Culture Wars Feature Article

The Apology In Context: Fifty Years of Catholic-Jewish Kulturkampf

by E. Michael Jones

This article was published in the May, 2000 issue of Culture Wars magazine. Order


When the people-Israel was locked in its ghettos and the Torah was its life and holiness its way, they had something to say to the world. But the world did not ask them. Now the world is asking. And the question is: does Israel still have the power to speak? - Samuel F. Dresner

I look forward to saying "Shalom" to you on the information superhighway! - Alan Dershowitz

That Sam Shapiro would call was not unusual. He calls frequently. Unusual was the fact that he could not tell me why he called over the phone. "Read the paper," he kept saying. It was as if the announcement of a cataclysm of such unimaginable magnitude could only take place in person. So, after we had returned from Mass that first Sunday in Lent, he arrived at the door with the paper in hand which he promptly threw down on the coffee table as if playing the trump card in a long-running high-stakes game.

"What do you say to that?" he asked.

The that in question was a article by Knight-Ridder reporter, David O’Reilly entitled, "Pope will apologize for Catholics’ sins." The future tense in the title was significant even if its significance was overlooked by Sam in his eagerness to get a reaction from me.

"Kneeling before the altar of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican at a special ‘Day of Pardon Mass,’" O’Reilly wrote that the pope was "expected to read a prayer acknowledging the role of Catholics in such horrific episodes as the Inquisition and the Holocaust, and for such religious wars as the Crusades, and the conquest of the Americas." In addition to all that, the Church was also expected to apologize for the "suppression of scientific knowledge including Gallieo’s observation that the Earth revolves around the sun." Rounding out the Enlightenment’s wish list of mea culpas, O’Reilly asked what Marianne Duddy, executive director of Dignity, the lobby for Catholic homosexuals, would like to see on the list, and she responded by opining that the pope "should apologize ‘for the terrible sense of shame and alienation’ it induced in homosexuals ‘by naming them as sinners.’"

"What do you say to that?" he said again. And then sensing some hesitation on my part, assuming that not knowing where to begin meant not knowing what to say, he added, "You have the right to remain silent."

So I was on trial, and I was on trial because the Church was on trial, or, more accurately, I was on trial because the Church was involved in plea bargaining in the court of public opinion where it had admitted, according to news reports, that it was guilty, as charged of crimes against humanity. The infamy was hoping to get by perhaps with a lighter sentence before she was finally crushed in the court of public opinion by the Enlightenment press, which functioned in this instance as judge, jury and executioner.

The apology, as one has come to expect in such matters, turned out to be dramatically different than what got reported in advance in the papers. Neither the Inquisition nor the Crusades was mentioned by name, contrary to what O’Reilly had predicted. Instead, Cardinal Ratzinger apologized for the "sins committed in the service of the truth" in the following words:

Let us pray that each one of us, looking to the Lord Jesus, meek and humble of heart, will recognize that even men of the Church, in the name of faith and morals, have sometimes used methods not in keeping with the Gospel in the solemn duty of defending the truth

The pope responded by asking God to "accept our resolve to seek and promote truth in the gentleness of charity, in the firm knowledge that truth can prevail only in virtue of truth itself."

In a statement released around the same time the apology got made, Cardinal Ratzinger attempted to defuse some of the criticism the apology was causing in the press and to clarify some of the confusion the document was causing among the faithful by claiming that the apology grew out of the liturgical life of the Church. "The newspapers speak, and with reason," he said, "of the 'mea culpa' of the Pope on behalf of the Church, but this is already done in the prayer that introduces the celebration of the liturgy every day. The priest, the Pope and the laity, all... confess before God and in the presence of
brothers and sisters that they have sinned."

Then all but admitting that he knew that the apology would be used by the enemies of the Church to claim that they had been right all along, Ratzinger tried to put the apology in its historical context beginning with the Protestant revolt and the accusations it leveled against the Church and proceeding up to the Enlightenment, "from Voltaire to Nietzsche, which sees in the Church the great evil of humanity that carries all the fault that destroys

Even granting all that, Ratzinger felt that "we are in a new situation, in which the Church can confess its sins again with greater liberty, and thus invite others to confession and to profound reconciliation. This gives a new humility and new confidence to confess sins and recognize salvation as a gift of the Lord."

Although the reports in the Catholic Press made clear that the "document said the church was holy and cannot sin, but that its members have sinned through the ages," that distinction was largely lost on the columnists who wrote about it and saw in the apology a vindication of their view of the Church as the root of all evil in an otherwise progressive world.

The document which inspired the liturgical apology, Memory and Reconciliation: the Church and the Faults of the Past, admitted in its introductory remarks that "admission of faults committed by the sons and daughters of the Church may look like acquiescence in the face of accusations made by those who are prejudicially hostile to the Church." One priest in Rome expressed similar misgivings giving his reading of the reaction of the curia to the apology:

Most of the priests I've spoken to here don't have strong opinions on the pope's apologies. Most of them concede that a pontiff has the right to pontificate; and he at least asked forgiveness for the Church's failures in standing up for life in the womb. What rankled more were the genuflections by Cardinals Mahony and Law, which reinforced the widely held idea that the only way you can sin is to act against the liberal agenda. They both had laundry lists of political correctitude: women, homosexuals, Indians, utility infielders, etc. Donna Shalala or Hillary could have written it for them.

"Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony," according to a Catholic News Service report of the penance service held in his archdiocese, "asked forgiveness for any of his own actions or those of the archdiocese and its Catholics that have offended or hurt others. He made specific apologies to Jews, Muslims, women, ethnic and cultural minorities, organized labor, victims of clergy sex abuse, divorced and remarried Catholics and women religious. To gay and lesbian Catholics he apologized for ‘when the Church has appeared to be non -supportive of their struggles.’"

