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Godly Republic: A Centrist Blueprint for America's Faith-Based Future: A Former White House Official Explodes Ten Polarizing Myths about Religion and ... in America Today (Wildavsky Forum Series) Paperback – November 18, 2008

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Eminently reasonable."--"Religious Studies Review"

"Lively. . . . The book comes studded with . . . endorsements by distinguished folks from all quarters."--Patrick McKinley Brennan"American Catholic Stds" (09/01/2008)

"Eminently reasonable."--Amos Young"Religious Studies Review" (09/01/2008)

Lively. . . . The book comes studded with . . . endorsements by distinguished folks from all quarters. --Patrick McKinley Brennan"American Catholic Stds" (09/01/2008)"

Eminently reasonable. --Amos Young"Religious Studies Review" (09/01/2008)"

From the Inside Flap

"John DiIulio's Godly Republic: A Centrist Blueprint for America's Faith-Based Future is a splendid book. It is a much needed book. It is a book that will raise eyebrows and raise hackles-at both edges of the political spectrum. It will also raise the consciousness of readers who are willing to consider dispassionately the careful, thoughtful, and quite penetrating argument Professor DiIulio makes for a via media on the question of public aid to religiously based providers of social services to our fellow citizens who are in need. I hope and—dare I say it?—pray that there will be many such readers."—Robert P. George, Princeton University

"DiIulio's manuscript explodes myths that have surrounded our understanding of constitutional history, law and religion, the public administration of social services programs, the nature of religious service organizations, and the politics surrounding faith based programs. His style is casual, breezy, often funny, and filled with autobiographical detail. Only DiIulio, who is not only a streetwise activist for the poor, but also a prominent social scientist and political figure, could have written this important book."—Steven Shiffrin, Cornell Law School

"John DiIulio has done his country another important service. Godly Republic makes a compelling case that respect for religious influence and genuine pluralism go hand in hand in American history. John is a voice of reason and civility in a debate that needs more of both."—Michael Gerson, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Former Chief Speechwriter for President George W. Bush

"John DiIulio is a person of faith, learning, and wisdom. He brings his passion for truth and history to his examination of the right relationship between religion and government, faith and politics. This illuminating book is a must read for all who seek insight and guidance on these difficult questions."—Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Former Lt. Gov. of Maryland, Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University, and author of Failing the Faithful

"Godly Republic is lively, stimulating, and thought provoking—just what we have all come to expect from John DiIulio, one of America's leading political thinkers."—William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard

"John DiIulio has done more than anyone in America to unleash the power and capacity of sacred places to serve the poor and needy. In Godly Republic, he lays a foundation for splitting the atom of faith-based civic power. This sage and saint of the compassion agenda might just pull it off-and bring our country around a faith-based agenda that could ignite millions of Americans in service to the nation."—John M. Bridgeland, Former Director, White House Domestic Policy Council and USA Freedom Corps

"John DiIulio presents a succinct and authoritative statement on what the Founding Fathers actually intended as operating principles for a healthy democratic society... A scholar and a man of deep religious faith, he brings to this book first-hand experience... Godly Republic will be of enormous value to leaders in political, academic, and religious circles as well as citizens in all walks of life."—George Gallup, Jr., Pollster and Founding Chairman, George H. Gallup Institute

"John DiIulio rejects the kind of Evangelical triumphalism that declares America to be a Christian nation, even as he turns from that secularity which leaves no room for religion in the public sector. Writing in a lucid style, he shows how religion and government can maintain a legal relationship that addresses some of the greatest social needs of our time."—Reverend Tony Campolo, Professor Emeritus, Eastern University

"No one in the country better understands the connection between policy and on-the-street results than John DiIulio. In Godly Republic he combines his experiences, from urban neighborhoods to the White House, to convincingly show how faith can be a unifying force for citizens and their communities all across the country."—Stephen Goldsmith, Chairman, Corporation For National Service, Former Mayor, Indianapolis

"John DiIulio's renowned leadership in the faith-based initiatives debate is here complemented by his keen scholarship. James Madison's erudition shines in glory as DiIulio explains how the framer of the Constitution balances John Witherspoon's orthodox Christianity and Thomas Jefferson's deistic perspective, thereby creating the 'Godly Republic.' This is a must read for friend and foe alike of the faith-based movements that will impact American government for generations to come."—Reverend Peter Lillback, President, Providence Forum and Westminister Theological Seminary

"Having excelled at opening government's doors to a greater role for faith-based social work, John DiIulio in Godly Republic makes clear that the pedigree for such openness lies deep in our founding principles. Like it or not, America has entered a wide-ranging debate about religion's place in our civil life. Godly Republic supplies an indispensable framework for this debate."—Jeffrey Bell, Washington political consultant and author of Populism and Elitism

"John DiIulio is likely the only person writing today who combines stellar academic credentials and first-hand experience in the corridors of political power and on the streets with faith-based and community organizations. Often compelling, at times challenging, but always thought-provoking, Godly Republic offers sharp insights and insider stories to provide a much needed corrective to many myths about religion and government in America."—Amy E. Black, Wheaton College, co-author of Of Little Faith

"John DiIulio has made a brilliant contribution to the ongoing debate on the place of religion in the public square. Through good, sound research and reader-friendly language, he has presented our nation with a unique and valuable book that should bring much clarity to the issue of the separation of church and state... It should be read by every elected official, policy maker and religious leader."—Rev. W. Wilson Goode, Sr., Director, Amachi Mentoring Program; Former Mayor, Philadelphia

