Saturday, November 20, 2004

Christianity Today Film Forum: "Kinsey" Repugnant

[I can't post too many articles on this film and its agenda...I remain amazed at what some are willing to overlook so long as the "correct" messages continue to be spread. Partial-birth abortion...the sexual molestation of children...none of it really matters to the degenerates who continue to champion the ideal of a guilt-free human existence...God help us.]

by Jeffrey Overstreet posted 11/18/2004

Hollywood has been known to offer us ethically misguided heroes in the past. James Bond, for example. But Kinsey may take us to a new low. To make matters worse, this individual's outrageous exploits weren't fiction, even though the movie that pays tribute is full of half-truths.

Director Bill Condon's film celebrates a "scientist" whose research-gathering methods involved child molestation, shoddy experiments, and survey methods that break the rules of credible investigation. From these methods, he came to champion all manner of sexual misbehavior as acceptable animal behavior.

Liam Neeson is earning Oscar buzz for his performance as Kinsey, and Laura Linney's winning raves for her role as his wife. Most mainstream critics, apparently unconcerned that the film is a whitewash of a fraud, are calling this one of the best films of the year.

But religious press critics are doing what they can to draw attention to the film's tendency to cover up details that expose Kinsey for the deceiver and manipulator that he was.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr. (Crosswalk), president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, offers an extensive account of Kinsey's work and influence in his assessment of the film. "The movie is really not a true portrait of Alfred Kinsey at all. The real Alfred Kinsey was a man whose own sexual practices cannot be safely described to the general public and whose interest in sex was anything but objective or scientific."

Tom Neven (Plugged In) addresses ways in which Kinsey's research was flawed, pointing out the poor and selective surveys he conducted. "People willing to talk to a total stranger about their sexual behavior … can hardly be considered a representative sample of the American public. Moreover, Kinsey used questionable statistical analyses to reach his conclusions."

He also analyzes the problems with the movie, which he says are "too vast to itemize." He calls it "propaganda" and says, "The film completely glosses over the immoral and damaging methods Kinsey and his associates used in the course of their research. [The book] Sexual Behavior in the Human Male … contains studies about the sexual response of infants, toddlers and other children. (Kinsey's assistant Wardell Pomeroy has basically admitted that the studies involving children were derived from Kinsey's own experiments.)" He also points out that Kinsey and his wife were "serial adulterers," while the film only acknowledges single affairs. And he concludes that the worldview of the film is "insidious. It says 'science' (as defined by its practitioners) is the only way to know truth; all else is mere opinion and superstition."

Morality in Media President Robert Peters (Christian Spotlight) says, "In Kinsey's mind, man was merely an animal with a high degree of intelligence; and at the end of the film, in the midst of the credits, we are treated to scene after scene of animals having sex. In Kinsey's mind, apparently no sex was abnormal; and among the types of sex that Kinsey is shown engaging in or endorsing in the film are adultery, bisexuality, homosexuality, group sex, pornography, sadomasochism, and swinging."

He adds, "In the film Kinsey interviews a man who molested hundreds of children, but there is no other indication (unless I missed something) that Kinsey's data about child sexuality came from pedophiles."

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says, "Defenders will view the picture as a sober portrait of the man credited with emancipating sex from the shackles of Puritanism. Conversely, critics will question not only the movie's accuracy, but the appropriateness of celebrating a man who many blame for jump-starting the sexual revolution by redefining societal mores and jettisoning inhibition and traditional morality to the relic heap of Victorian prudery."

Victor Davis Hanson: The Real Humanists

[Mr. Hanson is the author of numerous books including the grand "Carnage and Culture" from which this blog takes its name...his collection of post 9/11 essays entitled "An Autumn of War" is essential reading. - jtf]

November 19, 2004, 8:30 a.m.

The Real Humanists- Revolution from Afghanistan to Iraq.

In September and early October 2001 we were warned that an invasion of Afghanistan was impossible — peaks too high, winter and Ramadan on the way, weak and perfidious allies as bad as the Islamists — and thus that the invasion would result in tens of thousands killed and millions of refugees. Where have all these subversive ankle-biters gone? Apparently into thin air — or to the same refuge of silence as all the Reagan-haters of the 1980s who swore that a nuclear freeze was the only humane policy of dealing with Soviet expansionism.

After the seven-week defeat of the Taliban, these deer-in-the-headlights critics paused, and then declared the victory hollow. They said the country had descended into rule by warlords, and called the very idea of scheduled voting a laughable notion. We endured them for almost two years. Yet after the recent and mostly smooth elections, Afghanistan has slowly disappeared from the maelstrom of domestic politics, as all those who felt our efforts were not merely impossible but absurd retreated to the shadows to gnash their teeth that Kabul is not yet Carmel. Western feminists, homosexual-rights advocates, and liberal reformists have never in any definitive way expressed appreciation for the Afghan revolution now ongoing in the lives of 26 million formerly captive people. They never will. Instead, Westerners simply now assume that there was never any controversy, but rather a general consensus that Afghanistan is a "good thing" — as if the Taliban went into voluntarily exile due to occasional censure from The New York Review of Books.

The more ambitious effort to achieve similar results in Iraq is following the same script, despite even more daunting challenges. Fascistic neighbors rightly see elections in Iraq as near fatal to their own bankrupt regimes. Some have oil; others have terrorists; still more, like Iran and Saudi Arabia, have both. Unlike Afghanistan, there is no neutral India or Russia nearby to keep Islamists wary, only the provinces of the ancient caliphate to supply plenty of jihadists to continue the work of September 11. Our mistakes in the reconstruction of Iraq were never properly critiqued as naïve and too magnanimous, but rather they were decried by the Left as cruel and punitive — as if being too lax was proof of being harsh.

Yet, thanks to the brilliance of the U.S. military and despite the rocky reconstruction and our own election hysteria, there is a good chance that the January elections can begin a cycle similar to what we see in Afghanistan. And at that point things should get very, very interesting.

Just as the breakdown of a few Communist Eastern European states led to a general collapse of Marxism in the east, or the military humiliation in colonial Africa and the Falklands led to democratic renaissance in Iberia and Argentina, or American military efforts in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Panama City brought consensual government to Central America, a reformed Afghanistan and Iraq may prompt what decades of billions of dollars in wasted aid to Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinians, the 1991 Gulf War, and 60 years of appeasement of Gulf petrol-sheiks could not: the end of the old sick calculus of Middle East tyrannies blackmailing the United States through past intrigue with the Soviet Union, then threats of oil embargos and rigged prices, and, most recently, both overt and stealthy support for fundamentalist killers.

The similar effort to isolate Arafat, encourage the withdrawal from Gaza, and allow the Israelis to proceed with the fence have brought more opportunity to the Middle East than all of Dennis Ross's shuttles put together, noble and well-meant though his futile efforts were. The onus is on the Palestinians now either to turn Gaza into their own republic or give birth to another Lebanon — their call before a globalized audience. They can hold elections and shame the Arab League by being the embryo of consensual government in the Middle East, or coronate yet another thug and terrorist in hopes that again the United States will play a Chamberlain to their once-elected Hitler.

If someone wonders about the enormous task at hand in democratizing the Middle East, he could do no worse than ponder the last days of Yasser Arafat: the tawdry fight over his stolen millions; the charade of the First Lady of Palestine barking from a Paris salon; the unwillingness to disclose what really killed the "Tiger" of Ramallah; the gauche snub of obsequious Europeans hovering in the skies over Cairo, preening to pay homage to the late prince of peace; and, of course, the usual street theater of machine guns spraying the air and thousands of males crushing each other to touch the bier of the man who robbed them blind. Try bringing a constitution and open and fair elections to a mess like that.

But that is precisely what the United States was trying to do by removing the Taliban, putting Saddam Hussein on trial, and marginalizing Arafat. Such idealism has been caricatured with every type of slur — from both the radical Left and the paleo-Right, ranging from alleged Likud conspiracies and neo-con pipe dreams to secret pipeline deals and plans for a new American imperium in the Middle East shepherded in by the Bush dynasts. In fact, the effort not just to strike back after September 11, but to alter the very landscape in which our enemies operated was the only choice we had if we wished to end the cruise-missile/bomb-'em-for-a-day cycle of the past 20 years, the ultimate logic of which had led to the crater at the World Trade Center.

Oddly, our enemies understand the long-term strategic efforts of the United States far better than do our own dissidents. They know that oil is not under U.S. control but priced at all-time highs, and that America is not propping up despotism anymore, but is now the general foe of both theocracies and dictatorships — and the thorn in the side of "moderate" autocracies. An America that is a force for democratic change is a very dangerous foe indeed. Most despots long for the old days of Jimmy Carter's pious homilies, appeasement of awful dictatorships gussied up as "concern" for "human rights," and the lure of a Noble Prize to ensure nights in the Lincoln bedroom or hours waiting on a dictator's tarmac.

In the struggle in Fallujah hinges not just the fate of the Sunni Triangle, or even Iraq, but rather of the entire Middle East — and it will be decided on the bravery and skill of mostly 20-something American soldiers. If they are successful in crushing and humiliating the fascists there and extending the victory to other spots then the radical Islamists and their fascistic sponsors will erode away. But if they fail or are called off, then we will see Days of Sorrow that make September 11 look like child's play.

We are living in historic times, as all the landmarks of the past half-century are in the midst of passing away. The old left-wing critique is in shambles — as the United States is proving to be the most radical engine for world democratic change and liberalization of the age. A reactionary Old Europe, in concert with the ossified American leftist elite, unleashed everything within its ample cultural arsenal: novels, plays, and op-ed columns calling for the assassination of President Bush; propaganda documentaries reminiscent of the oeuvre of Pravda or Leni Riefenstahl; and transparent bias passed off as front-page news and lead-ins on the evening network news.

Germany and France threw away their historic special relationships with America, while billions in Eastern Europe, India, Russia, China, and Japan either approved of our efforts or at least kept silent. Who would have believed 60 years ago that the great critics of democracy in the Middle East would now be American novelists and European utopians, while Indians, Poles, and Japanese were supporting those who just wanted the chance to vote? Who would have thought that a young Marine from the suburbs of Topeka battling the Dark Ages in Fallujah — the real humanist — was doing more to aid the planet than all the billions of the U.N.?

