MIERED IN WOE
Re: George Neumayr's Conformist Credentials:
Even great Presidents make mistakes -- like when Reagan appointed the supposedly conservative Sandra Day O'Connor. I make this statement to point out to the conservatives and Republicans that think that no matter who Bush nominates, they will be excellent for the Supreme Court. The real issue is not whether this woman is qualified, but that conservatives have been suckered before by stealth nominees who may have been conservative at one time, but who ended up taking the big left turn when they got on the bench. Why should we keep on gambling when there are sure winners out there? We have played this game before and are not willing to take any more chances. It is absurd to gamble on an unknown when there are so many qualified rock-solid conservatives out there to choose from. This appointment is a sign of weakness and a "safe" choice by Bush in order to avoid a real fight, and to help liberal Republicans from having to stand up and be counted by preserving the judicial filibuster. Those Republicans that want to keep the status quo and not have a real fight for the Supreme Court, thereby preserving the judicial filibuster are just spineless cowards who need to be voted out of office.
-- Anthony Sorrentino
Well, George, you get an "A" for originality. After all, how best to outshine your fellow travelers, Will, Kristol, and Coulter, than by turning the argument on its head by calling Miers an establishment elitist. Bravo! What intellectual dexterity. Methinks you are a bit too fixated on Miers's role with the ABA. While I agree that the ABA is mostly inimical to conservative perspectives (hence my refusal to join for 25 years), nonetheless you'd be surprised at the number of conservative lawyers who actively participate. Why I bet even Scalia, Thomas, and Roberts have had associations with it at one time or another. It's sadly part of what one has to do if one wants to be a "player." Come on George, what else could she as chairman of the rules committee do? Ignore the requests of her colleagues because of her ideological opposition to them? This is a professional association, after all. How many media forums have you protested and walked out on because the tone was anti-conservative? And give me a break on the campaign donations; you think she's the first conservative that has had to play this game? I could say that as part of the "elite media," you yourself are suspect; after all, the vast majority of your "colleagues" are shameless liberals. But you and others have managed to withstand the liberal media hegemony, so cut Miers some slack. Maybe she's as stalwart as you are.
-- A. DiPentima
I disagree with George Neumayr's unfavorable comparison of Harriet Miers to Antonin Scalia.
There are times when Scalia has been dazzling, but has his jurisprudence really been a fount of clarity to which ordinary Americans can look for understanding the Court and the Constitution? I'm sorry, I don't think so. I think it has been, more often, eccentric and obscure, even as it might be headed in the right direction.
How does Miers compare in that regard? Let's see how she does at her confirmation hearings.
My expectations for her are high, not low. I expect that she will please conservatives, including the estimable George Neumayr.
-- Martin McPhillips
I oppose Harriet Miers because I wanted a female Antonin Scalia but instead I got a female Michael Brown.
Honestly, I do not care if it could be guaranteed that every Miers vote over the next 20 years will be to the right of Clarence Thomas. A Supreme Court nomination is more than just the vote -- it should be about moving the conservative ball down the field. We should use this particular nomination to conduct a national debate about whether conservatism or liberalism is best for this country.
The nomination of John Roberts did not bring about this debate. Nor has anything our side has done since the 1994 election. The Contract With America was the last such debate but we never followed up on that victory to seal the deal with the American population. Now the country thinks conservatism means invading Iraq, adding another mandate to Medicare and wasting money on pork.
With Harriet Miers we will not get this debate. Instead, her nomination hearing will obsess on her being a born again Christian and on the definition of crony. I say pull her nomination and do it right.
-- Michael Richards
Excellent article. I, too, will be watching the Miers confirmation hearings gavel to gavel. With Ginsburg and Souter having endorsed the "don't discuss potential cases" mantra of Roberts, which echoed their own, Miers will have the power of silence to wield over the Judiciary Committee Democrats. So, the hearings will be interesting not for what Miers says, but for the ways that the Senate Democrats develop to cover themselves in embarrassment.
You might be interested in my article on Miers as well, "Harriet Miers and the 'Pigpen' Press."
