The Real News of the Month

January 2005
Volume 12, Number 1

Editor: Joe Sobran
Publisher: Fran Griffin (Griffin Communications)
Managing Editor: Ronald N. Neff
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   -> The New Catholic Spokesmen
   -> The Moving Picture (plus electronic Exclusives)
   -> The Triumph of Circe
   -> Shakespeare's "Early" Poems
Nuggets  (plus electronic Exclusives)
List of Columns Reprinted in This Issue


The New Catholic Spokesmen
(page 1)

{{ Material dropped or changed solely for reasons of
space appears in double curly brackets. Emphasis is
indicated by the presence of "equals" signs around the
emphasized words.}}

      The Communist Government of China takes a keen
interest in religion, so much so that it has created the
Patriotic Catholic Church -- a puppet church faithful to
itself, while the Catholic Church that is faithful to
Rome is persecuted and has been forced to go underground.
{{ Few American Catholics -- indeed, few Americans at all
-- are aware of this, for the American media have no
interest in it. The trials of Christians abroad have
always ranked low among their human-rights concerns.

      In fact }} the American media have, in their way,
emulated the Chinese regime. They have designated their
own Catholic "spokesmen," who, like the Patriotic
Catholic Church, withhold their loyalty from Rome and,
more to the point, reject official Catholic teaching,
especially on matters touching the sexual revolution.

      Foremost among these is Andrew Sullivan, the
homosexual activist and apostle of "gay marriage."
Otherwise moderately conservative, Sullivan shows up
everywhere, from TIME to THE NEW REPUBLIC to the op-ed
pages of the major dailies. He has written that he no
longer attends mass, so heartbroken is he by the Church's
failure to accommodate the demands of the "gay
community," or what might be called Organized Sodomy.
When not lugubrious, Sullivan can be charming and

      Not far behind Sullivan is the scholarly Garry
Wills, {{ who has written several books (and many
articles) attacking the papacy and denying various
Catholic doctrines, including Transubstantiation, the
Immaculate Conception, and, lately, the Virgin Birth. He
nonetheless insists that he believes the Apostles' Creed.
He has been especially passionate in defending
contraception and abortion. He is easily the finest
writer on this list. }} of whom I've written before.

      {{ Though Mario Cuomo has faded lately, the former
governor of New York }} was a pioneer among
media-anointed "thoughtful" Catholics. He enjoyed his
great blaze of glory in the early 1980s; he popularized
the idea (since adopted by many Catholic politicians,
most recently John Kerry) that a Catholic politician may
not, and should not, "impose his faith" by supporting
restrictions on abortion.

      Andrew Greeley was the first priest to join the
roster of media Catholic critics of the Church, combining
advocacy of contraception with ridicule of the bishops
and Church traditions. {{ He is also known for his
best-selling sex novels. }}

      Richard McBrien, liberal Notre Dame theologian, is
another priest who is frequently summoned by the media to
explain why the Church is wrong and reactionary.

      Anna Quindlen, a best-selling novelist, for many
years served the NEW YORK TIMES as a columnist
specializing in the defamation of the Church, a role for
which her sole qualification was apparently her nominal
membership therein -- certainly no particular knowledge
or insight. She has since moved to NEWSWEEK. Naturally
she is consistently feminist, pro-abortion, and so on.

      Maureen Dowd moved into the TIMES's Catholic woman
slot when Miss Quindlen left. Though Miss Dowd is much
wittier and more readable than her predecessor, her role
is much the same: to sneer at the Church and orthodox
Catholics like Pat Buchanan and Mel Gibson. She has
called the Stations of the Cross "a 12-step program."

      None of these people could be confused with Bishop
Sheen. None has ever been known to defend the Church
against the world. None has given the media reason to
demand a refund of their 30 pieces of silver.

      Not that apostate and disaffected Catholics should
be shut out. But why should they have the field to
themselves? Isn't there room in the media for an
occasional defender of the Faith?

The Moving Picture
(page 2)

      TIME has picked President Bush as its Person of the
Year. And you can readily see why: In 2004 Bush made
nearly as many headlines as Bill Clinton, who sabotaged
John Kerry's presidential campaign, had heart surgery,
got a new girlfriend (every week, according to the
tabloids), and published an autobiography so fat it will
occupy a full wing of his presidential library.

*          *          *

      For me, the year 2004 will always be most memorable
for John Kerry's and John Edwards's gracious mentions of
Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter. A pair of classy guys.