Although Ratzinger’s mea culpa was clear enough, the response by the pope— asking God to "accept our resolve to seek and promote truth in the gentleness of charity, in the firm knowledge that truth can prevail only in virtue of truth itself"—was unsettling in its ambiguity. Just what does it mean to say that the truth can prevail only in virtue of truth itself? Since there are no footnotes in liturgies, the serious observer would have to read the apology’s preliminary document by the International Theological Commission, Memory and Reconciliation: The Church and the Faults of the Past to learn that the statement about the truth defending the truth was taken from Dignitatis Humanae, the Vatican II document on religious liberty. Reading through Memory and Reconciliation, however, especially section 5.3 on "The use of Force in the Service of the Truth," only adds to the confusion. "‘Another sad chapter,’" we read there,

of the history to which the sons and daughters of the Church must return with a spirit of repentance is that of the acquiescence given, especially in certain centuries to intolerance and even the use of force in the service of the truth." This refers to all forms of evangelization that employed improper means to announce the revealed truth or did not include an evangelical discernment suited to the cultural values of peoples or did not respect the consciences of the persons to whom the faith was presented, as well as all forms of force used in the repression and correction of errors.

According to footnote 78, the internal quotes in the above quote refer to section 35 of Tertio Millennio Adveniente, but when we turn to the official Vatican translation of that document, it condemns not force in service of the truth, but rather "violence in the service of the truth," a crucial distinction in the realm of moral theology, since it is clearly licit to use force to defend the truth. By using the word force instead of violence, Memory and Reconciliation involves itself in an internal contradiction as well because in the next section, the one on Christians and Jews, it goes on to ask forgiveness for Christians who did nothing to stop the murder of the Jews during World War II. "Did Christians," it asks, "give every possible assistance to those being persecuted, and in particular to the persecuted Jews." If it is wrong to use force in defense of the truth, then Christians can’t be criticized for doing nothing to save the Jews, because that would have necessarily required the use of force.

The ambiguous use of "force in defense of the truth" is finally only resolved by a close reading of Dignitatis Humanae, from which the quote "that the truth can prevail only in virtue of the truth itself" is taken. Dignitatis Humanae makes perfectly clear that this statement refers only to religious worship and not to either the civil order or the moral order, both of which demand that force be used to defend the truth. The context in Dignitatis Humanae makes this clear:

Truth can impose itself on the mind of man only in virtue of its own truth, which wins over the mind with both gentleness and power. So while the religious freedom which men demand in fulfilling her obligations to worship God has to do with freedom from coercion in civil society, it leaves intact the traditional Catholic teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies toward the true religion and the one Church of Christ.

If, in other words, the civil authority "presumes to control or restrict religious activity it must be said to have exceeded the limits of its power." That use of force would automatically become a form of violence, which is never licit. That being said, however, the state "has the right to protect itself against possible abuses committed in the name of religious freedom" as well as "the responsibility of providing such protections . . . for the necessary protection of public morality. All these matters are basic to the common good and belong to what is called public order" (#7). If that is the case, the state would have the right to repulse forced conversions, which means in a historical context that Christian states would have the right to prevent Christian from being subjected to forced conversions to Islam, which would mean, in theory at least, that the Crusades were justified because their purpose was to prevent religious coercion.

"It has always remained the teaching of the Church that no one is to be coerced into believing," Dignitatis Humanae correctly states, but it has never been the teaching of the Church that "all forms of force used in the repression and correction of errors" is wrong, especially since the state, and this means Christians states as well as the Papal States, had to use force to preserve both the civil order and the moral order upon which it is based. To say that the truth has no need of force to defend it is to deny the reality of sin in history and to collaborate in the persecution of virtue by sins of omission. It is also a radically anti-cultural statement because the purpose of culture is to make the choice of sin difficult and virtue relatively easy. If the Church were ever to abandon force in defense of the truth, she would effectively abandon public life to the libido dominandi of the powerful and unscrupulous. By eschewing force in defense of the truth, the Church would collaborate in the exploitation of the weak, whether they be Jews in Nazi Germany or the unborn in, say, the United States. Taken at face value, the apology for force in defense of the truth as stated in Memory and Reconciliation, involves the document in self-contradiction when it criticizes Christians for not helping Jews.

The liturgical "Confession of Sins against the People of Israel is relatively unambiguous, when compared to the apology on sins committed in service of the truth but all the more misinterpreted. In it Cardinal Cassidy prayed that "Christians will acknowledge the sins committed by not a few of their number against the people of the Covenant." The nuance which distinguishes between the Church which cannot sin and the people in the Church who sin on a regular basis was lost on Sidney Zion, who nonetheless praised the pope in his column for New York Daily News. "The pope," according to Zion, "asked God to forgive the sins of his church against the Jews." This, of course, is precisely what the pope did not do. Zion’s column which went out of its way to praise Pope John Paul II for the apology and Pius XII for saving the lives of 860,000 Jews, stopped short of the reconciliation which Ratzinger had hoped the apology would inspire. "The only Jews," Zion wrote, "who could possibly forgive the Church are dead. Some of them have been dead for 2000 years. It would be chutzpah for Jews today to forgive the killers, whether they be early Christians or recent Nazis."

So if Cardinal Ratzinger were expecting the Jews to reciprocate by apologizing for, say, Arnold Rothstein’s role in fixing the 1919 World Series, he was in for a disappointment. The apology was simply used as one more occasion for scoring points in the ongoing Jewish-Catholic culture wars of the past 40 years.

"The issue," according to Rabbi James Rudin, ecumenical officer for the American Jewish Committee "is not what he pope is going to say, but what its impact will be in, say, Philadelphia: in the parishes, in seminary training, in the schools, the hymns, the scriptural readings and homiletics and Good Friday Services." Like David O’Reilly, who is quoting him, Rabbi Rudin had not read the papal apology at the time he made his comments, but that, of course, did not prevent him from commenting because the agenda he wanted to apology to foster was already in existence. In fact, as the revealing reference to Philadelphia indicates, it has been in existence since the Cultural Revolution of the ‘60s, when the Jews teamed up with Protestant establishment to make war on the demographically potent but politically vulnerable Catholics. The AJC was one of the prime revolutionary organizations during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, and Rudin’s comments give some indication that that agenda is still in operation against, say, Philadelphia and Catholic enclaves throughout the rest of the country, a battle which I documented in John Cardinal Krol and the Cultural Revolution.

