Its highest values should come as no surprise. Then off to a sendoff of U.S. Marines at Camp Pendleton.
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My favorite was a young girl whose dad is a Marine. I told her she was adorable and I bet all of the boys at her school had crushes on her. She shrugged. “Some of them do,” she said with her smile and her braces.
The event was sponsored by Saddleback Church, an immense church whose pastor is the super famous, super best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life. The turkey dinner was provided by a nearby church named Calvary. Frankly, the scene outside that room looked like Calvary or Golgotha with the rain and the barren terrain. The formidable missiles and cannon added to the somber mood.
But, as I said, inside all was festive. You would never guess that most of them are going to fight in Afghanistan in a few weeks. They asked me for a speech and I said,
“Of the seven billion men and women on the earth, the most vital are the men and women of the United States armed forces. You stand guarding life and liberty for all the good people of the world. And of the armed forces, none are braver and more resolute than the United States Marines. And of them, none is more indispensable than the military wife. She is the backbone of the free world. God bless you all.”
When I got back, I read that Christopher Hitchens had died, 5 years younger than I am, of throat cancer. I only met him once. He was paid by the producers of Expelled to debate an evangelist preacher at Stanford about evolution. I thought the preacher mopped up the floor with him.
The most interesting thing, though, was how Mr. Hitchens at one point described Jews as “a greedy little tribe.” I was the moderator of the debate and asked, “Aren’t you a member of that tribe, Mr. Hitchens?” He looked straight ahead and said nothing.
Of course, his mother was Jewish. She was a troubled soul who later committed suicide and I can understand why Mr. Hitchens would want to put some distance between him and her. He once famously said that his mother had told him to cover up his Jewishness because, “if there really is a ruling class, I want you to be in it…” A perfect comment from a Jewish Momma.
Of course, he never got into the ruling class. You have to be rich to be in it and he was not rich. He was, like many writers, often short on dough. We writers want to live like landed gentry and it’s always a stretch. It was a sad sight to watch him asking the producers of Expelled to do more debates so he could be paid for them. Maybe not sad. I am sure I would do the same. Money is a big thing when you need it.
Well, de mortuis, nihil nisi bonum. He found faith a burden and a sham. I find I cannot live without it. Faith is my rock. For him, it’s, well, we don’t know what it is to him now.
What I do know is that neither Chris, nor I, nor anyone I know does anything nearly as important as what the youngest Private at Pendleton does for the human condition. I give Chris credit. He knew that and was a great supporter of the fight against Islamic terror. Let’s remember him for that.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?