- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Historic belief

“Isn’t it a cruel, bigoted, outrageous thing, to be a homophobe? …

“I do not subscribe to the fashionable belief that human beings suddenly got much smarter and more moral around 1965, and that everyone who lived prior to that date was a benighted ignoramus. …

“Plato … was one of us; so was Cicero. … Winston Churchill and Teddy Roosevelt were homophobes. …

“So am I supposed to think that all these folk were wrongheaded, and that in the matter of homosexuality I should prefer the opinions of Barney Frank, Andrew Sullivan, and Rosie O’Donnell? …

“I object to the word ‘gay’ as a synonym for ‘male homosexual’ in part because in my experience homosexuals are not gay at all. If anything they are, in the generality, rather morose. … Certainly there is precious little humor to be found among homosexual activists, who take themselves more seriously than the average Old Kingdom Pharaoh.”

John Derbyshire, writing on “Here to Stay,” May 14 in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Diversity myth

“Fifty years after the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling, the debate about race and academic performance has in many places gone terribly off the mark. …

“Segregated schools … produced the first black federal judge, the first black general, the first black Cabinet member, the first black elected to the U.S. Senate and such notables as Mary McLeod Bethune, Thurgood Marshall and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The belief that racial diversity is a key to academic success has no empirical basis.

“If this myth were true, then it would be difficult to explain racial success in more monoracial societies such as Japan, Germany and the Netherlands. Membership in a racial minority does not cause substandard academic achievement. …

“Racial diversity, and the presence of white children specifically, do not result in minority students achieving more. Intense studying every day does.”

Anthony B. Bradley, writing on “Misusing racial data perpetuates myths,” Sunday in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A mighty man

“In ancient times Homer, Virgil, and even the inspired chronicles of Israel celebrated the deeds of mighty men of valor, who possessed the stamina to fight from sunup to sundown and slay their ten thousands. These days, we like to think we have outgrown our dependence on physical strength; our mighty men are geniuses of marketing or stars of the NBA or celebrities who play tough guys on TV. …

“[T]he line between civilization and barbarism is as thin now as it ever was. The way to hold the line against brute force is by brute force. As long as men have beating hearts and inflammable passions, this will not change.

“That’s why there will always be a place for mighty men, such as the “three and the 30” chronicled in David’s reign, ‘who gave him strong support in his kingdom … to make him king, according to the word of the Lord of Israel.’ …

“When a strong man dies, it’s not his body we praise but his spirit. The weekend after [Pat] Tillman’s death, the internet hummed with paeans to his sacrifice and confident assertions that he’s earned a place in heaven. …

“Pat Tillman is worthy of fitting praise, and his death gives us an opportunity to thank the thousands of Marines, soldiers, and sailors who hold the line even now. … May God’s peace follow them.

Andree Seu, writing on “Mighty man of valor,” in the May 22 issue of World

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