Friday, June 18, 2004

"How are you doing?" one fellow Cardozo grad asked another before our alumni meeting last night. "Oh, fine," he answered sarcastically. "The President is lying to the people..." and then he, and she, and the woman next to me, all took off on an anti-Bush rant. (Since we're all educated and New Yorkers, we must be Democrats, right?) My God, these people are hateful. (I love how all the online Kerry ads I see show Bush, not Kerry.) But that's not my point.

Leaving aside that he had all his "facts" wrong, leaving aside all political arguments- and leave aside for a moment that I like Bush very much myself- is this how people respond to a simple "How are you doing?" Are their lives so bound up by who's running a government? I didn't like Clinton at all, but if someone asked me how I was back in his years, I wouldn't have answered "Clinton is an awful president."

The meeting was very nice, by the way.

Where else but the "We're so Catholic we can't stand it" National Review would you find an article praising the Inquisition? Search for the word "Jew" in the article; you won't find it. I somehow doubt you will in this author's upcoming book on the Crusades.

I'm not sure if I've posted this here, but I once remarked to a friend that maybe it's wrong that all I think about when the Roman Empire is discussed is how they treated the Jews. Weren't they more glorious than that? Of course not, he answered- because you're Jewish you have a better view on what history was really like, warts and all. That's how I feel about this piece. He can argue all he wants about burning heretics to save them, but I know better. (Yeah, I know that technically, Jews weren't killed- Marranos [oh, give it a rest, people] were. That really helps improve the Inquisition's image in my eyes.) Of course, these people weren't really heretics, but practitioners of older faiths, whether European paganism or older forms of Christianity. My God, these people are delusional when it comes to protecting their Church.

Of course, he assures us, the Inquisition didn't really kill anyone, the state did. Oh, that's nice. Of course, the church didn't want blood on its hands, so they handed people over to the state. That's why William the Conqueror's illegitimate brother-in-law, Odo, used a club to kill people at Hastings- he was a bishop, and didn't want to "spill blood." Come to think, that's why the heretics were burned, not beheaded or the like. To repeat, my God, these people are delusional when it comes to protecting their Church.
"When I think of Martin, I can't help but see the dogs and the sticks and the little girls in the church," said Paul Herring, who has organized Juneteenth celebrations in Flint, Mich., for 10 years. "But when I think of Juneteenth, I see an old codger kicking up his heels and running down the road to tell everyone the happy news."

That quote choked me up on the train this morning. Happy Juneteenth, everyone.

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