- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Mr. Eminem now

“In the media blitz before the release of [Eminem’s new CD] ‘Encore,’ we met yet another new Eminem: posed on Rolling Stone’s cover in a well-cut suit, sharing his views on parenting, stressing the need for ‘setting guidelines and rules and boundaries.’ Uh-oh.

“Pop music has no purer form of insufferableness than the I-love-my-child motif. ‘Eminem: Moral Authority’ is surely what Dr. Phil would call a dog that don’t hunt. As with many recent rock records and a few rap ones, the central drama on ‘Encore’ is a struggle with maturity. And few artists struggle with maturity quite like Eminem does. …

“Eminem tries on a new move — accountability. Which seems like a pretty good definition of adulthood.”

Chris Norris, writing on “The Real Slim Shady Sits Down — and Grows Up,” in the Nov. 29 issue of New York

No Islamic Luther

“The Protestant Reformation helped set the stage for religious and even political freedom in the West. Can something like that occur in Muslim nations? That is highly doubtful. There is neither a papacy nor a priesthood against which to rebel; nor are mosques comparable to churches in the Catholic sense of dispensing sacraments. There will never be a Muslim Martin Luther or a hereditary Islamic ruler who, by embracing a rival faith, can thereby create an opportunity for lay rule. …

“[P]olitical freedom in the West emerged out of a centuries-long struggle between the Church and its religious opponents. Tolerance slowly emerged as the only feasible alternative to intra-religious conflict. After many centuries, such religious tolerance was converted into secular rule in England, France, Germany and Scandinavia. It may therefore take a long time before the proponents of ‘Islamic democracy,’ whatever that slippery term means, abandon their efforts and realize that no nation can be governed effectively simply on the basis of Islamic law.”

James Q. Wilson, writing on “Islam and Freedom,” in the December issue of Commentary

The Grinch index

“Am I imagining things, or has the Grinch index gone up a notch this year?

“No bell ringers outside Target. No Christmas songs about baby Jesus in school. My kids are home for ‘winter break’ rather than ‘Christmas vacation.’ My favorite coffee shop even asked me if I would like ‘holiday blend’ rather than the usual ‘Christmas blend.’ …

“What could possibly be so intimidating about observing the birth of Christ that the politically correct want to deny historical fact and reshape our nation’s heritage?

“Why are some so fearful? Even outraged? …

“To be perfectly honest, I’ve never met anyone who truly embraced Christ and regretted it. …

“So why all the Christophobia at Christmas?

“In a society that supposedly values tolerance and diversity we find that the Christ of Christmas is not always tolerated. …

“The message to Mary, Joseph and the shepherds regarding the miracle of the Christ child is the same message the world needs to hear today — ‘Fear not!’ You’ve got nothing to lose!”

Monte Leighton, writing on “The season of Christophobia,” Saturday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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