Those on the left who are ignorant of history lectured the Bush administration that democracy has never come as a result of the threat of conflict or outright war — apparently the creation of a democratic United States, Germany, Japan, Italy, Israel, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Serbia, and Afghanistan was proof of the power of mere talk. In contrast, the old realist Right warned that strongmen are our best bet to ensure stability — as if Saudi Arabia and Egypt have been loyal allies with content and stable pro-American citizenries. In truth, George Bush's radical efforts to cleanse the world of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, bring democracy to the heart of the Arab world, and isolate Yasser Arafat were the most risky and humane developments in the Middle East in a century — old-fashioned idealism backed with force in a postmodern age of abject cynicism and nihilism.

Quite literally, we are living in the strangest, most perilous, and unbelievable decade in modern memory.

— Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His website is

Friday, November 19, 2004

Kerry Spot: Lesson From Rome

Kerry Spot [ jim geraghty reporting ]
[ kerry spot home archives email ]

LESSONS FROM ROME [11/19 09:05 AM]

So a bunch of readers have asked, "Hey, besides all this politics stuff, how was Rome?"
More than I ever could have imagined, good and bad.


All the sights lived up to the hype. The Colosseum? You look down at the center of the arena, at the tunnels underneath and the replica floor on one end, and you just want to strap on your best Russell Crowe-esque armor, pick up a sword, and skewer somebody.

The Vatican is like the Catholic Smithsonian, and it would take a lifetime to see all of its marvels. I had an interesting stumble on the way there — Mrs. Kerry Spot and I approached in a torrential downpour, and the tread on my Clark's size 101/2 walking shoe apparently wasn't designed for navigating wet cobblestones. I took a horrible face-first Chevy-Chase-level fall about two blocks from St. Peter's Square, and scraped up my knee pretty badly. The monologue went something like this:

[Whump!] "Arrrrrgh! #&$#&...I don't want to curse in front of the Vatican, I don't want to curse in front of the Vatican, I don't want to curse in front of the Vatican!"

The site of me sprawling, then wincing, then trying to assure the concerned Italians around me that I was fine brought tears to the eyes of Mrs. Kerry Spot — mostly from attempting, unsuccessfully, to stifle a burgeoning tsunami of laughter.

We came with three guidebooks — National Geographic, Let's Go, and the Irreverent Guide to Rome, and each one had four or five pages of photos and descriptions listing a dozen or so highlights. What was truly striking was the stuff that didn't make the highlight list. I would stand there, marveling slack-jawed at some stunning painting, or carving, or gold-leaf covered decoration — with a tapestry and seemingly ancient Bible or papyrus — and ask, "What room is this?" And Mrs. Kerry Spot would consult a map and reply, "The secondary broom closet, decorated by a student of Michelangelo. Not even listed among the must-sees."

That actually applies to the whole city. Around every corner, there is some stunning fountain, or piazza, or statue, or church, or picturesque street, or a big pile of ruins from ancient Rome with a label I couldn't understand.

Foooood: I think I gained about 40 pounds over six or seven days. In our photos, you can tell how many days we've been there by counting my chins.

Roman restaurants have an oddly uniform menu style, though. (Keep in mind that Mrs. Kerry Spot and I went to pizzerias and trattorias about two-thirds of the time, and ate in restaurants for the remaining third. The plummeting dollar had us cost-conscious, so I'm sure there are fancy places with wide menu varieties.)

We would start with an appetizer, usually bruschetta or antipasti — cheese and some sausage and prosciutto. About half the places offered soup, which was almost always pasta and bean.

The standard Roman way of eating, which apparently was the peasant way, was to have a primi course — almost always pasta — and then a secondi course, usually meat. The pasta was usually terrific; the secondi course comes with literally nothing else, unless you specifically order a side dish of vegetables. You order fish, you get fish. You order veal, you get veal. The idea from peasant days was to fill up on carbs so you didn't notice that your lamb shank or piece of fish wasn't all that big.

And European servings are smaller, as you may know. One plate at a place like the Cheesecake Factory would be about the entire food supply in a Roman restaurant.

All of it was good — I think we had one bad meal while we were there, in a place that got rave reviews in the guidebooks. After a while, I did want a bit of variety, and Rome didn't have much — during all of our walks, we saw one or two Japanese restaurants, maybe three Chinese, and maybe three or four British/Irish pub types.

Oh yeah — many places have pizza, and it is good. But it's also distinctive, and different from pizza in America. Let me put it this way: In America, there is a wide variety of types of pizza. There's a range of styles from Bertucci's to California Pizza Kitchen to Domino's to your local place around the corner. The four or so pizzas that I had in Rome were all pretty much the same style: thin crust, and maybe three possible toppings at a time (they don't pile the toppings high like they do here in America). Often the only meat topping was prosciutto, of which I've eaten approximately 40 metric tons in the last week. There was really not much sausage, certainly no ground beef or chicken or bacon. There was, however, more variety in the cheeses you could have on your pizza.

Also: If you order mozzarella as an appetizer, they bring you this giant wad of mozzarella cheese — bigger than a baseball. And you just eat it with a knife and fork. Mrs. Kerry Spot did order fried mozzarella at one point (in a place with no menus, the proprietor just came out from the kitchen and said, "You want pasta?"), but apparently that was a fried baseball. I guess no one has figured out how to make sticks out of it.

The wine was dirt cheap, and pretty darn good, but then again, I'm no sommelier.


Almost too much everywhere: Mrs. Kerry Spot and I spent about six and a half days just walking around Rome, and I still feel like we only got about half the picture. For example, there is just so much to places like the Vatican. With huge room after huge room packed to the gills with stunning art, paintings, murals, sculptures, jewel-encrusted antiques, etc. in one place, I can see how the Vatican spurred resentment from the rest of the world in times past (and perhaps today as well). And I felt kind of mixed about Rome's intense concentration of great art, architecture, and history in such a small place. There is a stunningly beautiful church almost literally on every corner. And a lot of them seem to be, if not in disrepair, then not getting a lot of work — because, obviously, there's one on every corner, and each individual one is nothing special to Romans, I gather.


Sidewalk traffic: Italians are verbally polite, friendly, and willing to help lost tourists; but physically, when they're walking down the street, it's like a rugby match. On every sidewalk, I'd have three Roman grandmamas standing or walking slowly in front of me, while three speed walkers were pushing behind me.

And the motor scooters! Rome's parking problem is as bad as any major city's, and Romans adjust by using motorcycles and scooters. Of course, there are probably six of them for every car, and they relish speeding directly at you while you're walking down narrow allies and streets.
I was warned about pickpockets, but didn't have any bad experiences over there. They may have been on strike, or perhaps there's some sort of complicated new EU regulation that limits the number of hours they can work in any given day.

The Continent is burning down: I'm not a fan of cigarette smoke, and in Italy, everyone smokes like a chimney. Young, old, man, woman, wealthy, poor, morning, night — every corner, every shop, every café, everybody is puffing away and you feel downwind 24/7.

What's really striking is that this comes from the continent full of folks who lecture Americans about a) healthy living and b) pollution. Hey, here's the deal, Fabio: I'll sign on to the Kyoto Treaty when Europe quits smoking, because for all of the greenhouse gases I'm emitting by using electricity and living in a country with a thriving economy, I'm not constantly burning things. And take your stinky diesel-sputtering cars and Vespas, too.

By the way, in many parts of Europe (including the Munich airport), the smoking section is the general area and the "non-smoking" section is a corner with absolutely nothing keeping the smoke out. This system makes some American restaurants' methods of separating the two look like the Berlin Wall.

I am surprised that all of Europe hasn't burned down by now.

European size: Like most European countries, Italy makes me feel as if I'm walking around in a dollhouse. I realize it is an ancient city, with streets and buildings constructed before the advent of cars. And I realize that ages, poor nutrition and medicine meant people were smaller, and thus they required only small doorways and didn't need such large rooms or sinks or furniture.
I also admit that I am not a small guy, and as I kept loading up on the pasta, I probably swelled like Karl Rove's reputation.

Still, I felt at times like I was visiting the City of the Roman Hobbits. Mrs. Kerry Spot would recommend a cappuccino, and my Starbucks-trained appetite would have to be satisfied by a cup that contained about as much as your average water-cooler paper cup, with a porcelain handle I could barely fit my pinky through. Even the cans of Coke Light (what they call Diet Coke) are smaller. Bumping my head in doorways, barely able to put my tush on chair, hunching in my shoulders to rotate in a restroom. I think the first time I fully extended my arms was when I stepped off the plane at Dulles.

Now, here's a bit of a political observation (besides the Communist-party march I found myself walking through).

The last evening we were there, Mrs. Kerry Spot and I were sitting in a wine bar when, over at the next table, some British banker was discussing Italian culture with a woman who was (I think) his coworker. The guy seemed like the epitome of British propriety, coupled with an incensed mood — picture John Cleese. The gist of his rant was that Italian society is dominated by a patronage system riddled from top to bottom with rampant nepotism and impropriety.

Apparently this made getting anything done nearly impossible, as every business had to find room on the payroll for the boss's mistress, as well as his slow-witted nephews and cousins. One had to wait one's turn for 50-some years to get into any position of responsibility, and then once one got there, the primary method of relieving those decades of stress was browbeating subordinates. Attempting to promote a promising and energetic young employee over an older and mundane employee who had paid his dues by showing up for a quarter of a century was seen as phenomenally risky and a societal taboo.

"It is holding them back in the modern economy," Cleese fumed. "They don't know what's in their self-interest. The Italians are stupid."

"Aren't the Americans stupid, too?" the woman asked, having the audacity to nod her head in my direction. (Cheerio to you too, toots.)

"Of course, but that's different," Cleese said, not willing to be distracted from his current fury at the Italians.

I wouldn't want to base my entire opinion of the Italian economy on the irritation of one wine-sipping Brit, but I would cite it as anecdotal evidence that Old Europe hasn't quite worked out all the details of the opportunity society and the benefits of the free market. Just keep it in mind the next time you read that the EU is going to be the economic superpower of this century.
Sitting in those cafés, eating the good food, it was easy to conclude that Europeans sure know how to live...because they don't know how to work.

For example, all of the guidebooks say, Don't be in a rush when you sit down at a restaurant. Your waiter is used to his culture's leisurely pace. He'll bring you the menu within about five minutes of when you first sit down. He'll ask what you want to drink, and the drinks will come within ten minutes. You could probably knock off a chapter of a book or a section of the paper by the time he returns to take your order. The appetizer will come in about 15 minutes. First course, maybe twenty minutes later. Secondi course, within an hour. Dessert will come after his cigarette break and/or stroll to Florence. The check will come sometime in the spring. If you're paying by a credit card, he'll process it sometime before 2006.

