- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 23, 2000

PC Oscars

"Anti-suburban, anti-smoking, pro-abortion: This year's leading nominees for the Academy Awards … displayed not only physically correct actors and actresses, but politically correct themes.
" 'American Beauty,' a drama of sorts featuring a middle-class dad who chases after a high-school cheerleader, last week rounded up eight Academy Award nominations to lead the pack. The 5,300 directors, screenwriters, actors, and others who chose nominees were evidently receptive to a film showing a rootless, shallow family leading a life of quiet desperation in the existential nightmare known as suburbia… .
" 'The Insider,' a film about a tobacco industry whistle-blower, and 'The Cider House Rules,' based on John Irving's pro-abortion novel of the same name, each received seven nominations. Planned Parenthood set up special screenings of 'Cider House' and pushed it to critics, as part of a broad campaign to let modern moviegoers know how bad things were in the days when fetuses were babies."
from "Oscar's PC lineup," in the Feb. 26 issue of World

Who should repent?

"In the past few decades, the [Roman Catholic] Church has been called upon from various quarters to repent for her misdeeds over 20 Christian centuries. And John Paul II has openly admitted some of the faults of Catholics: the Inquisition, the Galileo fiasco, the Church's acquiescence in the brutalities of the European explorers and the complicated history of Christian prejudices against the Jews …
"But there is a curious blind spot in these various calls for the Church to repent. Secular figures rarely feel a need to disavow their own complicity in crimes, even when many of them, still living to this day, bear no little guilt for atrocities that make the Church's sins pale by comparison.
"Take the Inquisition. Beyond question, the Church was involved in religious trials that probably led to the deaths of several thousand people over the centuries. Though the process was conducted under a strict legal code, it was wrong to execute people for their beliefs. But as Polish poet Cszelaw Milosz has reminded us, communism in some of the larger countries killed more people on average per day than the Church killed in centuries."
Robert Royal, writing on "On Secular Repentance" in the January issue of Crisis

Coddling Castro

"Even as Castro's rule lingers on in Cuba, so does the romance of the American Left with that rule… . Among Castro's most ardent admirers, right from the beginning, 40 years ago, have been black political elites… .
"And, if the subject is Cuba, never far away is Rep. Charles Rangel … so affable, so quippy, so beloved by the Washington media. And so stubborn in his fondness for the dictator in Cuba… .
"In January, after Republicans proposed legislation that would make Elian [Gonzalez] a 'permanent' resident of the U.S., Rangel was quick to introduce a 'sense of Congress' resolution that Elian should be returned. He is unsparing in his criticism of anyone with reservations about sending the boy back. Why should he stay here, Rangel asks, just because 'we have some Cuban-American congressmen from Miami who are up for re-election'? Of any other argument, he evinces no understanding: 'It is hard for me to see how people can hate communist Cubans so much that they will hold this kid hostage.' …
"To Havana, there is a steady parade of black visitors: politicians, activists, musicians, writers, actors. Usually, they are wined and dined by the dictator himself… . Knowing that blacks are the moral arbiters of American society, Castro has worked hard to woo them and they are good and wooed. "
Jay Nordlinger, writing on "In Castro's Corner," in the March 6 issue of National Review

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