Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Woodward, Bernstein, and Ben Bradlee have confirmed it: W. Mark Felt was "Deep Throat."

It's absolutely amazing that this secret was held closely enough that it comes as a suprise even after 30 years.

"Woodward's Garage Freak"

If, as reports are now indicating, former FBI assistant director W. Mark Felt was Deep Throat, I'm frankly going to be a bit disappointed. I always have had my money on someone more recognizable like Nixon chief of staff Al Haig (though I have to admit that much of my Haig theory was merely based on the fact that he reminds me of Hal Holbrook, who played Deep Throat in "All the President's Men").

This revelation likely signals the end to the most intriguing mystery since JFK was murdered. If Felt was indeed Deep Throat, Woodward and Bernstein will be obligated to acknowledge it pretty quickly. Their only justification for keeping it secret this long was that "Deep Throat" was still alive and did not want to be exposed. But if Felt has now publicly claimed it himself (as reported), he's obviously forfeited any further anonymity.

My guess is that W&B is checking to see if Felt did indeed make the comments to the Vanity Fair reporter that are being attributed to him. Once they confirm it, I'm guessing Woodstein will announce it on "Larry King Live" in the next night or two.

The Therapist

Some of the funniest satire I've seen on the web lately comes from The Therapist. (Warning: it's not for the squeamish.)

One recent sample, regarding the filibuster compromise:
Republican Senators Willingly Date-Raped By Democratic Senators

Washington--In a historic move on the Senate floor today, Republican senators agreed to be date-raped by Democratic senators, denying themselves the chance filibuster a particularly randy judiciary committee.

"We have made history," said Arizona senator John McCain. "We have eliminated the chance for filibuster on the next three judges, and unlimited the right to our own bodies as well. How much more senatorial congeniality can you get?"

..."This should be a bitter pill for my colleagues across the aisle," [McCain] said. "Not only do they get to have their amorous way with us 24-7, but now we've boxed them in with a reconstituted congressional term that now means 'Any Supreme Court Nominee Bush Sends Up.'"

Democrats say they've only taken what they can get.

"Look, these Republicans have the skill of Sun Tzu and Machiavelli rolled into one," said Senator Joe Biden of Delaware. "We're lucky we got by with only not filibustering these three, while those guys got the rich prize of not being able to change senate rules even if we default on our promise, or just make up scurrilous reasons to block nominations."

Biden said unencumbered access to the virtue of Republican freshmen made the agreement "barely tolerable."
The best part is, the guy is prolific. He cranks out at least a post per day, sometimes two or three.

Good stuff.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Thursday, May 26, 2005

It's The Abortions, Stupid

Let me make this clear again. The battle over judges--filibusters, opposed nominations, threats, and all--is about one thing: abortion. Period. End of story.

If you simply keep that in mind while watching liberals wildly flail against President Bush's judicial nominees, it will all begin to make sense.

Another wonderfully transparant case in point (highlighted by Amy Ridenour at her National Center Blog) is the responses of Nan Aron (of the ultraliberal Alliance for Justice) to the grilling of Chris Matthews on "Hardball" Tuesday night.

The subject was potential Supreme Court nominees:
ARON: ...I think a nominee will be examined based on his or her entire record. And I think, at the end of the day, if that record is one of extremism, if this candidate...

MATTHEWS: On abortion

ARON: ... is against individuals rights...

MATTHEWS: What -- what -- what -- how do you define extremism?

ARON: Well, if there's a nominee who is tapped for the seat who opposed to Roe vs. Wade, that would constitute...

MATTHEWS: That's an extremist?

ARON: Absolutely.

MATTHEWS: But a person who is for Roe v. Wade is not an extremist?

ARON: No, because Roe vs. Wade is great, a landmark precedent, just like Brown vs. Board of Education.

MATTHEWS: But there are three members of the Supreme Court right now who would vote against Roe v. Wade if it was an open question? Are they extremists?

ARON: On that issue, they certainly are. But abortion isn't...

MATTHEWS: Scalia, Thomas and Rehnquist are extremists?

ARON: Absolutely. Absolutely. And if Thomas or Scalia were to be elevated to the chief justice position, we at the Alliance For Justice and other organizations around the country...


MATTHEWS: Let me get some legal history here. Roe v. Wade came in, in '73, right?

GRAY: That's correct.

MATTHEWS: So, we didn`t have it before then.

GRAY: Right.

