- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 2, 2000

Photo power

"Even now, a quarter century after the fall of Saigon, the pictures have lost none of their potency. In their own day, they each won the Pulitzer Prize for photography… .

"The first … is Eddie Adams's 1968 photograph of what captions invariably described as a Vietcong 'suspect' the very moment a bullet from the gun of Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan, the national chief of police, passed through his brain… .

"Four years later, Americans awoke to another raw image: 9-year-old Kim Phan Thi Kim Phuc fleeing down Route 1, naked and screaming in pain after being napalmed during a South Vietnamese air strike on a village in the midst of an Easter offensive launched by Hanoi… .

"The now infamous shot of [Gen. Loan] executing a prisoner whose hands were tied behind his back appeared just a few weeks after the Tet offensive that itself was a huge victory for the South Vietnamese and American side but had been presented as a defeat.

"What the picture does not show is the heavy fighting in the Cholon area of Saigon or that the executed man had killed a policeman and knifed the policeman's wife and six children… .

"The day after Gen. Loan died, Mr. Adams said that photographs are only 'half truths.' If Vietnam teaches us anything, it is that such half-truths may be more powerful than an outright lie or the more complicated whole truth."

William McGurn, writing on "Vietnam Through a Lens Darkly," in Thursday's Wall Street Journal

Destroying diversity

"Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale is about every American's First Amendment freedom of association. If the Boy Scouts lose, so will the thousands of other private, voluntary associations that organize themselves on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation… .

"Without such associations, our society would be fundamentally altered. Do gays, for example, want their organizations flooded by fundamentalists trying to 'convert' them? A much-quoted line from the Boy Scouts' Supreme Court brief says it best: 'A society in which every organization must be equally diverse is a society which has destroyed diversity.' "

Melanie Kirkpatrick, writing on "Scout's Honor: This Case Is Not About Gays," April 24 in the Wall Street Journal

Falwell on Mel White

"Mel White and I have been friends for about 15 years, dating back to when he was apparently 'straight,' and then we never broke off the friendship after he came out of the closet. He had written for Billy Graham and Pat Robertson and me.

"Mel is wrong. He abandoned his wife, children, grandchildren, mother and father to move in with his male lover. I've said to him repeatedly, 'Forget your so-called orientation. You abandoned your family and, for whatever reason you did it, you can't justify that.' And he acknowledges that. But we never fought over it …

"Mel and I were talking about the violence on both sides. We're never going to agree on the rightness or the wrongness of the gay lifestyle. But we certainly can agree on an anti-violence theme. And so we spent three months, his staff and mine, working out the details of how we could bring together 200 people from each side and spend a weekend developing a resolution to bring down the rhetoric and stridency on both sides… .

"The 200 people from Mel's group stayed here for church after the summit… . At least five of them have made professions of faith and repudiated the gay lifestyle. But we're not crowing about that. We don't want to put any flags up or drive people away."

Jerry Falwell, interviewed by Edward Gilbreath in "The Jerry We Never Knew" in the April 24 issue of Christianity Today

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