clothed “warriors” shooting tennis ballsrnat one another. A democratic touch isrnadded to the show by the contestant interviews,rnwherein we learn that most ofrnthe contestants are just normal folk, tryingrnto get along. No one seems to havernreflected upon the irony of providingrn”gladiatorial” games, no matter how ersatz,rnin what is supposed to be a republic.rnPerhaps it is better to think of thisrnnew trend as looking not back to a paganrnpast but forward to a hi-tech future. Thernliterature of science fiction has long hadrnas a staple feature the idea that in the futurernman himself will become the objectrnof sport. Indeed, these latter-day gladiatorialrncontests resemble nothing sornmuch as the video games with whichrnchildren spend so much of their time.rnBoth glorify senseless violence with nornrecognition of either the pain or the lossrnof life involved. At least the pagans hadrna sort of innocence; their moral code,rnwhile perhaps not complete, was coherent.rnIn a world entering what has beenrncalled a “post-Christian” era, innocencernis no excuse, and so we are left with justrnplain moral disintegration. As IlilairernBelloc pointed out some years ago, arnpost-Christian world will surely be darkerrnthan the pre-Christian. No longerrnbuoyed by a framework of moral values,rnsocial constraints, or honest pastimes, itrnis no wonder that people have turned tornsuch violence and voyeurism. Christiansrnfacing wild animals in the arena mayrnmake a comeback.rn—Gerald Russellorn”FAIRNESS” has be come the dernrigueur justification each time PresidentrnClinton or some member of Congressrnpropose some grossly unfair action. Mr.rnClinton says, for example, that it is onlyrn”fair” to increase the income tax paidrnby “the rich” by 16 percent (by raisingrnthe rate from 31 to 36 percent) becausernthey “didn’t pay their fair share of taxes”rnduring the I980’s. It fazes the Presidentrnnot that this statement is flat-out wrong.rnPaul G. Mcrski, fiscal affairs director ofrnthe Tax Foundation in Washington,rnD.C., reports that tax-return data showrnthe nation’s top earners paid a steadilyrnhigher percentage of the total U.S. taxrnbill during the I980’s. “By 1990, the toprn5 percent of earners paid 42.9 percent ofrntotal income tax revenues. That’s up arnsharp 17.9 percent from 1980, when theyrnpaid 36.4 percent of the taxes collected,”rnreports Merski. Furthermore, the datarnshow that even if the tax burden of everyrnperson making $200,000 or more a yearrnwere doubled, the increased revenuesrnwould cover only six weeks of federalrnspending.rnSince it is one of Mr. Clinton’s proudestrnboasts that 75 percent of his tax increasesrnwill “fall on the rich,” it is instructivernto see at what level of incomernthe tax punishment starts. In his originalrnpronouncements Clinton said that hernwould raise the income tax on only thern”upper 2 percent” of Americans earningrn$200,000 or more annually. But arnfunny thing happened on the way to enforcingrn”fairness” on these higher earners.rnUnder his plan, any individual withrnan adjusted gross income of $115,000 arnyear or more is considered “rich ” and isrntherefore given an equal opportunity tornhave his or her income tax rate raised torn36 percent. Coming from Arkansas,rnPresident Clinton might actually believernthat someone who earns $115,000 a yearrnis “rich.” However, in California—whichrnhas 16.5 percent of the taxpayers whornmake $100,000 or more—$115;000 for arnfamily of four is really only middle class.rnNew arrivals find this out in a hurryrnwhen they price new single-familyrnhomes. They start in the low six figures.rnAs it happens, some 52 percent ofrnAmericans reporting income overrn$100,000 a year are small-business owners.rnThey are among the 20 million menrnand women who create nearly all of thernnew jobs in this country. During thern1980’s that Mr. Clinton so despises,rnthese small business owners created anrnastonishing 20 million new jobs whilernthe Fortune 500 companies were net jobrnlosers. They achieved this remarkablernrecord by risking their own capital, workingrn12-hour days and six-day weeks,rnscrimping to send their kids to college,rnforgoing vacations, coping with anrnavalanche of costly legislative mandates,rnregulations, and taxes spewing forthrnfrom national, state, and local governments,rnand by doing somethingrnCongress and the White House havernnot done for 24 years—balancing theirrnbudgets! It is an affront to these hardworkingrnbusiness owners to use thernbroad-brush appellation “the rich”rnagainst anyone who earns $115,000 arnyear, and it is a gratuitous insult to implyrnthat anyone who has achieved this degreernof financial success has done so byrnvirtue of greed and special favors receivedrnduring the Reagan-Bush years.rnIn fairness, Mr. Clinton and membersrnof his party should stop giving fairness arnbad name. If the President wants to attackrnpeople for being “rich,” let him turnrnhis venom on his Cabinet, which is composedrnmostly of millionaire lawyers.rn—Oliver Starr, ]r.rnGAYS A N D JUDAISM were recentlyrndiscussed in the summer 1993 issue ofrnthe Public Interest. Since the author ofrnthe article, Dennis Praeger, had beenrnidentified a few weeks before in Insight asrna political conservative and Jewish traditionalist,rnone might have expected tornfind here an attack on sexual perversionrnbased on Leviticus 18. And Praeger docsrnmention that in the Mosaic law a manrnwho lies with another man is committingrntoavah, an abomination punishable byrndeath. He then points out thatrnhomosexuality was not onh- a grievousrnoffense in the Bible, but one likenedrnthere to such hideous acts of defilementrnas incest, carnal relations with animals,rnand human sacrifice.rnPraeger might have gone further andrnnoted that in Leviticus 18:24 divinernjudgment is threatened against nationsrnthat sanction such pollution {tumah).rnThus the Canaanites will be vomitedrnout of their land and dispossessed by thernHebrews for practicing sexual perversion.rnSuch practices are characteristic ofrnthose particularly wicked nations, likernthe Canaanites, whom the Hebrews arernto destroy in response to a divine commandment.rnThough such statementsrnwould offend Abraham Foxman of thernAnti-Defamation League, Rabbi DavidrnSaperstein of the Religious Action Centerrnof Reform Judaism, and other Jewishrncommunal leaders now lumping anti-rnSemitism and homophobia together, thernJewish heritage does provide the mostrnvehement and merciless condemnationrnof homosexuality yet produced. Unlikernthose who speak for Judaism, homosexualsrnare right to hate the Bible, particularlyrnthe Old Testament. Its views onrngays are far more shockingly hostile thanrnwhat one encounters among today’s selfproclaimedrnreligious conservatives.rnDespite his reference to a few of thernrelevant phrases from Leviticus, Praegerrngoes on to smother the full force of thernHebraic judgment about moral polluters.rnOnce settling his reservationsrn(the term may be too strong) aboutrnhomosexuality, he reaches for liberal ba-rn6/CHRONICLESrnrnrn