*          *          *

      As embarrassing controversies erupt around him every
week or so, even some Republicans are suggesting that
Donald Rumsfeld should be removed as defense secretary.
For some the last straw was the revelation that his
condolence letters to families of soldiers killed in Iraq
have been signed by machine -- a detail that reflects
poorly on his talk of the sacrifices made by our brave
men and women. Since they are dying at the rate of about
two per day, far below the casualty totals of most U.S.
wars, it hardly seems too much to ask that he should sign
the letters personally (as he belatedly agreed to do).
Bush continues to regard him as indispensable to the war,
and maybe, in a way, he is. There are some jobs for which
only a cynic is fit.

*          *          *

      Speaking of cynics, Bernard Kerik, Bush's first pick
for a new homeland security secretary, had to step aside
when it transpired that he was ... well, a crook. As Rudy
Giuliani's "tough cop" in New York, he'd set some sort of
record for what are delicately called "ethical lapses":
extorting favors from subordinates, cheating big time on
expenses, mob ties, a couple of mistresses, and, most
fatally for his prospective position, hiring an illegal
alien as a nanny (and paying no taxes on her wages). His
only apparent qualification for the job he was offered is
that he's not a fanatical Muslim. Once again we ask, why
do so many of our fine public servants find it so hard to
obey the law?

*          *          *

      Oil-rich but occupied Iraq is suffering from acute
shortages of food, water, electricity, and, yes,
=gasoline.= What difference does Bush think the
January 30 elections are going to make to the country's
shabby everyday life? He wants to give it democracy; he
seems to have already given it Big Government, for which
democracy is no remedy.

*          *          *

      An "interfaith" (the word always puts me on my guard
immediately) group of Catholics and Jews, including
representatives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic
Bishops, has pronounced Mel Gibson's PASSION OF THE
CHRIST "a modern version of the notorious medieval
Passion Plays which so often over the centuries have
triggered riots against the Jews of Europe," et cetera.
Just the sort of thing we should have expected from such
a coalition, I suppose. Never mind the injustice to
Gibson's film; there's something unseemly about the
modern habit of repenting the putative sins of others
long dead. C.S. Lewis identified it as the vice of
detraction disguised as the virtue of contrition.
Breast-beating is fine, as long as it's your own breast
you're beating.

Exclusive to electronic media:

      It would be stretching a point to say that the
Democrats and Republicans offer opposing political
philosophies. They differ chiefly over which provisions
of the U.S. Constitution they are most eager to violate.

The Triumph of Circe
(pages 3-4)

{{ Material dropped or changed solely for reasons of
space appears in double curly brackets. Emphasis is
indicated by the presence of "equals" signs around the
emphasized words.}}

      The value, and even the virtue, of contraception now
seems beyond debate. The U.S. Government, over a few
"religious" objections, promotes it in foreign countries
as an aid to "development." The news and entertainment
industries fully approve of it. Many people feel it's the
actual duty of public schools to give birth-control
devices to their pupils, along with graphic instruction
in their use. As for married people, their right to use
them is hardly questioned, except by the Pope. And who
listens to him?

      This is a strange reversal of old attitudes. When
Margaret Sanger began her birth-control crusade nearly a
century ago, Christians (and not only Christians) were
shocked and unsettled. They remembered God's injunction
to "be fruitful and multiply"; they took pride and joy in
having large families (which could also be a prudent
hedge against isolation and poverty in old age); and they
sensed something ugly and ominous about introducing
mechanical calculation into the intimacy of the marriage

      The Christian world was further shocked when the
1930 Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Church gave its
carefully qualified approval to contraception within
marriage (it went without saying that only married
couples could have sexual relations). The Catholic Church
soon responded: An encyclical by Pope Pius XI, CASTI
CONNUBII, condemned contraception in principle as
contrary to natural law. Many Protestants agreed. Later
popes have continued to uphold this teaching against
heavy pressure to change and the now-casual defiance of
the laity (about 90 per cent of whom, it seems, now
practice forbidden forms of birth control). Many liberal
Catholics gloat that the Church has lost her authority in
the eyes of her own.

      The cause of contraception peaked in prestige during
the 1960s, when the sexual revolution became full-blown
and population experts warned that the world was so
overcrowded that mass starvation was imminent. The
Catholic teaching looked naive and irresponsible, or
worse. Contraception was not only a right but a duty.