In short, you just have to budget one-and-a-half to three hours for lunch and dinner in these societies. Now, far be it from me to tell the Italians how to run their society, but do you think some of these restaurants might do better if they had more than one party per table per evening? I don't like being rushed out of my table at a restaurant, but American restaurants seem to seat two, three, even four parties at a table in one evening, and the waiters actually hurry, if not hover, over their customers.

It's a different approach to work, and if the Italians prefer it that way, that's their right. But Europeans shouldn't be shocked when the American economy — with its exponentially higher priority on speed, efficiency, and productivity — somehow gallops ahead with much higher growth rates.

Still, I liked the place a lot.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

R.A. Mohler: Kinsey- What You Won't See in the Movie

Monday, November 15, 2004

Kinsey as He Really Was--What You Won't See in the Movie

Brace yourselves. The movie, Kinsey, opened in theaters last Friday, introducing a new generation of Americans to the infamous "father" of sex research in America. Yet, the movie is really not a true portrait of Alfred Kinsey at all. Instead of portraying the twisted and tormented mind of this propagandist for the sexual revolution, the movie presents Kinsey as an angel of light who brought America out of repression and darkness.

Reviewers greeted the movie with excitement. A. O. Scott, writing in The New York Times, declared that "Bill Condon's smart, stirring life of the renowned mid-century sex researcher Alfred C. Kinsey, has a lot to say on the subject of sex, which it treats with sobriety, sensitivity and a welcome measure of humor." Mr. Scott neglects to mention that the movie treats its "subject" without an adequate measure of truth.

Rather than expressing outrage that a scandalous individual with a well-documented pattern of sexual perversity is being celebrated, Mr. Scott sees the movie as a mixture of entertainment and enlightenment. "The director addresses sexuality with candor and wit, but it is the act of research as much as its object that imparts to Kinsey its flush of passion and its rush of romance," he celebrated. He went on to gush: "I can't think of another movie that has dealt with sex so knowledgeably and, at the same time, made the pursuit of knowledge seem so sexy.

There are some explicit images and provocative scenes, but it is your intellect that is most likely to be aroused."The reviewers for Newsweek acknowledged that "Kinsey's methods were far from perfect," but they nevertheless celebrated both the movie and its central character.

Indeed, they commend Kinsey "who shattered any vestiges of Victorian modesty, leading curious Americans from bedroom peephole to upfront view between the sheets." In a sidebar, David Ansen declared that the movie "is a celebration of diversity; its about the solace knowledge can bring." Writing in The Wall Street Journal, reviewer Joe Morgenstern declared that Kinsey doesn't try to sell or exploit sex. According to Morgenstern, the movie "does remarkably well as a cultural history of a vanished time" and "is intelligent to a fault."

Alfred C. Kinsey is one of the most controversial figures in American history--and for good reason. An entomologist by training, Kinsey turned from his intense fascination with the gall wasp to the study of human sexuality. He burst upon the American scene with his pioneering 1948 volume, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Eventually, Indiana University was to establish the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, and the name "Kinsey" was to be associated with progressivist sex education, opposition to traditional sexual morality, and liberation from fixed concepts of "normal" when dealing with human sexuality. The Kinsey Institute has what many consider to be the world's largest collection of pornography, sexually explicit art, and various sexual objects. What the institute does not advertise is its links to data gathered by child molesters and sex criminals.

By any measure, Alfred Kinsey was a tormented and conflicted figure. Raised by a puritanical father and a withdrawn mother, Kinsey's adolescence was marked by sexual turmoil and experimentation. As is now well documented, the young Kinsey was involved in sadomasochistic sexual behaviors and was driven by homosexual desire.In a groundbreaking biography published in 1997, James H. Jones blew the cover on the Kinsey myth. According to this popular and pervasive mythology, Alfred Kinsey was a scientist who brought his rigorous scientific skills and objective scientific interests to the study of human sexuality. The real Alfred Kinsey was a man whose own sexual practices cannot be safely described to the general public and whose interest in sex was anything but objective or scientific.

From the onset, Jones recognized Kinsey's central role in the sexual revolution. "More than any other American of the twentieth century," Jones acknowledges, "he was the architect of a new sensibility about a part of life that everyone experiences and no one escapes." Nevertheless, the real Kinsey was hidden from the public. Jones describes his project in these words: "As I burrowed into more than a dozen archives, read tens of thousands of letters, and interviewed scores of people who knew Kinsey in various capacities, I discovered that his public image distorted more than it revealed." As Jones reports, "The man I came to know bore no resemblance to the canonical Kinsey. Anything but disinterested, he approached his work with missionary fervor. Kinsey loathed Victorian morality as only a person who had been badly injured by sexual repression could despise it. He was determined to use science to strip human sexuality of its guilt and repression. He wanted to undermine traditional morality, to soften the rules of restraint, and to help people develop positive attitudes toward their sexual needs and desires. Kinsey was a crypto-reformer who spent his every waking hour attempting to change the sexual mores and sex offender laws of the United States."

There was more to it than that, of course, and Jones marshals an incredible mountain of documentation to prove this point. In the first place, the adolescent Alfred Kinsey was deeply involved in masochistic self-abuse. In Jones' words, "Somewhere along the line, he veered off the path of normal development and was pulled down a trail that led to tremendous emotional conflict and self-negating physical abuse."Driven by wild sexual fantasies and determined to overthrow what he saw as a repressive sexual morality, Kinsey eventually dropped his study of insects and turned his study to human sexuality. Tragically, Jones must acknowledge that the world of science "would have been better served had Kinsey not allowed his lust for data to obscure his judgment."

What exactly was Kinsey up to? He and his close band of young male associates went about collecting an enormous body of data on human sexuality, first looking at male and later at female populations. In his research on the sexual behavior of males, Kinsey brought his ideological and personal passions to the forefront of his supposedly scientific work. He arbitrarily decided that human beings are to be located in a continuum of development between heterosexual and homosexual poles. He developed a six-step chart and argued that men and boys are arrayed all along this line between absolute heterosexuality and absolute homosexuality. He would later argue that almost forty percent of all males would have some homosexual experience. Of course, hidden from public view was the fact that Kinsey was doing his very best to rationalize his own homosexuality--or bisexuality as later commentators would explain--and was not at all the objective scientist collecting neutral data from a responsible population base.

Among the many problems inherent in Kinsey's research is the fact that he relied upon reports and sexual studies taken from prison populations, including sex criminals. Therefore, Kinsey's notion of "normal" was drawn from a decidedly abnormal population sample.

The most troubling aspect of Kinsey's research is the data he collected on the sexual response of children--especially young boys. Chapter Five of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male considered the sexual experience of boys, including infants. Kinsey wanted to prove that children are sexual beings who should be understood to have and to deserve sexual experiences. In this chapter, Kinsey is largely dependent upon the data contributed by "Mr. X," a man who had molested hundreds of boys ranging from infants to adolescents. As Jones explains: "Viewed from any angle, his relationship with Mr. X was a cautionary tale. Whatever the putative valued as science of Mr. X's experience, the fact remains that he was a predator pedophile." Over decades, this man abused hundreds of young boys, tortured infants, and, as Jones explains, "performed a variety of other sexual acts on preadolescent boys and girls alike."

Kinsey did not condemn this man, but instead eagerly solicited his "data." As a matter of fact, Kinsey went so far as to attempt to pay Mr. X for further research and once wrote to him, "I wish I knew how to give credit to you in the forthcoming volume for your material. It seems a shame not even to name you." Those words betray a moral monster of the most horrible depravity and assured criminality. Alfred Kinsey celebrated the fact that this man had sexually tortured children and, as Kinsey's own published work documents, had sexually abused two-month-old infants. All this was explicit in the data published in Kinsey's 1948 volume, but he was nonetheless celebrated as a sexual pioneer and as a profit of sexual enlightenment.

Unbeknownst to the general public, Kinsey was also involved in sex acts with his staff and in the filming of hundreds of persons involved in sexual activity--including footage taken of his own masochistic sex acts. He and his colleagues paid adolescent boys to perform sex acts on film and turned the Kinsey house into a studio for pornographic documentation. In one incredibly weird twist on the story, Mrs. Kinsey, or "Mac" as she was known, is remembered to have brought refreshments to the participants at the conclusion of their sex acts and video sessions. She was herself filmed in various sexual situations and Kinsey encouraged his associates to engage in sex acts with his wife.

What does the cultural elite now make of all this? The New York Times review acknowledges that the movie takes a great risk "in attempting to deal frankly with its hero's own sex life without succumbing to prurience or easy moralism." In reality, however, the movie doesn't deal frankly with Kinsey's perversions at all. The reviewer concedes, "Sometimes his scientific zeal shaded into obsession, and his methods went from the empirical to the experimental in ways that remain ethically troubling." Ethically troubling? Is that all The New York Times can muster in response to Kinsey's own self-documented and published reports of child molestation?

In Sex the Measure of All Things: A Life of Alfred C. Kinsey, Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy laments the fact that Kinsey is not given the respect of his fellow scientists that he believed he deserved. Nevertheless, even Gathorne-Hardy acknowledges, "The recent digging up of Kinsey's private life, incidentally, is not going to help him" in this respect.

Gathorne-Hardy wrote his book largely in response to the damage to Kinsey's reputation inflicted by Jones' biography. Amazingly, Gathorne-Hardy claims: "Wherever we know something of his sexuality it is at once apparent that, while it hardly ever, if ever, impaired his integrity as a scientist, it had a decisive effect on his work. And where it does once or twice seem to impair that integrity, the effect is either not very significant-or else it is obvious. There is a transparency." This is moral nonsense. Of course, this author attempts to make lemonade out of Kinsey's lemons in more than one way. At one point, Gathorne-Hardy goes so far as to claim that Kinsey's bisexuality was a great asset for his scientific work. "Kinsey was bisexual," Gathorne-Hardy notes, "an almost ideal position, one might think, for someone who was studying sexual behavior in both sexes." Who might think this?

We have become a society that celebrates men like Alfred C. Kinsey and produces movies that present such a man as an agent of enlightenment rather than as a tortured soul fighting his internal demons while soliciting data on the sexual molestation of young children--and filming any number of persons involved in any number of perverted sex acts.