No one states this more frankly than Leo Pfeffer, who was a lawyer for a whole host of cultural revolutionary groups including Rabbi Rudin’s AJC. Pfeffer described the Cultural Revolution of the ‘60s as a conflict between the Catholic Church and the Enlightenment. According to Pfeffer, the Catholics "hope for an America in which, if not all will be Catholics, all will adhere to Catholic values," values which include opposition to the sexual revolution which was the heart of the Cultural Revolution: i.e., "no divorce, no contraception, no abortion, no obscene books or pictures, no homosexuality, everybody worshipping God in his own way, government solicitous of and helpful to religion, and children and adults equally obedient to their parents and lawful authority" (God, Caesar, p. 20).The other side "liberal Protestants, liberal Jews, and deists [i.e., secular humanists] ," hoped for
a different America: one in which individuals enjoy maximum freedom of thought and expression, contraception is used and encouraged to control population and avoid the birth of babies that are unwanted or cannot adequately be cared for, women's right to control their own bodies is recognized and respected, the sexual practices of adults, whether of the same or of different sexes, are of no concern to anyone but themselves, governmental institutions avoid manifestations of religiosity, public schools are free of sectarianism, and citizens are not forced to fight in a war they deem immoral or in any war. (God, Caesar, p. 20-1)
With the candor of a victor who had nothing more to fear from his opponents, Pfeffer was never vague about who it was he was fighting for all those years. For Pfeffer, the enemy was, quite simply, the Catholic Church. In a memoir which appeared in the mid-’70s (published with mordant irony in the liberal Catholic magazine Commonweal ), Pfeffer went to some length to explain his animus against the Catholic Church. "I did not like it," Pfeffer wrote
because it was monolithic and authoritarian and big and frighteningly powerful. I was repelled by the idea that any human being could claim infallibility in any area, much less in the universe of faith and morals, and repelled even more by the arrogance of condemning to eternal damnation those who did not believe it.( Leo Pfeffer,"The ‘Catholic ' Catholic Problem," Commonweal, August 1975, pp 302-305.)
The Church which Pfeffer grew up hating (if that is not too strong a word) was the Church he got to know as a Jewish immigrant in New York City. During the time Pfeffer was growing up and getting started in the legal profession, the Catholic Church was, in his opinion, "one if not the single most powerful political force in the nation." It was a time, when, to use his own words,
Pius XI and Pius XII reigned over the Catholic world and Cardinal Spellman ruled in the United States. It was the pre-John XXIII-Vatican II era, and it was during this period that my feelings towards the Catholic Church were formed.
In the Commonweal memoir, Pfeffer refers to his daughter's threat when she didn't get her way to "marry a Catholic army officer from Alabama," because that particular configuration of Catholicism, the military and the South embodied all that Pfeffer did not like about America. At another point Pfeffer talked about the impression Catholic schools made on him as a young man:
I often saw children lined up in separate classes as they marched in. All the children were white; each group was monosexual; all the boys wore dark blue trousers and white shirts, all the girls dark blue jumpers and white blouses; all the teachers were white and wore the same nuns' habits.
Once Pfeffer gets started, the reasons for his animus against the Catholic Church start to pour forth in an increasingly frank as well as an increasingly hostile litany of offenses against the liberal Weltanschauung. Pfeffer did not like the fact that the Church opposed the Equal Rights Amendment; he is annoyed that "among the children outside the parochial school on the way to my office there are only a sprinkling of black faces"; he does not like the fact that the Vatican still defends papal infallibility and Humanae Vitae, the 1968 encyclical banning the use of contraceptives; he even opposes the practice of having first confession before first communion. ("I know it's none of my business," he adds as if realizing that his animus is getting out of control even by his own standards, "but you asked didn't you?") Pfeffer disliked the Church because of its size and because of its unity and because of its internal coherence and because of its universality, all of which contributed to its political power. He disliked it as well because it was, in his words, "monolithic," because with "monolithity," he tells us, "goes authoritarianism."
Pfeffer's animus toward the Church never really changed, but it did abate somewhat, primarily because the Church's influence in society had diminished and because the confusion in its own ranks increased—in no small measure because of Pfeffer's activities. "What do I think about the Church today?" Pfeffer asked rhetorically in the mid '70s, "In short, I still do not like it, but I do not like it less than I did not like during that period, and the reason is that, while it is still what it was before, it is considerably less so, if you can make out what I mean."
We know what you mean, Leo. Pfeffer had beaten the Church in the cultural revolution of the ‘60s to the point where it was a shadow of its former self in terms of political power. The history of the last 40 years has been the history of increasing Jewish animus against Catholics, during which the Catholics have taken a beating defending the moral order. This battle stretches from the Catholic defeat in defending the Hollywood production code through the Ginsberg obscenity decision, wherein Philadelphia handed the pornography industry a defeat it never forgot, through Lemon v. Kurtzman, all the way to Hitler’s Pope and the most recent academy awards ceremony with teary-eyed tributes to abortion propaganda and Billy Crystal making jokes about the pope. All of these battles have one thing in common, they were part of a struggle between Jews and Catholics over control of the culture which Catholics have lost on a consistent basis for going on 40 years now.

Rabbi Samuel Dresner has taken note of this cultural struggle from the vantage point of a Jew who is outside of the mainstream of Jewish life, which is to say, from the point of view of a Jew who still believes in the Torah and the God who is its author. The results, according to Dresner, have been catastrophic in terms of the morals of the country. Jews, because they have been in the forefront of this revolutionary movement, have suffered disproportional damage to their own family and morals, to the point where they are now threatened with extinction by the policies they have foisted on the nation as a whole. In seeing the moral dimension of the cultural revolution, Dresner differs from a mainstream Jew like Alan Dershowitz, who according to his own account, goes to synagogue on the high holydays but can’t make up his mind whether God exists. Dershowitz, who is also worried that Jews will shrink to a minuscule and insignificant segment of the American population by 2076, promotes the big tent theory of Judaism as a way of maximizing its power, something which causes him problems of definition. A Jew, according to Dershowitz, is not someone who believes in God; he doesn’t necessarily follow the law in any consistent fashion. He does not accept the testimony of the prophets. Because he wants to maximize the number Jews, Dershowitz even rejects the racial definition of Jew as one born of a Jewish mother. According to Dershowitz:

In America, and in other nations that separate church from state, one’s Jewishness is a matter of self-definition and anyone who wants to be considered a Jew or a half Jew, or a partial Jew or a person of Jewish heritage has a right to be so considered (Alan M. Dershowitz, The Vanishing American Jew: In Search of Jewish Identity for the Next Century, p. 324).

