- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Mr. Morality

“People say to me, ‘Are you a moral person?’ The so-called Christian Right — they think they’re moral. They really believe that they’re moral. …

“But let’s look at these people. They want to take away a woman’s right to choose. But these same people want to take away affirmative action. They want these children born, but they’re not willing to take one of these children born into poverty and give him a handout so he can maybe get a break like George W. Bush got from his dad. God forbid we give an inner-city kid a couple of bucks to succeed in life and give him some hope. But they’re moral and I’m immoral. Well, morality is a relative thing. And what about gay rights? They want to kill all the … gays. That isn’t moral to me. …

“When people start to wake up and realize that this country has gone religious, they’re going to see it’s a big danger. …

“You’ve got George Bush on one end. And you’ve got Osama bin Laden on the other. I’ve got news for you: Howard Stern is the sensible middle ground.”

— Howard Stern, writing on “What I’ve Learned,” in the January issue of Esquire

Singing stones

“There are two radically different ways to see the secularization of this Christmas season. One is to grouse and complain and moan about how bad things have gotten. The other is to take notice of, and thank God for, the failure of the secularists to win their point.

“I decided this Christmas season … to keep a record of every time I noticed Christ’s name being specifically mentioned in an overtly secular setting — almost in spite of the sponsors’ determination to do otherwise. So in a Wall Street Journal ad, at a ballet performance of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol,’ during an NPR-PBS fundraiser (of all places), at a newscast of a new mayor’s inauguration reception, in the lobby of a funeral home where they take great pains to offend no one, in a USA Today front-page story referencing Narnia’s Aslan as the ‘King of kings,’ in a commercial on my car radio for a used-car dealer — all that got into my notebook before December’s first week was over.

“If you don’t let the children sing His praise, Jesus said, the stones will do the singing instead. Well, all these secular stones were singing with amazing specificity.”

— Joel Belz, writing on “Secular stones,” in the Dec. 24 issue of World

Insulting faith

“[T]he movie ‘Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’ opened to critical acclaim. Needless to say, though, not every critic loved the film. At least one was, let’s just say, less than enthusiastic it: ‘Narnia represents everything that is most hateful about religion,’ ran the headline of an article in the British newspaper the Guardian.

“The author, Polly Toynbee, warns her readers that ‘adults who wince at the worst elements of Christian belief may need a sickbag handy for the most religiose scenes.’ …

“This notion that we could want or need divine help is treated by Toynbee as a huge insult. Perhaps surprisingly, I think she understands a truth that eludes most Christians: the Christian Gospel is, in fact, the Great Insult. Our human spirits loathe the Christian message because it offends our pride by demanding that before accepting Christ, we accept that we are spiritually and morally corrupt and impoverished.”

— James Tonkowich, writing on “The Lion, the Witch, and the Great Insult,” in Boundless at www.boundless.org

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