In a letter he once wrote to his associate Clarence A. Tripp, Kinsey conceded, "The whole army of religion is our central enemy." Kinsey knew what he was up against, and his ambition was not merely to collect data, but to overthrow the entire structure of Christian morality in the realm of human sexuality. Instead of being rightly classified as a criminal along with the likes of Dr. Joseph Mengele and other Nazi scientists, Alfred C. Kinsey is now lionized and celebrated in a movie starring Liam Neeson as the supposedly heroic figure. What does this say about Liam Neeson? What does this say about us?
R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. For more articles and resources by Dr. Mohler, and for information on The Albert Mohler Program, a daily national radio program broadcast on the Salem Radio Network, go to For information on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, go to Send feedback to

First Things Book Review- "Dylan's Visions of Sin"

Books in Review
Dylan’s Visions of Sin.
Copyright (c) 2004 First Things 146 (October 2004): 59-63.
The Things That Remain
Dylan’s Visions of Sin. By Christopher Ricks. Ecco. 517 pp. $26.95.
Reviewed by Sean Curnyn

In October 1985, Bob Dylan was interviewed on television, and among the questions posed was this: "There have been times when born-again Christianity, orthodox Judaism, both of those were important to you? Or is it a broader thing for you?" (Broader, you see; not narrow Judaism or cramped Christianity.) Dylan replied courteously, "No. I want to figure out what’s happening, you know, so I did look into it all." The journalist probed for a reason for this narrowness of belief. "Did it make life easier?" he asked with some sympathy. Dylan responded, "Not necessarily."

Dylan’s Visions Of Sin is not, despite its title, an investigation of Dylan’s religious beliefs, though in the course of its pages it sheds some light on the religious elements of his art. It is a study of the poetry of his songs, written by a renowned literary critic who is the author of highly regarded books on Milton, Tennyson, Keats, and T. S. Eliot. (W. H. Auden called Christopher Ricks "the kind of critic every poet dreams of finding.")

In considering an artist who in the past forty years has published about five hundred songs, as well as miscellaneous poetry, it is wise to have an organizing principle. In Ricks’ words (paraphrasing William Empson), "handling sin may be the right way to take hold of the bundle." But not sin alone. Ricks will employ "the seven deadly sins, the four cardinal virtues (harder to remember?), and the three heavenly graces: these make up everybody’s world, but Dylan’s in particular." Ricks finds this approach apt because "Dylan’s is an art in which sins are laid bare (and resisted), virtues are valued (and manifested), and the graces are brought home." This happens not by deliberate plan, but in the course of Dylan’s creation of what many listeners find to be his remarkably true, abiding, and insightful songs.

For Ricks’ purposes, then, it is not necessary that a sin be specifically attacked or (scandalously) practiced in the course of a song—it may be the notable absence of that sin, or some surprising resistance to it, that constitutes its presence. It may be "the only person on the scene missing," so to speak, as in Dylan’s "Jack Of Hearts." And while envy is not what Dylan conveys when he sings "and I know no one can sing the blues like Blind Willie McTell," it provides Ricks with his jumping-off point to explore that haunting lyric of slave ships, chain gangs, and corruptible seed.

An obvious and legitimate question posed by the appearance of a book judging Dylan’s songs by the standards of poetry is: What’s the point? Is not Dylan’s art a musical one, and so isn’t this effort doomed to fall short, or to overreach? Ricks acknowledges that Dylan’s art is threefold, involving music, words, and his voicing of those words. He acknowledges that he is not the critic who can integrate a study of all three into one overarching whole, but he is convinced that it ought to be possible "to attend to Dylan’s words without forgetting that they are one element only, one medium, of his art." The test of this book is whether—with so little reference to musical elements—it is able to expand the reader’s appreciation of how Dylan’s words work their particular magic. In this limited but challenging task, Ricks largely succeeds.

Ricks allows from the outset that he sees his job as "prizing songs, not as prizing-open minds." (Such wordplay is one of Ricks’ charms.) Ricks is not trying to argue with convinced non-aficionados and dedicated deniers of Dylan’s poetic worth. He takes it as given that those reading his book already derive enjoyment from Dylan’s songs, but "may not always know quite why they feel it." The casual fan of Dylan’s music might be advised to approach this book, CDs in hand, as an opportunity to become familiar with many neglected Bob Dylan albums. The book is well indexed, but a deep familiarity with Dylan’s lyrics comparable to Ricks’ own would serve a reader well. Phrases in the book that may appear to be non sequiturs are often the author’s unannotated references to the works of the prolific troubadour. Ricks starts his piece on "The Times They Are A-Changin’" with this: "When I paint my masterpiece, I had better acknowledge that one day it may need to be restored." Readers unfamiliar with Dylan’s 1971 song "When I Paint My Masterpiece" might mistake this for an annoyingly quirky beginning, but even for them Ricks brings it all back home by making one of Dylan’s oldest classics sound fresh and new to the attentive ear. Ricks maintains that the title-refrain itself is anything but a casual construction:

Times change
The times change
The times are changin’
The times are a-changin’
For the times they are a-changin’

Something dynamic has developed from a commonplace phrase; as Ricks puts it, "the acorn has grown into a royal oak."

In the course of a fairly technical exploration that includes reference to the "durative or continuous aspect" of the present tense as employed by Dylan, Ricks notes that "Children of the sixties still thrill to ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’,’ kidding themselves that what the song proclaimed was that at last the times were about to cease to change, for the first and last time in history." Dylan likely knew his song’s durability then, and the sixty-three-year-old Dylan knows it now, as he sings it in concerts to audiences that may include the grandchildren of those children of the ’60s:

"The line it is drawn / The curse it is cast / The slow one now will later be fast / As the present now will later be past / The order is / Rapidly fadin’ / And the first one now / Will later be last / For the times they are a-changin’."

The echo of Matthew 19:30 cannot be missed ("But many that are first will be last, and the last first"), and Ricks points out that this is the last verse of that chapter and likewise "the last admonition of the song." This is just one of the always interesting, if sometimes audacious, direct comparisons Ricks makes between a Dylan lyric and Scripture.

Of course, when Dylan wrote these lines, most of his listeners had no knowledge of the former Robert A. Zimmerman’s Jewish background—and who in the ’60s would have prophesied his later public acceptance of Jesus? Ricks finds Scripture both under and on the surface of much of Dylan’s work, both before and after his overtly Christian songs were written. In "I Believe in You," as in many other songs, Ricks finds echoes of the Psalms. In "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands," from 1966, the "sad-eyed prophet" is identified by Ricks as Ezekiel, a claim he supports with detailed comparison of the song lyrics to that book of the Bible, from the explicit borrowing of "kings of Tyrus" to the stylistic echo of the "wealth and wares" of the city of Tyre in Dylan’s list of the belongings of his sad-eyed lady. (Covetousness is the sin of moment here.)

Most daring perhaps is Ricks’ comparison of Ecclesiastes, chapter 12, to Dylan’s jaunty song "I Want You." Ricks’ litanies of coinciding words and images seem to prove his case, even as they may lead the reader to question, "Well, and what of it? Are we supposed to applaud Dylan for his holy larceny?" And then there are his line-by-line comparisons of specific Dylan lyrics to poems of the past (e.g., Dylan’s "Not Dark Yet" and Keats’ "Ode To A Nightingale"). Should Dylan be admired for modeling his song on this poem, as Ricks believes he does? Not necessarily. The point is that by understanding the artist’s internalization of the Bible (Dylan has called it "the founding book") and his absorption of the lyrical work of predecessors, we may appreciate better the power of his songs. His deepest sources are not to be found in the transient but in the "things that remain" ("When You Gonna Wake Up?").

Interviewed in London in 1981, Dylan mused on his chosen profession and said that he thought a doctor was someone who would be truly worthy of admiration, someone who "can save somebody’s life on the highway." He went on: "Not to say, though, that art is valueless. I think art can lead you to God." The interviewer asked if he thought that this was art’s purpose. "I think so. I think that’s everything’s purpose. I mean, if it’s not doing that, it’s leading you the other way. It’s certainly not leading you nowhere."

"Faith" is the first of the heavenly graces and so has its own chapter in Ricks’ book, which he begins with this statement of full disclosure: "I am not myself a Christian believer, being an atheist." This does arguably give him a more impartial perspective from which to defend the worthiness of Dylan’s gospel-based material from those he calls "illiberal liberal" critics who, when these songs first began to appear, dismissed their former idol as a crazed fundamentalist. By the time of his third album containing explicitly Christian themes (Shot Of Love, 1981), Dylan had been so marginalized that nothing he did got much consideration in the popular media. (He lamented a few years later that Shot of Love’s remarkably live sound, of which he was so proud, had been ignored by critics: "It was just ‘Jesus this, Jesus that,’ as if it was some kind of Methodist record.") In this chapter, Ricks shows how Dylan restores the sacred meaning of the phrase "saving grace" in his song of the same name. It is here not just "a" saving grace but "the" saving grace, which, as Ricks points out, was in older linguistic times, "a term of deep redemption, alive to damnation and to salvation."

For those (not just a few) believers who find nourishment in Dylan’s songs, this treatment by a nonbeliever may actually reinforce the value and centrality of faith in Dylan’s work. Ricks’ broader achievement is to illustrate and explicate how Dylan’s chosen words fall upon the ear and wend their way into the heart in their peculiar and beguiling fashion. Dylan’s Visions of Sin is not the last word on Dylan’s art, nor is it meant to be. But the book does uncover levels of Dylan’s artistry that Ricks is especially qualified to explore.

Back to that 1985 television interview: in it Dylan was asked if he considered himself to be a poet. It’s a question that Dylan had memorably evaded (1965: "Oh, I think of myself more as a song and dance man, you know"). On this day he replied straightforwardly. "I don’t know if I’d call myself a poet or not. I would like to—but I’m not really qualified I think to make that decision, ’cause I come in on such a back door, that I don’t know what a Robert Frost or a Keats or T. S. Eliot would really think of my stuff." Ricks has, in a way, addressed Dylan’s doubts with this book.

Sean Curnyn is writing a book on political and moral themes in the work of Bob Dylan.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Eric Pearson: Dropping the Ball on Title IX

November 17, 2004, 8:28 a.m.

Dropping the Ball on Title IX

It’s time for reform, already.

It was the political equivalent of a first and goal from the one-yard line. At long last, reform to Title IX, the gender-discrimination law, was all set for approval by the Department of Education just last year.