MATTHEWS: So, everybody who was on the Supreme Court before '73 was an extremist, by this definition, because they weren't Roe v. Wade? They didn't believe a woman had an inherent right to an abortion.
GRAY: That's correct.

MATTHEWS: You say that's true?


The driving force of the American Left, when you dig beneath all the pious rhetoric, is sexual libertinism. Abortion rights are essential to the propogation of that agenda. There is no issue--none--for which they will fight harder.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Casket With A View

Filmmaker Ismail Merchant of Merchant Ivory fame has died in London at 68.

What do you want to bet that his funeral is overly long, tedious, gauzy, pretentious, and chock full of bad accents?

Oh yeah, I also heard that the service is going to be adapted from an original funeral by E.M. Forster.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Compromised Position

You can learn a lot about the "deal" that moderate (read: "liberal") Republicans scored for us last night by seeing who's hailing it.

Norman Lear's People for the American Way (under the triumphant headline "Filibuster Preserved!") crowed:
The explicit language of the agreement reached tonight by a group of senators rejects the nuclear option, preserves the filibuster and ensures that both political parties will have a say in who is appointed to our highest courts. The agreement embodies the very principle of consultation and consensus that the filibuster encourages. This is good news for the American people.
NARAL, meanwhile, has declared a qualified victory, saying:
The nuclear option disaster has been avoided, but the fight for fair and independent judges is getting even more intense. Monday evening, a bipartisan group of senators reached an agreement that takes the nuclear option off the table but allows for simple majority votes on three of President Bush's absolute worst nominees: William Pryor, Priscilla Owen, and Janice Rogers Brown.

We need your help to win this next fight - keep the pressure on the Senate in opposition to these three anti-choice nominees. If we are to stop Owen, Brown or Pryor, we need pro-choice Republicans to join the pro-choice Democrats in opposing these far-right nominees. Take action immediately.
Of course, the abortionistas know what this is all about, though the muddle-headed Republicans never seem to quite be able to figure it out.

Senate Democrats are now allowing floor votes on three judges whom only days ago they said were so unfit to hold office that they shouldn't even be voted on. But the Dems recognize that this is a numbers game. They'll let a few judges slip by in order to hold their ability to destroy a good, conservative Supreme Court nomination when it comes.

Those three filibustered judges didn't suddenly change this week. The Democrats simply understand that if they can obstruct conservative judicial nominations at a 70% clip, they'll still have a court system largely stacked with pro-abortion activists when Bush's term ends. And they actually found some idiot Republicans to see this as a reasonable compromise.

As I've said all along, we're destined to be stuck with what we've got, because one side realizes that the judiciary is the hill to die on, and the other just doesn't. As a result, we will continue to be ruled by lawmaking liberal judges as they impose their pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage, pro-statist agenda on the nation.

Heads You Win, Tails We Lose

So let me make sure I understand this correctly. The Democrats, whose filibusters of judicial nominees have been undemocratic, unconstitutional, and unprecedented, magnanimously offered to shift down and do something only about half as undemocratic, unconstitutional, and unprecedented.

To which Republicans said "Okay, sounds great to us!"

In case one ever wonders which side of the fence self-satisfied weasel John McCain sits on, consider what this deal ultimately bought for Republicans. President Bush nominated ten excellent judges over the past four years who were fillibustered in the Senate. Under the new deal, three of them will move forward to a floor vote. The others either have withdrawn their nominations or will continue to be filibustered. And future Supreme Court nominees will be subject to the same filibusters.

For all the chest-thumping and big talk of the Republican side, they ultimately wind up with 70% of Bush's filibustered nominees never even getting a floor vote, let alone near a federal bench. And they're the majority party.

Real tough guys.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Ob La Di, Ob La Da

This is an actual, verbatim quote from Corky's appearance on "Meet The Press" yesterday:
But the thing that really bothered me the most, which the 9-11 Commission said also wasn't true, is the insinuation that the president continues to make to this day that Osama bin Laden had something to do with supporting terrorists that attacked the United States. That is false. The 9-11 Commission, chaired by a Republican, said it was false. Is it wrong to send people to war without telling them the truth. And the truth was Osama bin Laden was a very bad person who was doing terrible things, but that Iraq was never a threat to the United States. That was the truth.
Right after that, Tim Russert spilled toothpicks all over the floor and Dr. Dean instantaneously told him how many there were.