      Today, to any fair-minded observer, the Catholic
teaching stands vindicated. Overpopulation was a huge
canard. The white populations of the world have actually
been plummeting, failing even to replace themselves,
while Hispanic, Arab, and Asian immigrants rush in to
fill the void where young whites should have been. Spain
and Italy, once overwhelmingly Catholic countries, at
present rates will soon have Muslim majorities.

      Some white natives of these lands complain that
immigrants are "invading" and "conquering" their
countries. This is nonsense. The immigrants are behaving
in normal, natural, and healthy ways: having children and
improving their lot. They are not so much invading as
being sucked into a vacuum whites themselves have created
by making the morbid and selfish choice not to reproduce.

      In barely a generation, birth control (assisted by
abortion) has nearly achieved something approaching what
nuclear weapons never achieved: the destruction of the
West. Hundreds of millions of whites who should have
existed, don't.

      Birth control has proved not only more destructive
than nukes, but worse in other ways. If a Soviet nuclear
attack had leveled our great cities, everyone would have
seen clearly that it was a disaster. But most whites
still don't realize that they have embraced an evil that
is destroying them, physically and morally.

      Those who once objected to contraception sensed what
it might do, in its moral aspect. It would make all
sexual relations equivalent, erasing the distinction
between marriage and fornication (the old F-word, you
might say). The word "fornication" is rarely used
anymore. For that matter, there is no obvious reason to
object to any other nonviolent sexual behavior either. In
the wake of Kinsey and contraceptives, moral differences
collapse. Why condemn even "gay marriage"? For many young
people today, raised in an atmosphere of dull hedonism
(miscalled "the joy of sex"), just about any form of
sexual morality seems incomprehensible. It means being
"against sex," which is like being against ice cream.
{{ Polls show that young Americans are especially
receptive to legitimating homosexual unions. }}

      Even the ancient pagans appreciated the subtle
virtue of chastity, which they honored in such virgin
goddesses as Diana and Vesta. But today, the holdouts
against the revolution are reduced to celebrating the
rather uninspiring value of "abstinence," on grounds that
it may help avoid such obvious fruits of the revolution
as disease, unwanted pregnancy, abortion, and the like.
Nobody would extol "the joy of abstinence." It's merely
the conservative version of "safe sex."

      One wonders whether Margaret Sanger herself would be
quite comfortable with public schools providing
contraceptives to their pupils. She did, after all,
disapprove of abortion. But maybe, in time, she would
have dropped this vestigial attitude.

      The dissenting Catholic moral theologians who
protested Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical HUMANAE VITAE,
which reiterated the old teaching, were careful to
stipulate that contraception might be licit "for grave
reasons" or "in some circumstances" (always within
marriage); these qualifications are no longer bothered
with. But the few Catholics who still resist giving their
sanction to the carnal free-for-all of the sexual
revolution still withhold acceptance of the legitimacy of

      Augustine and Aquinas condemned contraception out of
hand, Aquinas holding that physically preventing
conception ranked just below murder in moral gravity. Few
today take so rigorous a view. Recent Catholic apologists
are mostly apologetic, even evasive, about the teaching.
Of the ones I've read, only Harry Crocker III, in his
book TRIUMPH, affirms it vigorously and without

      What is really at stake is personal dignity. Muslims
and Hindus, offered assistance in "family planning" by
agencies like Planned Parenthood, find contraception
revolting; unwed mothers, asked why they hadn't used it,
knowing the risk they were taking, often answer that they
felt it would degrade the act of love. All these people
know what nearly everyone used to agree on: that
contraception is simply disgusting, even when used in an
act that is already immoral.

      The papal condemnations and warnings were prophetic.
The sexual revolution has shown the bankruptcy of
hedonism in its results: huge increases in sexual license
(supposedly the good news) along with abortion, disease
(including some never known before), divorce, and a
general cultural decadence that accepts pornography as
normal -- not to mention subtler effects of personal
despair and humiliation, which Tom Wolfe, no religious
believer, has described vividly in his latest novel, I AM
CHARLOTTE SIMMONS, the story of an innocent country girl
who comes belatedly to promiscuous campus life.

      The West has proved willing to sacrifice its deepest
values to the sexual revolution. It has proceeded from
accepting contraception to opening the door not only to
abortion, but even to infanticide and euthanasia. None of
these evils (or depopulation) was on the horizon at the
glorious dawn of the revolution, when "sexual freedom"
meant wholesome romps between consenting adults; just as
glossy cigarette ads never alluded to lung cancer, the
advocates of "liberation" never mentioned the downside.