So, this means that anyone who defines himself as a Jew is a Jew, right? Wrong. Lest anyone slip into this view Dershowitz quickly draws the line: "I do not mean to include former Jews who practice Christianity," he adds in a footnote. So according to this view, which was essentially Hitler’s view, a Jew is essentially an anti-Christian who has no core of beliefs of his own. Sigmund Freud was a Jew in spite of the fact that he was an atheist, and Edith Stein was not a Jew in spite of the fact that her mother was a Jew and she worshipped the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and died in a concentration camp with people who were there because they, like she, were considered Jews. Dershowitz is clearly uncomfortable with his position even in the act of stating it because it reduces Judaism to nothing more than an anti-Christian ideology:

Indeed, for many Jews the only factor that distinguishes Judaism from Christianity is a negative one: We reject Jesus as the Messiah. That is why we are so appalled by "Jews for Jesus." In addition to the often misleading proselytization, they also shove in our faces the uncomfortable fact that it is only the rejection of Jesus as Christ that really distinguished most Jews from mainline Christians. . . . Indeed it is fair to say that most American Jews, outside of the Orthodox, seem to have more in common even religiously with mainline Protestants than they do with the ultra-orthodox Hasidim. (Dershowitz, The Vanishing American Jew, p. 195).

If, as Dershowitz says, "God is not central to my particular brand of Jewishness" (p. 180), then what he calls Judaism is really an ideology whose main tenet is hatred of Jesus Christ. That Protestant denominations pose no threat to people like Dershowitz (vide supra) means that his enemy, like Leo Pfeffer’s, will be first and foremost the Catholic Church. Since Jews like Dershowitz do not believe in God, he does not ipso facto believe in the Mosaic law as authored by God and therefore sacred and binding, and since he does not believe in the law, his ideology will not be plagued by scruples about how to deal with his enemies. He will be, for lack of a better word, a revolutionary, and in Dershowitz’s definition of Judaism as anti-Christian animus we see the basis for all modern revolutionary groups, something which Rabbi Dresner has noted.

"American Jews," according to Dresner, "by and large, have made a caricature out of Judaism, not only by the vulgarism and crass commercialism that pervade their communal life, but, more to the point , by too often abdicating the intellectual life of the faith of Israel to the fads of the time." (Dresner, Can Families Survive in Pagan America? pp. 190-91). Dresner includes among these fads "the new politics of communism" just one of the ideologies which has made Jews "among the chief advocates of modernity."

Emancipated from their ancient faith by the onslaught of modern thought, which the antiquated Judaism of the time was ill-prepared to refute, they transferred their yet unexpended messianic fervor into the new religion of Marx (Dresner, p. 325).

As the attraction of political revolution faded with things like Stalin’s pact with Hitler, the Jews transmuted their revolutionary fervor into sexual liberation.

An unusually high percentage of the material on sexual liberation was written by Jews, as well as significant representation among its advocates. On a more commercial level, for example, Jews have been strongly represented in Playboy enterprises. B’nai Brith’s Anti-Defamation League had no problem, for example, when some years back they presented their American Freedom Award at a fashionable black-tie dinner-dance to Hugh Hefner. (Dresner p. 325).

Dresner notes that the ADL honored Hefner for "a philosophy of social change." The fact is noteworthy when it comes to defining mainstream American Jews of the sort Alan Dershowitz represents, a group whose identity is religious in only the negative sense, i.e., by rejection of Jesus Christ. Given this raison d’être, any "philosophy of social change" a group like this would espouse would be ipso facto revolutionary. It would necessarily espouse the overturn of morals as away of destabilizing the civil order, as a way of taking poltiical control. This theory of sexual politics, as espoused by Wilhelm Reich, another secular Jew, is precisely what Hefner embodied in Playboy magazine, and it is precisely for embodying it that the ADL honored him.

Sam Shapiro bobs around on this troubled sea of Kulturkampf like a cork at the Battle of Jutland. Sam was born in 1927 to a couple which ran a grocery store in the West Bronx and effectively turned Sam over to his Polish Grandmother to be raised. Since his grandmother never really mastered English, Sam’s first language was Yiddish, something which Sam mastered by reading Der Vorwartz, especially the advice column known as "the Bintel Brief," which would comment on concerns of the first and second generation of Jewish immigrants, things like "My son is dating a shiksah. What should I do?" As the first generation died off, the paper's circulation declined. Sam tells the story of a funeral passing the Vorwartz office in lower Manhattan. After watching it pass by the window, one
of the reporters turned to the printer and said "Cut the printing by one!"

Sam eventually got a Ph.D. in history but by the early ‘60s his career had stalled. He had been denied tenure at three universities and after coming back from a year in Castro’s Cuba and was faced with the prospect of accepting a one-year appointment or working as a teacher for the Marxist government of British Guyana, when he got word that Notre Dame was looking for someone in history. Having already been turned down by three universities because of their policy of not hiring Jews, Sam went to the interview at Notre Dame with some trepidation, wondering why a Catholic college would be interested in a Jewish history professor. He soon found out. After being feted for his entire stay, he suddenly realized at the elaborate dinner they had for him that he was leaving soon and no one had interviewed him.

"Don’t worry, Sam," the department chairman told him. "Father Hesburgh told us to hire you."

Just why Hesburgh wanted to hire Sam became clear when he was sent almost immediately after arriving as a lowly assistant professor to the Rockefeller foundation to ask for money. Notre Dame wanted to show its liberal bona fides by sending a Jew as its representative. Accompanying Sam was Julian Samora, a recently minted Ph.D. in Sociology, who got his degree only on the third try after flunking his prelims twice and only over the protests of the professors who thought he had flunked them the third time as well. Notre Dame was heavily into affirmative action, which was in reality a form of ethnic politics. By sending a Jew to represent them, they were telling the Rockefellers that they could be trusted to use their money in a way that would not jeopardize the interests of the WASP ruling class.

