What Fresh Hell Is This?

September 28, 2006

Finally, A Sane Religious Republican

I saw this at the Washington Post website this morning and I could barely believe my eyes.
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.

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. [emphasis added]
A Republican believes this? A religious Republican?

There's this as well:
"The problem with many conservative Christians is that they claim that God's truth is knowable, that they know it, and that they are able to reduce it to legislative form," Danforth writes. "The popular question, 'What would Jesus do?' can be difficult enough to contemplate with respect to everyday interpersonal relations. It is mind boggling when applied to the complex world of politics."
I wonder how long the party of Santorum will even let this guy into the clubhouse.

But the Washington Post isn't the only place Danforth's getting press. Here's something from Gannett News.
Former Republican Sen. John Danforth of Missouri urged his party Wednesday to "disengage" from the Christian right, saying religion has become too divisive a force in American politics.

Danforth, 70, an Episcopal priest, said politics today is too polarized and that the GOP spends too much time trying to appeal to the Christian right, the base of the party.
Amen, brother. Later on in the piece:
Most Americans don't want a religious party, he said. He added that the GOP is drifting away from the center of American politics by using religion to divide the electorate.

Gay marriage, Danforth said, is an example of how Republicans are pandering to the Christian right. The issue lacks substance and is used to "make people angry and win political support," he said.

As a senator for 18 years, Danforth said he "spent every day worrying about the budget and never worried a minute about gay marriage. Now it's the other way around."
There's this from the Kansas City Star:
“I’d like to see our party debate whether or not we’re a religious party,” Danforth said Wednesday over eggs and sausage with reporters. “Do we attempt to energize a base, or do we try to reconstitute a center in American politics? … I’m trying to create a backlash.”
Take a look at that. In order for there to be a debate, there has to be people who agree and those who disagree with the statement that the GOP is a religious party. Danforth obviously sees that there's enough disagreement within the Republican party for there to be a debate.

I'd like to say that I like this guy, but as soon as the words begin to form themselves in my brain, I remember that he's the one who brought us Clarence Thomas. Oh well. Life's messy sometimes.


Sherry P said...

finally, some sense.

Whigsboy said...

Although Danforth was quite the fundie while in Congress, he has written several editorials, including this one in the NY Times, that are powerful indictments of the evangelical takeover of the GOP.