      But the central site of the revolution has been
neither Tom Wolfe's randy dormitories nor San Francisco's
infamous bathhouses. Nor is it the abortion clinic or the
AIDS ward. Its real action has occurred, and still
occurs, right where Margaret Sanger began her campaign:
in the marriage bed itself.

      Wolfe, a long-time observer of the sexual
revolution, finds it astonishing that so profound a
cultural change has been adopted so casually, for better
or worse (though he strongly implies that it's for the
worse). But surely it's even more astonishing that even
our plunging population figures haven't alerted white
Westerners to what is really happening: the disappearance
of children.

      Anti-revolutionaries, mostly Christians, stress the
harm done to kids by abortion and pornography; they also
argue plausibly that the revolution has stimulated child
abuse. And they rightly want to protect kids from these
things. But few of them have seen contraception as a
source, as well as an expression, of hostility to
childhood and family life themselves. The West no longer
rejoices in its young; one may pardonably suspect that it
hates them.

      If that's putting it too strongly, it's certainly
true that the very possibility of preventing conception
has changed the way people regard themselves, their
fertility, and their families. A big family used to be
something to take pride and joy in; now it's considered
an embarrassment.

      It's a commonplace that Copernicus and Darwin
profoundly changed the way man saw himself in the
universe. In a practical way, birth control has changed
the way both men and women see themselves in relation to
society. {{ My parents came from large, happy families --
my mother had eight brothers and sisters, my father ten
(of whom I just learned that the last had died, at 91) --
and big families were the norm in the neighborhood I grew
up in. The birth of a child was always a joyful event.

      {{ Ever since I was old enough to understand what
birth control was, long before I knew what the popes had
said about it, I've recoiled from it. Setting aside its
repulsiveness, it has always seemed to me natural to want
children, the more, the merrier, and unnatural to want
not to have them. I have four children myself, but none
to spare; and my blood runs cold at the thought that any
of them might not have existed. What I would have missed!
What can be more wonderful than generating new life --
making new people who are part of yourself? Does this
really need to be explained?

      {{ No man is an island, and neither is any child.
Every child is dear in himself, but dearer in relation to
the rest of his family; the more siblings he has, the
more fully he and his parents exist. In what sense,
except maybe some minor material ones, are small families
better off than large ones? The same is true of the human
race. Is anyone really better off if there are fewer
people? And is there any greater happiness on earth than
being closely related to others -- others who are really
part of you? }}

      To say that contraception has made us more
materialistic hardly expresses the point. It has
alienated parents from their own children, and even, in a
way, from themselves. It's the most destructive force of
the last century, all the more calamitous for our failure
to recognize it as a calamity. The revolution has already
produced something like a change in human nature itself.
When others are already happily wallowing in the pigpen,
it may be too late to warn them against Circe.

Shakespeare's "Early" Poems
(pages 5-6)

      Who was Shakespeare? The answer to this old question
depends on when his works were written. And I think there
is vivid evidence, right under the noses of the academic
scholars, that William Shakspere of Stratford was too
young to have written them.

      The first two published works of "William
Shakespeare" weren't plays but two long narrative poems,
Both were immediately recognized as great poems; both
were also very popular, going through more editions than
almost any of the individual plays.

      Contemporary praise of Shakespeare always began by
citing these two poems, not the plays. In 1598, for
example, Francis Meres wrote that "the sweet witty soul
of Ovid lives in mellifluous and honey-tongued
Shakespeare; witness his VENUS AND ADONIS, his LUCRECE,
his sugared sonnets among his private friends, &c." After
naming a dozen of the plays, Meres added that "the Muses
would speak with Shakespeare's fine-filed phrase, if they
would speak English." Other early tributes to Shakespeare
likewise rated the two long poems above the plays, if
they mentioned the plays at all.

      This is surprising, because modern taste has ignored
and, I would say, underrated them, the only works to bear
dedications by Shakespeare (to the young Earl of
Southampton). Because the poet calls VENUS "the first
heir of my invention," scholars and biographers have
assumed that both poems are among the Bard's "early"
works, written near the beginning of his career as a

      Oddly, these poems are the only two Shakespeare
works that can be dated with any precision -- thanks to
those dedications. Dating the plays is another matter,
involving deduction, guesswork, and circular reasoning --
chiefly the assumption that William of Stratford wrote
them, and must have written them sometime during his
adult life, between about 1588 and 1616. If we accept
this question-begging method of dating, these works
written around 1593-94 must fall near the outset of his
career in the theater.

