Century Marks

Sounds of silence: John C. Danforth, the new American ambassador to the United Nations, told the Senate during his confirmation hearing that when he was special envoy to Sudan he called together feuding Muslim and Christian leaders. Danforth, an Episcopal priest and former Republican senator from Missouri, reported that the Muslim leaders said: “Well, everything’s fine in our country, ” whereas the Christian leaders had “a bill of particulars about how they’d been abused.” Danforth thought it was a terrible meeting, but the Muslim and Christian leaders separately told him that it had been a wonderful discussion—and that the two groups had never met each other before. Though a strong proponent of separation of church and state, Danforth believes that religious leaders have a role in public life. In the hearing he asked: “Where are the religious voices in the world? This silence to me has seemed deafening” (New York Times, July 1).


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