Eliminating the gender quota that has decimated men's college athletics had been a GOP platform issue, after all. Coaches, student athletes, parents, and educators had worked successfully for more than two years to focus media attention on the reckless harm of the department's enforcement methods. A presidential commission was appointed, composed mostly of luminaries from women's athletics, which handed Secretary Rod Paige a thoughtful report with common-sense recommendations. All that was required was his sign-off.

And then...nothing happened. Inexplicably, the report was dumped in a circular file. It was a policy fumble that left college athletes off the field and out of the gym — and high-school athletes wondering what was in store for them.

It is hard to escape the conclusion that Paige, a reform advocate, had been pressured by the White House. The president's domestic-policy advisor, Margaret Spellings, was the point person on Title IX and she had long kept the coaches and reform advocates at arm's length.

The political rationale, presumably, was that radical feminist groups would rally soccer moms in the election cycle, arguing that the president was taking the game ball away from little girls. If that was the thinking, it proved foolish: The president was pilloried nonetheless by those same groups.

Now, incredibly, news reports over the weekend signaled that Paige would resign imminently — and that the White House was touting none other than Spellings to replace him.

At the very least, Spellings owes an explanation to the parents, coaches, and kids. How is it possible that a domestic-policy goal with such broad support and such obvious merit could be scuttled at the very threshold of success? What role did she play in derailing Title IX reform?
Conservatives had reason to hope when the same language for Title IX reform made it into the GOP platform at the New York convention. If Margaret Spellings is in fact nominated to be secretary of education, the coaches, and many others fear their hopes will be dashed.

The questions that senators should put to her at the confirmation hearing are straightforward and deserve candid answers:

As secretary of Education, what would she do to eliminate proportionality — the onerous gender quota that would be tolerated nowhere else in American public life?

Would she endorse the enforcement of proportionality on high-school teams, which would then require the elimination of over 1 million boys from sports activities just to satisfy a 50-50 gender ratio?

Would she offer any regulatory relief to administrators at the historically black colleges who currently struggle with an ever-widening gender imbalance favoring females at a rate of 65 to 70 percent?

Meanwhile, in what is becoming an annual ritual at virtually every school, men's athletic teams are on the chopping block again. Over 100 NCAA men's teams were eliminated last year alone. The termination of more programs is a certainty: School officials reason that only by making their athletic departments exactly "proportional" to their entire undergraduate student body can they protect themselves from government investigation and trial lawyers.

This practice doesn't benefit women in any way, mind you — it is just about making the numbers fit. In sports such as track and swimming, men and women train together, so eliminating male teammates has a negative impact on female performance. Just ask any women's swim coach without a men's counterpart how difficult it is for her to recruit top athletes to her program.
But the reforms are as basic as can be. One vague provision already a part of the law says that schools can comply by providing teams based on the level of interest. So shouldn't we find some clear ways for schools to measure how they can reasonably meet the interest of men and women who want to participate in athletics?

It's worth noting that the quota-activist groups are only getting started with their government-enforced social engineering. At this moment, they are bringing lawsuits and lobbying pressure in various states to bring proportionality to high schools. The legal language they are using comes straight from the Department of Education's own guidelines. For example, the state of California just recently began mimicking the department's enforcement methods; arbitrary roster limits for boy's teams are sure to follow.

But anyone who thinks that the college coaches who started this reform effort will be discouraged by politicians or the gender police ought to think again. We practically invented the word tenacity and our only special interest is in seeing that all athletes get a chance to live their competitive dreams.

So let's make it clear, once and for all: Everyone agrees that men and women should have equal opportunity to participate in athletics. The problem is the unreasonable gender quota, which is clearly causing schools to cap and cut men's teams. President Bush ran on a promise to "leave no child behind," an idea woven into the fabric of the American dream. Educators should be working to secure this promise rather than limiting opportunities for students.

I believe firmly that there is a middle ground, and that a solution is possible. Coaches, parents, and athletes are there. Women such as the WNBA's Cynthia Cooper and the University of Maryland's Athletic Director, Debbie Yow, are there.

Conservatives, of course, have been arguing for these reforms for years. It's time we put the ball over the goal line.

— Eric Pearson is executive director of the College Sports Council, a national coalition of coaches, parents, athletes, and former athletes.

L.A. Times: New Study Assails Law School Anti-Bias Policies

Professor Assails Anti-Bias Program

By Stuart Silverstein
Los Angeles Times
November 17, 2004

UCLA law professor Richard H. Sander, author of a controversial new study concluding that affirmative action hurts black law school students, generally seems an unlikely candidate to challenge a leading liberal cause.

Sander, 48, is a soft-spoken former VISTA volunteer who for years has studied housing discrimination and championed efforts to fight segregation in Los Angeles. A self-described "pragmatic progressive" who supported John Kerry for president, Sander also promoted a local program in the 1990s to help the working poor win more federal aid.

Yet Sander's latest research, to be published this month in the Stanford Law Review, already is drawing widespread criticism from liberal backers of affirmative action and is roiling law schools around the country.

His study asserts that law school affirmative action programs often draw African Americans to tougher schools where they struggle to keep up, leading many to earn poor grades, drop out and fail their state bar exams.

"The big picture is that this system of racial preferences is no longer clearly achieving the goal of expanding the number of black lawyers," Sander said in an interview. "There's a very good chance that we're creating such high attrition rates that we're actually lowering production of black lawyers, and certainly we are weakening the preparation of the black lawyers we are producing."

Affirmative action opponents have made similar arguments about racial preferences in the past, but Sander's research provides new statistics on academic performance. He reports that, in his national sampling, nearly half of first-year black students received grades placing them in the bottom tenth of their classes.

In addition, he found that among all students who entered law school in 1991, 45% of black students graduated and passed the bar exam on their first try, while 78% of whites did so.Sander, who now favors scaling back affirmative action, argues that racial preferences often create an "academic mismatch" that puts black students into competition with white students with stronger credentials. He contends that if the same black students went to less selective law schools, they would earn higher grades, raising their chances of graduating and passing the bar exam.

Some critics who have read a draft of the paper say Sander is probably understating the rate at which blacks pass the bar exam. They also argue that his explanations for black students' lagging performance are based on sweeping, unproven assumptions, and they say that he fails to recognize affirmative action's far-reaching benefits.

"If we look at our society today compared to what it was before we had affirmative action, I think almost everybody would agree it's much better today," said David Wilkins, a Harvard law professor writing a critique of Sander's paper.

"And the very fact that we had affirmative action is a big part of why."At the same time, Sander is widely regarded as a serious, independent-minded academic. Alison Grey Anderson, a friend who has taught at the UCLA law school since 1972, said she admires his intellectual integrity. "If he believes something is true, he's going to say it, and he's really not going to take into account the political consequences," she said.

Amid the controversy these days, she said, "I wouldn't want to be in his shoes."Sander, director of the Empirical Research Group at the UCLA law school, said one of his guiding principles is "the idea that policy changes have to be empirically evaluated before we do them, and that we need to take advantage of social science so we don't throw away political capital on things that aren't going to work."

Likewise, Sander said, affirmative action "needs to be subjected to the kinds of cost-benefit evaluation that we would apply to any social policy." He said he knew his research would ignite controversy. But Sander, who lives in Los Feliz with his two children and wife, Caltech astrophysicist Fiona Harrison, said family issues prodded him to move ahead.

One factor, he said, is the educational future of his 14-year-old son, Robert. University affirmative action could play a role in Robert's life because his racial background is mixed: Sander is white and Robert's mother, Sander's first wife, is black. Sander's other child, a 19-month-old daughter named Erica, has a terminal disease. Her illness, Sander said, reminded him of life's fragility and left him with "a sense of urgency." He said he didn't want to "leave important things unsaid."

Sander, who grew up in rural Indiana, earned his bachelor's degree at Harvard. After graduating, he served as a VISTA volunteer with a community organization in Chicago for a year.Later, he went to Northwestern University, earning both a doctorate in economics and a law degree. In 1989, he moved to UCLA as a law professor.

In Los Angeles, Sander served as president of the Fair Housing Congress of Southern California and helped start a public interest law program at UCLA.Yet even before his latest study, Sander's research occasionally antagonized liberals.

In the 1990s, he was hired by the city of Los Angeles to study a living wage ordinance to boost pay for employers of city contractors, and he provided an opinion supporting the measure. But later, when he was retained by employer groups to study a living wage measure for Santa Monica, he came out on the opposite side, saying it would cost jobs without helping the families who most needed it. The difference, he said, was that the Los Angeles costs would be borne by city government, whereas Santa Monica's proposal would have placed a high minimum wage directly on businesses.

Sander also stirred controversy when he wrote an op-ed piece for The Times last year criticizing the UCLA and UC Berkeley law schools, along with the University of California system, for "back door" programs that sidestep the state's ban on affirmative action. The column expressed his growing concerns that affirmative action "allows us to pretend that our racial problems are simpler than they really are" while avoiding addressing "real problems," such as poor inner-city schools and urban segregation.

His new Stanford Law Review study includes data from the Law School Admission Council on 27,000 students who entered 160 U.S. law schools in 1991.

Critics say Sander vastly underestimates the role affirmative action plays in persuading blacks to go to law school, especially when it means attending a top-tier school near home.

Partly for that reason, a group including two University of Michigan law professors who are drafting a response to Sander's paper estimate that eliminating affirmative action would reduce the number of blacks entering the legal profession by 25% to 30% annually. Sander, by contrast, estimates an increase of about 9%.

Critics also contest the notions that affirmative action is the only reason for poorer law school performance by blacks and that African American students would earn better grades at less selective schools. They say students admitted into more challenging schools often learn more, in part because of greater expectations and resources. In addition, critics say, the connections made at elite law schools may push up their earnings more dramatically later in their careers, a possibility that Sander's study didn't address.

Sander said he hasn't been rattled by the criticism and maintained that it has become easier to discuss affirmative action thoughtfully since the U.S. Supreme Court last year upheld the practice in college admissions so long as it is considered in a "flexible, non-mechanical way."

Sander plans to follow up with studies on Latino and Asian law students and to investigate how affirmative action at law firms affects black attorneys. He said he is concerned that blacks at such firms are stigmatized and consequently don't as often get the experience they need to move up to partner status.

The attention generated by his current paper, Sander said, has been gratifying."What you least want is to write articles that just collect dust," Sander said. "What you most want to do is to get people to think, and this is definitely doing that."

