A Noble Virtue Under Siege

Wall Street Opinion Journal Josiah Bunting III June 6, 2006

Do Americans still understand the meaning of honor?

In our culture of therapy, self-absorption and celebrity, “honor” has very little cachet. An abuse of honor–say, by perpetrating a public fraud or acting duplicitously in private life–is but the occasion for the administration of comforting words of understanding, the application of medicines to assuage lingering anxieties and the invitation to appear on “Oprah,” the better to explain the forces that, overwhelming meager resources of conscience and character, impelled a dishonorable act. Next may come an invitation to undertake the labor of a book, more fully to explore and expiate the fall from grace. Closure (as it is called) will then, at last, be obtained.

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In need of moral clarity

Townhall.com Mary Katharine Ham May 24, 2006

“I was aiming to follow in the footsteps of one of my role-models, Muhammad Atta.”

–Mohammad Taheri-azar

Do you remember Taheri-azar? The 25-year-old Iranian graduate of the University of North Carolina rented an SUV in March and drove it into The Pit, a campus gathering place for UNC students. He accelerated into the standard college crowd of preachers, smokers, gawkers, and cause-hawkers. He hit nine people and injured six. None died, much to Taheri-azar’s chagrin.

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Holy Sepulcre!

Wall Street Opinion Journal Daniel Henninger May 19, 2006

“The Da Vinci Code” shows that conspiracy theories have no limits.

“The Da Vinci Code” would not be the subject of this column had it not sold 60.5 million copies, according to its publisher Doubleday. Of course this does not make it the best-selling book of all time. That title, as irony would have it, goes to the Bible, half of which one of Dan Brown’s characters dismisses as “false.”

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The Devil Comes to Town

Audrey Ignatoff

I have written about the devil before, but always in a metaphorical way. However, I now feel that an evil force has come too close to home. Even this embattled “health care warrior” was shocked to the core to learn that school children in my district were being taken on a trip to see an exhibit called “Body Worlds” at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. This goes against all religious and ethical beliefs in the civilized world, and has given me nightmares from just looking at the website.

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The New Counterculture

Meet Rod Dreher, a conservative who is critical of capitalism.

Wall Street Opinion Journal GEORGE H. NASH Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Rod Dreher, a columnist and editor at the Dallas Morning News, is a self-confessed member of the vast right-wing conspiracy. As a lapsed Protestant who converted to Roman Catholicism several years ago, he is an unabashed religious and social conservative. He has little use for the morally relativist and libertine tendencies of modern liberalism. Too often, he says, “the Democrats act like the Party of Lust.”

. . . more

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And on the Eighth Day, God Went Green

New York Times JOHN TIERNEY February 11, 2006

And on the eighth day, God said, Let there be a thermostat for the heavens and the earth, and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let no man adjust it more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1 degree Celsius, until the end of time.

Now that evangelical Christians have joined the battle against global warming, we may as well acknowledge that America has one truly national religion: environmentalism.
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Episode where “Will and Grace” demean Christianity dropped

From the Family Research Council

Look at the Contrast

Liberal columnists are constantly trying to link conservative Christians with Muslim fundamentalists, suggesting that we are engaged in a jihad against their enlightened ideas. The Rev. Don Wildmon of the American Family Association is denounced as a mullah whenever he leads a protest against some liberal outrage on television . . . They had originally planned to have Britney Spears as a Christian conservative with a cooking show billed as “Cruci-fixin’s.” NBC has now stated that that storyline will not be present in the Spears’ episode.

Notice, though, what Don Wildmon has not done. He hasn’t burned NBC executives’ homes, threatened them with death, or strapped explosives to a bicycle messenger. Look at Europe. There, Muslim protesters against an offensive Danish cartoon portrayal of Mohammed have burned flags, set fire to a Danish Embassy, praised mass murderers, and yelled “Freedom Go To H_ll!” Four people have died in the rioting. We will continue to speak out against the media’s constant attempts to insult and degrade Christians and Christianity. But we will continue to use the means and methods of freedom – freedom that rests upon the foundation of Christianity.

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The Sisterhood, Defrocked

Wall Street Opinion Journal MELANIE KIRKPATRICK

Kate O’Beirne provides a reality check for anyone who thinks “feminist” means “pro-woman.”

Kate O’Beirne is ill-served by the lurid cover of her new book, which features unflattering caricatures of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Hillary Clinton, Jane Fonda and Sarah Jessica Parker (a k a Carrie Bradshaw of “Sex and the City”). The Ann Coulter-ish title–“Women Who Make the World Worse”–is almost as off-putting. Uh-oh, is this going to be another one of those right-wing rants?

In fact, one of the most striking features of “Women Who Make the World Worse” is its “I can’t believe she said that” quality. Mrs. O’Beirne informs her chapters on the family, day care, education, politics, the military and sports with a review of the radical feminist dogma on her subject. Anyone still operating under the delusion that “feminist” is synonymous with “pro-woman” should find this a useful reality check.

