- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 11, 2000

Monkey business

"It's the biggest monkey-related news since Koko the Talking Gorilla: Mark Wahlberg has just been cast in Twentieth Century Fox's upcoming 'Planet of the Apes' as Col. George Taylor, following in the bare footsteps of the mighty Charlton Heston. Which is interesting, since at last month's MTV Movie Awards, Wahlberg ad-libbed the following: 'Let's give [the Best Villain trophy] to Charlton Heston for being the head of the NRA.' So does Heston think his replacement's a damned dirty pacifist? 'We live in a free country, and you have the right to shoot your mouth off,' says Heston diplomatically. 'Freedom of speech, that's the First Amendment. And the right to bear arms is the Second.' "

Liane Bonin, writing on "Apes of Wrath," in the July 14 issue of Entertainment Weekly

Bob Jones kids

"[Bob Jones University] is a far, far cry from your standard American university: outwardly, inwardly. The people young and old are almost freakishly polite. They talk openly about God and their Savior, as others might talk about politics, sports or sex. They say grace before meals. Their campus is dotted with biblical quotations. They don't have to lock up their belongings. There is no litter, no graffiti, no blaring rock music (or any, for that matter), no cursing, no drinking, no smoking, no shouting. In other words, it is hell for most college students. But for these, it is very heaven. The rules and atmosphere, they insist, are liberating, enabling them to concentrate on what matters: becoming 'soldiers for Christ.'

"BJU kids know full well that they are different; they have no illusions about what others think of them. They can't help wondering, though, why, in a country chock-full of differences one that prides itself, increasingly, on differences they are singled out for calumny… .

"Is there room for them in this diversity-crazed country of ours? Can we spare them a tile in our 'gorgeous mosaic?' Are they so leprous that they are unfit even to be spoken to by presidential candidates?

"The weird thing is this: For people who are supposed to be such haters, they are startlingly loving, gentle. And because they stand with their chins up against the majority's scorn, they are brave. You could say … that Bob Jones students are the uncoolest kids in America. But that, of course, would depend on what you mean by cool."

Jay Nordlinger, writing on "Most Hated U," in the July 17 issue of National Review

Favored by Providence

"For 72 years, communism in Russia waged a silent war against the human soul. Sometimes screams were heard from torture chambers deep in prisons and in detention centers, but mostly the war was fought with ideas and incessant public propaganda… . Year after year, the silent artillery of communism leveled the inner landscapes of the soul.

"A more secular way to speak of these things is to say that communism set out to destroy human capital. It set out, for instance, to eradicate centuries of learning, habits, cultures to erase 'bourgeois culture,' to salt it and plow it under with lies, demonstrations, propaganda… . It wounded the habits of honesty and trust, self-reliance and fidelity to one's word… .

"Even under the best of conditions, it is extremely difficult to construct a free society that works, that endures, that is self-correcting… . The transition from communism to a free society is consequently a severely demanding moral task… .

"How that transition goes is perhaps the greatest issue of our time… .

"Thomas Jefferson, no orthodox believer, put it this way: 'The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.' It is no hindrance to our purposes to understand that liberty is the Creator's jewel, favored by Providence. Theism is no hindrance to personal dignity. On the contrary, it is its source."

Michael Novak, writing on "The Godlessness That Failed," in the June/July issue of Commentary

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