Stuart Silverstein is a Los Angeles Times Staff Writer.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Christopher S. Carson: Saddam Hussein- Al Qaeda's ATM

Saddam, the ATM of Al Qaeda
By Christopher S. Carson
November 16, 2004

The Report of the 9/11 Commission has been digested, and the news media outlets have seized upon it as confirmation of their view that al-Qaeda is a purely stateless entity that never had "operational links" with rogue states like Iraq. Somehow, goes the thrust of the Report, Osama bin Laden was for years able to finance, train, and supply an international terrorist corporation that had ongoing jihad operations in fifty countries - by himself, on no more than a $30 million personal fortune. Thirty million dollars is the budget of a small school district in Wisconsin, where I live. But the 9/11 Commission didn't even bother to trace the money trails of terrorist finance that led to the catastrophe three years ago, calling the question "one of little practical significance."

As a criminal litigation attorney, I can say that who pays the bill is centrally important in every criminal conspiracy. American law makes no distinction between the crook who held up the bank, his friend who drove him to the bank, the lookout man, and the genius who paid for the ski masks. They are all "parties to the crime" in legal parlance. So the central question of our time becomes: Did Saddam Hussein help pay for 9/11, making him legally and morally as guilty as the hijackers themselves? As a lawyer, I think a good case can be made for this in a court of law, a convincing circumstantial case at the bare minimum. Unfortunately, the 9/11 Commission ignored it.

The Commission's report implicitly concedes that money is by its nature fungible. What you save from one funded terror project can now be spent for another terror project - a project that you might not have been able to afford otherwise. It isn't as if bin Laden didn't need the money. As journalist Richard Miniter pointed out in his book Losing Bin Laden, "the most compelling reason for bin Laden to work with Iraq was money." Al Qaeda officials have repeatedly whined, while under interrogation, that cash was always a problem. Saddam, on the other hand, had over $11 billion to play with, from skimming billions off the lucrative UN "Oil-for-Food" scam operation.

1998 was the critical year. Chronology itself can sometimes, in today's trendy words, "connect the dots." According to intelligence relayed in the famous Douglas Feith memo to Congress revealed by the Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri (now the Number 2 in the al-Qaeda hierarchy) paid a visit to Baghdad and immediately met with Iraqi Vice President Ramadan on February 3, 1998. According to the Feith memo, "the [stated] goal of the visit was to arrange for the coordination between Iraq and bin Laden and establish camps in Falluja, Nasiriya, and Iraqi Kurdistan under the leadership of Abdul Aziz."

This visit went well - very well. Saddam's intelligence service in essence cut a check directly to Zawahiri, for $300,000. American officials learned of this payout by "a senior member" of Iraqi intelligence. An administration official later told Stephen Hayes that the payout is so credible as to be undisputed: "It's a lock," the official said. U.S. News and World Report broke the story, and to date no one has ever come forward to question the reality of this payment.

But what did the good terrorist doctor do with Saddam's cash? After he received Saddam's payout, Zawahiri immediately folded up his tent and irrevocably merged his organization with bin Laden's. "The merger was de facto complete by February 1998," the 9/11 Report states. Zawahiri most likely used it to fund the merger costs: to regularize the training and indoctrination of jihad recruits and to jump-start the new project initiatives of al-Qaeda.

It is impossible to believe that Saddam, state gangster extraordinaire, would simply sign over a check to a known terrorist and be unaware of what his money was going for. In effect, this payment helped fund the new, merged al-Qaeda - and its new plots. What was the big plot brewing in 1998? September 11, 2001. Bin Laden and Zawahiri knew they needed to kick their newly funded terrorist network off with a big public flourish. And so, less than three weeks after his new deputy's visit to Baghdad, on February 23, 1998, bin Laden issued his infamous public fatwa. The particular language had been in negotiation for some time, as part of the merger deal.
In the language of the 9/11 Report: The fatwa called for the murder of any American, anywhere on earth, as the "individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it." Dr. Zawahiri had always enjoyed the reception Saddam gave him. He had already met Saddam personally six years earlier, in 1992, to plot terror. But in 1998, within a month of Saddam's payout and Zawahiri's merger with bin Laden, Saddam suddenly started ramping up his collaboration with al-Qaeda.

"In March 1998," the 9/11 Report states, "After Bin Ladin's [Commission spelling] public fatwa against the United States, two al Qaeda members reportedly went to Iraq to meet with Iraqi intelligence. In July, an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet first with the Taliban and then with Bin Ladin. Sources reported that one or perhaps both of these meetings were apparently arranged through Bin Ladin's Egyptian deputy, Zawahiri, who had ties of his own to the Iraqis."

What were these meetings about? Were they just "getting to know you" sessions over hookahs and Turkish coffee between murderers? I submit that they were too numerous just for that: instead, they were about attacking America. No other enemy had Saddam's attention at this time. In 1998, Saddam and bin Laden began, yes, collaborating their PR efforts with energy. On May 1, 1998, Iraq threatened "dire consequences" if the UN didn't pull out the UNSCOM teams, especially Scott Ritter, then the most aggressive inspector (until Saddam, in an amazing coup de main, successfully bribed him with $400,000 sometime later, as the Weekly Standard revealed).

One week later, bin Laden also threatened America with permanent jihad. "Throughout the summer," wrote Richard Miniter, "Iraq's and bin Laden's threatening statements moved in lockstep." This PR collaboration was testified about by Iraq expert Dr. Laurie Mylroie at the New York civil trial brought by 9/11 families and specifically referenced by Judge Harold Baer as being persuasive in his decision holding Iraq responsible for 9/11.

In the hot spring of 1998, the CIA sent a local asset over to the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, Sudan. The man took a soil sample just outside the facility. At the safe house, his CIA handlers tested it for EMPTA, a precursor chemical only used for the deadly nerve gas VX. EMPTA has no commercial, innocent uses. The sample tested positive.

It was not tested again, but four other lines of evidence connected the plant to al-Qaeda/Iraqi joint nerve gas production: 1) Jane's Intelligence Review had recently published minutes of an October 1996 meeting of Sudanese officials that referred to Osama bin Laden agreeing to finance a chemical weapons factory just outside Khartoum; 2) the al-Shifa plant manager, according to then-Secretary of Defense William Cohen, had recently "traveled to Baghdad to meet with the father of the VX program" there; 3) the plant's registered owner, Salah Idiris, was later found to have a close relationship with Sheik Khalid bin Mahfouz, bin Laden's main fund-raiser/financier; and 4) the plant had recently been paid $199,000 by Saddam, ostensibly as part of the UN's infamous "Oil-for-Food" program.

But oddly, there was no record of any "medicine" being delivered to Iraq in the eight months from the inking of the contract and the destruction of the plant by the United States. There was just the money from Saddam, and the nerve gas. By the late summer of 1998, bin Laden succeeded in blowing up two American embassies in East Africa, killing 257 people. Twenty days after the embassy bombings, Uday Hussein published a rabid editorial anointing bin Laden as "an Arab and Islamic hero."

President Clinton retaliated by hitting a bin Laden training camp in Afghanistan and by razing the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant with cruise missiles. Ten days later, Iraqi Vice President Taha Yasin Ramadan jetted to the Sudan to meet with Hassan al-Turabi and other top officials - and to express Saddam's sympathy for being hit by America. Most of all, Vice President Ramadan wanted to extend to bin Laden's Sudanese contacts an offer of asylum in Iraq for bin Laden himself. Bin Laden, in what must have been his last satellite phone call, turned him down and stayed in Afghanistan.

In mid-December 1998, after Saddam again announced a full refusal to cooperate with the UNSCOM inspectors, President Clinton launched Operation Desert Fox to "degrade" (for a few days) Saddam's capacity for producing WMD in quantity. So in 1998, "Iraq was under intensifying U.S. pressure," the Report states. That's putting it mildly. Inspecting the wreckage of his newly JDAMed (Joint Direct Attack Munition, a "smart" weapon) Military Intelligence Headquarters, Saddam must have wanted his usual revenge, but he needed a way to keep his fingerprints off it and thus avoid more U.S. airstrikes.

One way to exact the proper revenge was to keep the money flowing to al-Qaeda and its affiliates. Former Iraqi intelligence officer Abdul Rahman al-Shamari, now in a Kurdish jail, told Jonathan Schanzer of the Weekly Standard that he personally was an aid conduit to Ansar al-Islam on Saddam's orders. Ansar al-Islam is, of course, an al-Qaeda affiliate that was badly bombed during Operation Iraqi Freedom. We gave them money every month or two, Shamari recounted, noting that "on one occasion we gave them 10 million Swiss dinars [about $700,000]."

Shamari's immediate boss was high-ranking Saddam loyalist and Mukhabarat officer Abu Wael. Saddam used Ansar al-Islam to make trouble in the pro-Western Kurdish north of Iraq, Shamari explained. Mullah Krekar, the spiritual head of Ansar al-Islam, while protected by the government of Norway, actually admitted to ABC News that Abu Wael "is an Arabic member of our shura, our leadership council also." The small Philippine al-Qaeda affiliate Abu Sayyaf is known for kidnapping, bombing, ransoming and beheading Americans. It also received cash from Saddam, according to its leader, Hamsinaji Sali, to the tune of 1 million pesos each year since 2000. Further, the second secretary at the Iraqi Embassy in Manila, Hisham Hussein, was "outed" before the Iraq War as simultaneously being a Mukhabarat officer and the boss of an "established network" of al-Qaeda-linked terrorists, primarily Abu Sayyaf.

What conceivable interest could Saddam Hussein have in Islamic terrorists half a world away from Iraq? There is only one answer: Abu Sayyaf was killing Americans. And, of course, there was always Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Zarqawi is to this day writing letters to Osama bin Laden begging for cash to fund his bombings of Iraqi and coalition targets inside Iraq. One of these was intercepted en route via courier and published by Iraq administrator L. Paul Bremer on the Web site of the Coalition Provisional Authority. But Zarqawi didn't show up in Iraq out of a seething but justified sense of outrage over the U.S. occupation. Before the Iraq War, Zarqawi had his own camps in northern Iraq, where he made poisons. He was a ricin specialist, according to Colin Powell in his February 2003 address to the U.N. Security Council. There is no antidote to ricin poison and the result is always death to those exposed.

