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CNN CROSSFIRE

Is a Gay Subculture Responsible for the Catholic Church Scandal?; Are Quotas on Women's Sports Unfair to More Popular Men's Teams?; Democrats Use Bush in Campaign Ads

Aired June 13, 2002 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: CROSSFIRE. On the left, James Carville and Paul Begala. On the right, Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson. In the CROSSFIRE...

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

BISHOP WILTON GREGORY: It is we who need to confess.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Losing faith in liberal reformers, in priests and bishops, or in the church itself.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

MICHAEL BLAND: If our trust in the church is to be restored, it will not only take action, but also a transformation of attitudes.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Plus are gay priests OK?

Guess what they're celebrating? It isn't a victory by any women's team. A battle of the sexes in the courts and on the playing fields.

Tonight on CROSSFIRE.

From the George Washington University, James Carville and Robert Novak.

JAMES CARVILLE, HOST: Welcome to CROSSFIRE. Tonight whining males jocks. Get used to it, boys. Women have a right to play games, too.

But first this hasn't been the greatest day in the world to be a Catholic, being that we got two Catholic hosts on this show. Every TV reports from the Bishop Conference in Dallas and the way the Church is handling, or depending how you looking at it, mishandling the priest sex scandal. It's been a day full of official apologies, promises to do better and harrowing statements of victims of abuse.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP) MICHAEL BLAND, ABUSE VICTIM: He was an adult. He was a priest. I was a minor. He sexually abused me.

BISHOP WILTON GREGORY, PRESIDENT U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHIPS: We did not go far enough to ensure that every child and minor was safe from sexual abuse. Rightfully, the faithful are questioning why we failed to take the necessary steps.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

CARVILLE: Can the Catholic Church reform itself before people start losing faith? First in the "Crossfire", Father Richard McBrien, theologian from the University of Notre Dame.

ROBERT NOVAK, HOST: Father McBrien, welcome back again.

REV. RICHARD MCBRIEN, THEOLOGY DEPT. FACULTY UNIV. OF NOTRE DAME: Happy to be with you Robert.

NOVAK: Thank you. It is - it is a stunning thing to me that the bishops meeting in Dallas have taken the question of homosexuality off the table when everybody would seem to see it's self-evident that the large influx of homosexuals into the clergy in the last 25 or 30 years is the basis for the present problem of sexual abuse. Don't you think that was a mistake that they made in Dallas to say this is not a homosexual problem?

MCBRIEN: If they said that, I don't think it was a mistake. Homosexuality is not irrelevant to this whole crisis, just as celibacy is not irrelevant. But it would be wrong and unfair really to suggest that all sex abusers are homosexuals or that homosexuality leads inevitably to some form of sex abuse.

They've got to address that question. I'm not -- I'm not going to circumvent your question and your concern because although I do believe and I've said this publicly many times that homosexuals have just as much right to be considered for the - a vocation to the priesthood as a heterosexual. At the tame time they have to be ministerially apt for that job. They have to be healthy people who can relate well to the constituencies they're going to minister to in the church.

But I would be concerned, and I am concerned. I've said this many times. I think there's now a disproportionately high percentage of gays in our seminaries and in the younger ranks of the priesthood, and that's unhealthy because it makes one wonder, you know, whether or not all of them are coming in for the right reason. But again, I think you have to take each case on its own merits.

NOVAK: But I think, perhaps, Father McBrien, it is a -- it is not an accidental situation that you have so many homosexuals. Let me talk about a book called "Good-bye Good Men" by Michael S. Rose, how liberals brought corruption to the Catholic Church.

We'll have Mr. Rose on this program later, but he really believes that this was a calculated design by liberals to bring so many homosexuals in. Let me put up on the screen a quote from "Good-bye Good Men".

He said "Too often men who support the teachings of the church, especially the teachings on sexual morality are dismissed for being rigid and uncharitable homophobes while those seminarians who reject the church's teachings or come out as gays to their superiors are given preferential treatment and then ordained to the Catholic priesthood". Isn't there some truth to that?

MCBRIEN: No, well maybe there is, but certainly not in my case, and I think, Robert, you'd probably characterize me as a liberal theologian. That isn't my position at all. In fact, I've taken some risk over the years in expressing myself very critically about the - I think inordinately high number of days coming into seminaries of the priesthood to the point where it is no longer a subculture in some seminaries, but the dominating dominant culture.

And I think - I think that's a very serious problem. It has to be - it has to be looked at. But on the other hand, we ought not to scapegoat gays. It isn't as if the sex abuse crisis that has arisen, and it's a terrible crisis for the Catholic Church, is the result directly or indirectly of gays in the priesthood or in seminaries.

CARVILLE: Father McBrien, to the average guy looking at his, the obvious solution to this and it's being offered by liberals and I certainly support this. If we want more heterosexuals in the priesthood, there's one way to get them. Let married people in the priesthood, that way we could get a lot more.

