Pubdate: Wed, 20 Feb 2002
Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
Copyright: 2002 The Sun-Times Co.
Author: Louis Silverstein


The culture wars are heating up.

And those now in control are really loony as well as seemingly hell- bent 
on a mission to cleanse America of its sinful nature to an extent that is 
truly alarming, as exemplified by that "give me that good ol' time religion 
soul" who holds a top post in the Bush administration: Attorney General 
John Ashcroft, also known as "Mr. Clean."

In a soft-core version of a religious fanatic like "let's purify the 
nation" decree, Ashcroft ordered $8,000 drapes to cover the Justice 
Department's statue representing the Spirit of Justice because this female 
figure, which has graced the Great Hall since 1934, features an exposed 
breast. After all, as a culture we are still trying to answer the question 
raised by Pamela Norris in her book, Eve, A Biography: "What is the 
appropriate response to a naked woman offering forbidden fruit and 
promising secret knowledge?"

Yet, Ashcroft appears to be quite comfortable to be in the presence of guns 
exposed to public view, canceling background checks for his fellow 
countrymen who wish to buy such weapons at gun shows, and approving the 
brandishing of guns by Drug Enforcement Administration officials as they 
tyrannize patients and officials at medical marijuana centers in 
California, seizing the "wicked weed" and patient records.

I would imagine that in the eyes of children, adults are quite weird. The 
big people in power approve of children seeing guns everywhere--in history 
textbooks, in the mass media, on the streets, in public buildings, and on 
public statues, but for children to view a naked breast is morally abhorrent.

Yes, children of America, see, learn about, esteem and play with guns, but 
don't view or touch your bodies--at least not those "dirty parts," because 
we all know that's what led Adam and Eve astray, an act of betrayal and sin 
that we are still paying for, according to the likes of John Ashcroft and 
William Bennett, God's chosen cultural warriors.

As Walt Kelly's Pogo often reminded us, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Louis Silverstein, Loop
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