"At a time when we struggle with the role and status of religious faith in the public square, John DiIulio, in his usual urbane and scholarly manner, clarifies the misconceptions of the liberal left and religious right. Thank you, John, for providing us the Good News that faith and religion have always been part of the public square."—Rev. Luis Cortés, Jr., President, Esperanza, America's largest Latino faith-based organization

"With his trademark combination of candor and intellectual rigor—and a powerful gift for weaving a story—John DiIulio seeks a middle ground in today's increasingly rancorous church-state debates... With him, we travel back to the start of our 'Godly Republic' and into the minds of our nations' framers; peer into the most private rooms of the White House, where he served as a top aide; and glimpse what the future can hold in a nation that both respects religious pluralism and allows faith-based institutions to help the most disadvantaged among us."—Gigi Georges, Former State Director, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Partner, The Glover Park Group

"Take a brilliant analytical mind, add in a huge heart, a passion for justice and a deep religious faith, combine all that with a lively facility of expression, and you have John DiIulio. This is a book so many have been waiting for, the tough-minded reflections of a man who went into the White House trenches to pursue his carefully thought-through dreams of how compassion might be realized through social policy. By offering an honest, searching and deeply intelligent explanation for why things did not quite work out as he planned, DiIulio offers hope that we can get things right the next time around. And he makes clear how urgent it is that we try. DiIulio is a national treasure."—E.J. Dionne, The Washington Post Syndicated Columnist, and author of Why Americans Hate Politics

"This wise and engaging book accomplishes an awesome feat-it is both important and a pleasure to read."—Jane Eisner, Vice President, National Constitution Center, and editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer

"In Godly Republic, John DiIulio gives us a timely book for the elevation of our public policy and public discourse. It is a terrific read that reminds us that tolerance is both a religious and an American virtue."—Martin O'Malley, Governor of Maryland, Former Mayor of Baltimore

"In the White House and in his scholarship and civic service, John DiIulio has explored the theory and practice of allowing faith to inform government action. The unending—indeed, unendable—debate on the proper relationship between religion and government will be livelier and more civil because of this book."—George Will, ABC News and Syndicated Columnist

"God and America, what could be more important? And no one is better qualified to explore one of the most important issues of our time than John DiIulio. In a book that weaves a seamless web between superb social science and his own experiences in government, DiIulio has written a must read for any serious citizen-religious or not."—Elaine Kamarck, Public Policy Lecturer, Harvard University; former Senior Advisor to Vice President Al Gore

"A must-read gem written by a rarity: a respected and courageous former public servant who is also one of America's most influential academics on the intersection of religion, politics and social policy. His brilliance and decency shine through on every page."—Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

"This is a very impressive book, exactly what one would expect from a political scientist as able as John DiIulio. He takes seriously the flawed arguments and popular myths promoted by extremists on the political right and left, and he writes calmly about issues that many are shouting about. He is a scholar and experienced practitioner who cares passionately about his subject. How we resolve these constitutional disputes will affect our public policies for years to come, and DiIulio wants to make sure we get our historical, and contemporary, facts right. People on all sides need to attend to his arguments, because the potential welfare of millions of lives is at stake."—Michael Cromartie, Ethics and Public Policy Center

"In the midst of the myth, mystery, and misunderstanding surrounding the separation of church and state, John DiIulio's book offers challenging insights. Whatever your politics, position, or perspective, Godly Republic is a must read."—Rev. Dr. Herbert Hoover Lusk, III, Greater Exodus Baptist Church

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Product Details

  • Series: Wildavsky Forum Series (Book 5)
  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (November 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520258002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520258006
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,265,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bruce Cline on May 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As someone only superficially schooled in the issues related to the separation of Church & State, I found this to be a even-handed attempt to debunk some of the popular myths that seem to stymie intelligent debate about those issues. Impressively, DiIulio critiques the often bombastic and purposely misleading advocates on both sides of the rigidly sectarian to pro-religious spectrum. Unfortunately, many of the ideologues (both in and out of government) that DiIulio quotes or notes, and many of whom he seems to know and respect, often willfully perpetuate these myths rather than attempt to have an honest dialogue that might lead to reconcilation and resolution of important community needs and issues.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book. It's easy to read. It provided both historical and political insights that can only be known from a person who has had experience from working with our elected officials in Washington. Dilulio is obviously well educated and informed about how our government operates as well as the expectations of most Americans. This book should be a "must read" in every high school.
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Format: Hardcover
Of this book, one reviewer writes: "John DiIulio rejects the kind of Evangelical triumphalism that declares America to be a Christian nation . . ." I wish that was true, but it isn't. DiIulio is promoting evangelical triupmhalism, with the forced allegiance to a god many of us don't believe in.

If one accepts the core premise, then this book merits five stars, but the core premise is so deeply flawed that it infects the entire analysis. This is another version of American culture trying to have it both ways: freedom and slavery, property rights and displacement of Native Americans, and now religious equality "reconciled" with forced allegiance to "God."

That analogy will not be well-received. I don't like having to make it. All I can do is ask my theistic brothers and sisters to think: Just because you're not taking my land, putting me in chains, hanging me from a tree or forcing me to work for you doesn't mean you're treating me as your equal.

Why is it so hard to accept that some of us do not believe in what most people call God? Why is it impossible for so many people to see that forcing the expression of your theistic beliefs on us is profoundly disrespectful? When will the theistic majority take the equal standing of non-theists seriously?

In a country where two presidents named Bush said that an atheist is not a good American, this is not a small matter. We are told to lighten up, and yet we are called un-American by our own presidents and effectively precluded from holding public office. We are the nation's most disliked and distrusted minority, and as has so often happened in the past, America refuses to see itself.
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