The conservative argument is, is that liberals like James Carville, or perhaps yourself, I don't want to speak for you, we're trying to have a homosexual clergy when in fact we are proposing the very solution that would insure a very large number of heterosexuals in the priesthood. Am I crazy? Is that right?

MCBRIEN: Well, you're not crazy, but ...

NOVAK: That's (UNITELLIGIBLE) ...

MCBRIEN: Robert's going to take issue with that point. But look, I've been -- I've been writing as a theologian for a long time. I did a book back in 1973 called "The Remaking of the Church, an Agenda for Reform", in which I advocated the end of obligatory celibacy, and that's long before this sex abuse crisis.

But I've said this and I think -- I don't think you have to have an ideological position to see the wisdom of this -- of this point. I think it's just common sense that when you have a requirement as the Catholic Church does that priests, at least the Roman Catholic Church, have to commit themselves to lifetime celibacy, you inevitably are drawing from the thinnest slice of the Church's population for what is clearly the most important ministry in the Church.

And it stands to reason that you're going to have a disproportionately larger percentage of gays and some sexually dysfunctional people coming in to that pool, and you're going to have fewer and fewer heterosexual males. And I think, by the way, I think the sex abuse crisis is going to make even worse the precipitous decline in vocations to the priesthood, the vocation crisis ...

(CROSSTALK)

MCBRIEN: ...that we've been experiencing for the last couple of decades.

NOVAK: But Father McBrien, in the very conservative diocese, Arlington, Virginia (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Illinois and increasingly Washington, D.C., you have a large number of vocations, because of traditional values, and let me quote ...

MCBRIEN: Robert, Robert don't say because of...

NOVAK: Let me ...

MCBRIEN: Don't say because of...

NOVAK: ... let me just -- let me just quote Reverend Bill Parent, Director of Priestly Vocations for the Washington Archdiocese, and we'll put this up on the screen.

"Celibacy is a tremendous help in testing one's seriousness about this commitment. In my experience it raises the quality of the candidates who come forth because it provides a natural screening for those who are not motivated."

MCBRIEN: You want to know something?

NOVAK: What do you think of that?

MCBRIEN: In my generation, Robert, when I was in the seminary, you know what, it wouldn't have been celibacy that they would have used in that sentence. It would have been Latin. The Latin language kept out a lot of people who are otherwise unqualified to be priests. And so what you really ought to be doing, you conservatives, is to call -- is to call for the return of Latin as a requirement in seminaries. But this...

NOVAK: Not a bad idea.

CARVILLE: He might -- he might want to go back to Hebrew. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

MCBRIEN: But let me -- may I go back to the point about the vocations ...

CARVILLE: Sure.

MCBRIEN: ... the numbers of vocations. Look, I'm not a -- you know I'm an expert to an extent. I'm limited in my competence, just like people are who come on TV. But I do have experience over a long period of time in seminary work. I was a seminary professor, as well as a dean of studies at a major seminary back on the East Coast, and I can tell you that the question of celibacy as a -- that the issue was not ever discussed as being what one -- what one commentator said we had -- we gave it a wink and a -- and a nudge as if nothing applied.

We were very strict in the discipline of the seminary. When I was in the seminary, I characterized it as a minimum-security prison.

NOVAK: Father McBrien ...

MCBRIEN: So you -- my point is, I was losing my own train of thought. The point is you can get any number of seminarians in a seminary, if you lower your standards. And the two dioceses...

(CROSSTALK)

MCBRIEN: ...the two dioceses you mentioned have had a lot of candidates. It remains to be seen whether those candidates will work out as priests.

NOVAK: I think -- I think they will work out. We'll have to ...

MCBRIEN: Well ...

NOVAK: ... debate that at another time.

(CROSSTALK)

NOVAK: Father McBrien, thank you -- thank you very much.

MCBRIEN: Thank you, Robert. Delighted. Thank you, James.

CARVILLE: Thank you, sir (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

NOVAK: Next, has the problem of the Catholic Church actually been a gay subculture? Two new guests are about to step into the "Crossfire".

And later what sport is your college going to give up for the sake of women's lacrosse?

Also, why will we be seeing President Bush in Democratic commercials this fall?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOVAK: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. Still ahead, leveling the playing field, even if it means kicking men's sports out of college.

But right now are gay priests really the problem? Has the Catholic Church been subverted from within? What's the cause of the shortage of priests? If Catholics -- are Catholics who don't go to mass on a holy day or even on Sunday, who should we blame?

Joining us from Dallas where the Catholic bishops are meeting are Frances Kissling of "Catholics for a Free Choice" and Michael Rose, author of "Good-bye Good Men", how liberals brought corruption into the Catholic Church - James.

