Monday, June 20, 2005

Moderates

Former Senator and UN Ambassador Danforth had an op-ed in the TIMES a few days ago in which he called for moderate religious positions in American cultural and political debates. (Danforth is also an Episcopalian priest.) The sense I get is that, for him and many others, being moderate is having enough faith to nourish yourself privately but never doing anything public or consequential. Thus, Danforth represented George Bush's administration at the UN during the Iraq debacle and when he resigned, it was rumored that he was very disappointed in US policy. But - a big but - he did not raise the issue. He just resigned quietly. That is the perfect moderate. I assume he used some of his theological background to analyze the war but he never told us what his Christian conscience said to him. On the contrary, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have also analyzed the Iraq war in light of Christian teaching, conluded that the war was immoral and then spoke out to their own church and the world. On this issue and so many others, sacredness of all life, the poor and economic injustice, these 2 popes clearly urge us all to think differently and take action. So I guess they are the extremists.