Search Results for: JONAH

In the steps of St. Tikhon

One of concepts that causes my journalism students the most grief is finding the line between making statements of personal opinion and making statements that draw logical conclusions from facts that have been stated on the record or verified in a document. It’s the line between editorial writing and news, when you get right down to it.

As I tell my students, there are times when journalists are allowed to take the publicly stated equation 2+2 and make it add up to 6 — as long as the reporter can show, in the story, where the additional information is coming from. Here is a perfect example of how this works, in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette lede written by the Godbeat veteran Ann Rodgers — who has enough experience to get away with this kind of thing. Brace yourselves for blunt language:

BEDFORD, Texas – The spiritual leader of the Orthodox Church in America offered to begin talks aimed at full communion with the new Anglican Church in North America, then named a series of obstacles whose removal could tear apart the hard-won unity among the 100,000 theological conservatives who broke from the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada.

“What will it take for a true ecumenical reconciliation? Because that is what I am seeking by being here today,” Metropolitan Jonah said to a standing ovation from 900 people assembled in a tent on the grounds of St. Vincent Cathedral in Bedford, Texas.

Now there’s history behind those words and we’ll get back to them in a minute.

The key to that lede — with its claim that Metropolitan Jonah both praised the new conservative Anglican body in North America and, at the same time, attacked its foundations — is based on simply, clear statements of doctrine. There is no way to write a news story about this long and very complex speech without knowing a thing or two or three (or more) about church history and doctrine. Without that, the Orthodox leader was speaking in an unknown tongue.

Rodgers noted that, with a smile, Metropolitan Jonah openly admitted that he was coming to deliver bad news, as well as good news. This was an offensive speech, but not a hateful one.

The good news was that the Orthodox Church in America was no longer interested in ecumenical talks with the liberal hierarchy of the U.S. Episcopal Church. The bad news — sure to offend many in the room, but not others — was that Orthodoxy believes that it’s impossible to mix Protestantism and ancient forms of Orthodoxy and Catholicism. Them’s fighting words to people who accept the great “Anglican Compromise.”

Thus, we read:

Metropolitan Jonah named several issues that he said the two churches needed to “face head on” and resolve before they can achieve full communion. Among the most volatile on his list were the Calvinist theology taught by many evangelical Anglicans and the ordination of women as priests, which the new church allows each of its dioceses to accept or reject.

“Calvinism is a condemned heresy,” he said, to a smattering of applause from some Anglo-Catholics in the new church.

“For … intercommunion of the Anglican Church and the Orthodox Church, the issue of ordination of women needs to be resolved,” he said, again to applause from many of the same people.

“I believe women have a critical role to play in the church, but I do not believe it is in the [priesthood or as bishops],” he said. “Forgive me if this offends you.” He called for an effort to “creatively come together to find the right context for women’s ministry in the church.”

Now, I understand that it’s hard to get a handle on who is and who is not applauding during a speech. However, playing “spot the Anglo-Catholics” is not the key element of this story.

Tikhon_1The key is that Rodgers was able to back up that bold lede.

If you reject Calvinism, then you reject almost everyone in the low-church, Morning Prayer, red-and-black vestments wing of the global Anglican Communion. You are saying that the Protestant Reformation was, in large part, a tragic mistake, at least from the perspective of the Christian East. That’s a landmine if there ever was one, in a Communion built on the claim that John Calvin and the likes of St. John Chrysostom can thrive in the same pew (actually, the issue of pews would be problematic for the Orthodox anyway).

But what about the “good news” in this speech? You see, there is history at work there, as well, history in which the roots of Orthodox in North American were — briefly — intertwined with those of Anglo-Catholics. There was a moment in time when Orthodoxy came very close to recognizing the validity of Anglican orders, in a manner similar to state that currently exists between Rome and the East. These ancient churches recognize each other’s orders, even while living in a tragic state of broken Communion. That’s a complicated matter and Metropolitan Jonah’s speech provided a short sketch of the history.