This guy is a classic. I'm telling you, he's God's little gift to Republicans.

Ten Minutes To Wapner

I knew Democrats had always supported diversity and affirmative action, but I guess I underestimated them. I had no idea how deep their committment actually went.

I mean, to actually appoint a retarded person as head of the party....

At Least The Force Was With Them

I had to travel for business last week and was away from the computer and the news for most of the time.

While on the road, however, I did get to wake up to the teevee news at about 6am on Thursday morning. It was only 3am on the West Coast, and CNN was interviewing the jubilant people who had just come out of the first midnight "Star Wars" showings there.

I'll say this: out of the hundreds of costumed people I saw, they were all guys. And there was not a date between 'em.

Monday, May 16, 2005

George Lucas Is An Overrated Hack

There, I said it.

Yes, "Star Wars" was (or at least the first three films in the series were) entertaining. But it's a simple story using lots of neat-o special effects. That's fine and all, but let's not confuse him with an artist.

Most of the acting in the films is mediocre at best (to be charitable), and the series peaked with the second film....which was in 1980. And Lucas didn't even direct that one. He only directed the first one and the current putrid trilogy that inflicted Jar Jar Binks on the world.

Let's be honest--all the subsequent installments for the last 25 years have merely been coasting on the massive wave of goodwill of the now 30- and 40-somethings who grew up buying R2D2 toys because of the original film.

To put it another way, Lucas is a one-hit wonder who simply had a knack for stretching his one hit for about 12 hours worth of celluloid. And only four hours of that have been really good. He's got one genre, and one basic story. Yes, he's an absolute pioneer when it comes to the technical side of movie-making, and we should give him his due for that alongside the guy who invented the steadycam and whoever came up with digital editing.

But Spielberg or Coppola he ain't.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Bolton Out Of The U.N.

To my mind, the one thing better than having John Bolton representing the United States at the U.N. would be to have nobody representing the United States at the U.N. Strangely enough, Democrats might be preparing to make that happen.

Yesterday, the illusorily hairlined Sen. Joe Biden indicated to CNN that with Bolton's nomination now heading to the floor of the Senate, the Democrats might again invoke the ubiquitous filibuster. If I were the Bush administration, I would quietly and without protest let them do it.

After all, it's Democrats who worship the United Nations. Most true conservatives would simply like to see the whole project abandoned. Sending someone like Bolton is a way of putting the U.N. on notice that our government couldn't really care less what they have to say. I like that, but I would never have dreamed we could accomplish the even loftier goal of vacating the place altogether.

How beautiful would it be to see the position of U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. open indefinitely? And by the fault of Democrats no less? They've filibustered Priscilla Owen's judicial nomination for four years now--think of what could be (not) accomplished in four years of U.S. absence in the U.N.?

And the president would have the perfect alibi for anyone who complained about the vacancy: "Hey, the Senate won't vote on our nominee. Talk to them about it. I did my job."

If the Bush Administration has the guts (which I'm not too sure they do), this could be a perfect win-win situation.

Channels Changing

It looks like "60 Minutes" just got about 20 percent less reflexively anti-American.

And Fox News’s collective IQ just rose by about 20 points.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

And On Saturdays, He Sleeps

Al Mohler has launched a real blog. And you thought his daily column was prolific.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Bad Idea

One of my favorite bits on the early '90's incarnation of "Saturday Night Live" was a commercial parody they did for Bad Idea Jeans. It's five or six yuppies out on the basketball court at the local park shooting hoops together. They're bantering back and forth, and we're brought in on snippets of the conversation.

One of the guys says: "Well, he's an ex free-base addict, and he's trying to turn around, and he needs a place to stay for a couple of months..."

Logo comes up: BAD IDEA.

Another guy says: "I don't know the guy, but I've got two kidneys and he needs one, so I figured..."

Cut to logo: BAD IDEA

One of the other guys says: "Normally I wear protection, but then I thought, 'When am I gonna make it back to Haiti?'"

Image on screen: BAD IDEA

I keep thinking about that commercial parody as I read this story about NBA star LeBron James firing his professional agent. This agent got him a huge playing contract, the richest shoe endorsement deal in history, and about $135 million in total endorsements. James is replacing him with....his childhood posse.

According to the story:
James [who's 20] is expected to turn over some of his management duties to close friend Maverick Carter, a former teammate at Akron's St. Vincent-St. Mary High School currently employed by Nike. Randy Mihms, who serves as James' personal assistant and road manager, and Rich Paul, another James' confidant, are expected to take on more active roles in his representation.