Sam had re-entered my life about a year or so before the pope’s apology via another phonecall, which came as out of the blue as the one this Sunday morning. In the course that conversation, he announced that when he looked in the mirror he saw "the face of a dying animal." Sam was 71 years old at the time; he was being tested for cancer. He thought he was dying. Thoughts of that sort, as they often do, led to thoughts about the next life. which led to a contemplation of the four last things: death, judgment, heaven, hell. Hell was a topic he found especially intriguing. Sam couldn’t believe in the existence of an actual hell where people suffered the pains of everlasting fire, but he couldn’t reject the idea out of hand either. He was swept first on way and then another depending on his mood or his blood sugar levels or what he perceived as the nearness of eternity. Since he was a retired Notre Dame professor, he had developed the unfortunate habit over the years of consulting the Notre Dame theology department whenever he had a question about the Catholic faith. In the matter of hell, they assured him that "no one" believed that stuff about "everlasting fire" anymore, just as years earlier a priest assured him that Jews didn’t need to convert. After taking the priest’s advice, Sam then noticed that the priest left the Church to get married. The simplest solution in this instance would be to accept Judaism, but Sam couldn’t do that either. At one point, he took me to the local synagogue’s Bible study class where, to the embarrassment of most people there, he kept turning the discussion of Deuteronomy into a discussion of Jesus Christ. At another point Sam, who was a chess champion in his younger years, volunteered to teach chess to the children who belonged to the synagogue, only to have the Rabbi forbid the lesson because the children were using pencils to write down the chess moves, something which constituted work on the Sabbath. Sam couldn’t see the point and bid the Rabbi farewell, but he couldn’t bring himself to convert to Catholicism either, although he offered to take instruction on a number of occasions.

The prospect of Imminent death has a way of clearing the mind. Our disposition toward the four last things follows from the decisions we have made in this life. But all of the moral decisions we make are contextualized by one larger decision about our relationship to God and the Christ. The question Christ asked of Peter is the one he asks of us, "Who do you say that I am?" At the beginning of the third millennium, it is safe to say that no one gets out of this life without answering that question. Similarly, no one answers that question with his feet on some unshakable ground. Everyone attempts to answer that question while adrift in storms of passion, which find their source in our own corrupt desires and the devil’s encouragement. So if Peter could negate his answer with a denial then it’s not surprising that Sam would be swept to and fro on seas of doubt and passion as well. Once it became apparent that he was not going to die (at least not within the next few months), his attitude toward Christ changed. The healthier he got, the more he talked about evolution. At one typical meeting: he would place a rock on the table in front of me as if he had just trumped my ace in a high stakes game and ask, "What is your explanation?"

Needless to say, I have no explanation of rocks. If it wasn’t a rock from Cincinnati, it was the rings around Saturn. "I guess the heavens proclaim the glory of God," I said. But that is the wrong answer. The right answer is that evolution makes God an unnecessary hypothesis. If it wasn’t rock from Cincinnati, it was a copy of Hitler’s Pope. If it wasn’t a copy of Hitler’s Pope, it was the pope’s apology. What do these things have in common? One thing: if the church is wrong, Sam is right. Sam doesn’t have to repent. Sam will tell God a few jokes when he dies, and he will be admitted into the place where Paul Kurtz and his followers go after they die. At some point after the discussion about "everlasting fire," Sam resolved to enter the Church through the door known as baptism after considering Pascal’s wager.

Then he changed his mind. It turns out that he got his prostate test back, and it turned out that he didn’t have cancer after all. And with that the stakes in the game of salvation decreased significantly. From being convinced that Pascal’s wager wasn’t such a bad risk, he went on to being convinced that he had another 20 years to live. That conviction, strengthened by attendance at a cheerleading session on atheism led by the folks at Free Inquiry convinced Sam that religion was an opiate which he had kicked. The pope’s apology coming when it did simply confirmed Sam in feeling that he had made the right decision in rejecting the Church. After all, why should a Jew join an anti-Semitic organization? What followed was the same old assault. On a daily basis, I would have deposited on my desk, more articles on evolution and more rocks from suburban Cincinnati. Their common denominator was that the Church was wrong. Coming on the heels of his class in geology, the apology made Sam feel that he had just sold his stock before the market crashed.

When I mentioned the fact that the latest version of the missing link, a creature with a lizard’s tail and a bird’s wings— now known as "Piltdown Chicken" after National Geographic admitted that it had been confected by an enterprising Chinaman— had been exposed as a fraud, it made no impression on Sam. Hope springs eternal for those who believe in evolution. Such faith, Christ might exclaim, have I not found in all of Israel! Ironies, of course, abound here. Evolution was ultimately used by the WASP establishment as the justification to erect the immigration laws that kept Jews out of the country in the period following 1921. Evolution broke the hold that Christianity had over the mind of the WASP establishment. It shattered their belief that all men had descended from Adam and were, therefore, brothers and erected in its place the idea that the newly expelled Russian Jews were some inferior form of life, an idea which Hitler acted on in an especially dramatic way after he picked it up from Madison Grant. That we now have Jews like Sam promoting evolution is a tribute to our educational system’s ability to socially engineer the people it has under its control.

The deal Sam cut at Notre Dame was emblematic in many ways of the deal Jews made with the WASP establishment in this country. The arrangement is fairly straight forward and sketched out in rough form in Digby Baltzell’s 1964 book The Protestant Establishment , the point of which is to urge fellow WASPs to admit Jews to their exclusive clubs. According to Baltzell,

a crisis in moral authority has developed in modern America largely because of the White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant establishment’s unwillingness, or inability to share and improve its upper-class traditions by continuously absorbing talented and distinguished members of minority groups into its privileged ranks. . . . I have focused on the problem of anti-Semitism largely because the present position of the Jews in this country best illustrates the nature of the conflict between the forces of caste and aristocracy, which is my central theme (p. x).

Baltzell prefers aristocracy, which is based on merit, over caste, which is another word for ethnicity, which he associates with obscurantism, convinced as he is that "these [i.e., Whig] traditions are being threatened in our time by the divisive forces of racial and ethnic prejudice." In The Protestant Establishment, Baltzell describes a schism in the WASP ruling class according to which the good guys are represented by Harvard and the bad guys by exclusive clubs like Union League and the Links. The good guys, according to Baltzell, are

a small but growing minority of old stock aristocrats, following the Whig tradition in England, were willing to share their privileges with distinguished members of minority groups in order to maintain their traditional power and authority within the ranks of some sort of new and heterogeneous establishment; they first became Progressives under Theodore Roosevelt, eventually supported Woodrow Wilson and finally joined and often led the Democratic Party during the Great Depression, and many of their sons were inspired by the aristocratic style of the New Frontier (p. xii).