One of these camps, searched by the Marines earlier this year, turned up a 7-pound block of pure, ready-to-use cyanide. Saddam had his own paid man working right under Zarqawi. When Zarqawi became ill in May of 2002, Saddam put him up in Baghdad's best hospital - used only by the loyalist elite - for two months. Zarqawi never saw the tab. From his bedside, with Saddam's approval, Zarqawi held court over perhaps 24 jihadis in his own group, which coordinated al-Qaeda travelers in and out of the country to places like Saudi Arabia. In case the world missed the point, Zarqawi and his group this week reportedly declared their solemn allegiance to Osama bin Laden and merged with al-Qaeda.

So, back in 1998, how could Saddam wreak a truly satisfying revenge against America? Things needed to come to a head. He sent the deputy head of the Iraqi Mukhabarat, Farouk Hijazi, on a secret mission through the high Hindu Kush mountains in wintry December 1998 to Kandahar to meet with bin Laden, according to the liberal British newspaper The Guardian. Was Hijazi carrying money with him? Unfortunately, the 9/11 Commission wasn't interested in asking. But one remarkable thing immediately happened: according to the 9/11 Report, bin Laden, now confident in the backing of Saddam's Iraq, and "apparently at [military chief] Muhammed Atef 's urging, finally decided to give al-Qaeda planner Khalid Sheik Mohammed the green light for the 9/11 operation," the Report states.

It seems reasonable to imagine that something tangible changed bin Laden's mind. Shouldn't the 9/11 Commission at least be interested in exploring whether or not it was the cold, hard cash from Saddam, brought personally by his intelligence operative, Farouk Hijazi? This money trail, if it exists, will lie in the file boxes of the Mukhabarat's archives.

Saddam used his Mukhabarat operative in Prague, Ahmed al-Ani, to keep tabs on the 9/11 project through its ringleader, Mohamed Atta. Saddam also employed Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, a lieutenant colonel in the Fedayeen Saddam, to babysit some of the 9/11 hijackers in Kuala Lumpur at the major planning session in early January 2000. Puddles of ink have been spent on these two connections, particularly by Stephen Hayes in his book The Connection.

The 9/11 Commission airily dismisses the Prague connection in a few sentences, and doesn't bother to mention the Shakir trip to Malaysia. As September 11, 2001, loomed, Saddam could hardly conceal his anticipation. Two months before 9/11, the state-controlled Iraqi newspaper Al-Nasiriya carried a column headlined "America, An Obsession Called Osama Bin Ladin." In the piece, Ba'ath Party writer Naeem Abd Muhalhal predicted that bin Laden would attack the U.S. "with the seriousness of the Bedouin of the desert about the way he will try to bomb the Pentagon after he destroys the White House."

Saddam's writer also insisted that bin Laden "will strike America on the arm that is already hurting [i.e., the economy] and that the U.S. "will curse the memory of Frank Sinatra every time he hears his songs" - an apparent reference to the Sinatra classic "New York, New York." Judge Baer relied in part on this too-clever-by-half article as he issued his decision holding Iraq liable for September 11.

A mere two weeks before the strike, Saddam put his entire military on high alert, expecting the United States to bomb him in response. Only a single news source, Con Coughlin of the British Daily Telegraph, reported this fact, which has never since been disputed. The American bombs would actually come more than a year and a half later, but in the meantime, Saddam and his sons waxed rhapsodic over the carnage of September 11. "America is reaping the thorns planted by its rulers in the world," Saddam gloated to Agence France-Presse. Uday Hussein exultantly proclaimed, "These were courageous operations carried out by young Arabs and Muslims!" according to quotes picked up by the Saudi daily Asharq al-Awsat. I rest my case. If Saddam has a defense to it, no one has yet presented it.

Christopher S. Carson, formerly of the American Enterprise Institute, is an attorney in private practice in Milwaukee.

Nat Hentoff: Kerry Critic Displays Courage Under Fire

November 16, 2004

The Chicago Sun-Times

Of all the targets of vitriol and attempted ambushes during the presidential campaign, I most admired John O'Neill of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth for his calm determination to stand his ground on his charges against John Kerry's Vietnam service in Unfit for Command, the book he co-authored.

O'Neill was called a ''liar'' to his face on a number of TV appearances, and, on an Oct. 14 ''Nightline,'' ABC-TV's Ted Koppel actually sent a crew to Vietnam to film alleged eyewitnesses in order to disprove one of the accounts -- how Kerry won his Silver Star -- in Unfit for Command.

Casually, ABC news director Andrew Morse mentioned that ''the Vietnamese require an official minder to accompany journalists on reporting trips.'' The minder-censor from the Communist totalitarian state was there to ensure that the ''eyewitnesses'' stuck to the government script.

On camera, O'Neill told Koppel: ''You went to a country where all the elections are 100 percent elections, and you relied on people that were enemies of the United States'' for this "testimony." O'Neill repeatedly showed Koppel how the supposed eyewitnesses contradicted Kerry's own accounts in the past.

At first, the mainstream media had ignored the charges of the Swift Boat Veterans. Alison Mitchell, deputy national editor of the New York Times, admitted to Editor & Publisher that she's ''not sure that in an era of no-cable television we would even have looked into [the Swift Boat story].'' Cable television and the Internet allowed the public to examine both sides of the Swift Boat Veterans stories.

Moreover, in an Aug. 22 Washington Post story, reporter Michael Dobbs noted -- as O'Neill has -- that ''although Kerry campaign officials insist that they have published Kerry's full military records on their Web site (with the exception of medical records shown briefly to reporters earlier this year), they have not permitted independent access to his original Navy records.''

When Dobbs tried to get those records through a Freedom of Information request, he was told by the Navy Personnel Command that the full file -- consisting of at least 100 pages -- could not be released unless Kerry himself signed a Standard Form 180 granting permission. To this day, Kerry has not signed that release form.

In his story of one contested episode during Kerry's service in Vietnam, Dobbs found that the edge was toward Kerry's version, but that in Dobbs' extensive interviews, the accounts by both Kerry and his Swift Boat opponents ''contain significant flaws and factual errors.'' Only Kerry refused to be interviewed for the story.

Among the relatively few reporters who have engaged in substantial research on the contentions of both sides, the most painstakingly persistent has been Thomas Lipscomb in his reports in the Chicago Sun- Times and the New York Sun. Lipscomb has found much that credits O'Neill's charges, and so have I. Former publisher of Times Books and an old-fashioned journalist, Lipscomb is an insistent fact-checker, dogged until he's ready to file his story. Accordingly, a Lipscomb report on the front page of the Nov. 1 New York Sun begins:

''A former officer in the Navy's Judge Advocate General Corps Reserve has built a case that Senator Kerry was other than honorably discharged from the Navy by 1975. . . . The [subsequent 1978] 'honorable discharge' on the Kerry Web site appears to be a Carter administration substitute for an original action expunged from Mr. Kerry's record.''
If I were still teaching journalism, I would have the students study Lipscomb's article as an example of the quality of research that complex stories require, but do not often get during the hurried reporting in the present 24-hour news cycle.

A few other reporters have taken the time to find out more about the so-called Bush operative John O'Neill. In both the Aug. 28 New York Times and Los Angeles Times, a careful reader would have discovered that O'Neill voted for Democrats Hubert Humphrey and, years later, Al Gore for president. And his favorite presidential candidate this year was John Edwards. Also, O'Neill has described George W. Bush as an ''empty suit.''

Yet, on Election Day, historian Douglas Brinkley -- who wrote a hagiographic book on Kerry, Tour of Duty, triumphantly told the Financial Times that the mainstream media have ''exposed Kerry's critics as liars and frauds.'' I would not take a course with that careless historian, but I respect O'Neill for his courage and his public service for having enabled many Americans to look much more closely as John Kerry's presidential qualifications. And, indeed, the Swift Boat Veterans did a lot to keep Kerry from the Oval Office.

Christopher Hitchens: Powell's Valediction

[Read Mr. Hitchens' lengthy but very informative piece on the departure of Secretary of State to it below]

Monday, November 15, 2004

Julia Duin: Silenced Priest Warns of Crisis in Catholic Church

12 November 2004

Starting today, 290 of the nation's Catholic bishops will meet at the Capitol Hyatt for their yearly business meeting and to tie up loose ends on the massive sexual-abuse crisis that has shaken the U.S. Catholic Church to its core in the past two years.

Although it's been less than a year since the church revealed that there were 10,667 cases of abuse committed by 4,392 priests in a 50-year period, the message at the meeting will be that the crisis is under control.

But it's far from over, says a local Catholic priest who says the true source of the crisis is a priesthood that is "honeycombed" with homosexual clerics, especially in the Diocese of Arlington. However, attempts by the Rev. James Haley, 48, to persuade his bishop of the problem have backfired. After hearing from the priest about numerous instances of homosexual activity among diocesan clergy, Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde ordered the priest silenced Oct. 23, 2001.

This "precept of silence" — usually only employed during church trial proceedings — is rarely used to silence a whistleblower. Thus, in the past three years, Father Haley's case, which also involves accusations of sexual misconduct against him, has become a cause celebre among many Catholics in the Diocese of Arlington.

It's also attracted the attention of the Vatican, which summoned him to appear before an ecclesiastical court in March. Church officials held two more hearings on the matter this summer and last week scheduled a fourth hearing in conjunction with the bishops' meeting.

Less than 24 hours later, after the priest, now living several states away, had bought nonrefundable plane tickets to Washington, the meeting was canceled suddenly.

Father Haley says his only crime is his insistence that homosexual priests, not solely pedophiles, are at the root of the sexual-abuse crisis. The Catholic priesthood is demoralized, he says, by groups of homosexual clerics who control who gets admitted to seminary, which men get nominated for bishop and which priests get the plum parishes.

Based on his 17 years in the priesthood, he estimates that 60 percent of the Diocese of Arlington's 127 diocesan priests are homosexuals, which is high compared with national estimates of 30 percent to 50 percent from other authorities on the priesthood.

As his prospects of returning to life as a parish priest dwindle, he has amassed reams of tapes, videos, photographs, e-mail messages and 1,200 pages of documents for a tell-all book on homosexuality and the priesthood.

"I am astounded the bishops will protect these guys, promote them, even make them bishops," he says. "This is a huge moral issue, and if the bishops aren't clear on this, the pope needs to rule on it.

"People will say there's nothing wrong with homosexual priests as long as they are celibate. Well, that is a totally naive statement and totally wrong."