CARVILLE: Mr. Rose, let's get right to the meat of the coconut here. I want to show you something that Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua said.

"We feel a person who is homosexually oriented is not a suitable candidate for the priesthood, even if he has never committed any homosexual act" -- unquote. Do you agree with the good cardinal or not?

MICHAEL ROSE, AUTHOR, "GOOD-BYE GOOD MEN": James, the problem is over the last 30 years we've had a systematic ideological discrimination against candidates who accept the teachings of the Catholic Church and that includes the teachings of homosexuality. So we've had sort of a reverse discrimination.

I interviewed for my book over 150 different men former and current seminarians, many of whom are priests now, and they've told me the same thing. If you believe in the teachings of the Catholic Church, especially on sexual morality often times you're discriminated against either by a psychologist or in the seminary itself. So the problem is really sort of a heterophobia (ph), if you will.

CARVILLE: Yes, but the question is do you agree with the Cardinal? Should - could a homosexual - should we just root them out, should we kick them out of seminaries, kick them out of priesthood, get rid of them? Do you agree with that?

ROSE: Well I don't know if it's as simples that, but I'll agree with the Cardinal on this one, sure.

CARVILLE: You'll agree with the Cardinal. So we ought to -- any homosexuals who are priests ought to be out of priesthood and any homosexual in the seminary ought to be out of seminary?

ROSE: Well the problem is, again, you have men who are in the - in the seminaries who are not agreeing with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Some of them are homosexual. Look, you know, often a young man will go into a seminary and he'll expect to find, you know, men, wise, strong men like Bing Crosby or Spencer Tracy and they find it - "The Village People" instead.

You know, the - actually at St. Mary's - St. Mary's in Baltimore, students have recounted to me on several occasions seeing their fellow students as well as faculty members actually dressed in leather going out to cruise the gay bars on the weekends, and if that's not bad enough, the men who actually complain about this state of events are sent to a psychologist for being homophobic.

(CROSSTALK)

ROSE: ... to the gay subculture in the seminaries.

NOVAK: Ms. Kissling, I'm wondering if you've read Mr. Rose's book?

FRANCES KISSLING, CATHOLICS FOR A FREE CHOICE: I haven't read the book. I read a number of reviews of it. I think that the central issue -- I mean to me it's absurd that we're sitting in Dallas where I listened today to a young man talk about being stalked by a skilled hunter who abused him, and that we're sitting here on your program talking about whether homosexuals should be priests or not.

The question really is how do we prevent the abuse of children? In this church, how do we prevent the abuse of minors? And in order to do that we need to prevent the abuse of power in the church, whether it's exercised by heterosexuals, by bishops, by cardinals or by - or by homosexuals.

NOVAK: Well, let me explain ...

KISSLING: It doesn't matter. Homosexuality is not the question.

NOVAK: ... well let me explain to you why I think it is the question. The -- when you find - when you -- in the first place, these were not abusive children in most cases. These were teenagers, were not children and these -- people who abused them with sexual advances were homosexuals.

When Mr. -- if Mr. Rose is correct and if you had gay keepers in most seminaries that had a reverse ...

KISSLING: You know ...

NOVAK: ... discrimination -- just a minute. Let me ask the question, then you can answer it.

KISSLING: Sure.

NOVAK: If you had a reverse ...

KISSLING: Sure.

NOVAK: ... discrimination in favor of homosexuals isn't that really one of the reasons for all this sexual abuse?

KISSLING: Absolutely not, and I think you can't have it both ways. We have the bishops here and we have people like you saying that these -- this abuse took place 25, 30 years ago. It's not going on anymore. That's what the bishops are telling us, and yet at the same time we're being told the influx of homosexuals into the priesthood is current. You can't have it both ways.

This is a special interest argument designed to go against homosexuals. I want a priesthood that has heterosexuals, homosexuals, women, married people, unmarried people, temporary priests. I think we could solve this problem if people were only priests to some extent for only ten years. Maybe if you were only a priest for 10 years, you wouldn't get imbued with this abuse of power authoritarian modality that we're dealing with.

NOVAK: Why don't you try the Episcopalian Church. I think you can do it (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

(CROSSTALK)

KISSLING: Because I'm a Catholic.

(CROSSTALK)

KISSLING: I'm a Catholic.

CARVILLE: I guess I'm stunned. I -- you know I don't give a damn if the priest is gay, if the school teacher's gay, if the people that work for me are gay or anything else. What's wrong with me in your eyes? I don't really care what someone does, who they sleep with at night.

ROSE: Let me put it this way, in my -- in my research I found that part of the gay subculture that exists in seminaries, the same gay subculture that Father McBrien talked about earlier, one element of that is a predatory sexuality. OK, and we're talking about -- let me give you an example.

