Faith In Character
Rich Harmon - Montgomery Advertiser
An Alabama author writes a book about character, from a Christian perspective.
No big deal. No controversy there. Right?
Well, maybe just a little bit. Maybe, if you're the chief justice of the state Supreme Court.
But Drayton Nabers Jr. -- whose predecessor was Roy Moore, who lost his job over the Ten Commandments monument he placed in the state Judicial Building -- isn't too worried about stirring up trouble.
We asked the former state finance director, selected by Gov. Bob Riley to replace Moore in 2004, about his new book, "The Case for Character: Looking at Character from a Biblical Perspective," why he wrote it and the breakdown of the family.
Q: You taught a course at Samford University's Beeson Divinity School in 2002. Did this book evolve from that?
A: I had been thinking about this long before that course, but it helped me o! rganize my thoughts on the subject. I've been interested in a number of things during my life, and over the years I have kept a notebook in which I have written down things that particularly interested me. When I looked back over these notes, I realized about 75 percent of them related to character, so this is really something that I have been thinking about for about 15 years.
Q: Your predecessor was removed from office after a controversy involving Christianity and the Ten Commandments monument he placed in the Supreme Court building. Did you have any concerns about coming out with a book about Christianity and leadership and whether it might cause more controversy?
A: No, my train of thought about this was already well-formed before I went into state government, and it was independent of my positions in state government. I wanted this book to be as independent of political overtones as possible.
Q: Do you think that is possible with your upcoming campaign?
A: Certainly an important part of the campaign is that the voters of Alabama get to know who Drayton Nabers is, and I hope this book might give them some insight into who I am and what I stand for. Of course, I will also be giving some political speeches in which I will talk about character. But other than that this book is independent of politics. I plan to talk at a number of area churches about it, and those will not be political speeches.
Q: In your book, you say that one of the major problems facing society is the breakdown of the family. What, if anything, can government do to solve that?
A: The solution to developing character in children involved in broken families must come from the private sector and not from government. Character is developed first in the family and where the family fails, churches and synagogues, coaches and mentors must try to fill in. Character is developed one by one from the inside out, and this is not something government programs are suited to do.
Q: Now that you've written this book, are you planning to write any others?
A: It was my thought when I began this book that I had one book to write. I had no sequel in mind. It's not easy to write a book while working a full-time job. Perhaps, down the road, as I teach and discuss character, ideas for a second book might develop.
Q: Is there anything else that you would like to point out about the book?
A: The point of the book is that character is more important than any other factor in the quality of life, and that this is true whether it is an individual, a family, a company, a sports program or a nation. Some might ask, "Isn't faith more important?" But the book makes it clear that faith is a component of character. And character is more important than education, wealth or anything else in obtaining happiness, success and peace of mind.
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