- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 28, 2006

‘Cardinal sin’

“A plurality of one faculty has brought about an academic coup d’etat against not only Harvard University president Lawrence Summers, but also against the majority of students, faculty and alumni. … The Faculty of Arts and Sciences includes, in general, some of the most radical, hard-left elements within Harvard’s diverse constituencies.

“And let there be no mistake about the origin of Summers’ problem with that particular faculty: It started as a hard left-center conflict. Summers committed the cardinal sin against the academic hard left: He expressed politically incorrect views regarding gender, race, religion, sexual preference and the military. …

“Now that this plurality of one faculty has succeeded in ousting the president, the most radical elements of Harvard will be emboldened to seek to mold all of Harvard in its image.”

— Alan M. Dershowitz, “Coup against Summers a dubious victory for the politically correct,” Feb. 22 in the Boston Globe

Ash Wednesday

“The imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday is nothing if not bold. … A dark and undeniable slash across your forehead, a bold proclamation of death and resurrection all at once. … I forget it is there, sashay out of church without thinking about it, until I get stares on the subway. There might be some neighborhoods in New York where forehead crosses on Ash Wednesday are commonplace. But on my subway, full of sophisticated Upper West-Siders, I see only one other person on the whole train with ashes. …

“When I get to campus, I feel truly uncomfortable. Columbia University, its charming chapel notwithstanding, is a place devoted to different types of truths, not so eager to proclaim this one. … The cross also stimulates other people’s questions. It provides an unmistakable opportunity — even obligation — to witness.

“Since no one came to faith as a result of my ashes, maybe my Ash Wednesday evangelism wasn’t a rousing success. But … it did some spiritual work on me. I was brought face-to-face with my own discomfort about being a Christian on a secular campus … .”

— Lauren F. Winner in “Ash Wednesday Evangelism” in the March/April issue of Good News magazine

Unexpected truth

“Popular songs used to have lyrics like ‘love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage … you can’t have one without the other.’ But ‘progressives’ have tried to disavow the connection between love and marriage. … As a result of this foolish social experimentation, many people are accumulating crippling emotional baggage in their attempts to have love and sex outside the bonds of marriage. …

“Love and sex unleash the strongest of feelings. While love and sex without promises are part of the foolish unrealistic imaginings of the post-modern mind, truth has a way of coming to the fore in the least expected places.

“Never was this more evident than in the movie ‘Vanilla Sky.’ In a poignant scene, Cameron Diaz’s character frantically tells Tom Cruise’s character that he made promises to her. When he declared that he had made no promises, she replied — with the strength of absolute certainty — that the intimacy of their intercourse the night before had constituted a promise. Sadly, though she uttered truth, the movie presented her as a psychopath.”

— Janice Shaw Crouse, writing on “Love and Sex Without Promises,” Thursday at www.beverlylahayeinstitute.org

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