-- John Armor
NO RUDY, NO HOW
Re: Lawrence Henry's Giuliani Time:
Rudy Giuliani cannot win the GOP presidential nomination. Aside for his pro-abortion position and support for much of the homosexual agenda, Giuliani also has a record of being anti-Second Amendment and lenient on illegal immigration. None of these positions work to his favor. They put him on the wrong side of the curve. Face it, the best Rudy can hope for is a cabinet position.
-- Peter Skurkiss
Some people tend to overlook the fact that the former mayor treated his second wife very shabbily and that she is waiting in the wings to "get him." Also there are many women, myself included, who would cheer her on. No nomination for scuzzbug.
-- Annette Cwik
Hillary vs. Rudy? Sounds good to me. No question about it, I'd vote for Rudy.
What a wonderful campaign to watch as Rudy uses Hillary for a ping pong ball. Let's roll!
-- Nelson Ward
Ribera, New Mexico
To run for president, Rudy first has to be nominated by the Republicans. He has one big thing running in his favor, at least as far as conservatives are concerned: He was not a co-sponsor of McCain-Feingold.
-- Will Pickering
I can tell you for sure if Rudy says he will close the border he will get my vote. I think closing the border and fighting terrorists go hand in hand. Also anyone getting welfare that is able bodied should have to work for the money, even if it is nothing but picking up trash on the side of the road.
-- Elaine Kyle
Cut and Shoot, Texas
Mr. Henry does a good job of pointing out the reasons why Rudy would be a good POTUS. He seems to have all the qualities that I find so discouragingly lacking in Mr. Bush. Rudy is a take charge guy, no doubt about it. If Rudy had been POTUS, then Bernie Kerik would have been the Secretary of Homeland Security and I would have been ecstatic. It absolutely HAD to be the hand of God that Rudy was NYC Mayor on 9/11/01.
All that said, Rudy simply must lose some of the, not just moderate, but liberal social positions and proclivities before I could support him in a Repub. primary for POTUS. It is one thing to hold certain views as a private citizen, but quite another to do so as the leader of the USA, and really, the world. Gay marriage may or may not be a positive viewpoint on a one-on-one basis, but it would be disastrous as a policy for the country. I may think that it is between you and your God whether you personally support totally open abortion on demand. I also am certain that is a disastrous policy for the country to officially adopt, and like you can't be a little bit pregnant, you are either for abortion or against it -- period.
So you could say that I am conflicted as regards a President Giuliani. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that Rudy would make a formidable candidate against Ms. Hillary in '08. But there are also some others that I am more in tune with that, I believe, can also win.
Now Mr. Henry, on the other hand, as a prognosticator, has a currently insurmountable problem. His problem is North Andover, Mass. I have lived and worked in several different areas of the country. Much of that time in areas that belong more to the Heartland, or Jesus land, or Red State America. I now live in New Hampshire. Until and unless Mr. Henry gets out of hardcore New England, and stays out long enough to reprogram himself, his views and perceptions will remain fatally flawed. Hardcore New England (yes, that includes North Andover, Mass.) bears almost zero resemblance to the real America. One might as well say that we can study San Francisco or Berkeley and truly understand what the average American in the Mid-West thinks. Sorry, Mr. Henry. You are a good writer, but I wouldn't want you making my football picks for me this week, or my POTUS picks in '08.
-- Ken Shreve
If the Republican Party is foolish enough to nominate Mr. Giuliani for the position of President (or Vice President), I am quite sure that those of us who are against gun control and (except for saving mothers' lives) abortion will stay home and sit on our check books -- as he would be no different from "Hillary."
-- James Pawlak
West Allis, Wisconsin
An even better argument in favor of Lawrence Henry's suggestion of a future President Giuliani is Giuliani's own book, Leadership, which I happened to have recently read while proving Mark Twain's observation that the only difference between prison and a [Caribbean] cruise is that the latter incarceration may result in drowning. I didn't drown, did experience the prison aspect, and was greatly, greatly impressed with Giuliani via the book.
Nevertheless, Giuliani's failure of conscience in the matter of abortion, and in all likelihood its twin spectre, artificially expediting the death of the inconvenient and expensive elderly, cannot be balanced or exceeded by Giuliani's extraordinarily impressive positives. A man who cannot reason his way to protect the most defenseless and most innocent cannot be relied on to protect those of us not so defenseless and certainly not so innocent. How Giuliani ultimately answers for this matter to his Creator is his own affair, but how he answers for this matter to the voter is our affair, and I must vote "no."