      But the scholars have gotten it all wrong. VENUS and
LUCRECE are in fact fully mature works, written =after=
most of the plays. Moreover, they all but prove that Will
of Stratford couldn't have been the author we know as

      The orthodox belief in Will's authorship depends
wholly, as I say, upon dating his works plausibly within
his adult life span -- taking into account the first
known dates of performance and publication (which prove
next to nothing about when they were actually written),
as well as clear stylistic developments. And the scholars
have, on the whole, done a plausible job, given their
premises. But there are serious difficulties, which they
have done their best to explain away. And as we'll see,
the two long poems present a problem that just can't be
explained away if we posit Will's authorship. Put simply,
was Will old enough to have written the works attributed
to him?

      First there is the problem of HAMLET, first
published in a mutilated version in 1603 and in a far
better one in 1604. The scholars date it around 1600,
when, they reckon, Will had reached the peak of his
genius. But this leaves them with the problem of
explaining three references to a Hamlet play many years
earlier -- the first in 1589, when Will may not even have
arrived in London yet. The style of HAMLET, with its
superbly flexible blank verse and discursive prose, is
far too sophisticated to permit the inference that it's
an "early" work.

      Solution? The scholars posit an older Hamlet play by
somebody else. That would account for those vexing
references. The trouble with this solution is that no
trace of such a play has ever turned up. What the
scholars do agree on is that Will of Stratford didn't
write that supposed play. (I contend it never existed.)

      {{ Again, in 1591 Edmund Spenser published a poem
saluting "our pleasant Willy," a brilliant writer of
comedy who had "of late" retired from the theater. This
was long assumed to be Shakespeare, as the context
suggests. But again, as the scholars eventually realized,
in 1591 Will would have been far too young to have made
much of a reputation as a playwright -- let alone to have

      {{ Solution? The scholars have decided that
Spenser's "Willy" couldn't have been Shakespeare, but
must have been some other Willy. But who? Nobody else
fits Spenser's description. What the scholars do agree on
is that Spenser couldn't have been talking about Will of
Stratford. So a purely hypothetical "Willy" joins a
purely hypothetical HAMLET. }}

      Which brings us back to VENUS and LUCRECE. According
to the scholars, these poems were written around the same
time as the earliest and least distinguished Shakespeare
plays, such as the Henry VI cycle and the more farcical
comedies (THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, for example).

      But here another dating problem arises, unnoticed by
the scholars. Though we don't know the exact dates of the
plays, we can approximately tell their =relative= dates
by their style. The relatively early plays are marked by
their very regular blank verse -- very good, but palpably
inferior to the richer and far more irregular verse of
the great tragedies. We know those tragedies were written
later because they show the poet in much greater
technical command of his poetic and rhetorical resources.
This isn't an aesthetic judgment or a question of
personal taste, but a matter of his skill in his craft,
as when a composer advances from simple melody to the
more difficult form of the fugue.

      Some brief comparisons may illustrate the point.
Here are a few lines from the first scene of THE COMEDY
OF ERRORS, usually dated around 1592:

       Merchant of Syracusa, plead no more;
       I am not partial to infringe our laws.
       The enmity and discord which of late
       Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke
       To merchants our well-dealing countrymen,
       Who, wanting guilders to redeem their lives,
       Have seal'd his rigorous statutes with their blood,
       Excludes all pity from our threat'ning looks.

And a speech from the first scene of KING JOHN, a history
play usually dated around 1594 or even later:

       Philip of France, in right and true behalf
       Of thy deceased brother Geoffrey's son,
       Arthur Plantagenet, lays most lawful claim
       To this fair island and the territories,
       To Ireland, Poictiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine,
       Desiring thee to lay aside the sword
       Which sways usurpingly these several titles
       And put the same into young Arthur's hand,
       Thy nephew and right royal sovereign.

      Here are the opening lines of VENUS:

       Even as the sun with purple-color'd face
       Had ta'en his last leave of the weeping morn,
       Rose-cheek'd Adonis hied him to the chase.
       Hunting he lov'd, but love he laugh'd to scorn.
            Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,
            And like a bold-fac'd suitor 'gins to woo him.

