erence on tlie relationship betweenrnChristianit}-, money, and economics, itrnbecame evident that ahiiost everyonernshared M. Conrtial’s impression of thernnew President and of what his presidenc’rnmight mean. The’ seem to derive theirrnknowledge chieflv from a eombinahon ofrnDemocrahc Parh’ press releases and thernleading U.S. media, such as the NewYorkrnTimes. The major French dailies {Le Figarornand Le Monde] have their ovnrnsources, but thev pay far more (and better)rnattention to affairs in Enrope andrnNorrii ifrica than to what goes on in thernUnited States. The result is that evenrnlearned Frenchmen have impressions ofrnthe President (and America in general)rnthat sonnd like they came .straight out ofrnthe Nation. The fact diat Mr. Bush is thernfirst American president with an M.B.A.—rnfrom Harvard Business School at that—rnsnrprised diem. Perhaps the point 1rnmade w as that he has ended, at least temporarih,rndie tradihon of playing “Flail torndie Chief whenever he appears in public.rnThe andienee was a bit perplexedrnabout the significance of this, bnt when Irntranslated “Hail to the Chief into Germanrn—”He/7 dem Fi;/irer.'” —thev saw thernpoint. The idea that the new Presidentrnnot onl has impressive intellectual credentialsrnbut seems to possess a measure ofrngenuine humilih both surprised and relierned them.rnIll JMirope, Mr. Clinton had a reputarionrnthat was far better than his realih’; forrnthe time being, Mr. Bush has a reputationrnthat is far inferior to the man himselfrnMost .mericaiis neither know nor carernw hat the French think, but what otherrnnations diink of us is important. If diernFrench begin to see that we ha e cliosenrna President who is neither a buffoon norrna braggart, both of our nations will benefit.rn—Harold O.j. BrownrnG O D IS back! And He has His ownrnamusement park right here in Florida —rn”ou know , home of Disneyland, Uni ersalrnStudios, and Seaworld. Welcome tornHoKland!rnComplete w ith a replica of Jesus’srntomb, a bookstore and gift shop appropriatelvrncalled “The Old Scroll,” a legion ofrnactors in biblical-era co.stume (includingrnarmored Roman soldiers) detailing thernpersecution of die early Christians, it’srneas’ to imagine how Jesus must liavc feltrnwalking die streets of Capernaum or thernwaters of die Sea of Galilee. I can almostrntaste die pomegranates now. And all for arnmeasly $17. It sure beats the hell out ofrnthat other shrine down the road where, inrnplace of a golden calf, diey worship somernsill}’ rodent.rnThe only problem is that this latest attractionrnin die Sunshine State is currentlyrnunder attack by a group of militantrnJews, led by Mr. Ir’ Rubin of die JewishrnDefense League, who feel the new park isrnnodiing less than a conspirac’ designedrnto underniine Judaism by steaUhily attemptingrnto convert Jews to ChrishaniK,rna blasphemy in itself worthy of a Romanrnerueifixion. 1 o back him up, Mr. Rubin,rnalong widi Rabbi Merrill Shapiro of tiiernCongregation Beth Am, has encouragedrnthe entire Jewish communih’ in Orlandorn—and anyone else, for diat matter-tornbo’cott die new Holvland.rnIf not for die Christian elements, presumablyrnnian’ Jews would welcomerntliese 15 acres of prime Promised Land —rnwhich include a replica of Herod’s Temple,rnthe Ark of the Covenant, and morernsofars, caftans, and shawls than }’ou canrnshake a menorah at—not onl}’ for its historicalrnaccuracy but for its overall audienticih’.rn’Fhat the creator of diis $16-iiiillionrntourist trap. Baptist minister MarvinrnRosenthal, is actually a Jew by birthrnmakes it even more sirspcct in the e’es ofrnthe zealots out to stone him to death ( finaneially).rnAccording to the protesters in Orlando,rnany Jew who proclaims the Divinih’rnof Christ cannot be a Jew—a shpnlahonrnJesus Himself would obvioush- ha’e arnproblem with, and one St. Paul easiKrn(and c[uite elot|ueiiriy) disputes.rnMr. Rubin and his cohorts call HoKlandrnan attempt at “soul-snatehing,” butrnif their faith is so w eak that it cannot withstandrna weekend at Mr. Rosenthal’s holida’rncamp, how is it eer going to survi’erna real challenge, like when PresidentrnHillar’ Clinton appoints Sewar Arafat tornbe governor of the new Palestinian Staternand gi’cs Prime Minister Sharon 24rnhours to pack up his eaiiicl and get out ofrnJerusalem before Saddam Hussein beginsrnusing it for target practice? Or whenrnthe Church of Lilidi finally proves tliatrnDavid vas actual!} a lesbian c[ueen, inrnmuch die same way they try to portra- Jesusrnas die first gay, feminist vegetarian?rnFrom an historical standpoint, it mightrnbe easy to empathize with the Jewish resi.rnstaiice in diis parhcular case. They, afterrnall, had to guard against such enterprisesrnin die past, and understandably so.rnThev are no strangers to persecution; butrnneither are Christians, nor any other culturernor religion, for diat matter. The ditfereneernis that, for the Jews at least, theirrnculture is their religion. Unfortunately,rnChristians, with dieir many denominations,rncannot claim that distinetion, havingrnbeen called from all corners of thernearrii. Had Jesus not been born a Jew,rnMr. Rubin’s assertion of cultural privilegernand conflict of religion (wliiclirnseems to be the basis for all the turmoilrngoing on today in the Middle East) mightrnbe defensible.rnOf course, there are good reasons tornobject to die “Holyland experience,” as itrnis called. ‘I’liere is a danger in mixingrncapitalism and religion; just ask die nioneycliangersrnat the Temple, or Jim andrnTammy Fav Bakker.rnFor that reason, it will be interesting tornsee if Holyland will follow in the footstepsrnof die prophet Eisner by surrendering itsrnstreets to the modern cquialent of therndoomed residents of Sodom and Gomorrah,rnor —like the early Jews and Christiansrn—keep die faidi pure and unabatedrnso that it doesn’t eyentually wind up resemblingrnthe barren walls of today’s publicrnschools and halls of justice. Obviously,rnthe two orthodoxies ma}’ have more inrncommon diaii they care to admit, includingrnenemies. As one Jew once said: “Hernwho is not against me is for me.” As anotherrnone put it some years later: “Itrncouldn’t hurt.”rnOf course, I still don’t know where iii’rnfaiiiiK’ and I will spend our vacation. Butrnif we ever get to Holvland, I’ll be sure tornwrite . . . if I can find my scroll.rn—joe PnissingrnTHE MOLDOVAN COMMUNISTSrnwon 71 of 101 seats in die February 2Srnparliaineiitar- elections, to the chagrin ofrnexpansionist-minded NAFOcrats. Withrnan absolute niajorih’ in tiie parliament —rnwhich elects the country’s president—rnpro-Russian elements in Moldova arernlikcK- to hac one of their own as therncountrv’s chief executive. MoIdoanrnCommunist leader Vladimir ‘Voroninrnannounced that he intends to followrnriirough with ho pro-Russian campaignrnpledges: to make Russian Moldova’s secondrn”ofiFieial language” (after ‘ears of aiitirussophonernactions bv the Moldovan authorities),rnand to seek Moldova’s admissionrnto die Russia-Belarus Union, a loosernpolitical-economic alliance of the twornSlaie .states. I h e election also strengdieiicdrnMoscow’s hand in the breakawayrnMAY 2001/7rnrnrn