EDITORrnThomas FlemingrnSENIOR EDITOR, BOOKSrnChilton Williamson, Jr.rnMANAGING EDITORrnScott P. RichertrnART DIREGTORrnH. Ward SterettrnDESIGNERrnMelanie AndersonrnCONTRIBUTING EDITORSrnKatherine Dalton, Samuel Francis,rnGeorge Garrett, Paul Gottfried,rn/.O. Tate, Michael Washburn,rnClyde WilsonrnCORRESPONDING EDITORSrnBill Kauffman, Donald Livingston,rnWilliam Mills, William Murchison,rnAndrei Navrozov, Jacob NeusnerrnFOREIGN AFFAIRS EDITORrnSrdja TrifkovicrnLEGAL AFFAIRS EDITORrnStephen B. PresserrnRELIGION EDITORrnHarold O.]. BrownrnEDITORIAL SECRETARYrnLeann DobbsrnPUBLISHERrnThe Rockford InstituternPUBLICATION DIRECTORrnGuy C. ReffettrnCIRCULATION MANAGERrnCindy LinkrnA publication of The Rockford Institute.rnEditorial and Advertising Offices:rn928 North Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103.rnEditorial Phone: (815)964-5054.rnAdvertising Phone: (815)964-5813.rnSubscription Department: P.O. Box 800,rnMount Morris, IL 61054, Call I-SOO-877-5459.rnU.S.A. Newsstand Distribution by Eastern NewsrnDistiributors, Inc., One Media Way, 12406 Rt. 250rnMilan, Ohio 44848-9705rnCopvTight © 1999 bv The Rockford Institute.rnAll rights reserved.rnChronicles (ISSN 0887-5731) is publishedrnmonthlv for $39.00 (foreign subscriptions add $12rnfor surface delivery’, $48 for .ir Mail) per year byrnTlie Rockford Institute, 928 North Main Street.’rnRockford, IL 61103-7061. Preferred periodicalrnpostage paid at Rockford, IL and additional mailingrnoffices. POSTMASTER: Send address changesrnto Chronicles, P.O. Box 800, Mount Morris,rnIL 61054.rnThe views expressed in Chronicles are thernauthors’ alone and do not necessarily reflectrnthe views of The Rockford lustitiite or of itsrndirectors. Unsolicited manuscripts cannot bernreturned unless accompanied by a self-addressedrnstanrped envelope.rnChroniclesrnVol. 2 No. 6 June l-^*^^)rnPriiiled in tlic Llnited States of AnicncjrnPOLEMICS & EXCHANGESrnOn DiversityrnTo make an urgent point—the corruptionrnof the representation of history inrnfilm by the anachronistic distortions ofrncontemporary poUtics—Roger McGrath,rnin his fine and well-argued analysisrn(“Celluloid Nation,” March), at the outsetrnand at the end uses language that suggestsrnthat he holds non-Christians arernun-American, the practice of religionsrnother than Christianity’ marking a personrnas unworthy of the blood and heroism ofrnTarawa. The long prologue to the shankrnof his essay holds that the Marines wererndefending their tribe “united by race,rnlanguage, culture, and religion.” Andrnthis, he makes explicit, means white andrnChristian, at least.rnLanguage and culture represent openrncategories; all of us non-Christians/nonwhitesrnspeak (or produce children whornspeak) ordinary, plain American English,rnand so far as Dr. McCrath meansrnby “culture” the intimacies that we sharernin everyday life, the ways of walking thatrnmark us, in a crowd of Asians or Europeans,rnas indelibly American, he is right:rnAll of us walk the same way. But does hernreally maintain that skin tone definesrnAmericanness? My black Americanrnfriends have been here for 350 years.rnThey, too, fought and died in all ourrnwars. Does he think that practicingrnChristianit)’ is a requirement of citizenship?rnThen Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam,rnamong other religions, should bernspecified in an amendment to the Constitutionrnas grounds for exclusion. Inrnwriting up the amendment. Dr. McGrathrnmight specify which of the manyrnbrands of Christianify qualifies, and howrnhe plans to dispose of atheists and (merely)rnsecular persons.rnWhite Protestants of Northern Europeanrnancestry do not exercise a monopolyrnover Americanism or own thernheroism of the United States Marines.rnWithout its prologue and epilogue, thernshank of Mr. McGrath’s essay couldrnhave made its perfectly valid point.rn—Jacob NeusnerrnTampa, FLrnDr. McGrath Replies:rnJacob Neusner raises a nuinber of goodrnpoints, several of which deserve separaternarticles. (Editors, please take note.) Irnsuppose much of this can be boiledrndown to the question: How much diversifyrncan America tolerate and still bernAmerica? There is no question that, atrnthe time the Declaration of Independencernwas signed and the Constitutionrnwas framed, an American was white andrnEnglish-speaking, and a product ofrnWestern Christian civilization. Nonwhitesrnwere not allowed citizenship untilrnRepublicans forced through the 14thrnAmendment in 1868 partiy as a way tornenfranchise blacks in the South whornthey thought would then vote for thernGrand Old Party. Moreover, wheneverrnnon-white immigration reached any significantrnlevel, restrictions and prohibitionsrnwere enacted, e.g., the Chinese ExclusionrnAct of 1882, the Gentlemen’srnAgreement of 1907, and the OrientalrnExclusion Act of 1924.rnWhen the Founding Fathers talkedrnabout religious freedom, they were essentiallyrnthinking of disestablishing thernAnglican Church. “Freedom of worship”rnmeant that Baptists, Presbyterians,rnQuakers, and Catholics should nornlonger suffer as they had under Englishrnrule. I really don’t think the Foundersrnwere thinking about Muslims, Hindus,rnBuddhists, animists, and Santerians. InrnLos Angeles, Muslims outnumber Episcopalians.rnThey outnumber Presbyterians.rnThey outnumber Methodists. So,rntoo, do Buddhists. And, according to arnreport in the Los Angeles Times, so, too,rndo Santerians.rnTeachers in the Los Angeles schoolsrnreceive a pocket calendar from the CaliforniarnTeachers’ Association that includesrnthe following highlighted datesrnfor 1998-99: Jufy 7, Mawlid el-Nabirn(Prophet Muhammad’s birthday); Septemberrn20, Ramadan (Muslim holyrnmonth); January 19, Shawwal (Muslimrnholy day); March 28, Thw al-Hijjahrn(Muslim holy day); April 17, Muharramrn(MusliiTi holy day). Hindus and Buddhistsrnscore with Diwali (festival ofrnlights) in November and Buddha’s Birth,rnEnlightenment, and Death Commemorationrnon May 22. In the bad old days,rnwhen I was in the Los Angeles schools,rnwe had Christmas and Easter.rnWhat if America is five or ten percentrnnon-white, non-English-speaking, non-rnChristian, non-Western? No problem.rn4/CHRONICLESrnrnrn