Strange pewmates

031202 VF ValeriePlameThe St. Petersburg Times has a reputation for quality journalism that is difficult to match. The newspaper is innovative, aggressive and thorough, and it often comes out with interesting articles like this one. Little nuggets about a person are often uncovered in profiles such as these. Here we have Valerie Plame, a CIA agent whose cover was exposed by journalists. The long story of how this came about can be better described here, but the theme is that her life has been altered forever and she will likely never recover the privacy and anonymity she previously enjoyed. The "Plame Affair" has shaken the White House and could lead to criminal charges against top Bush advisers. But who is she as a person?

She was born in 1963 in Anchorage, Alaska, where her father, an Air Force lieutenant colonel, was stationed.

As a girl, she loved puzzles and dolls.

At Lower Moreland High School outside Philadelphia, she ran track.

The list of things "you didn't know about Valerie Plame" is fairly standard until you get near the end and you read that Plame attends the same church (but not the same service) as Bush adviser Karl Rove. For those following the events surrounding Plame, the idea of Karl Rove and Valerie Plame sitting next to each other in a pew is a bit discordant.

The article moves on, but it left me wondering: What church do Plame and Rove attend? Is that any of my business? Who attends the earlier service? How does the pastor of this church feel about the incident? Does any of this matter in the grand scheme of things?

In some ways, this is somewhat amazing. Two people -- who we can be fairly certain are not fond of each other -- worship in the same congregation of believers. In other ways, this is not so amazing. Throughout America, Republicans and Democrats routinely attend the same services, pray for each other and study the Bible. The stark mental image that has been painted for us by the media -- of Plame and her husband Joseph C. Wilson and Karl Rove -- gets fuzzy when I learn that the two attend the same place of worship.

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