- The Washington Times - Monday, October 29, 2001

Helping others
"Just in case this messy divorce business [from Nicole Kidman] and flash of litigiousness has led you to conclude that Tom Cruise isn't such a sweetheart, Penelope Cruz would like to say a few words on her boyfriend's behalf.
"'Tom is one of the most generous people I know. He has an enormous heart, is very intelligent and has a great sense of humor,' the actress tells the British magazine Hello. 'One thing he has never lost sight of is his humility. In fact, he lives to help others.'
"Unless he happens to have been married to those others, of course."
Amy Reiter, writing on "Cruz on Cruise," Thursday in Salon at www.salon.com

A little anger
"U.S. leaders, from President Bush on down, have commendably told Americans not to take their anger out on Arabs or Muslims living in this country. (The two categories are not conterminous most Muslims in America are black, while most Arabs are Christian.) Would it be too much to ask Muslim Arab-Americans to show a little anger in America's behalf?
"The trickle of anecdotal evidence, now amounting to a river, suggests that among recent immigrants particularly, there is neutrality, and sometimes even sympathy for [Osama] bin Laden. The abandonment of dual loyalties is part of the assimilating process that all immigrants to America go through. It also matters what the secondary loyalty is to: Middle and upper-class WASPS felt a tug towards Britain during the two world wars; Jews feel protective of Israel, a friendly democracy.
"Today, the attractive foreign power is a gang of civilization-hating mass murderers. America is now asking a lot of its citizens. It is not too much to ask its immigrants to assimilate."
from "The Week" in the Nov. 5 National Review

Divine judgment?
"Weeks after Jerry Falwell made the post-Sept. 11 remarks for which he has since apologized, he is getting flak from unlikely quarters. Rev. Falwell, you'll recall, was on Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network show 'The 700 Club,' when he said that God might be punishing America for the actions of liberal groups that have promoted the evils of abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity, pornography and the like. You know, the stuff that Pope John Paul II repeatedly calls 'the culture of death.'
"Rev. Falwell himself acknowledged that he had overreached in saying, 'I point the finger' at the ACLU, People for the American Way, homosexual activists and other liberals.
"But if Mr. Falwell had put it differently, would it be beyond the pale to suggest the possibility that God may, in fact, be fed up with America for allowing the killing of 'inconvenient' children, for promoting sodomy in ways that would make Sodom blush, and for banishing His name from the public square? Is it unreasonable to ponder whether the forces of decadence in America, transmitted worldwide by a perverse popular culture, have made it easy for the likes of [Osama] bin Laden to misrepresent America as the Great Satan?
"America's forefathers had no problem with the concept of divine judgment. In his second inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln opined that the Civil War was God's punishment on America for slavery. He made the speech a month before the end of the war, after hundreds of thousands of Americans had died, and he quoted Psalm 19:9: 'The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.' Would the GOP's founder still have a place in the 'new' Republican Party?"
Robert H. Knight, writing on "The Idols of Secular Conservativism," in the Oct. 25 issue of the Culture and Family Report

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