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey
Reading Lawrence Henry's "Giuliani Time" I was struck by the need for a historical wake-up call for "conservatives." The retroactive falsification going on in the "conservative movement" regarding President Ronald Reagan is amazing. As a lifelong straight ticket Republican I'm stunned by the glossing over of facts about the Reagan administration. In their zeal to join the liberals in bashing President Bush some "conservatives" point to Reagan as the ideal President, understandably, but it would be nice if they'd use a modicum of honesty when hearkening back to Reagan.
Here are some facts now being conveniently ignored by the Washington and East Coast "conservatives" as they use President Reagan to bash his heir George W. Bush. President Reagan (1) failed to avenge more than 200 Marines murdered by terrorists, (2) grew the size of government, (3) chalked up massive deficits (to win the Cold War), (4) gave blanket amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, (5) cut a deal with Democrats to raise taxes in his second term, (6) adopted a Democrat scheme to "fix" Social Security and (7) appointed moderate Republicans to the Supreme Court.
President Bush, like President Reagan, cut taxes, but Bush is working to make his tax cuts permanent in the face of Democrat opposition and GOP vacillation. President Bush since 9/11 has been waging an unrelenting war against terrorists and shows no signs of losing his resolve despite negative poll numbers. President Bush has consistently appointed conservatives to the federal bench. Bush wants a managed guest worker program and not blanket amnesty for illegal aliens. Bush wants real reform of Social Security (personal accounts) despite Democrat and public opposition to the idea. Like Reagan Bush, to win his war, has been willing to turn a blind eye to the red ink and the growth of government.
The case against Harriet Miers isn't that Bush has abandoned his conservative principles by appointing moderates to the bench. The complaints against Miers, some explicit and others only hinted at, are (1) she's not a judge (like Stephens, Kennedy and Souter) with a paper trail, (2) she's a friend of the President (a President that has always appointed conservatives to the Federal bench), (3) despite her excellent legal credentials she's somehow not worthy of sitting on the Supreme Court, (4) she's a fundamentalist Protestant and active member of a staunchly pro life congregation, but that's not good enough (John Roberts got a pass, because he's a Roman Catholic and ipso facto anti abortion), (5) George W. Bush, who won the Presidency twice, somehow puts at risk the "work" of egocentric "conservatives" (like Paul Weyrich who has tried to undermine the GOP, George Will who often grovels to liberals on ABC, Pat Buchanan our Charles Coughlin without the collar, etc.), (6) she's not a graduate of an ivy league school, and (7) she's not a part of the East Coast "conservative elitist" clique.
I have no problem questioning President Bush's nominating Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, but distorting history and reality to do so is nauseating, because this is the methodology of the left. Instead of violating President Reagan's 11th Commandment with hysterical diatribes and character assassination the case might be better put using calm reason and logic. Of course, when President Reagan was in office many "conservatives" were willing to bash him too. That's right Reagan did not always adhere to the "conservative elites" version of political orthodoxy. Thus, they were quick to give a "kick" too. President Bush can take solace from knowing he's in good company.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Good grief, a guy named Lawrence (not Larry) from Taxachusetts, and a "social conservative" to boot, acknowledging that Rudy's the only hope for the GOP? Wow.
And he's right. As a small-L libertarian who's retained most all of Goldwater's teachings ("The Conscience of a Conservative"), he nailed it. Absolutely. And, if the Far Right doesn't accept the realities, you can kiss it all goodbye -- the Pat Robertsons, James Dobsons and Jerry Falwells of this world are about as weird/out-of-touch as Jesse Jackson, Pat Leahy, and Ted Kennedy. Dubya's turned out to be a near disaster, horribly disappointing to say the least, pabulum platitudes notwithstanding -- perhaps Rudy has some much needed cajones.
My only question is: How can Mr. Henry survive in a pretentious/supercilious place like Andover?
Lawrence Henry replies:
North Andover, Mass., is a very nice little town that voted Republican in the last Republican election. And, except for bylines, it's Larry.