James and his three longtime friends call themselves the "Four Horsemen."
Here's the way I keep seeing it in my mind:
"I figured at 20 years old, I didn't really need professional career guidance anymore."


"How could my old manager adequately represent me? He's never played PlayStation with me once. He doesn't even live on my estate."

Product shot: BAD IDEA

"I mean, if you can't trust young, inexperienced hangers-on from high school to wisely manage your money while looking out for your best interests, who can you trust?"


Freedom Tower Collapsing

I've always despised the proposed plans for the new structure to be built at Ground Zero, in no small measure because, as I've pointed out before, I think it too closely resembles that place in the North Pole where Superman lives:

Proposed "Freedom Tower"

Superman's House

Well, it seems that there is finally a growing move afoot to completely scrap the "Freedom Tower," which has been plagued by delays and security concerns. Instead, sentiment is growing to build Twin Towers, very similar to the old ones but taller and stronger, at that spot instead.

Which is what they should have done in the first place.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Youngest Gabor Sister

We've all been breathlessly anticipating it, and now it's finally here: Arianna Huffington's celebrity blog, which fills that previously immense void of celebrities willing to share their insights on American political arcana.

Of course, on launch day you want to make an impression, so Arianna has rolled out the big guns for the kick-off.

Among the opening salvos: the illustrious Brad Hall (otherwise known as Mr. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, vaguely remembered for a spectacularly unspectacular stint as "Weekend Update" host on SNL for about ten minutes in the mid-80's--often confused with the equally unmemorable Gary Kroger) opines on gay marriage, Ellen Degeneres blogs, believe it or not, on the policies of the Bureau of Land Management, and Larry David....'s wife weighs in on hybrid cars or something.

Of course, this is the big roll-out, so it would be unfair to expect a lineup of this caliber every day. But still, it's quite promising. This could could be a greater source for highly-rated material on the Unintentional Comedy Scale than has ever previously existed.

In the meantime, I'll just be sitting here waiting for that entry from Jason Alexander's college roommate.

Stayin' Alive III

Oh yeah, as I was watching the tube over the weekend, it occured to me that Jack Warden is still alive too.

Who woulda figured?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

"How Dumb Is He?...."

Being a real geek about this kind of stuff, I actually watched the White House Correspondents' dinner Saturday night on C-Span. I even watched the "rope line" on the way into the dinner. Sad, I know.

Anyway, much is being made of Laura Bush's performance at the dinner making fun of the president's early bedtime and declaring herself a "Desperate Housewife" who goes to Chippendales with other Washington wives.

Being a big boy, I can't really say I was particularly scandalized or something. Mrs. Bush's shtick was pretty standard after-dinner roast fare. In other words, I observed what seemed to me to be fairly typical for one of these deals, yawned, and turned it off. Just the usual tired, rubber-chicken circuit one-liners.

She didn't trip over any of the lines, and she got a decent reaction from the crowd. But anything even mildly funny at one of these dinners gets a huge laugh because:

A). Nobody expects anything to be all that funny, and
B). Everyone's loaded.

So I am a bit confused by the enraptured raves coming from many conservative (and perhaps not coincidentally, mostly female) columnists. To read some of these columnists, you'd think it was the greatest bravura moment in the history of the comedic arts.

Kathleen Parker, who calls the event "Laura Bush's show-stealing debut as a comedienne" saw it all as a momentous analogy of human freedom:
Laura Bush, who declared herself a "desperate housewife," who said she recently went to a Chippendales male striptease show, who made fun of her husband's early bedtime and compared her mother-in-law to Don Corleone, would not have lasted long among some of our friends and foes in foreign lands. Yet here, she was free to drop bunker busters on her husband's dinner plate to laughter and applause.
Suzanne Fields, hopefully using some intentional overstatement, says the First Lady should consider heading into show business:
The president now calls his mate "Laura 'Leno' Bush." If Laura doesn't want to go back to Crawford and Prairie Chapel Ranch, she might consider a career in comedy in the tradition of Lucille Ball. But she has to face the fact that George W. won't be able to stay up late enough to be Desi Arnaz.
Peter Roff (whose name sounds like the punchline to one of Laura's jokes) of the conservative United Press International, says that conservatives enjoyed the First Lady's routine, and in an odd turn of reasoning worries that it's a plot of the Left to drive a wedge through the Republican Party:
Her remarks were, by MTV or Fox or even CBS standards, tame. Most of my acquaintances on the right did not seem to mind at all. To them, it is perhaps the over-the-top nature of what the left is saying the right should be thinking that is cause for concern.
Here's one simple, unavoidable fact: if it had been Hillary Clinton or Barbara Boxer delivering these mildly risqué lines, most of these bedazzled conservative reviewers would be having kittens over it right now. We'd be hearing about "the coarsening of our culture" and the damage done to "the dignity of the presidency." You know it, I know it, and the American people know it.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Off The Presses