There is, of course, a downside flowing from this strategy, especially if it is viewed from the point of view of the ethnic groups that are getting colonized by it. In Das Kapital, Karl Marx wrote (and Baltzell quotes him) that "the more a ruling class is able to assimilate the most prominent men of the dominated classes, the more stable and dangerous its rule." Following the same line of thought Paul M. Sweezy, himself a Harvard grad, criticizes Harvard’s strategy "as recruiters for the ruling class, sucking upwards the ablest elements of the lower classes and thus performing the double function of infusing new brains into the ruling class and weakening the political leadership of the working class" (Baltzell, p. 344).

This, of course, is precisely the strategy which Baltzell is urging the WASP establishment to adopt vis a vis the Jews. "Today," Baltzell writes, "when our steadily expanding postwar economy is demanding more and more leaders of ability and education , regardless of ethnic origins, an upper class which is still based on the caste criteria of old-stock Protestant origins is simply an unrepresentative anachronism. (The Protestant Establishment, p. 19).

But even in urging it, Baltzell really never gets around to explaining the real downside of the Whig assimilationist paradigm. The real downside is that assimilation means extinction because the price of admission into the WASP ruling class is the adoption of WASP sexual mores, which means the use of contraception and abortion on their own offspring by the people who wish to assimilate. Baltzell never mentions the moral degeneracy of the WASP ruling class in his book, but that and the resultant lack of offspring is why they had to close this deal with the Jews in the first place. There simply weren’t enough Protestants around to staff the establishment they had created. In order to keep the empire running, the ruling class in the United States, like the ruling class in England a century before, had to turn to the Jews to run it with them and eventually for them. But in order to be admitted to the ruling class, the Jews had to assimilate, which meant that they had to adopt the sexual practices of their betters, which meant in the long run that their short-term success guaranteed their long-term extinction.

Alan Dershowitz is very aware of the fact that the Jews are threatened with extinction. His book The Vanishing American Jew deals precisely with this topic, specifically with the threat that

Our numbers may soon be reduced to the point where our impact on American life will necessarily become marginalized. One Harvard study predicts that if current demographic trends continue, the American Jewish community is likely to number less than 1 million and conceivably as few as 10,000 by the time the United States celebrates its tercentennial in 2076 (The Vanishing American Jew, p. 2).

Unfortunately Dershowitz can no more look the real cause of decline in the face than Baltzell can. Dershowitz can’t bring himself to look at the cause because that would call into question his political identity as a liberal, an ideology which is based on sexual liberation. So instead of facing the real issue, Dershowitz tries to find scapegoats—things like alleged proselytism of the Religious right—anything it would seem other than the fact that the Jews contracepted and aborted themselves out of existence in the interest of short term political power and wealth. At one point Dershowitz says that "where the Nazis failed in their nightmarish plan to eliminate Jews as a potent force in the world, we ourselves may succeed" (p. 24), but he never gets around to mentioning, much less condemning, the means that made that "success" possible.

Dresner does not mention contraception in his book, but he does mention the threat which "pagan" sexual mores pose to the continued existence of Israel:

Caged within ghetto bars for centuries, the Jews emerged into the freedom of Western society where they drank in its culture, tasted its pleasure, and enjoyed its power. They demanded citizenship and were so eager to be accepted by the majority that they often offered themselves, sacrificed their history, faith and way of life, their "identity," in order that the stigma of their difference might be obliterated. The roads they traveled, the difficulties they met along the way to achieve this goal have been described in countless records and are embedded in the memory of almost every Jewish family in the twentieth century (Dresner, p. 234).

Dresner mentions Woody Allen’s film Zelig as "a satire on the absurdity of the lengths to which Jews have gone to assimilate," but Dresner’s solution means a return to the Mosaic law and belief in God, something which Dershowitz is unwilling to accept. "They," Dresner writes of people like Dershowitz, "want their children to retain the essence of Judaism, without necessarily living under its constraints and burdens" (Dresner, p. 56). Dershowitz at one point cites historian Geoffrey Barraclough’s claim that "demography is destiny" (Dershowitz, p. 50) but is unable to draw the obvious conclusion from that remark, namely, that contraception precipitated the demographic crisis in the WASP ruling class which brought the Jews to power, and that in order to get to power they had to adopt the mores which begat that very crisis.

This is a truth which is now slowly dawning on Sam Shapiro.

"Neither of [my] children," he wrote in an e-mail message which he circulated to friends, "— through no fault of their own — is married, and it seems that the long, long, long line of Shapiros and Kaufmans may come to an end with us. Rather sad. My Catholic editor neighbor friend around the corner is reading Allen Dershowitz' book on The Vanishing Jews [sic]. Dershowitz says my case is symptomatic, that higher education, late
marriage, birth control, and intermarriage, will reduce the number of Jews in
America to less than a million with consequent loss of cultural and political importance. Well - Gloria and I won't live to see that

Sam may not see that, but there is every indication that his children’s generation is upset by the prospect and acting in a manner different than their parents. The generational split in the Podhoretz and Kristol clans over support of John McCain is one indication that the older generation’s understanding of itself as a permanent minority is not shared by the younger generation, which tries to manipulate the media which the Jews dominate to maximum political effect, with sometimes disastrous consequences, as McCain’s neocon inspired attack on Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson showed.

"Many postmodern Jews," Dresner wrote referring to precisely this generation heading, however in another direction, "have discovered a puzzling truth: No license has replaced the Law . . . no Jaguar, a child" (p. 329). America’s Jews of the modern generation, for the most part, took the Jaguar instead of the child. The thought occurred to me when Sam arrived at my office once again, this time to wave his pay stub from TIAA-CReff. The stock market had made him a millionaire, but he still didn’t have any grandchildren, and, given the ages of his children, is unlikely ever to get any. When I asked Sam if he were planning to take it with him, he replied, "Of course. If I can’t, I’m not going to go."

