Is Your Pastor or Priest a Man of Action? Check Out Pastor Stephen Grant in, for example, MURDERER'S ROW: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL and THE RIVER: A PASTOR STEPHEN GRANT NOVEL by Ray Keating

Pastor Stephen Grant?

Stephen Grant is the pastor at St. Mary’s Lutheran Church on eastern Long Island. Grant is one of the more unique second-career clergy around, as he once worked for the CIA. Besides theology, his interests include archery, golf, writing, classic films, the beach, poker, baseball, and history. Grant also knows his wines, champagnes and brews. Oh yes, he generally dislikes politicians, and happens to be an expert marksman with a handgun and a rifle, while being pretty handy with a combat knife as well.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Excerpt from "An Advent for Religious Liberty"

Adam Pritchett is the mayor-elect of New York City in An Advent for Religious Liberty: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel by Ray Keating. Here's Chapter Two from that thriller, which makes clear Pritchett's intentions regarding his attacks on religious liberty.


Chapter 2


After a brief hesitation, Maureen Donahue accepted Mayor-elect Pritchett’s offer to become his press secretary for the transition team and for the Pritchett administration when it took office on January 1.
She clearly was pleased when Pritchett said, “Maureen, now that the campaign is over, I’m going to be communicating with the media more directly.” He added, “Let’s call a press conference for this coming Monday. I’ll be announcing my first appointments.”
So, less than a week after his historic victory, Mayor-elect Adam Pritchett stood before a throng of television, newspaper, Internet, radio and magazine reporters in the lobby of the audacious Pritchett Building on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan.
Pritchett introduced three of his five deputy mayors, and his chief policy advisor.
Pritchett’s selection to be deputy mayor for economic development was Dean Havenport. He had been with Pritchett for many years as the city government liaison with Pritchett NYC Enterprises, Inc. Another longtime employee and close advisor on political and personal donations, Carter Dujas, was made Pritchett’s chief policy advisor.
But once the floor was opened to questions from the press, which had never happened before with Pritchett, it was all about his campaign night declarations on religion and the public life of the city.
Pritchett did not seem to be overly bothered by the questions, but he attempted several times to bring the focus back to his appointments. The press, sensing an opportunity to hurt this politician who ignored them throughout his run for office, failed to relent.
A New York Post columnist inquired, “Mayor-elect Pritchett, didn’t your comments on Election Night, in effect, tell people of faith to take a hike, that there was no place for them in your administration or even in the life of New York City?”
The controlled anger seen on the previous Tuesday night reappeared on Pritchett’s face. “Okay, if this is how it’s going to go, fine. My comments on Tuesday night were not meant to exclude anyone from my effort to turn this city around, or to exclude anyone from contributing positively to the energy and life of our city. What it was meant to do was make clear that religion should not be a part of those efforts and should not be in the public life of our city in general. I believe in a very strict separation of church and state, and have seen little of value come out of religion. If you believe in some Supreme Being or force, that’s your business. You obviously have that right, but keep it as your private business. There’s no justification for it to be in our political and public lives.”
That generated tremendous buzz among the assembled press corps, whose hands shot in the air, with many members calling out Pritchett’s name and title to get his attention. Standing behind Pritchett, Havenport looked non-phased, even uninterested, in the current flurry of activity. Meanwhile, Dujas positively beamed. As for Donahue, she couldn’t hide her discomfort.
Pritchett faced the shouts, flashes and cameras with his anger replaced by a calm delight. He was even smiling as he selected a New York Times reporter.
She asked, “Mayor-elect Pritchett, what about religious groups involved in helping to provide various social services, help for the homeless, education, and health care to those in need in the city?”
Pritchett replied, “To the extent that those services are supplied in partnership with city government, or if city funds are involved, those efforts will be re-evaluated by my administration.”
That declaration created an even louder response among the media, and a bigger smile from Carter Dujas.