April 01, 2005
JOHN PAUL II DEAD: For good or ill, he was probably the most important historical figure of the last fifty years. It was he, not Gorbachev or Reagan, who was most responsible for the West's victory in the Cold War; Reagan's contributions were mainly rhetorical, and Gorbachev might not have been possible without the groundwork laid by the Pope throught Eastern Europe. But he must also bear a good deal of the responsibility for the dominancy of reactionary theological tendencies in the Church, particularly its continued support for the oppression of women and gays. There was a reason The DaVinci Code became a best-seller, and it wasn't because of the high-quality of its prose.