was set. Then I got a call from the panickedrnphysician: Bishop Favalora is comingrnto address the Jewish community;rnwliat should I do? I realized that the doctorrnhad committed the Jewish communitv’rnto a major public event, with no support,rnno backing, not even a location. Irnadvised him to go to the Jewish Communit}’rnCenter for a location, to the localrnrabbis and synagogues and federationsrnfor sponsorship, and to various Jewishrnorganizations for co-sponsorship; theyrnwould give the event the Jewish communit)’rnauspices that the bishop had everyrnreason to anticipate. Would I speak? thernphysician asked. I suggested that BishoprnFavalora give the address, I would respondrnbriefly, and then a t[uestion periodrnwould follow. We would hold it at thernJewish Communit}’ Center’s holocaustrnexhibit (the museum was then yearsrnawav), and the bishop would visit the exhibitrnon the occasion of his address tornJewn,’. Bishop Favalora sent me his text,rna comprehensive and workmanlike statementrnon Catholic-Jewish relations, pastrnand future. I sent him mine; we madernsure we were talking about the samernthing and contributing to the publicrninterest; and the event took place inrngood form. My memory is that manyrnCatholics, lay and religious, came, butrnnot so many Jews, and no rabbis or “layrnleaders.”rnWhen the Jewish communit)’ loses allrnorganizational and institutional coherence,rnthen private enterprise takes over,rnand Jewry splits up into personal fiefdoms.rnJudaism is a religion for familiesrnand communities, not for isolated individuals;rnit does no good when individualsrnplay at being Jewish. Now each Jewrnwants to be king of the Jews and playrnalone in her own sandbox—except whenrnit’s time to commit the entire Jewishrncommunity to build a sand castle that afternoon,rnwhile the tide is still out. Andrnthen the tide rises.rn—]acob NeusnerrnA NEW POLITICAL PARTY is anrnidea whose time has passed. While I certainlyrnsympathize with those who want torn”do something” about the federal Leviathan,rntaxes, abortion, illiteracy—pick arncause — they’re simply mistaken in believingrnthat becoming achve in politicsrnwill change things. It hasn’t, and itrnwon’t.rnThe Incumbent Party (with its twornwings. Democratic and Republican) isrnfirmly in control of government at all levels.rnAfter many years of being on the politicalrnfront lines, I finally faced the fact arncouple of years ago that my time andrnmoney had accomplished nothing.rnLooking back on all the campaigns andrncauses I’ve championed, starting in thernlate 50’s, I see that nothing has changedrnfor the better. I’m now devoting my effortsrnto the one activit)’ that will have anrneffect—getting children out of governmentrnschools.rnThe U.S. Department of Education’srn1993 report, Literacy in America, recordsrnthe results of the largest survey of adultrnliteracy ever undertaken in this countn,-.rnThe survey foimd that half of all adultsrncan’t understand a newspaper or do simplernmath. Over 80 percent of blackrnadults are similarly illiterate. While thernreaders of Chronicles recognize this as arndisaster, national educrats are c[uiternpleased with the results. Here’s a quotationrnfrom page xviii of the ExecutivernSummary: “Perhaps the most salientrnfinding of this survey is that such largernpercentages of adults performed in thernlowest levels. In and of itself, this mayrnnot indicate a serious problem. ^fter all,rnthe majority of adults who demonstratedrnlimited skills described themselves as readingrnor writing English well [emphasisrnadded].” And from the final paragraph:rn”Today we are a better educated andrnmore literate societ}’ than at any time inrnour histop,-.”rnIt should have been no surprise thatrnBill Clinton’s approval rating soared torn73 percent two days after he was impeached.rnLeviathan, after 150 years or ,sornof government control of education, hasrnfinally created a nation populated by selfsatisfiedrnmorons who will think and dornexactly what Baal Clinton and DanrnBlather tell them.rnWe are wrong to claim victory whenrnthe superintendent or board of a governmentrnschool grudgingly allows a studentrnto say a non-sectarian (i.e., meaningless,rnnon-Christian) prayer. They are mastersrnat taking two steps forward, then one steprnback. If we tridy want to change thingsrnfor the better, we must concentrate ourrnefforts on getting children out of the governmentrnschools and into sound Christianrnor home schools. Sadly, studies consistentlyrnshow that over 80 percent ofrnparents who claim to be Chrisfian scudrntheir children to government schools.rnRenewal starts witii our friends andrnfanfily. Once we have taken our ownrnchildren out of government schools andrnhave thrown our televisions out fiie window,rnwe will begin to see the fruit ofrnsound teaching that will provide therncoming generations wifii the ability tornthink logically and to make sound moralrnjudgments. Only then will a return tornthe old paths be possible.rn— Michael BrownrnO B I T E R DICTA: The poetry ofrnTimothy Murphy from Fargo, NorthrnDakota, returns to our pages this month.rnThe Deed of Gift, a collection of Mr.rnMurphj-‘s verse with a critical preface byrnIngersoll Prize recipient RichardrnWilbur, was published last ear by Ston,-rnLine Press.rnOur art this month is proided by ourrnnew art director, H. Ward Sterett ofrnRoseoe, Illinois. Mr. Sterett received hisrnB.F.A. from the Universit)- of Coloradornand his M.F.A. from Northern IllinoisrnUniversit)’, and attended the L’Abri Fellowship,rnwhere he studied the effect ofrnChristianit’ on art. He currently worksrnas a sculptor, painter, and printmaker inrnRoseoe.rnOur East Coast readers can findrnChronicles in Connecticut at Borders,rn59 Pavilions Drive, Manchester; Borders,rn1061 High Ridge Road, Stamford;rnBarnes & Noble Superstore, 200 UniversalrnDrive, North Haven; Barnes & NoblernSuperstore, 1076 Post Road East, Westport;rnand Ink Newsstand, MeridcnrnSquare Mall, Meriden.rnIn Maine, Chronicles can be purchasedrnat Barnes & Noble Superstore, 9rnMarket Place Drive, Augusta. If your localrnbookstore isn’t on this list, please askrnthe manager to carr’ Chronicles.rnVisit Chroniclesrnon the Webrnwww.chroniclesmagazine.orgrnand send your lettersrnto the e[email protected] 1999/9rnrnrn