Danforth on True Christianity
I heartily recommend John Danforth’s op-ed in the NYT on genuine Christianity. As he says, moderate Christians are a work in progress, always trying to be better. He says, “But for us, the only absolute standard of behavior is the commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves.” If only more politicians would adhere to this standard.
Interestingly, the Times description of him says that he is an Episcopal minister and former Senator. It does not mention that most recently he was US Ambassador to the United Nations, soon to be replaced by John Bolton, a man best known as an SOB who in the past has not loved his neighbor as himself.
When he was leaving the post of UN Ambassador, Danforth refused to criticize the Bush Administration, but he did say the following:
My view is that it’s best that the U.S. have one foreign policy, not a bunch of independent operators. I do not believe that the Permanent Representative to the United Nations is an independent foreign policy maker or should be some sort of figure running around Washington saying exotic things, or running around New York saying exotic things. I really don’t believe that. I believe we should speak with one voice. And therefore I think that this particular method of operation is right. It’s the way I should function. It’s the way the State Department should function. It’s the way the government should function as a totality. Am I used to this kind of operating? No, I mean when I was in the U.S. Senate, I voted my conscience, my point of view and my position on issues, what I thought. And then when I’d go back to my home state and try my best to explain my position to my constituents. You can’t do that in this position, nobody can. I mean everybody who represents the government here does so as an ambassador. You’re representing a point of view that’s the point of view of the entire government, not just the point of view of an individual member of the United States Senate. So it’s a different kind of role, I think that the role here, I’m repeating myself, I think that the role here is not one for somebody who is an independent operator and shouldn’t be that way. And so that’s just the way it is.
Spoken like a true public servant, unlike John Bolton, who frequently made a point of letting the world know that he disagreed with his boss, Secretary of State Colin Powell. But if you read between the lines, it looks like he did not feel that he was voting his conscience at the UN under George Bush’s orders. Danforth had too much moral character to represent this Administration.