Awards, every MTV Music VideornAwards, every benefit, tribute, dog show,rnand peep show since Reagan left. No indifferencernhere. (Perhaps no differencerneither, but that is another story.)rnAnd what of those gathered that Sundayrnafternoon, the kids with mile-longrnfaces staring blankly at the giant panelsrnof the AIDS quilt, addressing themselvesrnto the “Caring One” and holding littlerncandles? Were they, like other Americans,rnshamefully indifferent? Or werernthey unlike the rest, somehow different,rncaring in spite of themselves, soldiers atrnthe vanguard of a compassion revolution?rnI really couldn’t say.rnThe reading continued. “We gatherrnthis evening in compassionate supportrn. . . embracing those living with the HIVrnvirus and those who love and care forrnthem.” With these words, the faithfulrnembraced not only the afflicted, but alsornthe homosexuality of so many AIDSrncasualties. The scourge of AIDS gavernway to the evils of homophobia, intolerance,rnand bigotry—maladies that nowadaysrnare said to plague all those who rejectrneven one plank of the radical gayrnagenda. The struggle for gay legitimacyrnwas joined.rnAnother minister came forward tornlead a “Litany of Remembrance” ofrnthose “whom we have loved and whornhave died of AIDS . . . our lovers andrnspouses with whom we shared so intimatelyrn. . . our children . . . our fathersrnand mothers, brothers and sisters, uncles,rnaunts, and cousins . . . [and] ourrnfriends.” It was now class participationrntime. “We recall by name all thosernwhom we lost to AIDS.” The assembled,rnthe bulletin noted parenthetically,rnshould, “as you feel prompted, recallrnaloud the first name of your loved onesrnwho have died.” Six or eight peoplernspoke up. All of the departed, however,rnseemed to have had masculine names,rnleaving out—for now—the mothers, sisters,rnand aunts. Oh, well.rnSome who spoke probably recalledrnrelatives and friends. No doubt othersrnhad to rely on the names of friends ofrnfriends or cousins of friends or friends ofrncousins. Some could not think of a singlernperson who had died of AIDS.rnAmong these, I could not even recall thernname of someone who had known someonernwho had died of AIDS. I did recallrna dear friend who several years ago wasrnterribly ill and had had himself testedrnfor AIDS. But he did not—thankrnGod—have the virus. Even as I countedrnmy blessings and stayed quiet, I couldn’trnhelp feeling I was somehow letting everyonerndown.rnAnother prayer began. “l,oving God,rnMother and Father of us all, rememberrnthe gift of life you shared with us throughrnour loved ones who have died.” Itrnseemed odd that a prayer so fuzzy in addressingrnGod should beseech thernAlmighty to remember, but perhaps thernmessage wasn’t intended for I lim. Afterrnall, the next line—”Send your good spiritrnto hover around us, gently touchingrnour pain”—sounded like a prayer to thernghost of some long-dead Arkansas Indianrnchief. Perhaps it was.rnAt last it was time for the closingrnhymn, “Weave Us Together.” The firstrnverse, saluting multiculturalism, seemedrnnot to fit the program. The secondrnverse, trumpeting the equality of sexualrnlifestyles, fit perfectly: “We are differentrninstruments, playing our own melodies,rneach one tuning to a different key.” As ifrnpraying to the dead Indian hadn’t beenrnenough, the third verse betrayed stillrnmore theological confusion. “Now thernGod in me, greets the God in thee, inrnone great family”—a succinct distillationrnnot of Ghristianity, but of BradyrnBunch pantheism. Amidst such ecumenicism,rnGhrist had not once beenrnmentioned.rnAbout the candles. As a child, 1 alwaysrnlooked forward to the lighting of the candlesrnon Christmas Eve. With only thernmoon outside and the lights inside thernchurch turned down low, I would watchrnwith great anticipation as the light wasrnpassed from the Christ candle downrneach aisle to each pew and finally, inrnturn, to each parishioner. When thoserncandles were lifted the sanctuary wasrnfilled with light, a symbol, our pastorrnsaid, of the gospel of Christ illuminatingrnthe world.rnThere was plenty of light that afternoonrnaround the AIDS quilt at thernWinthrop University student center. Nornone bothered to draw the blinds on thernsetting sun or cut the florescent lightrntubes overhead, but they lit the candlesrnanyway.rnNothing happened.rnLuther M. Boggs, ]r., writes fromrnAtlanta, Georgia.rnLetter FromrnColoradornby Edward L. LedermanrnBack to BasicsrnThe day after last year’s election thatrntorpedoed our nation’s most advancedrnexperiment in “Outcome Based Education”rn(OBE), a pleasant-faced teacherrnappeared on the evening news.rn”Shocked and depressed,” she said shernwas. “I’ve been teaching for over 15rnyears, giving the kids the best educationrnpossible. And to have them win like this.rnIt’s a slap; it’s like saying I don’t knowrnwhat I’m doing.” Earlier that day manyrnstudents had returned home from schoolrnLIBERAL ARTSrnFREEDOM I.Q. TESTrn”Civilized Publications” in Philadelphia recently announced the release of a book entitledrnAre You Still a Slave? by “notoriously controversial” author Shahrazad Ali. Ali,rnwho claims this follow-up to her Blackman’s Guide to Understanding the Blackrnwoman is “another self-help book designed to uplift and help the entire Black community,”rnstructures her new book around a 50-question “Freedom I.Q. Test.”rnAli says that Are You Still a Slave? simply determines if blacks “experience slaveryrnflashbacks which influence behavior and control thinking in the form of PosttraumaticrnStress Disorder.” According to Civilized Publications’ press release, the bookrnrepresents a “high-tech move towards ‘interactive literature.'” The quiz is “convenientlyrn”liue or False’ [sic] with the top score being 100 and you get two chances tornpass [sic]. Score definitions and psychological interpretation are included, and eachrnbook comes hermetically sealed in plastic for ‘privacy.'”rnSEPTEMBER 1994/37rnrnrn