Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Personal Asides: Tom Dart to Guest Lecture at Roosevelt U…Becky Carroll Rescheduled…Marty Marty and the Crusades.



Democrat Tom Dart who is just about as certain to be elected Cook county sheriff next November as anyone can reasonably expect, will guest lecture at my Roosevelt University class. Smart and personable, Tom was an assistant states attorney and a superb state legislator. He got the Democratic nomination for state treasurer but Judy-Judy-Judy cut a deal with Rep. Bobby Rush among others and Rod Blagojevich, supposedly close to Tom, pulled a disappearing act on the race with the result that Tom lost to Topinka. Tom should have been made state commissioner of corrections but was not by his one-time friend Blagojevich, unaccountably. However, he went on to become chief of staff to Sheriff Mike Sheahan. There he has supplied great acumen and ability to the point where the sheriff endorsed him as his successor when he determined not to run for reelection. Tom will speak on November 9 at 7 p.m.


Becky Carroll, spokesperson for the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget who is one of the most adept and adroit expositors of state government in the Blagojevich administration, has been re-scheduled for a lecture at my Roosevelt class on October 12 at 7 p.m.

Marty Marty.

Reverend Martin Marty, a professor emeritus of religion at the University of Chicago, is one of those guys who was born to sit on a dais. He has received 64 honorary doctorates and has written well over forty books which have been well-reviewed in contemporary liberal journals. A Lutheran former senior editor of the “Christian Century,” one of the nation’s oldest trendy left Christian publications, he and his magazine especially under the Rev. Jim Wall, Marty Marty’s friend, have taken a decidedly Arabist point of view concerning the Middle East. Wall and Marty Marty who look somewhat alike are always dissatisfied that Israel has not made more commitments, Marty is not known particularly for the religious ideas he espouses but for his political stance.

Marty Marty’s son, John, has followed him in this and has been even more activist—moving to the Roseville suburb of St. Paul and becoming the most liberal State Senator in the state. Following his father in theatrics, John when he was a DFL candidate for governor, voted in defense of flag-burning and was rather tempered when a group of VFW veterans in uniform demanded to see him on the issue. They really didn’t get far in trying to see John as he is not known in Minnesota as being interested in confrontation with angry war veterans. John is a thinker not a fighter. He lost the election, of course.

Nor is the man known as Marty Marty known to be a particularly heavy fighter or thinker—just a pop campus religious figure not unlike the late William Sloane Coffin. Like Coffin, Marty Marty has always been in the forefront of opposition to any military campaign in America’s interest: from the earliest days of the Cold War to today. It would be instructive to imagine where we would be if the nation had listened to Marty Marty down through the years, from Truman to Reagan. We would not have won it; although Marty Marty still does not recognize that we won it.

Yesterday, appropriately, the newspaper that has not yet figured out what it believes so on most matters it splits the difference, the “Chicago Tribune” published Marty Marty’s Op Ed on the controversy between Pope Benedict XVI and the Muslims. You would expect that Marty Marty would take the side of the Muslims in this controversy, would you not? No, he eschews beheadings but he said they have a point concerning the terrible atrocities the Christians—then Catholics—committed in the Crusades. Appropriately, Marty Marty picked a book, different from many others, which is tough on the Crusades and Crusaders—but that is not surprising, is it? A good number of books have justified the Crusades but Marty Marty is banking that most Op Ed readers wouldn’t know them. Like “The Sword of the Prophet” and “Hatred” Kingdom.”

Recognizing that carnage and killing happens in all wars, the same question can be asked about Marty’s position anent the Crusades as Marty’s position regarding the Cold War—and that is, what kind of world would we be living in if the Crusades had never happened? The Crusades bought Europe time i.e. if Godfrey of Bouillon, Richard the Lionhearted and others hadn’t waged their fight, the jihadists would certainly have swept across Europe easier and sooner. Crusader armies occupied them fighting for Antioch and Ascalon rather than Vienna. None other than Edward Gibbons saw the possibility of the Koran being “taught in the schools of Oxford.”

While the Crusades didn’t accomplish what they set out to do but supplied the steel for the West to overcome the jihadist advance. The Muslims were turned away from Malta in the 16th century and failed in their siege of Vienna in 1529; they won against the Poles in 1672 but lost what they gained ten years later. They tried to rape Vienna again but were turned back by Poland’s King Jan III Sobieski on a fateful day that marked the crest of Muslim expansion in Europe—September 11, 1683.

Not that all this means a thing to Marty Marty who lives with equivalence in foreign policy even if, in this Op Ed, he denies it. The wars meant something to Gibbon just as they mean nothing to Marty Marty. When I say the Crusades made the full flowering of European civilization possible, Marty Marty…always looking for a good sound byte…would say: “full flowering of European civilization but wasn’t there too much suffering and carnage at a time when so many underprivileged were not treated as equals?” You see what I mean? You can never make a point with Marty Marty because his view…turned as it is against all history…is nihilistic. He should be designed for a statue in Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Not the big one in London; the little one in Vegas will do. His figure in dramatic pose with hand upraised to make a point will illustrate the truism that it’s possible to be educated beyond one’s intelligence.


  1. Prsent day discussions about the Crusades sledom point out that they were a counter to more than three centuries of Muslim aggression. Beginning in the the 7th century, Islam was spread at the point of the sword throughout Arabia, gobbled up the Persian empire, sliced off the Syrian and North African provinces of the East Roman empire, wiped out the Visgothic kingdom in Spain, siezed Sicily and harried France and Italy. You wonder why that 14th century emperor quoted by the Pope felt as he did?

  2. Mr. Roeser, with regard to pop theology whiz Marty2, you show can spot the lightweights! My honor, you can, Sir! So, You Can!

    With Regard to Tom Dart, You have 20/20 for Heavyweights, as well! Your RU Class will be well-served by this bright, forthright, articulate, and honorable mentor to the Junior US Senator from Illinois.

  3. About his 'Animal Companion' bills. I'm sure the class will be very interested in his proudest accomplishment.

    And stay away from the abortion issue, since for you 'pro-life is always uber alles'.

  4. Martin Marty vs. B16September 20, 2006 at 5:12 PM

    Even more galling than condemning Pope Benedict for being intellectually minded, Martin Marty also condemns B16 for

    "(Many) friends suffered under him as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger now empathetically choose to help the wounded nurse their bruises"

    Like who? Suffered? Like Dan Pearl suffered? Or suffered like Hans Kung by losing a debate to the Professor Ratzinger, and then having dinner with him afterwards.

    In Martin Marty's upside down world both intellectual honesty, and winning a debate with a colleague need apologies.