DEMOCRAT TENT REVIVAL
Re: Patrick Hynes's Gospel Democrats:
Patrick Hynes is on to something here. In spite of all the post-election posturing by liberals last year about how to connect with "values voters," it is painfully obvious that they are still clueless. Their political strategists apparently believe that religious folks will embrace their values if they bathe their rhetoric with religious terminology. This extremely shallow analysis explains a lot about their lack of understanding of conservative Christians. It also exposes their smug arrogance, inasmuch as they assume believers can be swayed to vote for them solely based upon their supporters and politicians using evangelical terms when speaking about social issues.
If this line of reasoning is followed, what implications will it have for the next election cycle? I can see it nowâ€¦
The 2008 Democratic Convention will be renamed the Democrat Revival and Tent Meeting. The preaching will be led by Sister Hillary Clinton with music provided by Brother Bruce Springsteen and his Evangelical Street band. The Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will be up front during the altar call to counsel all those who come forward to make a profession of faith to the Democrat Party platform after repenting of their pro-life position on abortion. The missionary outreach will be led by ministers Michael Moore and Barbara Streisand who will share ways to effectively witness to lost souls trapped in a lifestyle of willful fundamentalism. The ACLU and its cadre of lawyers will be there too, enlisting volunteers to go to the uttermost parts of the earth to rid America of its twin Satans -- the Boy Scouts and Christmas nativity scenes! Brother George Soros will be the keynote speaker and will share his powerful testimony about his conversion to Secular Humanism. Glory Hallelujah!!!
Yessir, it's a great strategy.
-- Rick Arand
Patrick Hynes's article about the Democrats' weak attempt to cater to religious people is right on target. The following quote from the article is sheer brilliance:
The liberals' attempt to buy their way into Heaven by extirpating indulgences from others is not what Jesus has in mind.
That would make a pretty good bumper sticker!
-- Bob G. Holder II
St. Louis, Missouri
Re: James Philbin's Mufti McCarrick:
The next time James Philbin decides to crawl out from under his rock, I would hope you choose to invite him to spread his received wisdom elsewhere. He writes that a prayer to Allah, not in the name of the Trinity, is a "flagrant violation of the First Commandment." The God that Jews pray to is also not a Trinity. Are we violating the First Commandment too? Would it be churlish to point out that Jews actually wrote, or at the very least transcribed, the First Commandment?
As to how Catholics should react to Cardinal McCarrick's speech, I can do no better than quote Catholic apologist Mark Shea's response a week ago:
"The thing that Catholics have a hard time remembering is that we are the weirdos in the human religious community because we have a Magisterium. It's really hard for us to bear in mind that the overwhelming mass of humanity's experience of religion is conducted without a ruling body that decides "what we really believe." Consequently, we have this notion that there is some official who "speaks for" Islam or Buddhism or whatnot.
There isn't. Islam is, within very broad parameters, whatever the loudest and most powerful figures in the Muslim world say it is. It is therefore in our very considerable interest to see to it that voices of sanity prevail. This is one of the reasons it is so frickin' perverse when the St. Blog's Cyber-Fatwa Tribunal takes it upon itself to issue bulls of excommunication against a Cardinal McCarrick for commending a leading a Muslim figure who is laboring to make Islam a place where sane people are determining the destiny of Islam instead of foaming lunatics. Every voice of reason in the Islamic world should be encouraged, because (as Iraq is rapidly making clear) this battle for the soul of Islam is not going to be decided by our trust in horse and chariot.
-- Glen Hoffing
Shamong, New Jersey
Whatever one might think of the prayer/talk of Cardinal McCarrick, the fact is that "Allah" is the standard Arabic word for "God" and is used by Arabic-speaking Christians as well as their Muslim neighbors. Arabic speaking Christians also obviously believe in the Holy Trinity and do have in their way of praying perfectly adequate and orthodox assertions of their belief -- a belief which has cost them and their ancestors dearly over the centuries.
-- Philip Sandstrom
A powerful and powerfully disturbing article. This is blasphemy and rank apostasy by a bishop whose scarlet robes symbolize his willingness to die for the faith.
