Wednesday, October 26, 2005

John Danforth Sees Republican Christians As A Danger

Former Senator and fellow St. Louisian John Danforth visited the students at the Bill Clinton School of Public Service today and had some advise about religion and politics for the students:


Per John Danforth:

"I think that the Republican Party fairly recently has been taken over by the Christian conservatives, by the Christian right," he said in an interview after his talks. "I don't think that this is a permanent condition but I think this has happened, and that it's divisive for the country."

Danforth is an Episcopal Priest, who is slightly left of center overall in his political views. He met with the Episcopalian National Conference on October 14th and talked of the danger of the right of center Christians:

Republican Christian Danger

Danforth coached the political left that he is based in by saying:

“While the real problem has come from the Religious Right… it’s not impossible that the Religious Left becomes the mirror image of the Religious Right,” said Danforth, who addressed an audience of about 150 in the cathedral Nave. “It’s possible that people on the left can become as equally sure of themselves as people on the right.”

“When people believe that they’re fighting a religious battle, nothing is more energizing then ‘I’m on God’s side,’ ” he said. “But there’s also nothing more divisive than that. Because once you believe that you’re on God’s side, therefore people who disagree with you are not on God’s side, or are even enemies of God. Then there’s no room for the… stuff of politics. And there’s a lot of room for real hatred and animosity and bitterness.”

Who was Danforth's audience, well take a look at the comments from Cindy Marcillas of San Francisco:

“It’s appalling how far right this administration has gone,” said Marcillas. “It’s downright frightening.”

I do not agree with lots of what Danforth said in his speech and I think he has a left of center political base. I move from right to slightly left on some issues, but Danforth is usually left of center on most political issues. I also don't agree with the single issue Republicans who seem to have hijacked the Miers nomination because they only care about Roe vs. Wade, but Danforth's views on the right of center Christians is over the top:

"They’re concerned with respect to the institutions of marriage and the family -- that we have lost our bearings. And when you look at the divorce rate and the out-of-wedlock births, they’ve got a point. “You may disagree with everything they say and every position they take and every candidate they support, but they are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and they too read the Bible, and they too try to be faithful.”

So Republican Christians, Danforth recognizes that you are trying to be good Christians, but he also understands that you are just not "secular" enough.

Danforth is the poster guy for the liberal press in terms of presenting him as a "Republican" and a "Priest". They love to present his left of center views as inter party criticism, even though Danforth is much more of a Democrat than a Republican in regards to his politics. Don't get me wrong I think faith is the most personal and private matter there is and no one has a right to criticize someone else's views. That is not what I am doing with this post. What I am pointing out is that John Danforth is more of an Old Testament vs. a New Testament Christian from his own statements ( not that there is anything wrong with that if it works for you ):

“The thrust of what the (Old Testament) prophets were talking about was to rail against idolatry… against the false gods, against Baal, against the worship of something other than the holy… God,” said Danforth. “And when we create a political system that we represent as being ‘God’s’ political system, we are Baal worshipers.”

John Danforth is a good man who has a strong faith and seeks good no doubt. He is however more of a left of center secular - humanitarian in terms of his self confessed religious groundings. Having a humanitarian religious base is a good thing, but that is only half of the equation for most Christians.

The MSM does a spins and wink when they promote Danforth as a moderate Republican. He is in fact a left of center Democrat who ventures to the right on occasion and happens to also be a Priest. Nothing wrong with that or him, but he is certainly left of center politically and religiously and to promote him as a mainstream moderate is in my opinion incorrect. I think that he and I could have some good constructive and positive conversations. That said, don't try to sell me a left of center perspective on these matters and tell me it is actually right of center.....................