In the fall of 1992, Joseph Loconte seemed like a Godsend toct’s editors. (In spite of our dictionary, we capitalize Godsend in this column because we believe Joe was indeed sent.)

Joe was at that time working on a master’s degree at Wheaton College, and CT’s news department was fast turning into a mutual farewell party. During late summer and fall, all three of CT’s news editors discovered greener (for them) pastures. For two, the opportunities were rural, less expensive, and wholesome for rearing children. For a third, the opportunity was a stimulating professional challenge (with a more robust salary).

As a graduate student, Joe needed rent money. He showed up at our door, offering to work part-time. Joe had several years’ newspaper experience and free-lance clips from the Christian Science Monitor and the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. In addition, he had been a policy researcher and writer-editor at the Heritage Foundation. How could we say no?

During his nine months at CT, Joe was like the proverbial city news bureau police reporter chasing down squad cars and ladder trucks. He addressed everyone as Sir or Ma’am, but his questioning was never shy. He got the facts.

Joe’s graduate study focused on the philosophical and historical basis for religious rights. His enthusiasm for the intricacies of public policy as it impacts the church makes him one of the more distinctive conservative evangelical wonks we have met. Now back at the Heritage Foundation, Joe is deputy editor of Policy Review.

In this issue, Joe turns his attention to the much-talked about “culture wars.” Can we step back from the brink of a shooting war? Joe asks. His report begins on p. 74.

DAVID NEFF, Executive Editor

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