- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 1, 2006

‘Purpose’

“[Rick Warren’s] ‘The Purpose-Driven Life’ … [is] probably the biggest spiritual seller of this century. … More than 25 million Americans have bought it in hardcover. Before you write it off as just another Wal-Mart bestseller you’ll never understand, I should point out that even at my upper-middle-class Catholic parish, many people love this book and several parishioners even head over to the local evangelical church to participate in Purpose-Driven discussion groups. …

“When the book gets down to advice about how to shape up and live a Christian life, there’s little to take issue with. Join a church and tolerate its imperfections. Pray. Read the Scriptures. Give up chasing success for its own sake. Be responsible for your actions. Help the poor. If it takes clunky prose and icky purple ink to get people headed in those directions, let’s give at least some grudging approval. …

“We can sniff all we want about his Christian-rock California liturgies and give-the-people-what-they-want marketing; for Catholics, he provides a reminder of what can happen when a church plays offense rather than defense.”

— Thomas Baker in “Purpose-Drive Spirituality: How Deep Does Rick Warren Go?” in the Feb. 24 issue of Commonweal

Unnatural choice

“Pro-abortion activists have long maintained that abortion in America is about a woman’s ‘right to choose.’ They are correct. Abortion in the United States is about the right of a woman … to choose to have sex without any regard for the ‘negative’ repercussion of pregnancy.

“In a recent Village Voice column, Rachel Kramer Bussel … wrote, ‘I’m pro-choice because I couldn’t fully enjoy sex were I consumed with worry about the potential consequences.’ …

“What Bussel and activists … miss is that procreation is the main purpose of sex and not just one of many reasons.

“No doubt sex is pleasurable; however, pregnancy is the natural outcome of sex. …

“Thanks to abortion supporters, far too many in America now view sexual intercourse as nothing more than a no-strings-attached recreational pursuit.”

— Kelly Boggs, writing on “Abortion is all about sex,” Friday in Baptist Press at www.bpnews.net

No clothes

“[T]he Republican civil war … finally erupted with the [Supreme Court] nomination of Harriet Miers. For many conservatives, this was the final straw. …

“I think many conservatives knew as well as I did that [President] Bush is no conservative. …

“But these conservatives thought that the war on terror and the opportunity to get judicial conservatives on the courts trumped. …

“When Bush nominated a woefully unqualified crony to the most important of all court appointments, conservative doubts about Bush that had been held in check by 9/11, the war and the election suddenly exploded. Virtually the entire conservative intelligentsia turned against Bush overnight. …

“Although I lost my job [at the National Center for Policy Analysis] for writing a book critical of George W. Bush, I have no regrets. Sometimes you just have to say the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.”

— Bruce Bartlett, writing on “Thou Shalt Not Speak Ill of Bush,” in the March 13 issue of the American Conservative

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