- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 25, 2000

'Political potential'

"In the late 1960s and '70s, when some of Juan Miguel [Gonzalez's] uncles were growing bitter, when his aunts felt like outcasts for going to church, some of their children seem to have thrived… .

"But if Castro had chosen among the cousins for one to champion his crusade, he could not have done better than Juan Miguel… . Juan Miguel joined the Union of Young Communists at 15 and threw himself into the duties it presented: attending political rallies, volunteering to work on the agricultural harvest, keeping an eye on the 'revolutionary morale' of his comrades. He became a full member of the Cuban Communist Party at the tender age of 24, an achievement he called 'the proudest thing that can happen to you.' …

"By the time Elian was rescued on [Nov. 25, 1999], Juan Miguel had been put in touch with the Foreign Ministry in Havana, which two days later sent the United States a diplomatic note seeking the boy's return… .

"Castro was quick to recognize the episode's political potential… . It was an issue, as Cuban officials were soon noting privately, that also had the potential to isolate Miami's Cuban exiles from other Americans."

Tim Golden, writing on "Just Another Cuban Family Saga," in Sunday's New York Times Magazine

Unwed Scandinavia

"The Netherlands was once staunchly Calvinist… . Today, amidst the tulips and historic churches, legal prostitutes sell themselves in public, drugs are sold out of boutiques, and the sick and the elderly are actively and legally euthanized.

"What happened? Across Europe, in both Protestant and Catholic countries, Christianity has become reduced to a historical curiosity and a tourist attraction… .

"Perhaps Europe shows what awaits America in a few years if cultural liberalism continues to win victory after victory and if Christians do not find a way to impact the culture in a meaningful way.

"In the Scandinavian countries … it became socially acceptable decades ago for couples to live together without being married… .

"Carol J. Williams reports that more than half the children being born are to unwed mothers. (The numbers are 54 percent in Sweden, 49 percent in Norway, 46 percent in Denmark, and 65 percent … in Iceland.)

"This is twice the rate in the rest of Europe and 60 percent more than in the United States, whose illegitimacy rate is especially high among the poor and minorities. In Scandinavia, the whole society is doing without marriage."

Gene Edward Veith, writing on "Doing Without Marriage," in the April 22 issue of World

Feminist values

"[At the Feminist Expo 2000 in Baltimore] everyone from Patricia Ireland to Carol Moseley Braun claimed that feminists just want to give women the freedom to make their own 'choices.'

This oft-stated argument is a bit like a doctor telling his son he won't pressure him about careers: He can choose any sub-specialty of medicine he wants. After all, the modern feminist movement, launched after Betty Friedan likened suburban housewives to concentration-camp inmates, has long sneered at many choices women make.

"How does the current feminist soft-sell square against the reality of the conference? Are feminists really, as Patricia Ireland insisted … of 'many minds' on just about every issue? At the opening session Friday afternoon, politicians and activists declared that we are all feminists now.

Vowing to keep making the personal political, Sen. Barbara Mikulski … insisted family values are really feminist values. 'Honor thy Father and Mother' means support a government protection drug plan."

Evan Gahr, writing on "Feminist Majority Rule," posted April 13 on the American Spectator on line (www.spectator.org).

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