In this remarkable book about religion and politics today, Commonweal writer Michael Gallagher asks the question, How does one adhere to an essentially simple faith in a complex society that lacks moral leadership not only in its government, but also in its religious institutions? Laws of Heaven answers by exploring the lives of twelve extraordinary men and women whose controversial beliefs have led them to challenge their church and government as well as to frequently place their lives on the line.
Here you will meet some of contemporary America's bravest and most unusual citizens: Marietta Jaegar, whose young daughter was brutally murdered by a serial killer, and who has become a dedicated anti-death penalty and peace activist; Charlie Liteky, who, relinquishing the Medal of Honor and the pension that accompanies it, fasted regularly in order to protest U.S. support of the Contras in Nicaragua; Elizabeth McAlister, who, like her husband, Philip Berrigan, repeatedly took part in acts of civil disobedience to protest American reliance on nuclear weapons; William P. Ford, a Wall Street attorney whose life was turned upside down when his sister was killed in El Salvador.
Laws of Heaven is a challenging and provocative contribution to our understanding of the world in which we live. The lives of its twelve subjects force us to confront our own values and to ask how far we would be willing to go for what we believe in.