- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 29, 2006

Saintly standards

“These days, when we think of a saintly life, we think of someone like Mother Teresa, with her lifelong sacrifice and dedication to helping the sick and poor. (She is herself one step away from canonization.) But the church’s standard for sainthood allows for something less than cradle-to-grave perfection.

“Consider St. Callixtus of Rome, who died in 222: He was an embezzler, a brawler, a twice-convicted felon. Yet Callixtus was touched by grace, repented, became a priest, was elected pope and died a martyr.

“Indeed, the Catholic calendar is full of notorious men and women who turned their lives around and became saints. St. Camillus de Lellis (1550-1614) was an Italian mercenary soldier, a cardsharp and con man. For six years, St. Margaret of Cortona (1247-1297) lived as a Tuscan nobleman’s mistress. St. Moses the Ethiopian (c. 330-405) led a gang of cutthroats in the Egyptian desert.”

Thomas J. Craughwell, writing on “Saints Misbehaving,” Friday in Opinion Journal at www.opinionjournal.com

God on campus

“While less religious than most Americans, professors are more religious than might be commonly assumed, according to a new survey. … ‘How Religious Are America’s College and University Professors?’ … surveyed nearly 1,500 professors across the United States. What they found is that most professors, contrary to the stereotype, are not atheists.

“In fact, only 10 percent of professors surveyed said they did not believe in God, while 13 percent said they did not know whether there was a God and did not believe there was any way to find out. … The survey found that professors at community colleges tended to be more religious than those at elite, doctoral institutions.

“It also found that whether a professor believed in God tended to vary across disciplines. Biologists and psychologists were more likely to doubt the existence of God, while the majority of accounting and elementary-education professors professed faith in an almighty being.”

Thomas Bartlett in “Professors are more religious than some might assume, survey finds,” in the Oct. 20 Chronicle of Higher Education

Goodbye, Hollywood

“Prior to the 1970s, Hollywood aimed its movies at a mass culture. But by the late 1970s, the first signs of political correctness began to increasingly separate movie makers from their audience, beginning perhaps most visibly with Warren Beatty’s ‘Reds’ in 1981. But even during that decade, Hollywood balanced films such as ‘Platoon’ and ‘Salvador’ with ‘Rambo’ and ‘Top Gun.’ And it was pretty clear that the characters played by Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford and Bruce Willis were on the side of Truth, Justice and The American Way.

“Jump cut to this past summer, where that Superman movie that Warner Brothers was counting on to kick-start their perennial superhero franchise instead became infamous for having Perry White utter ‘truth, justice and all that other stuff,’ because the film’s writers were ashamed of, well, the American way. …

“Hollywood … alienated a wide swatch of its audience — perhaps to the point where relations are irreparable. …

“So will the last moviegoer shut off the projector when he leaves the theater, please?”

Ed Driscoll, writing on “The Era of Big Cinema Is Over,” Thursday in Tech Central Station at www.tcsdaily.com

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide