First, let me offer a personal confession: I am old enough to remember what it felt like to anxiously wait to learn where my birth date fell in one of the final U.S. military draft lotteries during the Vietnam War era. If you happen to be that old, then the odds are much better that you are familiar with the work of Father Daniel Berrigan.
One more confession: It will also be easier to understand this post if, at one point in your life, you were a strong supporter of abortion rights and then you started reading the works of political liberals -- in some cases socialists -- who were also defenders of the weakest of the weak, as in unborn children.
Thus, with all of that in my past, it was interesting to read the news-media obituaries and tributes to Father Berrigan this week.
Journalists, of course, put most of their focus on his anti-war activism -- which was totally appropriate. More than a few (think "Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard") discussed the degree to which Berrigan and his brother Philip became public figures and even symbols in popular culture.
It would be easy to say that he was just an anti-war leader and, in the eyes of many conservatives, someone who went overboard in his criticism of America. It would have been easy to say that, and that alone. However, I also wanted to see if journalists would deal with some of the other truly countercultural implications of Father Berrigan's beliefs.
In short, I was interested in noting what journalists mentioned, as opposed to what they edited out of this radical life story. Thus, here is a short and rather easy test. Which of the following summaries of Berrigan's life and career is from Crux and which is from The New York Times? I made them extra long to show more context: