This news release arrived today from Charles Francis at the Republican Unity Coalition:
Washington, D.C., June 10---Senator John C. Danforth has joined the Advisory Board of the Republican Unity Coalition, it was announced today by RUC co-chairs Charles Francis and Donald Capoccia. Senator Danforth will advise the RUC on its continuing efforts to support Republican candidates who reach out to all Americans, including gay and lesbian Republicans.In an opinion article he published on March 30 in the New York Times, Senator Danforth wrote:
Charles Francis, RUC co-chair, said: "We are honored to have Jack Danforth join the RUC---a gay/straight Republican alliance---dedicated to strengthening a "Big Tent" for all Republicans. Jack Danforth's life is his message: a life-long Republican conservative and dedicated public servant, an Episcopal Priest, the man who officiated at President Reagan's memorial service--he is a living hero to Republicans who want the GOP to steer to a principled center. We are so proud to have him standing with us.
"Joining with other RUC Advisory Board members including President Gerald R. Ford, David Rockefeller and Honorary Board Chairman Alan K. Simpson, Jack Danforth will help the RUC reach out to GOP conservatives and libertarians whose bedrock principles include everyone," Francis said.
Senator John Danforth is a partner with the international law firm Bryan Cave LLP in St. Louis. He retired from the United States Senate in 1995 after eighteen years of service. More recently, he served as United States Ambassador to the United Nations, after serving as President George W. Bush's Special Envoy to Sudan in 2001. Ordained to the clergy of the Episcopal Church, Reverend Danforth officiated at the memorial service of President Ronald Reagan.
During the 18 years I served in the Senate, Republicans often disagreed with each other. But there was much that held us together. We believed in limited government, in keeping light the burden of taxation and regulation. We encouraged the private sector, so that a free economy might thrive. We believed that judges should interpret the law, not legislate. We were internationalists who supported an engaged foreign policy, a strong national defense and free trade. These were principles shared by virtually all Republicans.Danforth was a mentor of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and he wrote a book entitled Resurrection: The Confirmation of Clarence Thomas. One wonders what influence he may have on the justice's jurisprudential thought?
But in recent times, we Republicans have allowed this shared agenda to become secondary to the agenda of Christian conservatives. As a senator, I worried every day about the size of the federal deficit. I did not spend a single minute worrying about the effect of gays on the institution of marriage. Today it seems to be the other way around.
The historic principles of the Republican Party offer America its best hope for a prosperous and secure future. Our current fixation on a religious agenda has turned us in the wrong direction. It is time for Republicans to rediscover our roots.