-- Paul F. Danello
Chevy Chase, Maryland
A Catholic bishop praying to Allah! Next we will be reading about priests ritually slaughtering goats and chickens to read their entrails! Christian churches have loosened their principles so much that atheists can lead congregations; Republicans clamor against the most steadfast President we've had since FDR (Not counting Mr. Clinton's steadfastness in womanizing -- which wasn't particularly presidential) and all of his Supreme Court nominees.
The party of FDR and Harry Truman has becomes virulently anti-American, anti-Christian and anti-Jewish. The party's present stance seems to favor killing infants in the most horribly, grotesque ways; promoting hate-mongers like Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan; and being as personally vile as possible in attacking those who don't hew to their line.
We have the putative mother of a soldier slain in the defense of his Country being touted for her hatred of her son's sacrifice as though she was Joan of Arc and every airhead in Hollywood blathering anti-American rhetoric just because they can. And the media giving endless and uncritical publicity to all who hate this nation.
What has happened to us? I will tell Mr. Stein that his miracle of which he wrote in his column to day is ending. Along with those Catholics who don't believe in Allah he should head for the hills! And take his weapons along.
-- Jay W. Molyneaux
Mr. Philbin might want to add that JPII (a.k.a. Subito Santo) has been photographed kissing the Koran in public, and in December 2001, he urged Catholics all over the world to observe the Muslim fasts going on that month -- in solidarity with the Muslims. How is it charity to make a Muslim comfortable in his Faith? Should we miss no opportunity to spread the Christian Faith? He also orchestrated two major (and many, many minor ones elsewhere) pan-religious conferences in Assisi, Italy so that he could be present at the prayers of hundreds of non-believers, including shamans and witchdoctors. Did he ask any of them to be members of his Faith, or did he merely make them feel proud of their false religions?
Thanks to Mr. Philbin for writing (and to you for allowing him to put it in your publication) an article commenting on an abomination of the type that Traditional Roman Catholics have been decrying for years. What a blasphemy the Cardinal committed! We would like to say, Res Ipsa Loquitur (The thing speaks for itself), but the truth is that the hierarchy and clergy of the Church have so well succeeded in dumbing down the laity and conditioning them to ecumenical activities, that most people will not even think what he did was wrong.
At the time of the recent youth festival in Germany the present pope basically told a group of Muslim clerics that they need to see to it that their flocks are good Muslims. No pre-Vatican pope would ever have done such a thing. I don't know what religion the Catholic hierarchy is pushing these days, but it is not the Catholic religion. This is all part of the bad fruit of Vatican II. We must remember Our Lord's words that a good tree does not bear bad fruit. That council was a non-doctrinal council, that has been treated as the start of a new religion - and has borne very bad fruit: pedophile and financial scandals, break-up of families; loss of the Faith; empty pews, seminaries, monasteries and convents; an awful liturgy formed by a committee; blasphemies such as the one about which you reported; and many other problems too numerous to mention here. Everything opposed to Scripture and other Catholic Tradition in that council needs to be rejected. In fact, the ambiguous passages therein need to rejected as well. Please, please keep spreading the message that Vatican II is a big part of the problem.
What is the goal in all this "ecumenical dialog?" It certainly isn't conversion of non-believers to Christianity. What is being sought is a "one-world religion," in the name of unity and peace. God never expected us to "unite" our religion with that of the unbelievers. Instead of trying to get individuals to convert, the hierarchy (and the leadership of other denominations as well) are busy "dialoging" with leaders of other religions -- even Muslims and Buddhists -- in an effort to cause the religions to "converge."
How can those folks justify violation of the Scripture and other Catholic Tradition? Per The American Spectator's article this week on Justice Scalia, he said, "The Constitution is an enduring document but not a living one. And its meaning must not be altered to suit the whims of society." One cannot help remembering the words of Al Gore, when he said, "the Constitution is a living thing." In his encyclical, Ecclesia Dei, announcing the sham excommunication (under Canon Law he can't be punished if he subjectively believed, without negligence, that his actions were necessary) of Archbishop Lefebvre, an archbishop who dared to resist the uncatholic aspects of the post-council activity of the hierarchy, Pope John Paul II stated that the root of his controversy with Archbishop Lefebvre is the refusal of the latter to accept that Tradition is a living thing. So, there you have it. The ecclesial modernists, like other liberals, don't have any use for absolutes, including religious doctrine. Everything must change to suit the whims of society. We are afflicted, therefore, with Catholic churchmen praying to the false god Allah for the sake of peace or civility. One day God will give back to Catholics loyal to the Faith, a hierarchy that will be dedicated to promoting the true Catholic Faith, and saving souls from Hell. Until then, we need voices such as yours to speak out against the apostasies of errant churchmen.