. . . more

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Materialistic Moral Compasses

American Vision Eric Rauch

Liberal politics is at a crossroads. Humanism is being attacked by way of the Intelligent Design movement. If biological Darwinism can be shown to be nothing more than a philosophy that gives meaning to the facts, then, by implication, humanists are left in the lake without a paddle. The Darwinists hold fast to their “first principles” as tenaciously as most Christians, and yet we are the ones who get ridiculed for having a “silly, wishful-thinking faith.” Two recent articles by British authors exemplify this point forcefully.

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Brown stole idea for Da Vinci Code, claim authors

Hugh Davies
Daily Telegraph, UK

Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, is to face a High Court action brought by the authors of the 1982 non-fiction book The Holy Blood, and the Holy Grail, who allege that his blockbuster was based on their decade of research.

Speaking ahead of a preliminary hearing of the case next week, Richard Leigh, 62, one of the writers, said: “I don’t begrudge Brown his success. I have no particular grievance against him, except for the fact that he wrote a pretty bad novel.”

Mr Leigh, an American who has lived in England since 1974, and Michael Baigent, 57, a New Zealander, his co-author, are suing Random House, Brown’s publishers, for infringement of their ideas.

They are funding the action with the proceeds of their book, which Random House has reissued in a special hardback edition to cash in on the success of Brown’s novel.

Henry Lincoln, 75, a Londoner who also co-wrote the book, is ill and has decided to remain out of the action.

A two-week trial is scheduled for the end of February, with both sides assembling formidable legal teams.

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Into the Light

Novelist Anne Rice leaves the vampire Lestat and embraces Christ, “the ultimate supernatural hero” | by Lynn Vincent

Though she is a novelist, Anne Rice sees the world the way a painter might, in subtleties of light and shadow: the pale edge of dawn, the flat ink of a starless midnight, goodness for some an elusive beacon, evil an alluring shroud.

She was known for shrouds. Mrs. Rice spent nearly three decades sculpting a reputation as literary queen of the damned—and now, at age 64, she has declared that canon closed. After rejecting her Catholic faith nearly half a century ago, she says she is reconciled with God and dedicating the rest of her life to writing only for—and about—Jesus Christ.

Her first novel of this kind, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt (Knopf), hit stores on Nov. 1. The first-person narrative of Jesus as a young boy follows Jesus from His family’s hiding in Egypt back to Jerusalem and Nazareth, where He slowly learns His true identity. The story emanates the light of nascent majesty, in stark contrast with the gaslight gloom of Mrs. Rice’s earlier work, and is the first in a projected series.

An interesting statement:

…Mrs. Rice’s research took her through the literature written by those she calls “the skeptical critics,” beginning with the New Testament scholars of the Enlightenment. “I expected to discover that their arguments would be frighteningly strong, and that Christianity was, at heart, a kind of fraud,” she writes in an author’s note in her new book.

But she plowed on, “ready to risk everything,” particularly her newly recovered faith: “The skeptical New Testament scholarship tries to prove to you that the Gospels don’t hold up. It takes great fortitude to subject yourself to that kind of literature, to seriously take notes, to follow the arguments, to draw conclusions. You could come out destroyed.” But she came out concluding that the skeptics were wrong, perpetrators and victims of some of the worst scholarship she’d ever seen, built with poor research and reasoning on a foundation that presumed the Gospels weren’t true.

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TRIVIA

Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled “Gentlemen Only…Ladies Forbidden” and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

In the 1400’s a law was set forth that a man was not allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have “the rule of thumb”

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury.

Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
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Dennis Prager: Culture

The Left frequently defines ‘social justice’ differently than Judeo-Christian values do. For most on the Left, ‘social justice’ means social equality and social fairness. It is not fair that some people have more than others. This is why the Left believes that courts should be far more than umpires when adjudicating justice: they should be promoting fairness and equality. The other difference…is that leftist ideologies are so preoccupied with ‘social justice’ that they generally ignore personal character development. Judeo-Christian values believe the road to a just society is paved by individual character development; the Left believes it is paved with action on a macro level. That is one reason the Left is far more interested than the Right, i.e., religious Jews and Christians and secular conservatives, in passing laws, whether through legislation or through the actions of judges. That is how the Left believes you make a better society. There is, incidentally, a second reason the Left passes so many laws: As the Left breaks down the self-discipline of Judeo-Christian religions, more and more laws are needed simply to keep people from devouring each other.

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Not Liberating, After All: How did feminists end up in bed with Hugh Hefner?

Wall Street Journal Online WENDY SHALIT

Ariel Levy attended Wesleyan University in the 1990s, and she doesn’t feel the better for it. It was a place where “group sex, to say nothing of casual sex, was de rigueur.” It was a place where they had “coed showers, on principle.” When Ms. Levy suggested to a department head that it would be nice to have at least one course in the traditional literary canon, she was dismissed with icy contempt. Yet elsewhere on campus a professor of the humanities taught a course on pornography featuring, um, detailed textual analysis.

It was all supposed to be so liberating. But it wasn’t, as Ms. Levy argues forcefully in “Female Chauvinist Pigs.” It was merely the academic groundwork for what she calls “raunch culture,” now so ubiquitous that we take it for granted. Young women wear shirts emblazoned with “Porn Star” across the chest. Teen stores sell “Cat in the Hat” thong underwear. Parents treat their daughters’ friends to “cardio striptease” classes for birthday parties. This is liberation?

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