bestselling author John Danforth, an ordained Episcopal priest and former US senator, is uniquely qualified to write about one of the most contentious issues in America: the intersection of government and religion. In Faith and Politics, he explores the widening rift between left and right, conservative and liberal, believer and nonbeliever. Danforth takes on many of the polarizing hot-button issues, including stem-cell research, abortion, school prayer, and gay marriage, and addresses how we can approach them with less rancor. Arguing that voters must call for our leaders to turn away from wedge-issue politics and work on our country’s pressing problems, Danforth’s book is a much-needed clarion call to all Americans.
“A lucid, powerful book that is at once reflective and instructive.”—Jon Meacham, former editor of Newsweek
“[A] meditation about the contested terrain where politics and religion intersect.”—George F. Will
“Danforth calls for a radical change in how his party operates.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“This book and its author are a modern-day profile in courage.”—David Gergen
“Danforth’s thoughtfulness, deep wisdom, and simple decency radiate from every page, and leave one at the end with rare hope that through commitment, faith and politics can ultimately enrich, not corrupt, one another.”—Harold Hongju Koh, dean of Yale Law School
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 prot g 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.