-- J. Frazier
James Philbin's full-throated criticism of Theodore Cardinal McCarrick's clerical dereliction of duty regarding the "Red Mass" and his comments at the law school of Catholic University is reminiscent of remarks I made on this webzine earlier this year. Circumstances may have changed, but this politically correct cardinal has not, for within this prelate's good intentions resides a monstrous abdication of his priestly duties and pastoral responsibilities.
As Mr. Philbin acknowledges, for more than 40 years, the Catholic Church in the West has been beset by problems which have stemmed, in large part, from the belief that the Church could -- and should -- adapt its structures and beliefs to modernity and its corollary principle of political correctness. The utterly fatuous notion that an undefined ecumenical "reaching out" to other religious organizations would resolve fundamental differences has actually played itself out by requiring that the Church compromise or revise much of its core beliefs, for which it has paid an extremely high price: the loss of vocations and the concomitant weakening of its religious resolve, to name just two. No similar religious revision has been required for the other party. Cardinal McCarrick may invoke the name of Allah, but I strongly doubt if an imam would call upon Christ for his protection and mercy. And, if memory serves, Catholic Church services are still outlawed in several Muslim countries, most notably Saudi Arabia. But this problem is, in my judgment, only a part of the larger conundrum.
The revolution that Vatican II precipitated was, by accident or by design, a thorough turning inside out of Church doctrine and beliefs. In a period of fewer than forty years, the pillars of Church authority, representing strength, stability and Divine authority, succumbed to the relativism that so characterizes the mindset of its current leadership, as well as informs its daily practice. If fasting is inconvenient during Lent, the Church will accommodate; if the Mass is "boring," we'll add a bit of show biz to the sermon. And remember: always leave them laughing. How very sad this all is to someone who can remember going to Mass when parishioners were required to dress appropriately!
In his Harvard commencement address at Harvard in June, 1977, Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn noted: "There are telltale symptoms by which history gives warning to a threatened or perishing society. Such are, for instance, a decline of the arts or a lack of great statesmen..." To that list might I also add, "courageous clergymen"?
-- Vincent Chiarello
Re: Eric Peters's Diesel Deliverance:
I had the opportunity of driving the Eurotrash diesels that Mr. Peters writes so fondly of -- Land Rover and BMW, phooey! Mr. Peters' Europhilic romance is elitist nonsense.
Diesels, hybrids, manure -- it's a recurring theme with all Keynesian, enviro-Nazis when gas pump prices spike. Even in ideal market conditions, low sulfur diesel fuel would still cost more per mile than unleaded gas.
Nothing compares to the viciously maligned V8 gas "guzzler." It's fun to drive, loads of horsepower, cheap, clean and safe. Plus, it's very American. Let the EU elitists drive their overpriced, luxury diesels and bleed at the pump.
-- Joe Weldon
Juno Beach, Florida
Eric Peters, who wrote an article for you published October 6th, says that diesel fuel found in the U.S. is "laden with sulfur." He needs to do a little more research: Over-the-road diesel fuel sold at the pump in the U.S. is a low sulfur product. A standard grade #2 is available only for off-road use and is marked with a red dye. Get caught with red dye-fuel in your truck and the DOT will take money from you. Refer to ASTM D5453, ASTM D2622, or DIN 51400. Ultra low sulfur diesel will have less than or equal to 15 ppm, (0.0015%) sulfur. I suspect the low percent of diesel passenger vehicles in the U.S. is a cultural phenomenon.
-- Dave Cooper
Field Service Coordinator
Ziegler Power Systems
I have a question for Eric. What about the Biodiesel fuel that is advertised by Willie Nelson on RFD-TV? Would it be good enough to run in high performance diesel autos like the BMW since it is a low emission fuel?
