Charles Chaput, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, formerly of Denver, and probably the most outspoken,
serious and influential Catholic thinker in America (perhaps second only to
USCCB president Timothy Dolan in political influence), has just published a short book titled, A Heart on Fire: Catholic Witness and
the Next America
(available in e-book format from Amazon for $0.99 - it was my first PC Kindle purchase, and well worth the 1/4 cup of Starbucks coffee price).
Actually, the "book" should be considered an essay and will likely serve as
the forward to a second edition of Chaput's 2008 publication, Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by
Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life
(due out this summer). Though written as a pastoral letter to Catholic faithful, Chaput is conscious of his wider audience and couches his message of religious freedom in authentically American terms. But he is hardly equivocal - his theme is one of persistence and active, unflinching engagement in the political sphere. He offers no quarter to the separationists who would have religious citizens check their faith at the door to political participation. Bringing faith to the political discussion is our duty, not merely our privileged, and so we must vigilantly ensure our right to cultivate faith and reason in the public forum.
You'd be hard pressed to find a better way to spend $0.99 and 30 minutes of your life.