- The Washington Times - Friday, June 14, 2002

Royals in touch
"I've got nothing against a republic, it's republicans I have a problem with, at least in Her Majesty's realms. On Tuesday, Hugo Young began his Guardian column thus: 'As the golden coach prepares to roll, republicans are sure they've had the better of the argument against everything it stands for. Jubilee year has been a republican apotheosis. The cause has never achieved more respectability in chattering society .'
"This was the day, in case you've forgotten, that one million people filled the Mall to bellow Land of Hope and Glory. Given the choice between Elizabeth Windsor and Hugo Young, which would you say was remote, imperious and hopelessly out of touch?
"The odd thing about the Queen's republicans is the way that, even as they're blind to their own dull, smug complacency, so many routinely insist that it's the Windsors who are a stodgy, unimaginative bunch of mediocrities. It should be clear even to them from this last week that the Queen is one of the shrewdest and most remarkable figures in the world.
"I fell a little bit in love with her after Diana, Princess of Wales, died, when she finally went before the cameras but couldn't bring herself to lapse into the Clintonian [nonsense] that came so easily to everyone else that week. 'Diana was an amazing person,' she said, unable, even as the mob were at the gates, to tell any outright lies such a straight bat is to be cherished. I don't doubt they've got problems lower down the order, but at the top the Royal Family isn't in the least bit mediocre."
Mark Steyn, writing on "A Successful State is a Romance" in the June 8 issue of the London Daily Telegraph

Terrorist heritage?
"Between the 11th and 13th centuries, a terrorist group of fanatical Arabic tribesmen lived in an area ranging from Persia to Syria. Called the Hashashinim, they gained notoriety for their brutal deeds conducted while they were high on hashish. 'Assassin,' an Anglicized version of their name, has stood for political murder ever since and with its obvious political intent fits the State Department's definition. And yes, terrorism and drugs were linked long before their 20th century nexus in Latin America
"In truth, the United States was born of an atmosphere of political violence although we hate to tie such onerous terminology as terrorism to a heritage that Americans proudly embrace. I am sure historians prefer to describe early atrocities as armed insurrections, military actions or savage warfare but not as terrorism.
"Nevertheless, whether breaking from the British, conquering the Indians or suppressing the slaves, the founders of the United States often resorted to strategies and tactics that by many of the 212 definitions could certainly be described as terrorism based on political intentions. Once the union was in place and the Civil War had faded into history, it was easier to distinguish between the legitimate power brokers and the renegades resorting to violent tactics."
Glenn E. Schweitzer in his new book "A Faceless Enemy: The Origins of Modern Terrorism"

Averted eyes
"With the help of some priest-mentors who were aware of his personal history and apparently indifferent to it, [Father Rudolph] Kos then gravitated to the priesthood specifically, to a seminary in Texas where homosexuality was apparently out of the closet. One of his teachers would go on to become a celebrated gay writer. Paul Shanley the most notorious child abuser among the Boston area clergy was a guest lecturer on homosexuality there. As a priest, in addition to abusing boys from teenagers down to 9 years of age, Kos was also (as he later described himself) a 'gay man'
"What even this brief recitation makes clear is a cluster of facts too enormous to ignore, though many labor mightily to avert their eyes. Call it the elephant in the sacristy this crisis involving minors this ongoing institutionalized horror is almost entirely about man-boy sex. There is no outbreak of heterosexual child molestation in the American church it would be profoundly misleading to tell the tale of Rudolph Kos what he was and what he did without reference to the words 'homosexual' and 'gay.'
"Of course, as the bishops and many other savvy observers of the debate will also know, just such distortion has become commonplace indeed, is the literary norm in the daily renditions of what the tragedies in the Church are actually 'about.' The dominant view in the press right now [is] what might be called the 'anything-but-the-elephant' theory "
Mary Eberstadt, writing on "The Elephant in the Sacristy," in the June 17 issue of the Weekly Standard

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