And the first {{ two stanzas }} of LUCRECE:

       From the besieged Ardea all in post,
       Borne by the trustless wings of false desire,
       Lust-breathed Tarquin leaves the Roman host,
       And to Collatium bears the lightless fire,
       Which, in pale embers hid, lurks to aspire,
            And girdle with embracing flames the waist
            Of Collatine's fair love, Lucrece the chaste.

       {{ Haply that name of chaste unhapp'ly set
       This bateless edge on his keen appetite,
       When Collatine unwisely did not let
       To praise the clear unmatched red and white,
       Which triumph'd in that sky of his delight,
            Where mortal stars, as bright as heaven's
            With pure aspects did him peculiar duties. }}

      There is nothing very wrong with the first two
selections; but they are no more than businesslike,
colorless, legalistic, rather mechanical verse,
displaying no particular wit, imagery, virtuosity, or any
other quality we'd be tempted to call Shakespearean. As
poetry, they are simply flat.

      By contrast, the latter two passages, written in
difficult stanza forms and under the constraints of
complex rhyme schemes, show the poet in full command of
his medium, combining epigrammatic wit, rich
alliteration, vivid colors, splendid images, a riot of
vowels, an easy freedom of meter, a wealthy vocabulary,
paradox, contrast, antithesis -- all this visible in just
{ 20 } lines! Here is the same poet, but at a far riper
stage of his development. The amazingly concentrated
power of expression these two poems exhibit is fully
equal to that we find in HAMLET and OTHELLO.

      In short, by 1593 "Shakespeare" had already
discovered what the English language was capable of. This
means, for one thing, that the standard dating of the
plays is seriously amiss. The real dates of the plays are
several years -- maybe a decade or so, in most cases --
earlier than the scholars believe. When the poet wrote
VENUS and LUCRECE, he was nearer the end than the
beginning of his literary career.

      The initial reception of these poems tends to
confirm this. The poet spoke of his "unpolished" and
"untutored" lines, but this false modesty fooled nobody.
Nobody thought these were the work of a novice. Their
mastery was obvious in every line: "Bewitching like the
wanton mermaid's song." "A lily prison'd in a gaol of
snow." "Till he take truce with her contending tears."
"The pith of precedent and livelihood ... Earth's
sovereign salve to do a goddess good." Unpolished?

       {{ Pure shame and aw'd resistance made him fret,
       Which bred more beauty in his angry eyes,
            Rain added to a river that is rank
            Perforce will force it overflow the bank. }}

       Still she entreats, and prettily entreats,
       For to a pretty ear she tunes her tale,
       Still is he sullen, still he lours and frets,
       'Twixt crimson shame, and anger ashy pale,
            Being red, she loves him best; and being
            Her best is better'd with a more delight.

      To read these poems is to see, in glorious
abundance, what Meres meant about "Shakespeare's
fine-filed phrase." It's a marvel that generations of
scholars have been able to believe that these are among
the poet's juvenile efforts; that he could have written
them at the same time he was writing plays in blank verse
so immeasurably far below the level he would finally

      Those plays, we must conclude, were written many
years before the two long poems. Which means that Will
couldn't have written them, unless he wrote them during
his boyhood in Stratford. Which means that someone else,
someone much older than Will, must have written them --
someone who, by the way, was close to the Earl of

      That would perhaps be Edward de Vere, Earl of
Oxford, a noted poet and playwright. In 1593 Southampton
nearly married his daughter.


LOUD SILENCE: One doesn't have to contend that Islam is
"inherently violent," to ask, If a professed Christian
were to act like Osama bin Laden, is there any doubt that
virtually all other Christians on earth would repudiate
him? (page 7)

NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION: The tsunami that struck from
Somalia to Thailand has decided me: I'm not going to
complain about the weather in Washington anymore.
(page 7)

ONCE IS ENOUGH: Jacques Maritain once explained why T.S.
Eliot would never join the Catholic Church: "Eliot
exhausted his capacity for conversion when he became an
Englishman." (page 11)

Exclusive to electronic media:

Mauriac has Judas wondering, "What would it profit him to
gain his soul if he lost the world?"

(pages 7-12)

* Life after al-Qaeda (November 25, 2004)

* Can God Speak to Us? (December 7, 2004)

* More Progress Anyone? (December 14, 2004)

* Gay Abe (December 16, 2004)

* The Fear of "Theocracy" (December 21, 2004)

* Resisting Jesus (December 23, 2004)


All articles are written by Joe Sobran

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