January 7, 1996
"Morality Play," by Barry Unsworth. Doubleday. 206 pages. $22.50The outward shell of this novel is simplicity itself. The action takes place among a traveling group of players in 14th-century England, when death by starvation or plague were commonplace. Because the narrator's own sins have separated him from his parish, he takes up with a troupe, traveling with them through the snows of Yorkshire to perform morality plays in whatever hamlet they find themselves.Betty Webb, Cox News"Streets: A Memoir of the Lower East Side," by Bella Spewack.
June 27, 1999
Ways Congress could show true moralityPassing a law to ordain posting the Ten Commandments in schools is ludicrous, without the "practical laws" to decrease production, sale of death-dealing weapons such as used at Columbine High.But politicians, particularly of the right, have always been fond of low-cost, low-risk vote-grabbing tactics. Distract, or try to, attention from the real issues, while making expedient appeals to "public morality" as window-dressing.What remains to be seen is whether any of these shameless "Congress critters" can show their lip service to morality measures up to reality.
June 6, 1991
THROUGH the years some of the most burning issues on Presbyterian General Assembly agendas have been those involving the church and society. The tempo picked up considerably in the early 1950s with McCarthyism and civil rights, then quickened with the Vietnam War, abortion, birth control, divorce and women's liberation.To those who have said the church's chief mission is "the saving of souls," the Presbyterian response has been, "Only half right! The church must also be involved in the greater society; true religion must extend beyond the sanctuary doors."
September 26, 1990
In a column today headlined "What Mandela said," New York Times columnist A.M. Rosenthal raises what appears to be a nagging, obsessive grudge against South Africa's Nelson Mandela. Rosenthal takes Mandela to task for refusing to condemn Arab states which sell oil to South Africa.But take note that in his tirade against Mandela, Rosenthal devotes exactly nine words, in the most oblique and cautious manner, to the fact that Israel sells not oil but military weapons to South Africa. He does not even mention that most experts in the area believe that Israel and South Africa have cooperated in developing nuclear weapons.
April 8, 1993
MOST of the time, American cultural exports are embraced with enthusiasm in Britain. Not this time.Donald Treshman, the anti-abortion activist who is the national director of Rescue America, landed in London last week and wound up behind bars within 48 hours. Now the British government wants to kick him out. The home secretary has decreed that Mr. Treshman's specialty was one American export that should be turned away at the water's edge.But Mr. Treshman is still in London, along with a few dozen followers from his group -- the same group that staged the Florida demonstration at which Dr. David Gunn was shot dead on March 10. While Mr. Treshman fights deportation, he has managed to inject some old-fashioned American polarization into the staid politics of England.
November 13, 2011
The two cardinal sins of pride and gluttony have never been manifested more blatantly and arrogantly than by the immoral spectacle currently playing itself out on the campus of Penn State University in "Happy Valley" Pennsylvania. This institution has dedicated itself to the financial exploitation of a sport that has become an absolute obsession with millions of Americans. In Happy Valley, one man, Joseph Paterno - husband, father, and co-author, with his wife, Sue, of a children's book ("We Are Penn State")
December 15, 1994
WHEN THE ENEMY was Ronald Reagan, the liberals were sitting pretty. Oh sure, they reasoned, he could bamboozle a majority of the country's voters once every four years, but that was because the Democrats nominated such incompetents. Besides, the guy was a former actor.Liberals never believed that the country was really with Mr. Reagan. Today, it is different. Seventy-three new House Republicans can't all be good actors with friendly grins. Those in liberal circles now suspect that the '94 election had something to do with ideas.
April 10, 1991
Politely but firmly, Miss Manners looked straight at seventy-odd students, teachers and aficionados of philosophy and took the whole lot to task."I came here to complain," the arbiter of etiquette told a roomful of academics at Johns Hopkins University. "Philosophers are not paying enough attention to manners."Judith Martin, whose alter ego "Miss Manners" is beloved by million of readers nationwide, was the guest speaker yesterday at a philosophy department seminar in the Milton Eisenhower Library.
June 13, 2011
Rep. Anthony Weiner and former Rep. Christopher Lee will forever be linked as both New York congressmen used social media to cheat on their wives and send embarrassing photographs. Rep. Weiner, a prominent Democrat, and Rep. Lee, a second-term Republican congressman, are both presumably guilty of adultery in one sense or another. But while the extent and number of Mr. Weiner's offenses made Mr. Lee's crime seem marginal, it was Mr. Lee who felt he deserved a far greater punishment. Their recent scandals provide a stark contrast of the ethics, morality and respect for public office among Democrats and Republicans in Washington.
August 17, 1995
Peel away the hype and these are the circumstances of Mike Tyson's comeback bout Saturday night: a convicted rapist, unremorseful, getting a hero's reception and a reported $25 million payday.Disgusting.But you know what? No one cares.Sports fans are so offended that they'll likely turn Tyson's fight with Peter McNeeley into one of the most popular pay-per-view broadcasts ever, shown in more than a million homes. The live gate at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is expected to exceed $15 million.