At St. Mark's (ph) seminary in Eerie, Pennsylvania in the 1970s and '80s, you had high school seminarians -- we're talking about 14, 15 and 16-year old boys who were routinely preyed upon by the older college students who looked at the high school as somewhat of a farm team. And if that wasn't bad enough, the faculty turned a blind eye to this, creating not ...

(CROSSTALK)

ROSE: ... only a gay subculture but ...

(CROSSTALK)

CARVILLE: I agree ...

(CROSSTALK)

CARVILLE: I agree. I agree there ought to be more heterosexual priests. I like the idea.

(CROSSTALK)

ROSE: Well, you're right on, then.

CARVILLE: Let's let them marry -- let's let them marry and that way, I'll give you an influx of the heterosexuals like you wouldn't believe tomorrow.

ROSE: OK, James ...

(CROSSTALK)

KISSLING: Right.

ROSE: OK, James, here's the problem with that, though.

CARVILLE: OK.

ROSE: What I'm saying is in my research I found that there are plenty of young men who are committed to celibacy who are being turned away simply because they believe in the discipline of celibacy or because they believe in the teachings of Church on homosexuality. If those men were allowed in over the last 30 years, there would be no shortage of priests.

KISSLING: What's absolutely nonsense about this is that we increasingly have conservative seminaries in this country where conservative, ultraconservative men who believe in a very traditional church have plenty of opportunities to be priests and these are the men who are being promoted within the Church. This is not -- this is not a situation in which heterosexuals, celibate men are being discriminated against by the Church.

NOVAK: Let me ask you ...

KISSLING: Nonsense.

NOVAK: ... how do you explain the increase and the abundance of vocations in the conservative diocese such as Arlington, Virginia where they have traditional values and where they do not encourage homosexuals? How do you ...

KISSLING: Sure.

NOVAK: ... how do you explain that the ...

KISSLING: Well the priest ...

NOVAK: ... this is where you have the priests coming in?

KISSLING: Sure, the priesthood has always been a place in which men who wish to exercise power and move up a higher archal (ph) chain to become monsignors, bishops and cardinals are attracted to the priesthood. Right now, a better conservative has a better chance of becoming a cardinal, a bishop or a monsignor than a liberal.

That's why those conservatives are joining in larger numbers. In fact, I would say the opposite of what Mr. Rose says. It is liberals in the church and liberal priests and priests who are more compassionate, who believe in marriage and women ...

(CROSSTALK)

CARVILLE: My fellow liberal, I got to interrupt you because Mr. Novak ...

NOVAK: OK.

CARVILLE: ... take us out of here.

NOVAK: Frances Kissling, thank you very much. Thank you very much, Michael Rose.

The real -- coming up, the real truth about the Clinton-Gore re- election campaign's scandalous way with money. The Democrats are finally admitting that everybody knows.

And later, our quote of the day is from a U.S. Senator who voted for higher taxes.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARVILLE: Now the time for the political news you won't get anywhere else. Here comes the CROSSFIRE news alert.

The fall or maybe it's the smog, must be pretty thick over at the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA Administrator Christie Whitman said she didn't know her boss was changing his tune on global warming until she read about it in a newspaper.

The administration recently put out a report admitting for the first time that human activity any greenhouses gases caused global warming. The president said he read the report, but later was forced to admit that he didn't read the report, the he had only briefed about it.

Let's clear this up. The EPA administrator didn't read it. The president didn't read it. Can anybody read in this administration? I'll tell you what if Peabody Coal (ph) and Exxon would have sent something there, they would have all read it five times and acted on it.

NOVAK: You only -- you only made -- you only made about a half a dozen factual mistakes. What the story was is that the bureaucrats, your left wing bureaucrats, put out the report without telling either Christie Whitman about it or the president about it.

CARVILLE: But the president said he read it.

NOVAK: He didn't even know it was coming.

CARVILLE: Well why did he said he read it? He lied.

NOVAK: All right, my colleagues -- my colleagues, James and Paul, have always claimed that the charges of fraud and law breaking in the 1996 Clinton-Gore bogus re-election were just the rantings of (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Well now we know how wrong they are.

The Federal Election Commission, the FEC, reports that in the '95-96 cycle, the Democratic National Committee took more than $13 million worth of contributions exceeding the individual $20,000 limit, some of them as high as $100,000.

The fine to the Democrats, $70,000. The FEC actually made this decision last summer, but didn't announce it until now. The big question is why the FEC delayed its decision after until after the 2000 election? Was it to protect Al Gore? I think so.

CARVILLE: You know, the biggest fine ever levied was against the Bob Dole '96 campaign Bob. So maybe the president had to get out there ...

(CROSSTALK)

CARVILLE: ... and do it because they were doing so much ... (CROSSTALK)

NOVAK: That wasn't six years later.

