- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 11, 2006

Road to Rome

“A growing number in the Christian right are revisiting the 20th century contraceptive cave-in and reaching agreement with Pope Paul VI’s assessment that a contraceptive society naturally moves down the path toward what Pope John Paul II would later identify as the culture of death. That is, a natural outcome of separating sex from babies is a society that permits abortion and euthanasia; undermines the family; tolerates wide-scale soft- and hard-core pornography, and colludes with the corruption of its young.

“To the contracepting mainstream, such words may seem the bitter ranting of aging hopelessly marginalized Manichees, but … the current Christian anti-contraceptive boomlet is confident, unapologetic, and forthrightly non-Manichaean about the goodness of the material world (correctly understood). …

“John Paul II recognized the place of a birth control mentality in the syndrome of attitudes and behaviors that mark the culture of death. But he made that connection chiefly because of his interest in what characterizes a true culture of life. Such a culture had to be based on cooperating with God’s loving plan for his creation, including the God-imaging capacity of male and female to give themselves wholly to each other in a relationship open to love’s awesome incarnation.”

— The pseudonymous Madame X, writing on “Conceiving a World Without Contraception,” Tuesday at the Webzine www.thefactis.org

Gandhi GOP

“Conservatives will continue to be threatened with prison on trumped-up charges until Democrats start having to worry about being prosecuted for minor offenses, too — though, in [Rep. Patrick J.] Kennedy’s case, not as minor as Rush Limbaugh’s offense, which never involved smashing his car into a police barrier. …

“Democrats have declared war against Republicans, and Republicans are wandering around like a bunch of ninny Neville Chamberlains, congratulating themselves on their excellent behavior. They’ll have some terrific stories about their Gandhi-like passivity to share while sitting in cells at Guantanamo after Hillary [Rodham Clinton] is elected.

“For a political party that grasps the concept of victory against foreign enemies, Republicans can’t seem to grasp that concept when it comes to domestic enemies. Instead of taking a page from Sun-tzu’s ‘Art of War,’ when it comes to fighting liberals, American conservatives prefer the Jimmy Carter unconditional-surrender strategy.”

— Ann Coulter, writing on “Conservatives need 12-step program to manhood,” Wednesday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Star shortage

“The disappointing opening of ‘Mission: Impossible III’ is not just a problem for Tom Cruise and hit-hungry Paramount.

“The industry was hoping the movie would have a successful first weekend, signaling that last year’s box-office slump was a fluke and that folks still want to eat overpriced popcorn, watch a string of commercials, and overhear other people’s cell-phone chatter at the local multiplex. Box-office prognosticators don’t necessarily think that the summer season will tank after ‘M:I3,’ but Hollywood seems certain to suffer through another bad weekend if Warner Bros.’ ‘Poseidon’ is as weak as advance tracking suggests. Even a senior Warner executive concedes, ‘We’re all pretty much aware that “disaster film” will take on a whole new meaning on Friday.’ …

“Hollywood is left pondering who can still legitimately be called a movie star. … ‘There is nobody who’s a star,’ said one marketing executive. ‘There are a lot of good-looking people — but they’re not movie stars.’ ”

— Kim Masters, writing on “The Fall of Tom Cruise,” Wednesday in Slate at www.slate.com

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