In more than 300 issues of U.S. News & World Report, columnist John Leo has championed moral issues in ways that have resonated with many evangelicals. With his essay "The Leading Cultural Polluter," he sparked an ongoing culture-war discussion by drawing attention to Time Warner's distribution of objectionable rap and rock lyrics. He has also addressed school prayer, teenage sex, assisted suicide, media bias, and partial-birth abortions.
But Leo's most frequent target is the creed of political correctness, championed by those he calls the "cultural elite." He is at his best when pointing out their double standards, including their distrust of religion.
While Leo does not consider himself a Christian believer, he says, "I grew up in the Catholic tradition, and my head is permanently shaped by it. I believe its social principles, and I defend religion against the assaults of a wrong-headed culture."
What would you say is the driving theme in your weekly columns?
I think millions of Americans are in shock and mourning at the cultural breakdown we see all around us. There must be a way to stand up and say, "This is not the way our culture has to go." My message is, "Let's hang in there, let's make our case, and maybe we can turn the culture around."
I think people are hungry for strong analysis to rub up against. They may not agree with me, but they believe I mean what I say. If I say it strongly, they'll say, "Yeah, that's right" or "I think he's full of beans and I'm going to explain why." Either way it makes people think.
You tend to hit the politically correct agenda especially hard.
I think PC is a real threat. There is a silly aspect of pc: "That nude painting is harassing me, so please remove it." But what Americans don't ...1