CARVILLE: Bob, it's never too early when it comes to fund- raising and the Republicans are so eager for money, they're shaking down five-year old. That right, Benjamin (ph), a little boy in Massachusetts - they should have known he wasn't a Republican - recently got an invitation from none other than Vice President Dick Cheney.

It read a special place of honor has been reserved for you. A $2,500 plate fund-raiser for President Bush, but Benjamin (ph) had to turn it down. He has only $12 in his piggy bank and won't start getting allowance for another three years. If his daddy had been an energy lobbyist, he could have ponied (ph) up, but his daddy's a lifelong Democrat.

NOVAK: You know -- you know James, usually the Democrats turn out those fund-raisers to dogs. They send it out to ...

(CROSSTALK)

CARVILLE: That's all can we can get to contribute. You guys got all the money.

NOVAK: Guess who's the star of ads by Democratic candidates around the country facing tough elections this year? "The Washington Post" informs it's none other than George W. Bush. Here some endangered Democrats grasping for the popular Republican president.

Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa shows an ad featuring George W. Ads by Senator Max Marcus of Montana uses the president's voice. Congressman Earl Pomeroy in North Dakota features an ad showing a photograph of President Bush and South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson shows his senior colleague Tom Daschle embracing the president and in Minnesota, the most left-wing member of the Senate Paul Wellstone put a Bush photo on his Web site. What does Jim Jordan (ph), the staff director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee have to say about this Bush embrace? No comment. That a boy Jim (ph), don't admit anything.

CARVILLE: I'll tell you what, there's going to be a pickup of about two to five Democratic Senate seats come November.

NOVAK: You want to bet?

(CROSSTALK)

CARVILLE: Yes sir, I do want to bet. You bet.

(CROSSTALK) Coming up in a CNN news alert, a rescue at sea with an unlikely victim.

Later, how excited do you get about women volleyball? Would you give up men's basketball for it? Be honest now. Also our quote of the day is from someone who came down on the same side as Ted Kennedy and John McCain when it came to taxing the farm.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARVILLE: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. We're coming to you live from the George Washington University in beautiful Foggy Bottom in Washington, D.C.

You've probably heard that budget deficits are back. Well, President Bush has an idea to make them even bigger. He wants to get rid of the inheritance tax. Now you don't pay anything on estate's worth than a million dollars. That takes in most everyone who's inheriting the family home or even the family farm. But the Republicans want to take care of their rich friends. So they've bought up a bill in the Senate yesterday to permanently repeal the inheritance tax. It lost. And we can boil the whole debate down to the quote of the day, which comes from Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan of the great state of North Dakota.

"This is tax relief for billionaires."

NOVAK: Well, it's tax relief for you, and you ain't no billionaire. What I want to ask you...

CARVILLE: Yes.

NOVAK: ...if I can ask you a personal question...

CARVILLE: You may.

NOVAK: what does your wife, Mary, think about your saying I want to pay all that taxes? I don't want to give this money to my little girl, so they can have a nice nest egg. I want to give it to Uncle Sam. What did you think of that?

CARVILLE: Under current law, I mean, my children can inherit $3.5 million tax free. That's enough. And I tell you, your friend, Senator Gramm, Senator Bill [sp] Gramm, you can't get started life on $3.5 million, there's something wrong. And let me tell you, your friend, Senator Phil Gramm of Texas says, "we'll have a referendum on the death tax on election day." Let me tell you, Bob, you and your Republican friends run on taxes -- taxing people they can get $3.5 million estates.

NOVAK: Oh, I want to...

CARVILLE: We'll run on prescription drugs. We're going to win every time.

NOVAK: I want to get Mary on here and question her about taking money away from your little girls and giving to the federal tax collector.

Coming up on fireback, one viewer suggests a way to really make the Catholic church clean up its act in the a hurry. But next, get in line. Those tickets for women's softball! They're red hot. You didn't really want to watch the guys play football, now did you?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CARVILLE: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. If you look around our audience, you'll make a startling discovery. Not everybody sitting out there is a man. We let women in the audience. We let them in the workplace. we let them in the classroom. And 30 years ago, we decided to let them play ball, too. Part of an equal education bill signed by President Nixon prohibited sex discrimination in any educational program or activity that gets federal money. And that includes sports.

And in the last 30 years, women's participation in sports has increased 403 percent in college and 837 percent in high school. Who would have a problem with that? Well, some schools complain they're having to cut out men's sports to make room for the girls. Let's bat this one around for a while with Terry O'Neill of the National Organization of Women, and Jessica Gavora, author of "Tilting the Playing Field: Schools, Sports, Sex, and Title 9."

(APPLAUSE)

NOVAK: Terry O'Neill, I don't know if the National Organization for Women, you're aware of the law of unintended consequences, but to try to have some evening of the playing field, the so-called Title 9 situation, the government has wrecked men's sports, over 400 college teams have been eliminated. And let's put up on the screen a GAO Report, which shows 170 wrestling programs have been eliminated, 80 tennis teams, 70 gymnastics teams, 45 track teams. That isn't what you wanted, is it?

