Sure Mr. Tice, what's up?
I just read your column this morning.
Boy, it was zinger, wasn't it? I made a pun on "seasonal creep" and everything! I think it was one of my best efforts. What did it go? 350 words?
You have no idea what I am thinking about, do you?
[smiling, but a little uncertainly] That you really liked the column?
[smiling back, but tiredly] It was, well, acceptable, IN A VACUUM!
What do you mean by that?
On Monday, you wrote about the religious influence of Muslims at Normandale Community College. And you seemed to take a dim view of it, championing a view of the separation of church and state.
That was another good one, wasn't it? My good friend Scott Johnson picked that one up, He even said:
One might wonder how news of this breakdown in the wall between church and state becomes the preserve of the Star Tribune's lone conservative columnist. Perhaps the creeping Islamization of Twin Cities public schools is no longer newsworthy.
I know that Scottie thinks you're special, Katie.
[Katie smiles, less uncertainly] Yes, he does!
But your current column clouds up and rains all over a couple of people at the University of Minnesota who seem to be trying—although perhaps a little clumsily—to keep religion out of Christmas—I mean holiday—parties at the University, which is, after all, a public institution.
Don't you see at least a little inconsistency between lambasting an educational institution on Monday for making religious accommodations, and then criticizing another educational institution on Thursday for failing to be tolerant of religious observance?
[frowning, and thinking for a long moment] I guess. But it's different somehow.
On Monday, I was talking about Normandale and the, well, you know.
You mean Muslims?
You make them sound so, so human.
I'm sorry Katie, but have you ever looked at it from the Muslim perspective?
Like you have.
Have too. At any rate, I want you to try really hard to be at least logically consistent between Monday and Thursday. Do you think you can do that?
I'll try, Mr. Tice. Thank you.
[walking out] Have not.