- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Two voices
"As God's gift, freedom is not license to behave in any way we choose. It is the gift of consequence the fact that when we act, we have impact. The ability to make choices with the understanding that what we choose has consequence. Our freedom is the freedom to choose good or evil it is not freedom to make choices that have no consequence. Our choices will have consequence for good or evil. Our opportunity is to make those choices well.
"For those who embrace a biblical understanding of creation, the difference between freedom and license echoes down the corridors of time in two voices, both first heard in the Garden of Eden.
"The first voice, the voice of evil, was a voice disguised as the voice of freedom, and it whispered: 'Just do it. It won't make a difference.' The second voice, the voice of God, states plainly: 'Make your choices, but make them carefully because you make all the difference.'
"The voice of evil, posing as freedom, tells us that we are free to ignore the difference between good and evil, between life and death. It says, 'Go ahead. It won't make a difference.' The consequence isn't as promised. But let me just say that when we are told that our choices are without consequences, we are not told that we are free, because without consequence, we are without meaning. So the voice which tells us that we have no consequence doesn't describe freedom. It describes meaninglessness."
John Ashcroft, in his commencement speech May 11 to graduates at Catholic University in the District.

Coffee politics
"Howard Schultz, founder and CEO of Starbucks, has repeatedly seen his company come under criticism and boycotts from the radical left fringe. And he's beaten each one.
"But now, a group of American Muslims which supports terrorism and homicide bombers has started a new Starbucks boycott.
"Why? Their 'Global Action Alert' alleges Mr. Schultz incited violence against Palestinians in a speech to a Seattle-area synagogue.
"The campaign is a lie. Plain and simple, it is just another form of anti-Semitism.
"What Schultz did say was simple. Schultz said, 'What is going on in the Middle East is not an isolated part of the world. The rise of anti-Semitism is at an all-time high since the 1930s. If you leave this synagogue tonight and go back to your home and ignore this, then shame on us.'
"That Muslims would use a speech against anti-Semitism as an excuse to boycott and attempt to silence the principled Starbucks CEO is instructive in what is really going on. It's about anti-Semitism and legitimizing attacks on and murder of Jews. Nothing less."
Debbie Schlussel, writing on "Starbucks, yes, France, non!" Monday in Town Hall at www.town-hall.com

Socialist faith
"Engels and Marx succeeded in recasting socialism into a compelling religious faith, and their socialism absorbed or eclipsed all others.
"Marxism made socialism a religion by reducing all of history and all problems to a single main drama. 'Communism is the riddle of history solved,' said Marx. Solving the riddle meant not only comprehending the past, but foreseeing the future.
"Nor was this the only way that socialism echoed revelation. It linked mankind's salvation to a downtrodden class, combining the Old Testament's notion of a chosen people with the New Testament's prophecy that the meek shall inherit the earth. By investing history with purpose, socialism evoked passions that other political philosophies could not stir."
Joshua Muravchik, from his new book, "Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism"



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