- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 28, 2004

It’s been a tough week for the radical zealots of the American political left. Liberal ideologues were stunned by a presidential call for a constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage. Long lines waiting to see Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” shocked those who despise the Judeo-Christian values on which the United States was founded. Anti-Bush partisans took a hit when Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan called on Congress to cut spending and make the president’s tax cuts permanent.

And — as if to add insult to injury — Ralph Nader threw his hat in the ring as an Independent presidential candidate. The only question now is whether the counter-cultural revolutionaries running the national Democratic Party and much of the so-called mainstream media are paying attention to anything but the cancellation of “Sex in the City.”

For much of the last 12 months, political militants and social extremists have had a free-for-all. They have a presidential target for spewing their hatred. They had U.S. troops in the field and a war to protest. The Patriot Act offered them an opportunity to dust off old conspiracy theories about the CIA and the FBI. In Massachusetts, New Mexico and San Francisco, judges and legislators bent to the will of homosexual activists on redefining the meaning of marriage — and more than 3,000 same-sex marriages have taken place in direct defiance of California law.

Howard Dean found a way to harness all that anger and anti-Americanism in a presidential campaign that, until recently, offered Woodstock-era hippies a chance to relive their salad days in conspiracy-laden Internet chat rooms. And when Mr. Dean self-destructed, John Kerry was there to pick up the pieces and give Vietnam-era, anti-America protesters a chance to participate in something more substantial than burning their bras and draft cards — his campaign to become commander-in-chief.

All that came to a screeching halt this week. First, President Bush endorsed a constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage, saying that “activist courts” have left the people with this only recourse. Leftists were bitter at the news. The New York Times claimed the measure would “inject mean-spiritedness and exclusion” into the Constitution and accused the president, not the courts and mayors who are doing an end-run around the law, of trying to “create a sense of crisis.”

The Washington Post complained in a front page article that the constitutional endorsement was nothing more than a “move to satisfy [his] conservative base.” It was no such thing. The president clearly arrived at his decision reluctantly, but resolutely — and rightly so. Decisions to amend the Constitution should not be taken lightly. But what alternative is left when liberal activists simply defy the laws enacted by the people’s representatives?

This week’s defense of God and country continued when, on Ash Wednesday, “The Passion of the Christ” opened at more than 3,000 locations on 4,600 screens nationwide. Theaters everywhere are reporting sellouts — even at their matinee showings — highly unusual for a midweek premiere. Industry experts estimated “The Passion” grossed more than $25 million on its first day.

But again, the American “elite” class has no tolerance for wholesome fare demanded by the public. Their disdain was illustrated by CBS’ Andy Rooney, who told radio host Don Imus that “The Passion” was only good “for a few laughs” and called Mr. Gibson a “whacko.”

In Tinseltown, several of Hollywood’s most influential studio executives are vowing not to work with Mr. Gibson again, according to the New York Times. In point of fact, Mr. Gibson had little help at all on “The Passion.” Hollywood distributors wanted nothing to do with a movie about Jesus Christ — let alone one that was spoken in Latin and Aramaic. Actor Russell Crowe summed up Hollywood sentiment by saying that Mr. Gibson’s “got to get off the glue.”

But what Hollywood and news and entertainment elites need to understand is that the American public has had enough. This week, Clear Channel Radio pulled radio shock jock Howard Stern from six of its stations citing his “vulgar, offensive and insulting” remarks in an earlier broadcast. Clear Channel management deemed Mr. Stern’s remarks to be insulting “to anyone with a sense of common decency.” Millions of Americans with “common decency” only wonder, “What took so long?”

But the left will not give up without a fight. Rosie O’Donnell, who is involved in a homosexual relationship, called the proposed constitutional amendment to protect marriage “immoral” and ignored California law by “wedding” her mate in San Francisco. “Stunned and horrified,” poor Rosie was caught off guard by the president’s support for a constitutional amendment and claims she found it “very shocking.”

When the media flock to San Francisco’s City Hall to broadcast similar celebrity “nuptials,” radical leftists will congregate in front of their televisions to celebrate. That is, unless the FCC bans homosexual weddings from the airwaves because they offend those with a sense of common decency.

Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist and the founder and honorary chairman of Freedom Alliance.

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