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Republican Party Watch: Danforth Criticizes Evangelical Right

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Former U.S. Sen. R-Mo., John C. Danforth speaks to the Press Club of Metropolitan St. Louis Thursday, Oct. 20, 2005 in St. Louis, Mo. Danforth says he favors embryonic stem cell research, seeing it as consistent with his pro-life stance. Danforth is a moderate Republican and ordained Episcopal minister.

The ASSociated Press has Danforth Criticizes Christian Sway in GOP.

The influence of evangelical Christians in the Republican Party hurts the organization and divides the country, former U.S. Sen. John Danforth said during a visit to the Bill Clinton School of Public Service on Wednesday.

Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri and an Episcopal priest, met with students during a seminar and held a luncheon talk at the graduate school.

“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.”

He also said the evangelical Christian influence would be bad for the party in the long run.

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Tracy Schmitt declined comment.

Danforth, who recently served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, made similar criticism of the party in an opinion article published by the New York Times in June. In that article, he called for religious moderates to take part in public life.

People of faith have an obligation to be in politics, he said.

“I think the question arises when a political party becomes identified with one particular sectarian position and when religious people believe that they have the one answer, that they understand God’s truth and they embody it politically,” he said.

“Nothing is more dangerous than religion in politics and government when it becomes divisive,” he said. “I’ll give you examples: Iraq. Northern Ireland. Palestine.”

For many years the Christian Evangelicals and Roman Catholics sat meekly on the political sidelines as issues which were morally repugnant to them were forced into public policy by the liberal Democrat LEFT.

The Republican Party have accepted them into the party mainstream and adopted party positions that most closely reflect their core moral and political values.

And this is wrong?

John Danforth’s New York Times’ piece is Onward, moderate Christian soldiers.

John Danforth is a good man and his served his country well as a United States Senator and Ambassador to the United Nations. He simply has the wrong ideas about church-state interaction and the Christian Evangelical and Catholic Right.

Could it be that his views on gay marriage and rights, stem cell research, and the reference to God in schools and the public square have just turned too far to the LEFT?

Perhaps like the New England Republicans of the 1950’s and 60’s he would be happier in a more moderate Democrat Party with Teddy Kennedy, John Kerry and Hillary (remember what that party attempted to do to your protege Justice Clarence Thomas) ?

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