Godly Republic: A Centrist Blueprint for America's Faith-Based Future

Godly Republic: A Centrist Blueprint for America's Faith-Based Future

Godly Republic: A Centrist Blueprint for America's Faith-Based Future

Godly Republic: A Centrist Blueprint for America's Faith-Based Future

Synopsis

"Do you know if you are going to heaven?" Shortly after being appointed the first Director of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives--the "faith czar"--John J. DiIulio Jr. was asked this question. Suddenly DiIulio, a Catholic Democrat who pioneered programs for inner-city children, was acutely aware that he was no longer a private citizen who might have humored the television evangelist standing before him. Now he was, as he recalls in his introduction--"responsible for assisting the president in faithfully upholding the Constitution... and faithfully acting in the public interest without regard to religious identities."

Using his brief tenure in the George W. Bush administration as a springboard, this lively, informative, and entertaining book leaps into the ongoing debate over whether as a nation America is Christian or secular and to what degree church-state separation is compelled by the Constitution. Avoiding political pieties, DiIulio makes an impassioned case for a middle way. Written by a leading political scholar, Godly Republic offers a fast-paced, faith-inspired, and fact-based approach to enhancing America's civic future for one and all.

Excerpt

It was not a question that I would have expected to be asked at a White House reception while standing just a few paces away from the president of the United States. My inquisitor, a television evangelist, was at the White House for a ceremonial meeting with religious clergy. I was there as an Assistant to the President and first director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

I knew what he wanted to hear. Had he asked me as one private citizen to another, I might have humored him. I started to do just that. But then I caught myself. He was not asking me, the private citizen. He was asking me, the nation’s first “faith czar.” A visible government official. A top presidential appointee. Someone responsible for assisting President George W. Bush in faithfully upholding the Constitution, faithfully executing democratically enacted public laws, and faithfully acting in the public interest without regard to religious identities (and all contrary political purposes be damned). So I paused. Over my left shoulder I could hear the president greeting the guests who were still in the reception line. In my peripheral vision I could see his hearty handshakes, mini-hugs, and pats on the back.

I refocused on my questioner’s face. As I tried not to stare, my mind started to race. Earlier that day I had heard rumors that groups dedicated to the extreme separation of church and state (no “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, no “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency, and the . . .

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