Monday, March 15, 2010

Nice man trapped inside a party he helped fashion

A few months ago, René Girard and I had a 3-hour lunch with Jerry Brown, California's Attorney General. Brown is now running for governor, a post his father held and that he held in the 1970s. The Attorney General had called me to say he wanted to talk about my book, Violence Unveiled. I suggested that I ask René Girard to come along, which I did.

It was a very cordial visit, and it confirmed what many have said, that Brown is a complex man. He is also extremely well-read and intellectually astute. Thus our lunch went far longer than any of us had anticipated.

The point of mentioning this is to say that, though I like Jerry Brown personally, and I have a degree of respect for him, his position on the sanctity of life and traditional marriage make it impossible for me to support him. I told him at our lunch that I would cheer for him (not being California voter at the time) in his likely contest with San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom -- Newsom being, in my view, both a moral and intellectual light-weight -- but that I could never support him against anyone with a better position on the life and marriage issues. It is to his credit that he took no offense at my saying this.

All this came up for me today when I read an article in the California Catholic Daily about Brown, which you might find interesting. At our lunch, Brown spoke of his work with Mother Teresa, and the article gets into that a bit. I found it interesting.  It is here.

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