- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 4, 2000

Castro's media

"Cuban President Fidel Castro has declared that the case of Elian Gonzalez 'is a lesson,' and that in the future, communist Cuba will actively seek to mold public opinion in the United States… .

" 'This is a lesson for us … public opinion [in the United States] deserves much more consideration and should be taken into account,' declared the Cuban dictator.

" 'For me,' said Castro, 'there have been two important moments in which public opinion played a key role during the Vietnam War, and in the case of Elian Gonzalez.' …

"Radio Habana noted that 'virtually all' of the 'most influential media outlets' in the U.S. have favored 'forcible removal' of Elian… .

"In contrast to the diverse and comprehensive coverage of the Elian case in the New Media that is, the Internet and talk radio the establishment media's solid support for the Castro/Clinton position has clearly provided the Cuban dictator hope for influencing the American public on other issues in the future.

"Though the political and social dogmas dominating Cuba have changed little since communism took hold in the island over 40 years ago, they have been given contemporary appeal."

I.J. Toby Westerman, writing on "Castro Praises U.S. Media," April 27 in World Net Daily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Faith and philanthropy

"If the churches of my community shut down, along with all the charitable action they foster, we would see a sharp drop in beds for the homeless, food for the hungry and services to children. Partners for Sacred Places, a non-denominational group dedicated to preserving old religious buildings, reports that nine of 10 city congregations with pre-1940 buildings provide space for community programming such as food pantries, clothing closets, soup kitchens, child care centers, recreation programs, [Alcoholics Anonymous] meetings and after-school activities.

"Thus, mountains of data and anecdotes make it hard to dispute Frank Emerson Andrews' conclusion that 'religion is the mother of philanthropy.'

"To be sure, religion is a mixed bag. It has been used to support the Crusades and enslavement. But it was also Christians who built hospitals, helped the mentally ill, staff orphanages, brought hope to prisoners, established universities and spread literacy. It was Christians who abolished the slave trade, led civil rights marches and challenged totalitarianism."

David G. Myers, writing on "Wanting More in an Age of Plenty," in the April 24 issue of Christianity Today

'Warmest greetings'

"I want to take this opportunity to send my warmest greetings to everyone gathered for the Millennium March for Equality… .

"Throughout the history of our country, we have overcome tremendous challenges by finding strength in the diversity of all our people. As we begin this new millennium, your participation in this fourth national march will most certainly energize and galvanize the gay and lesbian community and those who are your family, friends and allies.

"We know all too well that all of America suffers if we allow prejudice and discrimination to stifle the hopes or potential of any American. Your participation in the Millennium March is a celebration of the fundamental values of inclusion, opportunity and respect for all.

"Tipper and I send best wishes for a wonderful event. We are proud to have you here.

"Sincerely,

"Al Gore."

Vice President Al Gore, in a letter published Sunday in a special commemorative issue of the Advocate

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