Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect

Recent Articles

Culture Clash

Not long after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I sat at a Dupont Circle cafe with a friend who had lost her brother-in-law in the the World Trade Center. I was holding forth on my belief that American ignorance played no small role in creating the conditions for the attacks, when she became extremely agitated. "How can you say that?" she cried. "It's like you're blaming those people [in the towers] for their own deaths!" "That's not what I mean," I tried to explain, but was cut off. "They hate our way of life," she continued. "That's what this is about." In a certain sense, she was right. But five years later, I think it's clearer than ever what's missing from the "hate our way of life" explanation. Serious Muslims do in fact hate many of the values on which American life is based -- individualism arguably first among them. But that's not why the extremists who killed nearly 3,000 innocent Americans that day enjoy the support of a great many Muslims. Things got this bad...

Storm Trooper

The life of Cholene Espinoza appears to crystallize, in a single person, the Zeitgeist of our time; her personal story encompasses a number of issues that burn in today's headlines: women's rights, gay rights, the role of the military in the modern world, the role of faith in activism. Now in her early forties, Espinoza, a self-described gay woman, graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1987 and went on to serve as the second woman ever to fly the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. Today she's a pilot for United Airlines, where she had served as a captain until staff cutbacks stemming from United's bankruptcy knocked her down a rank. What's more, she was a war correspondent -- one who covered the 2003 invasion of Iraq as an embedded reporter. She would also like to be allowed to marry her partner, Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News Service. With her first book, Through the Eye of the Storm (Chelsea Green), Espinoza inserts herself into what will likely be viewed as one of the signal...

The Shylock Code

Before I get started here, let me make one thing perfectly clear: I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of the Jewish faith. No members of my family are known to be Jews. Okay, so some of my best friends are Jews, but whattaya want? I'm in the liberal media biz, and you know who's in charge here. Call it a matter of professional development. But me, I'm a holy card-carrying, Blessed Mother-lovin' member of the Church of Rome. My opening declaration is necessitated by the subject of this treatise: the fallout from the meltdown of Mel Gibson, Traditionalist Catholic , and his drunken tirade against the "f#@*ing Jews." I feel for Mr. Gibson, I really do; as a recovering alcoholic myself, I know too well the shame the drunk so easily brings upon herself when the tongue is loosened and the fists unleashed by the fruit of the vine, brewery, and/or distillery. And I know firsthand the pain inflicted on earnest Catholics at the hands of dismissive Jews: When I was in the 10th grade, I was...

Fighting Right

It was a modest and, I thought, obvious proposal that I put forward two weeks ago on this page: That liberals give up the notion of creating a cohesive religious left movement that could act as an effective counterforce to the animus of the religious right. Instead, I argued, liberals would do well to claim our own moral agency by virtue of our own humanity and the essential values of liberalism, which encompass the most admirable tenets of the world's great religions. My jumping-off point for this thesis was the latest strife in the Episcopal Church USA, which is riven with controversy over its 2003 installation of a gay bishop in the Diocese of New Hampshire, and last month's election of Kathleen Jefferts Schori, a woman who supports the gay bishop, as the American church's chief prelate. With all of the mainline Protestant churches engaged in similar internal battles, I argued, it was counterproductive to expect the leadership of these grand old faiths to hold, for the rest of us,...

A Canterbury Tale

It was with great joy that religious members of the progressive movement received, late last month, news of the election of Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to the top leadership position in the U.S. Episcopal Church. For one, the fact of the bishop's gender heralded an important first for Episcopalians, whose rites and rituals cling closely to those of the Roman Catholic Church. Furthermore, the inclusive position taken by Jefferts Schori with regard to the full participation of gays and lesbians in the church sent a powerful message to Christian churches around the globe. That message was received without amusement by the top man in the Church of England, the Episcopalians' parent church. As head of the church founded by King Henry the VIII, the Archbishop of Canterbury presides, as well, over the Anglican Communion, the worldwide body of Anglican and Episcopal churches affiliated with the Church of England. Archbishop Rowan Williams' reaction to the election of Jefferts Schori was...

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