- The Washington Times - Monday, October 13, 2003

In good company

“In 1952, [director Elia] Kazan cooperated with a congressional committee that was investigating Soviet attempts to infiltrate the film industry, with the purpose of shaping the values of Americans by manipulating what they took into their minds through their entertainment. Kazan ‘named names,’ exposing the communists he knew in Hollywood.

“In return … Kazan was vilified by his peers. To this day, despite new evidence from the former Soviet Union that proves the direct involvement of Soviet agents in attempting to take over America’s means of cultural production, Hollywood … hails the ‘blacklisted’ communists exposed by Kazan and others. (Another important player in the affair was the head of the actors union who battled Soviet attempts to take over his organization: a young star named Ronald Reagan.)”

Gene Edward Veith, writing on “Proud defender of the American ‘waterfront,’” in the Oct. 11 issue of World

Gospel of hate

“Of the Four Gospels, the Gospel of John is the closest to being hate literature. Granted, it contains some lovely writing, but its basic narrative — and a very strong narrative it is — shows the mainline Pharisees and ‘the Jews’ … as being responsible for the death of Jesus. The Romans get off lightly and the Jews take almost all the blame.

“Historically, this led to the lunatic charge of deicide (god-killing) against the Jews and their descendants: lunatic because the Christian scheme of things requires that Jesus’s blood be shed to complete God’s plan for the salvation of true believers, and slagging a rival religious group for its implementation of God’s will is simply schizophrenic discourse.

“Nevertheless, the charge of deicide against the Jews, when magnified by the power of the Roman Empire and later by various Christian national states, cost the lives of tens of thousands — probably hundreds of thousands — of Jews. Killing the Christ-killers is one of the products of the Gospel of John.

“Why would anyone want to be faithful to such a text? It can be redeemed by informed, discriminating and gentle scholarship. But, to film a literal version of the Gospel of John is like filming a faithful version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Canadian author Donald Harman Akenson, writing about a new movie, “The Gospel of John,” Sept. 17 in the Toronto Globe and Mail

Father Daly

“From his daily MTV show ‘Total Request Live’ (‘TRL’) Carson Daly not only took the requests of MTV viewers, but helped to set a tone for what was and wasn’t cool in the world of pop music. But long before MTV shot him to the top of the pop music heap, Daly had once considered becoming a Catholic priest.

“‘When I was a high school senior, entering a seminary and serving God full time was definitely on my mind,’ recalled Daly. ‘When I was offered a partial scholarship to L.A.’s Loyola Marymount University I decided to go, figuring that I would major in theology. … By then I’d decided against the seminary figuring I could apply my strong moral beliefs more effectively outside the priesthood.’ …

“The transition from wannabe Catholic priest to MTV star was not an easy or expected one, particularly in an age where people of faith often discouraged the next generation from populating cultural outposts like MTV.”

Mark Joseph, from his new book, “Faith, God & Rock ‘n’ Roll”

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