TERRY O'NEILL, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN: No. It's absolutely not what we wanted. What we wanted was to expand sports opportunities for women, while also hopefully expanding opportunities for men as well. In fact, Title 9 does not require that mens' sports be reduced or eliminated in order to accommodate women's sports. It is true. Everybody has to operate on an athletic department budget. And when you budget something, you have to make choices, but those choices that we make don't mean that we always have to eliminate mens' sports for women.

And what we are not permitted to do under Title 9 is two things. First of all, we're not permitted to betray the promise that we made to our boys and girls across the country for equality. And we're not allowed to say to the girls, ooh, it's your fault these mens' sports aren't think any more. That's not fair.

NOVAK: Well, listen, I'm allowed to say anything I want, because this is still a free country. The Title 9 people...

O'NEILL: Ah, yes.

NOVAK: ...haven't gagged me. And I want to quote you with -- and we'll put this on the screen, too. Mike Moyer, the executive director of the National Wrestling Coaches Association. College wrestling is just a great sport. Women don't do college wrestling, by the way. And it's a great sport. And this is what he said.

He said, "The truth of the matter is that we're seeing the wholesale destruction of a traditional Olympic men's sports," that's including wrestling, "because of the application of this gender quota."

Let's talk about the real world, Terry. And when you have colleges desperately trying to find something to balance some kind of stylized figureskating or some kind of made-up sport, so they can get the women's scholarships, you're wrecking these sports that have been the basis of the Olympic movement. Haven't you?

O'NEILL: No, let's talk about the real world. Pre Title 9, 1972, something like 8 percent of all college varsity athletes or high school varsity athletes were women. Now I think it was 2002, 2001, you're looking at 40 percent of the varsity athletes in high school are women.

NOVAK: You're not addressing my question.

O'NEILL: If you build it, they will come. That's the real world. And there's nothing in Title 9 that requires the destruction of these wrestling programs.

CARVILLE: In 1972, and they started 1 in 27 girls in high school played sports. Today, the number's 1 in 3. I'm happy. I just couldn't be happier to think that -- I just want -- I want to spike the ball in the end zone, I'm so damn happy these girls are playing. What's the problem with that?

JESSICA GAVORA, AUTHOR, TILTING THE PLAYING FIELD: I am, too.

CARVILLE: Well, good.

GARVORA: I'm very happy. First of all...

NOVAK: Go ahead.

GARVORA: No, first of all, we have to frame this debate honestly.

NOVAK: Sure, yes.

GARVORA: This is not a debate about Title 9, about a grant of opportunity. This is about a perversion of Title 9, a quota system that was cooked up by bureaucrats and trial lawyers under the previous administration, in the past 10 years, that is eliminating men's sports. Like Bob said, 400.

CARVILLE: How many men's soccer teams been added in the last 10 years?

GARVORA: I have no idea.

CARVILLE: 143. So what you all do is liars figure, figures lie.

GAVORA: No...

CARVILLE: You talk about all the men sports that have been lost, you don't talk about the mens' sports that's been added.

GAVORA: I don't know...

CARVILLE: You don't talk about the women's sports. The number of men...

GAVORA: I don't know where your data is coming from.

CARVILLE: Of course, they come right out of "The New York Times," right, a big article in there?

GAVORA: Then, it's got to be.

CARVILLE: You know, absolutely. 143 soccer teams added.

NOVAK: Everybody knows the men, there's been a reduction of the men's team...

GAVORA: Mens' teams, the GAO found that there's been a 10 percent over the course of the '90s...

CARVILLE: You know what, it's too late.

GAVORA: ...reduction in men's athletic opportunities.

CARVILLE: Let me tell you something.

GAVORA: There isn't a question that this is occurring.

CARVILLE: Right.

GAVORA: There's a question is why. And she's addressed some of the reasons why. Some people try to blame football on this. Other sports that cost money...

NOVAK: Let me...

GAVORA: This is the quota.

NOVAK: Terry O'Neill, let me just go to what's really happening now. We have in colleges, now a lot of women in college, a lot of women don't want to play sports. It's a masculine desire to participate in these. And you have to go -- they go -- I know this -- they go out on these colleges and they recruit -- these girls would rather be cheerleaders than playing these rough sports. Isn't that right?

O'NEILL: Let me tell you something. Just last weekend, I went to my first Mystics game. And my 11-year-old daughter is now a huge Mystics fan. And that's a result of Title 9. CARVILLE: Why aren't you at home telling how to bake biscuits? I mean, you think this 11-year-old child wants to go play sports? Why don't you teach her how to bake biscuits...

