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Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by…

Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in…

by Charles J. Chaput

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a priest I had only corresponded with suggested I read this book, and I am glad he did. Bishop Chaput makes the case for the involvement of people of faith in the public square, but he goes beyond that to make the case that we cannot be people o9f faith unless we engage with the issues of our day from the perspective of our beliefs. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., D.D. posits that American democracy depends on an engaged citizenry to survive. He discusses the separation of church and state, pro-choice politicians, and the role of religious believers in politics. The short discourse on the history of Catholics in America is interesting and would make a very long and interesting book on its own. In this book the archbishop urges Catholics to practice their faith openly. ( )
1 vote hermit | Oct 16, 2012 |
Denver Bishop is one of the best!
  GEPPSTER53 | Jul 16, 2009 |
Archbishop Chaput believes a Catholic politician who does not vote to criminalize abortion should not be given Communion. His stance is not supported by many other Catholic bishops, though all agree, as of course I do, that abortion is a horrendous evil since it terminates the life of an unborn innocent child. But I think a Catholic can in good conscience vote against criminalizing abortion, even though I would not so vote. And certainly there are good reasons often to vote for a Catholic even though he does not vote to criminalize abortion, especially since the pro-life politicians of the Republican stripe often use the issue not to end abortion but to garner votes. The book is well written and is a good exposition of the author's view. ( )
  Schmerguls | Sep 26, 2008 |
This sounds very sensible. Apparently at least of the younger bishops have decided the best defense is to go on offense. ( )
  kenmueller40 | Sep 22, 2008 |
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Charles J. Chaput was the Catholic Archbishop of Denver at the time of publication.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385522282, Hardcover)

“People who take God seriously will not remain silent about their faith. They will often disagree about doctrine or policy, but they won’t be quiet. They can’t be. They’ll act on what they believe, sometimes at the cost of their reputations and careers. Obviously the common good demands a respect for other people with different beliefs and a willingness to compromise whenever possible. But for Catholics, the common good can never mean muting themselves in public debate on foundational issues of human dignity. Christian faith is always personal but never private. This is why any notion of tolerance that tries to reduce faith to private idiosyncrasy, or a set of opinions that we can indulge at home but need to be quiet about in public, will always fail.”
—From the Introduction

Few topics in recent years have ignited as much public debate as the balance between religion and politics. Does religious thought have any place in political discourse? Do religious believers have the right to turn their values into political action? What does it truly mean to have a separation of church and state? The very heart of these important questions is here addressed by one of the leading voices on the topic, Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Denver.

While American society has ample room for believers and nonbelievers alike, Chaput argues, our public life must be considered within the context of its Christian roots. American democracy does not ask its citizens to put aside their deeply held moral and religious beliefs for the sake of public policy. In fact, it requires exactly the opposite.

As the nation’s founders knew very well, people are fallible. The majority of voters, as history has shown again and again, can be uninformed, misinformed, biased, or simply wrong. Thus, to survive, American democracy depends on an engaged citizenry —people of character, including religious believers, fighting for their beliefs in the public square—respectfully but vigorously, and without apology. Anything less is bad citizenship and a form of theft from the nation’s health. Or as the author suggests: Good manners are not an excuse for political cowardice.

American Catholics and other persons of goodwill are part of a struggle for our nation’s future, says Charles J. Chaput. Our choices, including our political choices, matter. Catholics need to take an active, vocal, and morally consistent role in public debate. We can’t claim to personally believe in the sanctity of the human person, and then act in our public policies as if we don’t. We can’t separate our private convictions from our public actions without diminishing both. In the words of the author, “How we act works backward on our convictions, making them stronger or smothering them under a snowfall of alibis.”

Vivid, provocative, clear, and compelling, Render unto Caesar is a call to American Catholics to serve the highest ideals of their nation by first living their Catholic faith deeply, authentically.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:50 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Archbishop Chaput has received widespread attention for his statements on everything from abortion to the war in Iraq. As the nation readies itself for the 2008 elections, he presents an invaluable roadmap for Catholics struggling with the competing claims on their loyalty to faith and country.… (more)

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