- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 22, 2002

The Force as faith

"More than 10,000 aficionados of the 'Star Wars' movies you might call them Obi-wannabes jotted down 'Jedi Knight' when asked to name their religious preference on the 2001 British census. That was a sufficient number to assign an official code for a new 'Star Wars' religion.


"Does that mean tax-exempt status for Yoda? Quite not. Despite the claims of the springtime e-mail that launched the campaign, the census classification does not translate into formal government recognition of The Force.

"'We are recognizing what some may have entered on their form and ensuring that our coding framework will cater for it,' explained a census spokeswoman, noting that other 'faiths' assigned classification codes include the Church of Free Love, the Wiccans and the Divine Light-mission.

"'It is really a useless piece of information.'

"Not to mention a useless faith."

from "The Gospel of Luke Skywalker," in the January issue of Citizen


Young survivors

"Feisty young pro-life advocates are jumping into the abortion battle, and they mean to win.

"They come from middle schools, high schools, university campuses and coffee shops. Many are clean-cut, while others are tattooed and pierced, green-haired marvels. And I say, 'Who cares? Welcome!' …

"These fresh troops are members of the 'abortion generation' born since the 1973 verdict. They consider themselves 'survivors of Roe v. Wade,' says Derrick Jones, former president of Teens for Life, a national group established in 1985.

"'Twenty-nine years ago, the Supreme Court declared war on a group of people,' says Bryan Kemper, director of RockForLife.org, a division of the Youth Outreach Program of American Life League. 'The very persons who survived the Roe decision are coming [to Washington] to protest. …

"'A third of our generation is gone,' Jones adds. Holly Miller, former president of National College Students for Life (with coast-to-coast affiliates and the entire Ivy League) says, 'We should leave every third seat empty in our classrooms as a reminder.'"

Ellen Makkai, writing on "Pro-Lifers: Young and Feisty," Saturday in World Net Daily at www.world netdaily.com


Judicial review

"CBS debuted 'First Monday,' a show about the inner workings of the Supreme Court. While this may sound like a fantastic idea for a one-hour drama, the results are somewhat less than gripping, with little basis in reality.

"Just as in real life, the court is composed of six white men, two white women, and a black man. Somewhat departing from real life, there is also a cast of quippy and exceedingly naïve law clerks surrounding the Supremes. Also, the black justice is a liberal Lord knows audiences wouldn't buy a conservative minority.

"The one bright spot in the show is James Garner, who plays the affable and conservative (yes, he's conservative and he can refrain from kicking puppies!) chief justice with a fondness for college football. The rest of the show, however, is quite dim.

"In the world of 'First Monday,' the justices talk about judicial philosophy in the halls, huddle before the beginning of the court's term, and interrogate criminal defendants, who for some unbeknownst reason are actually in the room all of which … is quite far from the mark.

"Aside from these minor but annoying technical inaccuracies, however, the main problem with the show is that it tries to reconcile the irreconcilable. Quite simply, it's impossible to write a drama about the least dramatic branch of the federal government."

Ryan H. Sager, writing on "Courting Appeal," Saturday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com


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