Purported Christianity seems to be a hot topic in the print media this week.

The Chicago Tribune features a piece on feel-good guru Joel Osteen, who's performing shows there later this week.

According to the Trib:
Joel Osteen stands behind the lectern in stylish suits and preaches in a soothing Southern drawl and a big, easy smile. His sermons speak less to Gospel and Scripture than to staying positive and praying for a better life.

...This week, the man known as "the smiling preacher" will bring his encouraging message of faith to thousands in the Chicago area when he preaches at the Allstate Arena on Thursday and Friday nights. His 15-city U.S. tour has been packing such large crowds that scalpers in Dallas, Charlotte and Chicago were selling $10 tickets for more than $100 each.

"The message that I want to get across is hope. It's that God has a better life for you," Osteen, 42, said in a phone interview.
And that better life begins by selling tickets to an Osteen show at a 1000% profit. More money to spend at the dove concession!

Meanwhile, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has obtained new records showing that prosperity preacher Joyce Meyer and her family received millions of dollars from her "not-for-profit," donation-supported ministry, a possible violation of federal law which, according to the Post, "bars founders of tax-exempt religious organizations from reaping huge personal benefits from their ministries."

Says the Post:
The ministry's board of trustees, which is headed by Joyce Meyer, agreed to pay her a $900,000 annual salary in 2002 and 2003.

The board agreed to give her husband, Dave Meyer, the board's vice president, an annual salary of $450,000 in each of those same two years.

The board agreed to provide the couple with free personal use of a corporate jet and luxury cars, a $2 million home where all bills are paid by the ministry and a separate $50,000-a-year housing allowance.

The ministry paid $1.475 million to buy three houses for the three Meyer children.

The board authorized Joyce and Dave Meyer to control a $790,000 fund to be used at their discretion for bonuses to "executive management."
The Post adds that board minutes show Mr. and Mrs. Meyer being present at the 2002 and 2003 meetings where their salaries and perks were approved.

Said a spokesman in defense of Meyer, "We believe that the Bible teaches that if you give, you will be blessed. She's been saying it from the stage for years."

From the stage indeed.

TIME Magazine has an interesting piece on Christianity on college campuses, focusing particularly on Indiana University as a microcosm.

There are a few things that are outright disgusting in the article, and I think many of the professing young Christians profiled in it demonstrate, at best, a dangerous lack of wisdom. But what made the article jump out at me was the absolute lack of sneering in the tone of the piece itself. For the first time perhaps ever in my memory, the mainstream media takes a look at some form of evangelical Christianity without treating it as an exotic species of animal or a science experiment. It reads like something that could have easily been printed in Christianity Today (which maybe says a little something positive about the article itself and negative about the current state of Christianity Today).

I don't like everything that is portrayed in the article, but it's mostly objective, which is highly unusual.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Around The Horn

Gleanings from the Net today:

Many conservatives (including me) loved "The Incredibles," which dared to subtly and entertainingly challenge several liberal pillars. Today, Paul D. Gallagher writes about the alternate beginning of the film, included in the DVD version's "deleted scenes," which overtly defends the calling of homemakers. It's hard to imagine Holly Hunter reading those lines, but evidently she did. Long live Pixar!

I only recently discovered Tim Challies, but better late than never. He's prolific, insightful, and he reads books. And reviews them. This is becoming one of my favorite places to visit. And sometimes even gives them away.

Max and Liz Goss, in the April edition of the eminent journal First Things, review the excellent book Scalia Dissents. And while you're at it, check out the rollicking, related discussion Max began on it at the fascinating philosophical conservatism blog Right Reason.

