- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 9, 2001

Madonna's impact
"Madonna, at age 42 older, but no wiser, embarked on her first tour in eight years. Tickets in Philadelphia and New York went for hundreds of dollars a pop, and that part of the world that pays attention to such things gaped at the spectacle.
"It would be idle to pretend that Madonna has not had an impact on her time. What sort of impact has it been?
"Madonna used the Virgin Mary as part of her act, a make-up change between waif and hooker.
"Her worst failing is that she lies about sex. Her lie distorts a truth. The truth is that Eros is powerful, and can be all-consuming. Her lie is that it's OK to let it consume you. Bouncing from one fantasy to another she conveyed the impression that her fans could do likewise.
"After the movie stars, the basketball players, the lesbians, and even the Hispanic trainer, she got herself wed in a Scottish church and settled back on the cushion of her millions, an option that is open to few 12-year-old girls."
—From "Immaterial Girl," in the Aug. 20 issue of National Review

Pro-adultery
"Adultery may be the only important aspect of marriage that feminists have not subjected to intense ideological analysis. Divorce, the economics of housework, domestic violence, stay-at-home moms and deadbeat dads all have been dissected under a microscope .
"To those unfamiliar with PC feminist theory — or to those who persist in not taking it seriously — this oversight seems inexplicable. After all, adultery is a large contributing factor in divorce, which is often cited as a major cause of poverty in women.
"Adultery is intimately linked to other prominent feminist concerns, such as domestic violence, paternity claims and deadbeat dads. Why are they silent on this significant aspect of human sexuality when they are verbose on every other one?
"[Feminists] claim that adultery is sex between consenting adults, so it is a personal matter. Adultery is either beneath their political notice or it is in bad taste for them to comment upon.
"PC feminists view traditional marriage as the enemy. In their worldview, adultery by men merely reveals that institution as a sham. Why does anyone expect such feminists to condemn adultery?"
—Wendy McElroy, writing on "Why Feminists Support Condit," Tuesday at www.foxnews.com

Budding Buddhists
"The new Buddhism is no stranger to Harvard Divinity School, where student and faculty practitioners gather weekly in the chapel for meditation and chanting, and seasonally to celebrate the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and Nirvana.
"Harvard's enthusiasm for Buddhism goes back more than a century to Ralph Waldo Emerson, who barely distinguished it from Hinduism, but liked what he saw.
"In 'The New Buddhism: The Western Transformation of an Ancient Tradition' James Coleman paints a nuanced picture of the hundreds of thousands of sympathizers, weekend retreatants, regular meditators, devotees, adapts and committed converts. He devotes chapters to the rise of Buddhism in America since the 19th century, the range of practice and belief exhibited by his subjects, gender politics and the sex scandals that rocked dharma centers in the 1980s, the confluence of motives and conditions that made Buddhism the fastest-growing religious movement during much of the last 30 years.
"The new Buddhists are predominantly middle-aged, Caucasian, economically prosperous, politically liberal, and, strikingly, the most highly educated religious group in America. Women and Jews are disproportionately represented."
—Christopher Queen in "That Old-Time Western Religion, Buddhism," in the spring/summer issue of the Harvard Divinity Bulletin


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