Use 'Da Vinci Code' to start talks on faith
Palladium-Item, Richmond, Ind.:
How author Dan Brown must relish the controversy surrounding his latest book.
''The Da Vinci Code'' is fiction. Fiction by definition is nontruth. But it's one component of Brown's book that has stirred much of the controversy: a claim that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene.
Roman Catholics and Christians call such a claim an affront to their faith and everything it stands for. Some are concerned that this claim - again, made in a work of fiction - will cost some fence-straddling Christians their faith.
No one wants to see faith lost. Faith is a valuable component in a country founded in religious freedom.
Perspective is the key. Conversation is paramount.
Let's use this claim, this book, this movie, as a forum for open, honest discussion - among Christians, non-Christians and others of assorted faiths and beliefs.
This isn't the first film to stir controversy in the religious community. It certainly won't be the last. It is another opportunity to meet, talk, share and discuss issues central to personal faith. It's an opportunity that shouldn't be missed.
Bush tax cuts will cost us down the road
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
George Bush has a child-like faith in the power of tax cuts even though the president's own bean counters aren't so sanguine.
Before signing the $70 billion extension of rollbacks on capital gains and dividends taxes, Bush recited a litany of the supposed benefits of the cuts. If you looked closely, though, the president's nose seemed to grow when he said that economic growth spurred by the cuts, first adopted in 2003, ''means more tax revenue for the federal treasury.''
Actually, according to a Knight Ridder Newspapers report, the tax cuts won't pay for themselves. They will result in less tax revenue, according to none other than Douglas Holtz-Eakin. He was chief economist for Bush's Council of Economic Advisers from 2001 to 2002, then served through 2005 as director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Holtz-Eakin allowed that there are other reasons for the extra tax revenue - $274 billion, a 15 percent increase, in 2005 - the economy is enjoying as it recovers from the 2001 downturn. These include higher population and a larger overall economy.
Responsible economists have nothing against tax cuts so long as they are not financed with borrowed money, which is what the administration is doing. The result, a higher budget deficit, means huge add-on interest costs, which only drives the deficit spiral upward.
Our children and grandchildren will find federal programs curtailed or will be forced to pay higher taxes to maintain them. That is the true legacy of the Bush tax reductions.