Drudge says Hannity and Colmes will be interviewing the runaway bride's fiancee, John Mason, tonight on FOX News. I must ashamedly admit to having been fascinated this weekend with the story of this bug-eyed psycho's flight from her impending wedding. On Friday night, I was pretty sure the fiancee had killed her. By Saturday morning I was relieved for him that he found out about this mental case before it was too late. She won't and probably shouldn't be charged with anything, though. Her lie about having been kidnapped occurred at the very end of the escapade, and I don't think police did much to act on it. Fleeing town without telling anyone isn't a crime no many how many people were out combing fields looking for remnants of your underwear.

Rolling Stone magazine recently visited D. James Kennedy's "Reclaiming America for Christ" conference here in Ft. Lauderdale. They didn't care for it.

But I think the bigger news here is that they apparently still publish Rolling Stone magazine. Who knew?

And finally, Susan, whom we are fortunate to have visit us from time to time here at the blog (and I'm not using the royal "we"; I mean "you and I"), has had a lovely piece published by Marvin Olasky over at the World magazine blog following her grandfather's death from Alzheimer's.

Well Done

Watching "The Beltway Boys" on Fox News this weekend, I was suprised and saddened to hear Fred Barnes mention that Diane Knippers had died the previous week, at the age of 53.

Though she made many media appearances, it's very possible you've never heard of her, since much of the effective work she did was "under the radar." But Diane Knippers was the president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy in Washington D.C., and was a pivotal figure in the conservative reform movement in the mainline church. In February, she was named one of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America by TIME magazine.

Last December, a few months before the TIME list came out, I had the opportunity to meet and interview Mrs. Knippers at her office in Washington. She was unfailingly gracious and kind. We had a major technical problem at the outset of the interview which would not allow us to continue, and she graciously adjusted her schedule so that we could leave her office, run to Virginia to get the equipment we needed, and come back to continue the interview a couple of hours later, a level of accomodation which is unusual, to say the least.

According to her friends and coworkers, she was known for her quiet savvy and persistence. She wasn't even remotely bombastic, but steadily pushed ahead against the tide of feminism and liberalism in the church, as well as calling attention to the dire persecution of Christians in places like Sudan.

An example of her shrewdness:

Just before George W. Bush's reelection, in October 2004, when the media was trying to understand the exotic animal called the "evangelical Christian," Diane appeared in a CNN special on the topic, called "The Fight Over Faith." At some point in the interview, she told me, she realized that they were persistently coming back to one particular issue, which they asked about a dozen different ways: the "exclusivity" of Christianity.

Though Mrs. Knippers was a firm believer in the evangelical doctrines of Heaven, Hell, and salvation through Christ alone, she also realized that the CNN producer was casting about for that preconceived soundbite with which to demonize the "Christian right." It was obvious by the myriad ways the question was asked that the producer desperately wanted her to say something about only Christians going to Heaven. Knowing how it would be used, she wisely refused to take the bait.

Predictably, however, CNN found someone else to be the "bad guy"--a pretty, 11-year-old girl, obviously meant to appear as a brainwashed dupe. They used her quote twice--once for the opening tease of the show (meant to draw viewers into the program with controversy), and again later in the body of the program. We're clearly supposed to be shocked and horrified:
CNN REPORTER CAROL MARIN (voice-over): When the church doors open, the Carlisles are there. Caitlin and Rick, Cassidy and Robin, who have instilled their faith in their children.

CASSIDY CARLISLE: We thank you for this food and we ask that you bless it. In Jesus name, amen.

MARIN (on camera): For people who don't embrace Jesus, what happens to them?

11-YEAR OLD CAITLIN CARLISLE: They go to hell.

MARIN: For sure?

CAITLIN CARLISLE: For sure. There's no other way to heaven except through Jesus.

MARIN (voiceover): If you don't accept Jesus as your savior, and you don't believe it in your hear that he's died for you, then you're going to go to hell.

And there's no alternative.
Diane Knippers knew what Jerry Falwell and others have yet to discover: there is a time for truth spoken boldly, but there is also a time to refrain from giving the hangman the rope with which he will hang you. An 11-year-old couldn't possibly know that, and God bless her for clearly and guilelessly stating the truth of her faith. But many more adults need to learn when the enemy deserves truth and when he deserves silence. Because of Mrs. Knippers acumen in areas like this, she was able to accomplish much in her brief time.

When I met with her, there was no indication she was ill whatsoever, though she had evidently been diagnosed with cancer more than a year previously. The news came as a shock, and my prayers go out to her family.