Since demography is destiny, the Jews who made that choice are now faced with the consequences of their actions, and as a result, many of them are not happy. In Alan Dershowitz we see the Jewish version of Madison Grant, the man whom Digby Baltzell as the "ideal defender of a vanishing America." Just as Grant’s 1916 magnum opus The Passing of the Great Race in America, touches on WASP fear about the differential fertility resulting from the use of contraception which will eventually lead to the demise of WASP political hegemony in the United States, so Dershowitz touches on Jewish fears of the same thing. Both men also attempt to turn what is essentially a moral problem into a racial problem. Both WASP racism and Jewish racism have as their unacknowledged common denominator the deliberate repression of the basic moral truth that both ethnic groups were responsible for their own demise because of the widespread adoption of contraception. The same thing can be seen in Malcolm X’s systematic demonizaton of the white race. In each instance the charismatic ethnic leader engages in projection of guilt rather than looking the truth in the face. Instead of acknowledging the moral flaw that lies at the heart of the demographic problem, Grant and Dershowitz create racial demons which are to act as scapegoats for the unacknowledged sexual sins of the ethnic group which brought about its own demographic demise by sexual degeneracy. Racism is invariably a sign of sexual decadence and demographic decline. In both Grant and Dershowitz, what claims to be concern over the survival of a favored ethnic group is in reality the ruling class lamenting its coming loss of power because of its failure to reproduce. Instead of confronting the source of this problem in sexual degeneracy, demagogues like Grant and Dershowitz and Malcolm X rely on appeals to racial fantasies because they know that telling the truth would make them unpopular. Alan Dershowitz applies the same sort of demonization to the Christian right that Grant applied to the Russian Jews who were Dershowitz’s forbears for precisely the same reason. They can’t face the fact that "demography is destiny" and that their coming loss of political power is based on their own degenerate sexual practices.

Sam Shapiro and his wife bought into the same deal, although he did not recognize it as such when it was made. At that point, all he knew was that his second wife wanted to become a professor and that that would be hard to do while raising a large family. Although they didn’t see it at the time, the price which was exacted for assimilation was lasting political power, and that is so because offspring are the basis of political power. Assimilation means that the Jew wins over the short term, but loses over the long term because he sacrifices his children for success. Alan Dershowitz and Rabbi Sam Dresner have little in common politically, but both are Jews and both are aware of the deal that Jews have cut to be accepted. If you contracept we’ll let you into our club. If you contracept we’ll give you a Jaguar. The Jews took the Jaguar instead of the child. Sam Shapiro has two children, ages 37 and 39 and no grandchildren, nor does it seem likely that he will have any.

Father Hesburgh tried to do the same deal for Catholics by taking Rockefeller’s money and working to change the teaching of the Catholic Church on contraception. For his pains, he was recently given the Congressional Medal of Honor, but he didn’t succeed, as evidenced by the fact that there are 60 million Catholics in the United States and 1 billion worldwide. But what proved to be a disaster politically for the Catholics turned out to be a disaster demographically for the Jews. They were not numerous to begin with. Now their numbers are decreasing dramatically as part of the deal they cut with the WASP establishment. Which may explain their resentment against the Republican Party and the WASP establishment as evidenced by the recent McCain candidacy.

In spite of his name, John McCain was the Jewish candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. Marvin Olasky, himself a Jew (although not the kind Dershowitz would accept) was attacked as an anti-Semite when he defended George Bush in a by now famous article in the February 16 issue of the Austin American-Statesman against what he called "the Party of Zeus," an oblique reference to the anti-Christian bias of the neocon Jews who were backing McCain. "Jewish neoconservatives," Franklin Froer announced in the New Republic in an article that defended him in much the same way that the Atlantic defended Dan Quayle in his fight with Murphy Brown, "have fallen hard for John McCain. . . . McCain has also won over such leading neocon lights as David Brooks, the entire Podhoretz family, the Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz and columnist Charles Krauthammer , who declared in a most un-Semitic flourish, ‘He suffered for our sins.’"

The McCain candidacy took off when George Bush, the WASP candidate, announced that his favorite philosopher was Jesus Christ. Once Bush mentioned Jesus Christ, the media began its attack in earnest. What looked like bi-partisan disapproval—Frank Rich was a liberal and Bill Kristol was a conservative, after all—turned out to be upon closer inspection Jewish disapproval. Jews did not like to hear presidential candidates mention Jesus Christ. Jews do not like George Bush. McCain had been primed to respond to this challenge to secular hegemony over public utterance by his adviser, Marshall Wittmann, another Jewish neocon who had worked with Bill Kristol, giving McCain articles from the neocon Weekly Standard which advocated Kristol and David Brooks’ theory that Republicans should return to the domestic activism and foreign interventionism of Theodore Roosevelt. McCain’s candidacy went down in flames when he flew to Virginia and attacked Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson as a way of stealing the Republican Party from the religious right. In this bit of overreaching we see once again an indication of Jewish pique against their WASP masters in the post-modern generation. They assimilated to get power, but they got power at the expense of offspring and so now that power is going to be taken away from them. The recklessness of the McCain campaign bespeaks just this sense of we’ve-got-nothing-to-lose recklessness in a group which stands currently at the pinnacle of its political power but knows it is going to lose that power over the long haul and decides, as a result, to go for broke in the short run.

The recklessness of the McCain campaign bespoke, when all was said and done, Jewish anger at the Republican Party, which had become a surrogate for the WASP establishment. After following Digby Baltzell’s advice, the WASPs were now being attacked by the very people they so magnanimously let into their club. The McCain candidacy showed deep-seated Jewish anger at the WASP establishment, of the sort that Digby Baltzell would say was tantamount to biting the hand that feeds it, but Baltzell had already predicted what was going to happen: "The polished graduate of Harvard in the third generation," he wrote, "will surely not be content. . . either to remain within the confines of his ethnico-religous community or to remain forever a marginal man" (Baltzell, Establishment, p. 75). Baltzell could have been describing here the difference between Irving Kristol, who wrote in National Review that Jews will always be a minority in this country and should behave accordingly, and his son Bill, the man who just about single-handedly orchestrated the McCain attack on the WASP establishment in the Republican Party. The Jews, as Dershowitz makes clear, exterminated their own ethnos with contraception and abortion, and now they realize too late that they are passing from the political scene. The power they sought so avidly is not theirs to wield, and what they have is going to be taken away from them . The same rule that applied to the WASPs applies to them: No progeny, no power. Just as the WASP aristocracy had to admit Jews to maintain the empire, so now Jews will have to admit the goyim to maintain an empire their unborn children cannot inherit because they were never born. This is, needless to say, painful to admit. It will always be easier for demagogues to follow the path of least resistance for short term gain, and so instead of uttering their own mea culpa for promoting sexual revolution, the Jews lash out at their imagined enemies. Hence, McCain’s attack on the religious right and the publishing industry’s attack on Pius XII.