-- Michael Palmer
Eric Peters replies:
I'm not sure; I do know the engine/fuel delivery system/tank requires some mods to work with "veggie" diesel.
I may try this in my tractor; if it blows up, no big deal... but I'd be hesitant to pour the stuff into my $40K BMW!
Re: Ben Stein's American Miracle:
I have read Ben Stein's commentary over the past couple of years and have found great appreciation in his elegant words. His ability to express my feelings for our nation and our fighting men and women has helped me have conversations with small-minded individuals while my husband was deployed to Iraq. His words have helped me express my own opinions about America and my love for my country. The significance of America is profound, most of us don't completely understand; we have never been anywhere else. But our soldiers have, and they understand. They are willing to lay down their lives for us and for our country. If I lose my husband to a war in protection of this country, I will always feel deeply loved. It is men like Ben Stein who help people like me have conversations with closed-minded individuals in support of our beloved America and those who defend her.
-- Brenda L. Fouch
The poisonous things addressed to you in the anonymous e-mails you received is, I am sad to say, everyday conversation in the Arab world. Such conversations are had not by murderous fanatics, but by perfectly normal people who happen to believe really kooky things. Most of these people would be incapable of harming an actual Jew that they came to know. I believe that if you were their neighbor they would be very kind to you. It is easy to hate the Jew as an evil abstraction; it is much harder to hate a real human being. Don't let the vicious statements of the unnamed e-mailer upset you because it's probably just empty talk.
Arab hatred of Jews is a disease that will pass eventually and there is really nothing one can do to hasten it other than to try to foster as much human (not electronic) interaction between Arabs and Jews. By the way, I really enjoy your writing and appreciate your excellent pro-life work. God bless you and your family.
Kindly do not publish my name as I am not as courageous as others, such as Fouad Ajami, who are willing to speak publicly.
I always enjoy your articles, and the majority of the time I agree with your conclusions. Regarding the hateful email you've been receiving lately, I agree that the Jew-hatred and the Bush-hatred are almost always linked. I am not Jewish myself, but in reading blogs and discussion boards on the net, those who hate Bush always are anti-Jewish to some extant; maybe only a little, maybe a lot.
I don't know how religious you are, but my gut feeling is that this anti-Semitic, anti-American attitude is satanic in its origin. If one is a believer, as I am, then you see that Satan has attacked the Jews in every way imaginable for centuries. And I think that God has provided the U.S. to be an advocate and ally to Israel. For that reason we are exposed to much of the same hatred. Far-fetched? Maybe, but it's what I think is happening.
Keep the good thoughts Ben! I think that we live in the best country on earth, despite the haters and nutcases. I spent time in other countries during my Army enlistment, and it's true; there's no place like home!
-- Gary Wardle
Hi Ben. I met you several times when I was a student at USC (20 years ago) and have always enjoyed your dry sense of humor. I was disgusted as you described so many letters that come to you spewing hatred of Jews. As a born again Christian, I recognize the Jews as the Chosen People and as the fact that "salvation is of the Jews." My Savior and the Savior of the World came from God's Chosen People.
I also believe God's truthfulness that he will restore Jerusalem in the end. The Bible makes clear that God has an enemy in this world who will be overcome in the end. However, until God's time has come, this enemy will make war on Israel's physical descendents and on Abraham's spiritual descendents meaning Christians. (Abraham was declared righteous because of his faith, not because of his heritage.) It is not hard to see how much of the world has shaken its fist at God and taken up the cause of the enemy.
However, God calls us to be "salt and light in the world." Salt does not mock rotting meat, it tries to season and preserve it. And, when it doesn't work, it weeps. It is easy to be prideful because we are chosen by physical heritage or by grace, but pride is not of God.
Bless you for speaking truth. I pray that revival will happen in our country so that our moral perspective and devotion to the God of the Bible and to his chosen people through whom he blessed the world would be restored.
I have always loved to read Ben Stein's articles because he has a way of expressing eloquently what is in my heart (I too am an American Jew or a Jewish American).
-- Robert Teitelbaum, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.)
For heaven's sake take care of yourself, Ben, we love you. In fact, all "real" Americans love and appreciate you. God Bless!
-- Therese Hagee
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