O'NEILL: No, she's way better than I am. She's...

GAVORA: This is a little bit (UNINTELLIGIBLE) expressed, but that's exactly the truth. The truth is women have 600 more teams in colleges and universities to choose from today, but there are about 50,000 fewer female athletes.

NOVAK: No.

GAVORA: And what's the reason for that? Women are less interested in coming out, if they don't get a scholarship, if they don't have a guaranteed chance to play. Boys will walk on...

CARVILLE: Let me -- I want to make a point.

NOVAK: Isn't that right?

CARVILLE: If we've gone through 1 in 27 girls in high school playing sports to 1 in 3, then if Tulane loses their gymnastics team, I don't care. I want to see these girls come in, because and I don't give a damn about Tulane's gymnastics team.

GAVORA: You know, well that's -- the...

CARVILLE: Just so LSU can do football things.

GAVORA: ...Tulane gymnasts give a damn.

CARVILLE: Well, I don't care about LSU football.

GAVORA: I mean, tens of thousands of men's athletes give a damn.

NOVAK: These men really want to play these sports.

CARVILLE: Oh.

NOVAK: And they're not made up sports. They're not things like...

GAVORA: They're not bowling and equestrian.

NOVAK: I mean, it's really ridiculous. You think...

O'NEILL: I wanted to defend Tulane here. Tulane recently instituted a Title 9 program, in which...

CARVILLE: I won't -- I'll never defend Tulane.

O'NEILL: ...increased spending...

CARVILLE: I'm (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

O'NEILL: Well, they -- Tulane increased its spending on sports generally in order to bring girls in.

NOVAK: What sport did you play, James?

CARVILLE: I didn't play anything. I wasn't good enough to play in college. Played in high school.

NOVAK: I'm sorry, go ahead.

O'NEILL: No, well, Tulane increased -- Tulane is one of the colleges around the country that has tried to think creatively about how to improve sports for both men and women at the university level.

GAVORA: Tulane just killed a number of its mens programs.

O'NEILL: I know it did, and...

GAVORA: Well, if women...

O'NEILL: And I thought that was a bad decision on their part. And it was not required by Title 9.

GAVORA: But these decisions are not made in a vacuum. These decisions are made as a result of federal pressure, pressure for lawsuits from disgruntled female athletes from groups like NOW and...

O'NEILL: There you go again, blaming the women.

GAVORA: These are...

(CROSS TALK)

NOVAK: Isn't it true that the percentage, that the government requires, is they not based on how many women want to play the sports, but the total enrollment. In other words, if you have a 60-40 women's edge at a college, you have to have 60-40 in scholarships. Isn't that ridiculous?

O'NEILL: The quota game is simply a false dichotomy. It is not true that Title 9 requires quotas. You guys keep saying quota. It ain't not there. It's not in the regulation.

CARVILLE: Do you agree with Bob that these women in college would rather bake biscuits than play sports?

GAVORA: No, I -- no, based on empirical evidence that they are less likely to come out for sports, at the same rate that men do, that the law demands.

NOVAK: That'll have to be the last word. Thank you very much. Terry, thank you so much.

CARVILLE: I apologize to Tulane. No, I don't. I love to attack Tulane.

NOVAK: No, no, in a minute, round 6, we'll take off the gloves and attempt to level the playing field. And then in fire back, a fan of Babylon 5 finds something to like about James Carville.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOVAK: James, earlier in this program, we were talking about the problems of the Catholic Church. And some people said, gee, we should really have no more celibacy in the church. We should have lots of homosexuals, sexually active priests. In fact, the priests ought to really not even go in for about five or 10 years. And I think it's a free country. Those -- people are entitled to those views. Why don't they go to the Episcopalian church? They can have all that, and they won't have to be bothered with this church of Rome and trying to be obedient to the pope?

CARVILLE: You know, let me tell you, it is a free country. And you can certainly talk about the gift of celibacy. Well, anybody that thinks it's a gift, go out and practice it. I'm not stopping you. But what I'm saying is...

NOVAK: Why can't you...

CARVILLE: If you want to have an inclusive priesthood, you got to say -- you want the priesthood by every estimation is about 40 percent gay. You want to kick out 40 percent of them. And then at the same token, you don't want to have married priests in. That's a ludicrous position. There's nothing in scripture that says priests shouldn't be married. There ought to be married priests, there ought to be women priests. And we'll move forward.

NOVAK: But the pope says -- see, the point is you don't want to be obedient to the pope.

CARVILLE: What?

NOVAK: You know, I'm a convert. And I like to have -- being in a Church with some orders. If you don't like the Catholic Church, if you don't like these rules, get out.

CARVILLE: Through history, if we'd have been obedient to the pope, it was a law against paying interest. Now I know that's one thing that you wouldn't have followed the pope on, on that.

NOVAK: All right. I want to say one other thing, too.

