Jim Edgar, the 38th governor of Illinois, will guest lecture at my Roosevelt University class after all. After a scheduling delay, I was called by his stunningly effective personal aide Sue to say that the former governor will indeed make a presentation and respond to questions the night of September 28 beginning at 6 p.m. (The man he named as chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, Dan Miller, will talk about business regulation, the media and business beginning at 7 p.m. on the same night. Miller is exceedingly qualified to talk of all three as business editor of the Sun-Times.
Bob Novak, at age 75 the acknowledged dean of political columnists in the nation, popped into town yesterday for a luncheon address to the newly-formed Leadership Forum at the Union League Club
and I was lucky enough to be in attendance. Bob, whom Ive known since I was a Nixon administration underling in 1969, talked about his remarkable conversion to the Roman Catholic church at age 68. In powerfully simple terms, he said that he had made a speech at the University of Syracuse when a young woman student came up to him and happened to bring up the subject of eternity
asking if he had made preparations for the after-life. When he said no, she underscored the importance of thinking seriously about it. Shortly after that he visited with Fr. C. J. McCloskey of the Washington Information Center, a priest of Opus Dei. Fr. McCloskey, an outstanding thinker and homilist, followed through with the conversion and led Novak and his wife into the Church. It is a remarkably simple but effective story.
When Dan Cheely who was at our table asked why Novak picked the Catholic Church when Evangelical churches ask the same question of ones final destination, Novak responded with an answer that is very un-journalistic, not fact-filled and not speculative. He lays it to the power of the Holy Spirit. He said he had read a history of the Catholic ChurchTriumph by H. H. Crocker
and commented that the Church had lasted for 2,000 years, sometimes under terrible leadership of awful men: corrupt Popes, Popes who were indentured to emperors, venal and despicable people down through the centuriessprinkled with a few saintsand concluded that if an organization can survive under leadership like that against all the odds, that Church truly must be divine.
Speaking of Conversion.
Youre familiar with the freeing last week of the Fox news correspondent and his cameraman. They were forced to say they were converted to the Muslim faith
which they readily acknowledged in order to save their necks (literally).
But the question has been raised by Mark Steyn that despite whether we would have the strength to measure up to an order to convert, the Fox crews acquiescence was used to prove the weakness and lack of certitude of Westerners by the Muslims. I for one would hope that I would have to guts and fortitude to say, go ahead and kill me but Im not convertingdont you? My view is that it is not a black and white thing that one should automatically take the view that anything should be done to save ones life including denying ones faith. Would you at least agree with me when I say that I would pray to have the spiritual strength to embrace martyrdom in that case? Your views solicited.