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Friday, June 17, 2005

Thank You, Senator Danforth 

A reasonable, moderate, former Republican senator and current Episcopal minister speaks.

A sampling:

It is important for those of us who are sometimes called moderates to make the case that we, too, have strongly held Christian convictions, that we speak from the depths of our beliefs, and that our approach to politics is at least as faithful as that of those who are more conservative. Our difference concerns the extent to which government should, or even can, translate religious beliefs into the laws of the state.

. . . We strongly support the separation of church and state, both because that principle is essential to holding together a diverse country, and because the policies of the state always fall short of the demands of faith. Aware that even our most passionate ventures into politics are efforts to carry the treasure of religion in the earthen vessel of government, we proceed in a spirit of humility lacking in our conservative colleagues.

Read the entire thing. I find it heartfelt and encouraging. With so many unreasonable people making so much noise these days, such statements are a breath of fresh air. Thanks Senator Danforth.

What needs to happen in response to this sort of thing is a responsive reaching out by those on the secular side of this debate. An overture from people like me that it is not religion or religious people that we have a problem with, but the imposition of that religion on others. I feel comfortable making such overtures. I find common ground with my religious friends each day, but too often those on my side of this divide are as unwilling to reach across as the Dobsons and Robertsons of the world. When men like Danforth reach out, it is our duty as fellow reasonable people to reach back and make a connection. This is not about left v. right or religous v. secular, it's about reasonable v. extremist. In that debate, I find myself, happily, on the same side as men like Senator Danforth.

But I have about 3 readers. What we need are luminaries of the secular world writing similar op-eds in response to statements like this one from John Danforth. Writing about how we are not trying to eradicate Christianity or spirituality, but trying to find ways to coexist peacefully and respectfully. So, people with a modicum of clout, get to it...I'm doing what little I can.

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