- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Like Herod?
Was President Bush likened to ruthless killer Herod the Great during the Rev. Canon Michael Wyatt's sermon on Iraq at Washington National Cathedral?
You sit in the pew and tell us.
"I'm a student at George Mason University," Caleb Shoenhard first wrote to Inside the Beltway. "On Sunday, December 29, I attended the 11 A.M. service at Washington National Cathedral In the sermon by the Rev. Canon Michael Wyatt, Ph.D., he compared President George W. Bush to Herod of the Bible. I found this startling and appalling."
We've since obtained a published text of the homily by Mr. Wyatt, appointed director of religious education at the historic cathedral 18 months ago after holding similar Episcopal posts in Seattle and San Francisco. The cathedral was commissioned by President Washington in 1791.
"The Church celebrated yesterday the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the children Herod ordered slaughtered in an attempt to kill the newborn King of the Jews, Jesus," Mr. Wyatt said in his sermon. "The acknowledged good of a stable dynasty veiled a brutal and reprehensible fact, and for the sake of that perceived possible positive outcome, actual flesh was ripped open. The self-indulgence of the indolent is paid for out of the flesh of the innocents of the world, those powerless to defend themselves, except by acts of terror.
"Our consuming and combative choices hack away at the fabric of life, and we are slashed and burned in return," he continued. "And if we answer, even sincerely, that we do not know on whose back we ride, that ignorance will not save us, and if we are lucky enough to die before the verdict comes in, that escape does not mean that we are numbered among the holy innocent.
"For over a decade, the United States has held to an intensification of the U.N. sanctions on Iraq, blocking with its veto and entangling in debates any attempt to relieve that nation. As part of the 'dual-use' considerations of the sanctions, by which items which might conceivably be used for military purposes are kept out, equipment to repair Iraq's sewage plants have been held up," Mr. Wyatt said.
"This, of course, has meant an increase of cholera, typhoid and dysentery. But the necessary vaccines are also blocked, with the claim that they might be used to make biological weapons a technically unlikely claim," he opined, pointing out that 25 percent of children in southern Iraq are chronically malnourished.
"Is it better not to know about these Holy Innocents? By the grace of God, moments of brutality can become moments in which the powerful are forced into the most horrific knowledge of themselves by seeing their own violence and brought to repentance. We must see how flesh pays for our words if we are to change. The question remains, with whom do you identify and if it is Herod, wail."
Demon dictators
The future's decidedly grim
For Fidel, for Saddam, and for Kim,
Because sooner or later
Each demonic dictator
Must get what is coming to him.
F.R. Duplantier
Elvis lives
Rep. Richard W. Pombo, California Republican, had better watch it or he's going to have every Elvis Presley groupie in the country descending on Capitol Hill to see whether he's actually you-know-who in a congressman's suit.
Pombo staffer Doug Heye asked yesterday whether we were aware that Elvis and Mr. Pombo were both born on Jan. 8. No, we had not realized that intriguing fact.
And there are other eerie similarities between the King and the congressman:
Elvis collected automobiles, including a Pantera. Mr. Pombo owns a 1973 Pantera.
Elvis played race-car drivers in movies such as "Viva Las Vegas" and "Speedway." Last year, Mr. Pombo won the Washington Grand Prix celebrity race.
Elvis was a truck driver before becoming famous. Mr. Pombo is the only House member with a commercial trucking license.
Can you see where we're going with this?
Elvis often wore a cowboy hat, like in the movie "Charro." Mr. Pombo is famous for wearing a cowboy hat (check out his official congressional photo).
Elvis was a favorite of law-enforcement officers and received several law-enforcement badges. Mr. Pombo also is a favorite of law-enforcement officers and has received myriad law-enforcement awards.
Elvis was featured on a U.S. postal stamp. As a congressman, Mr. Pombo votes on postal-related legislation.
Now, hang onto your blue suede shoes here's the most convincing proof that Elvis is roaming the hallowed hallways of Capitol Hill:
Elvis made an appointment with President Nixon on short notice. Mr. Pombo often meets with President Bush on short notice.
Remember, you read it here first.

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