Father Haley, who is living on a $1,700 a month stipend from the Arlington Diocese and relies on his motorcycle for transport, says his troubles began after several confrontations with his bishop over the priest's charges that homosexuals were indulged by the diocese. Bishop Loverde, in turn, has leveled several charges at the priest, ranging from sexual misconduct to talking with the press. He has turned the case over to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, overseen by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

The cardinal asked Bishop Thomas G. Doran of Rockford, Ill., to preside at an ecclesiastical court, which has met in three closed sessions this year. Once the case is wrapped up, it will be forwarded to the Vatican for judgment. Bishop Doran was "supportive," Father Haley says, but he told the priest, "We cannot discuss the homosexual issue because there are people above us who don't think it's a problem."

"He also explained to me: Even if I was to win this hearing, Loverde would appeal this to another [Vatican] congregation. If I lose, I cannot appeal it, but if I win, he can appeal. So three to four years might pass." Although Bishop Doran's office did not respond to several requests for comment, the Rev. Arthur Espelage, executive coordinator of the Canon Law Society, an Alexandria-based group of 1,500 specialists in church law and court procedures, says Bishop Doran's intervention means that the Vatican is concerned.

"This is a lot more serious than Bishop Loverde being ticked off at Haley," he says. But Stephen Brady of the watchdog group Roman Catholic Faithful says Father Haley "made Loverde look bad, so they will make him pay a price by dragging this case out as long as they want."

"The bishops defend pedophile priests by saying canon law forbids them from removing them without just cause," he says. "But if someone like Father Haley embarrasses a bishop, the church ignores canon law and throws him out."

War of Words

When questioned by The Washington Times on Sept. 8, Bishop Loverde refused to discuss the case and Father Haley's accusations.

"The canonical process is undergoing," he said, "and I cannot comment on it." However, he has resurrected some 1995 sexual-misconduct charges against Father Haley made when the Most Rev. John R. Keating was bishop of the diocese.

The sexual-misconduct charge, Father Haley says, was from a 1994 conversation with a female friend, who, while describing the effects of her breast cancer, placed the priest's hand on where the surgery had taken place.

Although the woman and her attorney both refused comment when contacted by The Washington Times, the priest says, "There was no sexual misconduct." "I've never had sex in my entire life," he says.

Bishop Keating found Father Haley not guilty of impropriety and assigned him a post as assistant pastor at All Saints Catholic Church in Manassas, the largest church in the Washington area with 20,000 members. He was planning to promote the priest into a church pastorship in Sterling, when he died suddenly in Rome in 1998, says the Rev. James R. Gould, former vocations director for the diocese.

Father Haley is "a good man and a good priest," Father Gould said. "I am very concerned for him. It is still my hope to have him back in the priesthood, and he is always welcome with me." Father Haley never got his promotion. According to a 233-page deposition filed July 24, 2002, in Arlington County Circuit Court, the priest became aware of an affair between a married parishioner, Nancy Lambert, and the Rev. James Verrecchia, then pastor of All Saints and Father Haley's boss. Mrs. Lambert became pregnant with Father Verrecchia's child, divorced her husband, then married the priest in the spring of 2000.

Mr. Verrecchia is now parish administrator at Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Atlanta. Jim Lambert, the divorced husband of Nancy Lambert, then filed a $5 million suit against the diocese on the grounds that Bishop Loverde knew of the affair months before the priest was ordered to stop seeing Mrs. Lambert.

The person who informed the bishop about the affair in June 1999 was Father Haley. In the 2002 deposition, which Roman Catholic Faithful has posted at, Father Haley also revealed sexually graphic details about other priests in the diocese. "The bishop said there is nothing wrong with these guys," he recalled. "I said, 'You haven't lived with them.' "

The Arlington Diocese is one of a few in the country that refuses — at least on paper — to sponsor homosexual applicants for seminary. Most dioceses admit such applicants with a variety of sexual histories, although the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will reconsider this policy at its June meeting in Chicago.

Father Haley contends that Bishop Loverde is loath to enforce diocesan policy, which was installed by his predecessor, Bishop Keating. "I was never asked by my bishop if I was gay," Father Haley said. Bishop Loverde "told me he had no right to ask that question, but I said you have a right to ask that question if you are putting men together [in parish rectories] who are sexually attracted to each other."

Root of the Problem

The Rev. Donald Cozzens, author of the 2000 book "The Changing Face of the Priesthood," estimates 50 percent of all Catholic priests are homosexual. Psychotherapist Richard Sipe, a former Catholic priest who has written and spoken widely on the priesthood, says 15 percent of homosexual priests are sexually active.

If all homosexual clergy were to leave the U.S. Catholic Church now, the church would lose one-third of its bishops as well, added Mr. Sipe, whose new book on priestly sexual abuse dating back to the fourth century, comes out Nov. 15.

Father Haley says homosexuality is at the root of the huge priestly sex-abuse crisis in which 81 percent of the cases involved victims who were males younger than 18, according to a USCCB investigation. "Isn't the huge amounts of AIDS among the clergy a symptom of the problem?" he asked, citing a 2000 Kansas City Star estimate of the rate of AIDS deaths among priests that is at least four times that of the general population.

"These are guys who are supposed to be celibate, virtually chaste and modest. "But I've seen priests put on cologne, dress up and go on dates with guys." He wonders whether Pope John Paul II understands this. "I would ask him, 'Your Holiness, is it proper to hire these men or not?' " Father Haley said. "You have to question whether or not these guys even have the rudiments of the faith."

The Catholic Church teaches that homosexuality is an "intrinsically disordered" condition and, on Oct. 25, released a document saying such behavior "is not consistent with moral law." But it has no formal prohibition against homosexual priests. A Feb. 2, 1961, Vatican directive does say that "advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty."

In March 2002, as the clergy sex-abuse scandal in Boston assumed national proportions, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls told the New York Times that, "People with these inclinations just cannot be ordained." He added, "That does not imply a final judgment on people with homosexuality ... but you just cannot be in this field."

That same year, Pope John Paul II told Brazilian bishops to be extremely careful when screening men for the priesthood so as to avoid "deviations in their affections." "It is an ongoing struggle to make sure the Catholic priesthood is not dominated by homosexual men," Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the USCCB, told the Associated Press. Father Haley says the problem goes straight to the top.

"Loverde had said to me there's nothing wrong [with homosexuality] as long as you're celibate," he said. "So I said there would be nothing wrong with me living with nuns the rest of my life as long as I am celibate. He just looked at me."

Support From Home

Northern Virginia Catholics have demonstrated outside Bishop Loverde's chancery, sent Father Haley 600 letters of support, contributed money to help defer his legal costs and set up a supportive Web site:

"I know Father Haley to be a dedicated, holy priest," said a former member of St. Mark Catholic Church in Vienna, Va., where the priest served from 1987 to 1991. "He impressed me with his reverence during Mass and excellent homilies, which have been always true to the Gospel. He was well-liked and well-respected in our parish," she said in an interview on the condition of anonymity.

She attributed his current troubles to "his zeal for the church," adding, "He wants it pure and holy." Michael Gray, a parishioner at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Fredericksburg, Father Haley's last parish, said he was "a very good priest." "He's a brilliant speaker. He's the best. There wasn't anything wrong with him. He just told the truth. He just stood up, and look where it's gotten him. He's been sent to limbo."

Charles Molineaux, a Catholic lawyer from McLean, buttonholed Bishop Loverde about Father Haley when he spotted the prelate at a funeral this spring. "Loverde told me I needed to have patience," he said. "I said, 'Well, you know, bishop, justice delayed is justice denied.' " "At that point, he blew his stack. He said I was being judgmental. I said, 'Well, I am a lawyer, and we make judgment calls, and you are being unjust.' "

Many local Catholics were shocked to read about two priests exposed in the deposition Father Haley gave in the Lambert divorce lawsuit, which the diocese unsuccessfully tried to seal.

The Rev. William J. Erbacher of St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Franconia resigned soon after the deposition revealed that he embezzled church funds and collected homosexual pornography featuring young boys. The diocese has never revealed the results of two audits of Father Erbacher, one conducted by the diocese and the other by the Internal Revenue Service.

St. Stephen the Martyr Church in Middleburg, Va., takes phone messages and mail for him.

The Rev. Daniel Hamilton, pastor of St. Mary's Church, resigned after the deposition claimed he kept a collection of sadomasochistic and homosexual pornography in his rectory bedroom. After a psychiatric evaluation for what the bishop termed his "improper activity," he went to live at St. Francis de Sales Church in Kilmarnock, Va.

The diocese lists both men as on leaves of absence. Father Haley said he provided Bishop Loverde incriminating material about six other priests in the diocese, plus additional names culled from e-mails in Father Erbacher's files.

"There were homosexual jokes being sent not only to men around the diocese, but to priests around the country," he said. Which is why, Father Haley said, he was summoned to the diocesan chancery on that October afternoon in 2001, given four hours to vacate his rectory and ordered by the bishop to remain silent.

The bishop's only public response to Father Haley's charges came a year later — in Sept. 14, 2002, and Dec. 3, 2002, letters defending his actions after the story hit the newspapers and TV.
"I want every parishioner in this diocese to know that allegations by some in the media stating that I have ignored priestly misconduct are absolutely false," he wrote. "While Father Haley was always free to 'go over my head' and bring his accusations and criticisms to other ecclesiastical authorities, he chose instead to resort to the media."

Several of Father Haley's advocates suggest that Bishop Loverde got advice on priestly silencing from Altoona-Johnstown, Pa., Bishop Joseph Adamec. Bishop Adamec's diocesan newspaper, the Catholic Register, ran a front-page photo of the two bishops on May 5, 2003, and informed readers that Bishop Loverde had been invited to speak in the diocese.

On Sept. 9, 1999, Bishop Adamec forbade a local priest, the Rev. Philip Saylor, from talking about the diocese's track record on sexual-abuse cases. Father Saylor was given a canonical "precept of silence," the same as was given to Father Haley, and threatened with excommunication if he disobeyed.

The bishop posted the order on his Web site,, and wrote a March 17, 2003, letter to the Wall Street Journal defending his decision. The bishop was under some pressure, because the Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown had published in June 2002 an investigation saying the diocese had allowed at least 10 pedophile priests to continue working while abusing hundreds of boys.

"There's a point where you have to put your faith on the line," Father Haley said. "You have to put your life at risk. I am willing to die for this. I am willing to stand up for the truth. Someday, this will all come out. The abuse scandal will seem small compared to this."