- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 1, 2001

Times are a-changin'

"There is something truly significant happening today. A new movement is slowly taking hold on college campuses, among left-wing groups in Europe and human rights groups throughout the world.

"The protests in Seattle in 1999, the IMF-World Bank protests in Washington, D.C., in 2000, and the continuing presence of agitation wherever corporate entities gather to determine global economic and environmental policies do not, as the media portray them, merely reflect the work of fringe radicals and anarchists.

"Such events arise out of a broad-based coalition of students, environmentalists, unions, farmers, scientists and other concerned citizens who view the decisions made in these cabals as the front line in the battle for the future of this planet.

"This is a movement in its infancy that I believe is as morally compelling as the early abolitionists fighting to end slavery in the 18th century; as important as the labor activists advocating workplace safety and an end to child labor in the early 1850s; as undeniable as the scientists who first alerted the American public to widespread abuse of our environment by corporate polluters.

"All of these movements met with overwhelming condemnation by both political parties, were ignored and then criticized by the press, while their adherents were harassed, arrested and sometimes killed by police and other agencies of the government."

Tim Robbins, writing on "What I Voted For," in the Aug. 6 issue of the Nation

American fabric

"Fatherhood seems to weigh heavily on Larry King these days. His book on the Clinton years, "Anything Goes," is dedicated to his two young sons. 'To Chance, born in 1999, and Cannon, born in 2000,' reads the opening page. 'I hope your years will not be a time where anything goes.'…

"By his own admission, Mr. King is an agnostic, which he defines as an 'I don't know' person. He says his agnosticism makes him a better interviewer, since he's forever looking for answers to questions that others may not bother to ask. But he sees a difference between an I-don't-know position and an I-don't-care position, which seems to sum up the attitude most reporters take toward the subject of religion.

"It's important to our culture," he says unabashedly. "Religion, which brought us a lot of the problems we have, also solved a lot of the problems. Religion has been so profound in the world, both good and bad. Sunday morning and Saturday morning is part of the fabric of America. Even when you don't go, it's still around you. God's around. The word 'God' is around."

Bob Jones, in "It's Good to be King," in the July 28 issue of World

The Pope's silence

"Rabbi Daniel Lapin has just about had it. He heads up a renewal organization called Toward Tradition and takes sharp exception to the statements of Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League.

"You remember when, during the pope's visit, Syrian leader Assad said some rudely stupid things about Jews. The pope declined to get into a spitting match with Assad then and there, so Foxman complained about the pope's 'sin of silence.' …

"About the same time as the Syrian visit, there was a media flap over some prominent Christians who opined that candor compels a recognition that the Jews of the time were not entirely uninvolved in the crucifixion of Jesus. Talk about pushing Mr. Foxman's buttons. He charged that 'It seems to be open season on Jews and Judaism.' Right. Next week come the pogroms.

"Back to Rabbi Lapin: 'I wish we could all calm down a little. I mean, were it not for the ADL's screaming, hardly anyone would know about Assad's pathetic insults. And just what was the elderly pontiff supposed to do as Assad blathered away in Arabic jump up, run across the stage, and start strangling the guy?

"But I imagine Abe Foxman was facing a shortfall in fund raising this quarter, or something like that. Ten thousand little old Jewish grandmothers must be really worked up and writing their checks to ADL.'"

Richard John Neuhaus, on "We Piped and You Did Not Dance," in the August/September issue of First Things

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