This phenomenon is nowhere more apparent than in the area of foreign policy. Jews in America never had the demographic clout to elect their own legislatures. But foreign policy is not decided by popular election. For years the WASP establishment ran the state department by drawing its members from Yale in general and secret societies like the Skull and Bones in particular. George Bush senior was a member of Skull and Bones, and George Bush preserved the old WASP hegemony over the state department and foreign policy. As a result, the Jews did not like George Bush and worked for his defeat. That animus has carried over into their dislike of his son. Hence, the McCain candidacy.

The prohibition against Jews in higher levels at the State Department was removed when Bill Clinton became president. We know this because Alan Dershowitz says so in his book. "Bill Clinton’s presidency," he writes, "marked the end of discrimination against Jews in the upper echelons of government. For the first time in American history, the fact that an aspirant for high appointive office was a Jew became irrelevant in his or her selection" (Dershowitz, p. 9). Before long, again according to Dershowitz, "all the officials in Clinton’s administration at that time who had power over the economy—the Secretaries of the Treasury, Commerce, Labor and Agriculture, as well as the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board— were Jews." Dershowitz left out the secretaries of state and defense, but, as if to calm the fears of the anti-Semites, goes on to add that "as Jews these individuals will no be serving any particular religious or ethnic agenda" (Dershowitz, p. 59).

Dershowitz concludes his book by calling for a world-wide congress of Jews, modeled on the one Theodore Herzl convoked in Zurich one hundred years ago. Dershowitz’s conference, however, will not be held in Zurich because "Switzerland has disqualified itself [as place for the conference] by its disgraceful role during the Holocaust and its current attempt at covering it up" (Dershowitz, p. 340). By mentioning Switzerland, Dershowitz exposes the disingenuous nature of his claim that the Jews in government "will not be serving any particular religious or ethnic agenda," for the attack on Switzerland over the Nazi-Gold incident and the subsequent attack over immigration was nothing but a government-sponsored looting expedition conducted for the benefit of Jewish organizations. The extortion of billions of dollars from the Swiss could not have taken place without close government support. Senator Alphonse D’Amato of New York worked closely with both the World Jewish Congress and Stuart Eisenstadt of the State Department, who in turn worked with Ambassador Madeleine Kunin. This sort of thing did not happen when Faith Whittlesley was ambassador to Switzerland.

As Norman Finklestein, author of The Holocaust Industry: The Abuse of Jewish Victims, makes clear, "The holocaust industry first tried out its strategy in Switzerland. It began with putting Senator Alphonse D’Amato and the United States government on their case. Then came the lawyers with their demands for reparations. The third prong of the attack began with setting bank regulators like Alan Hevesi in action. All of this was accompanied by the hysteria in the media. It took three years to bring Switzerland to its knees" (Zeitfragen, 3/20/00, p. 8).

Now the Jewish organizations, which keep 45 percent of the financial booty they acquire in these looting expeditions, have targeted Austria. Holocaust Lawyer Ed Fagan showed up in Austria in February demanding the "return" of $10 billion in property and artwork, even though these cases had all been settled in 1953. The net result of these government sponsored looting campaigns for the Jewish organizations which make up what Finklestein calls the "Holocaust Industry" is precisely what they claim they want to combat, namely, anti-Semitism. "Instead of letting the dead rest in peace," Finklestein said, "the Holocaust Industry foments anti-Semitism, wherever it puts its foot down in Europe."

In the imperialistic war in Kosovo, we see the lethal side of allowing one group to run the country’s foreign policy for its own benefit. From Bolshevism to the Wolfowitz memorandum, we can see one constant, namely, Jewish animus against Russia. That animus is now running our foreign policy, and it has ruined the window of opportunity for world peace that existed in the early 1990s. The Russians are now convinced that the United States is out to destroy it. The Swiss and the Austrians are convinced of something similar primarily as the result of plundering which Jewish organizations were allowed to do there. The Serbians felt the same wrath. No group covered itself with more shame in the Kosovo war than the neocon imperialists, people like Thomas Friedman at the New York Times calling for the destruction of Belgrade or the lady at the New Republic who wrote the article on "Milosevic’s Willing Executioners," taking her title from the bogus tome of Daniel Goldhagen of Harvard.

All of this is the inexorable consequence of empire. As the disintegration of the Republican party into its ethnic components has made clear, empire is divisive. It pits one group against another in an unending struggle for power. In this regard, the Enlightenment has proved to be its own undoing. The United States, by turning into an empire, has disintegrated into the ethnic components it sought to repress. If anyone is interested in putting Humpty-Dumpty back together again, he will have to consult the instruction manual, namely, the caveats of people like John Adams who warned that the Constitution would only function if the populace internalized the principle of civil order implicit in the moral law.

Alan Dershowitz attacks Rabbi Daniel Lapin and the Jewish columnist Don Feder for taking part in the Christian Coalition’s "Road to Victory" conference in 1995, but he can never really explain why they would consort so avidly with what Dershowitz considers their enemies. The answer is something which transcends Dershowitz’s view of ethnic politics. The answer is moral revulsion. Jews like Feder, Lapin and Dresner are upset at the moral decay that people like Dershowitz, who defended President Clinton’s illicit sexual relationship with a Jewish intern, have brought about. They are especially upset as Jews because as Jews they can never be more than a tiny minority in a vast ocean of what is now becoming a pagan culture. They are upset because a pagan culture is a violent culture. As the rise of the Nazis in Germany showed, de-Christianization can have unpleasant consequences, even for the most rabid de-Christianizer. "With the enfeeblement of Christianity," Dresner writes, "that world has become pagan root and branch." Those who enfeeble Christianity, whether by sins of commission or omission, would do well to ponder the alternative.

The alternative to the alternative, however, is still what it has always been. "We have no constitution that functions in the absence of a moral people," John Adams wrote. The Clinton presidency has proved that fact beyond a doubt. No matter how it looks now, steeped in the blood of empire, America is a country which worked once when it was a republic whose unwritten constitution was the moral law. The only way it is going to work again is the way it worked then, which is to say, in Rabbi Dresner’s words, as "a new coalition, a union of Jews and Gentiles with a common commitment to civilization and a common abhorrence of social and moral chaos" (p. 51).


E. Michael Jones, Ph.D., is the Editor of Culture Wars magazine, as well as author of Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political Control (South Bend: St. Augustine's Press, 1999), available from Fidelity Press.

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