CARVILLE: OK, go ahead.

NOVAK: If you don't understand. I think I got to believe you're smart enough and a good enough sports fan to know that this absolute terrorism, I call it terrorism, on women's sports is destroying our Olympic programs for men.

CARVILLE: Well, it's not destroying our Olympic programs for men. I tell you one thing, it's helping programs, but it's about fairness. And you know what? They got tons of men coaching women.

NOVAK: It's unfair.

CARVILLE: They got -- pardon me.

NOVAK: OK.

CARVILLE: ...hardly any women coaching men. And all these athletic directors, you don't have Title 9, these women are not going to be able to play sports. And that's going to be bad nor America.

NOVAK: Typical Clinton administration baloney.

Coming up, your turn to fire back at us. We have an e-mail from a viewer who thinks, I should never smile!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOVAK: Welcome back. It's time for fireback, when the viewers fire back at us. Our first e-mail tonight is from Roger Beal of Young Harris, Georgia, who says, "If American Catholics want accountability in their church, let's hit 'em in the wallet. Until such time as the American church ceases harboring its lawbreaking priests and bishops, federal and state governments should suspend the church's tax-exempt status."

Well I don't know how many Catholics you got down in Young Harris, Georgia, Roger, but this is a time for all the anti-Catholic bigots to come out. And I think that's one of them.

CARVILLE: Oh, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) has got a lot good people in there. The truth of the matter is, is my friend's a trial lawyers have exposed this. And they're hitting them pretty hard here in the scandal. And the church is having to pay, as well they should in a lot of these things. "Bob, please, please don't try to smile! I can't bear to see you in such pain." I didn't know he tried to smile!

NOVAK: I smile a lot. OK? All right. The next one is from Gayle of Louisville, Kentucky, who asks, "Are you for real, James Carville, or is it just an act? If it's an act, you deserve an Oscar. You portray the part of a demonistic meanspirited monster right down to the tee." Now I'll tell you something, Gayle, you're absolutely wrong. He is demonistic and mean-spirited, but he's not a monster.

CARVILLE: Oh, man, OK. Thank you. I wanted to be a monster, too, Gayle. I think you're right on that. Shucks. All right. "James, did anyone every tell you that you look a great deal like G'Kar," I never heard of him, "the Narn ambassador on the sci-fi program 'Babylon 5?' With a few spots and differently colored eyes..." Well, let's take that a look at whoever this is. "By the way, he is an admirable character with a great deal of the tenacity and devotion to his cause, much like you in that way." OK, let's put him up there and see if I look like him.

NOVAK: Where is he?

CARVILLE: I tried, I tried.

NOVAK: All I'm saying is -- that if you ever get out of this business, you could go in to acting or do something like that. CARVILLE: Let me tell you something, there's something to be said.

NOVAK: Oh, there he is!

CARVILLE: Hey, that guy does look like me.

NOVAK: He does.

CARVILLE: That son of a gun's not bad looking!

NOVAK: OK.

CARVILLE: You need date?

NOVAK: Question from the audience.

SCOTT HEINSMAN: Scott Heinsman from Troy State University in Troy, Alabama. My question is for...

NOVAK: Hey, Troy State, one of my favorite colleges.

HEINSMAN: My question is for Mr. Carville, how and why do you support the influx of non traditional priests into the Catholic church who directly oppose the teachings of Catholicism and the bible? To me, to give you an analogy would be like opening up the floodgates to the Democratic National Convention and letting all the Republicans come in.

And are you Catholic by faith or is that just sort of political attraction?

CARVILLE: Well...

NOVAK: Good questions.

CARVILLE: First back up, I'm the oldest of eight children. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) family lines goes back, we've been Catholic. Secondly, I don't know that a traditional priests -- I don't have no problem at all with a gay person -- I think he can be very saintly and holy people. And I think history is replete with gay people who are very saintly. And I think we have any number of very saintly and gay priests in the church.

NOVAK: Next question, please?

FILAMINA GAMBOLE: Hi, my name is Filamiina Gambole, from Hookdale, Massachusetts. And I'm a division 1 varsity athlete. And I guarantee I've spent just as much time in camps, competition and training as a male division 1 athlete. And since in section -- (UNINTEILLIGIBLE) of admissions and treatment on campus, I'm just wondering why I don't deserve the same grounds, and why American mentality can't evolve to something better?

NOVAK: You do. And I congratulate you. And I hope you have a great career. There's just not that many women who are interested in it. And they shouldn't be forced into doing it.

CARVILLE: You know what these conservatives are telling you? Get off the playing fields, out of the locker room, and back into the kitchen. And that's what they think of you. From the left, I'm James Carville. Good-night for CROSSFIRE.

NOVAK: From the right, I'm Robert Novak. Join us again next time for another edition of CROSSFIRE.

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