Journalism being what it is, Rodgers has to hit at all of this terrain in even fewer words. The St. Tikhon she mentions was Bishop Tikhon, who came to America to start a multi-ethnic Orthodox body on this continent. However, he was called home to Moscow to become Russia’s patriarch — leading to clashes with the rising tide of Marxism and, eventually, his martyrdom. But that’s another story.

(Metropolitan Jonah) spoke of St. Tikhon, a 19th-century Russian Orthodox missionary to the United States who initiated a close relationship with the Episcopal Church that later cooled.

“We need to pick up where they left off,” he said. “I occupy the throne St. Tikhon held as the leader of the Orthodox Church in America. Our arms are wide open.”

The Anglican Church in North America hopes to be recognized as a new province of the 80 million-member global Anglican Communion, of which the 2.1 million-member Episcopal Church is the U.S. province. The new church believes the Episcopal Church failed to uphold biblical authority and classic doctrines about matters ranging from the divinity of Jesus to biblical morality, a criticism that the Orthodox share.

The Orthodox Church in America is a self-governing daughter of the Russian Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Jonah, who was elected last year in Pittsburgh, is a convert who was raised as an Episcopalian. He spoke with humor about both traditions, warning, “I’m afraid my talk will have something to offend just about everybody.”

Like I said, it’s hard to write about complex historical issues in public newspapers. This is an example of how you go about doing that. Amen.

Icons, idols and the Gloved One

michael_jackson_beat_itIf you run a Google News search for “Michael Jackson” and “idol,” you’ll get tens of thousands of hits. If you watched any news coverage of the death of MJ, “icon” was the go-to word for describing the King of Pop. Here’s Agence France-Presse, for instance:

Michael Jackson is dead after suffering a cardiac arrest, sending shockwaves sweeping across the world and tributes pouring in yesterday for the tortured music icon revered as the “King of Pop.”

Clearly the media use this term to mean someone who is the object of a lot of attention and devotion. But I can’t help but think, if that’s what they mean to say about Jackson, that “idol” would be a better term.

Both terms are religious or have religious overtones. Here’s how one Russian Orthodox web site describes icons:

In the Orthodox Church, icons are sacred images painted on wood, carved in stone, molded in metal, sewn on cloth, or made in any suitable material, which conform to a canonical non-naturalistic style, and which are venerated by the faithful with bows, kisses, incense and lights, with the understanding that the icon itself is not worshipped, but the honor given it is transferred to Christ, the Mother of God, or to whatever saint is depicted thereon.

Now, even if you just use a non-religious definition, I’m not sure it’s the right word. Here’s what Random House says:

1.a picture, image, or other representation.
2.Eastern Church. a representation of some sacred personage, as Christ or a saint or angel, painted usually on a wood surface and venerated itself as sacred.
3.a sign or representation that stands for its object by virtue of a resemblance or analogy to it.
4.Computers. a picture or symbol that appears on a monitor and is used to represent a command, as a file drawer to represent filing.
5.Semiotics. a sign or representation that stands for its object by virtue of a resemblance or analogy to it.

Which of those definitions covers the media’s use of the term?

National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg didn’t enjoy the media rush to sanctify Jackson with the use of the term:

An icon, technically speaking, is a religious symbol deserving of reverence and adoration. The networks may not have intended to use the word that way, but they certainly showed an unseemly amount of reverence and adoration for the man.

What do you think of the use of the term icon for anything other than a representation of an object or person?

Calvin: he’s hot, hot, hot

453px-Calvin-coolidgeNo, not THAT Calvin — although maybe he has a birthday coming up, too.

The rock star of the moment is John Calvin, the stereotypically dour theological chaperone of Geneva (his 500th birthday is July 10). A balanced, nicely-done story by Religion News Service writer Daniel Burke maps the lawyer’s influence on American evangelicals, particularly Southern Baptists. But why is Calvin becoming so, er, trendy? Well, it isn’t because of his clothes, his beard, or even the way he wanted to govern Geneva. It is, as Burke astutely notes in his lede, Calvin’s doctrine that is undergoing, excuse the expression, a renaissance among conservative Christians:

Like most 24-year-old men, Stephen Jones is keenly interested in sin. But while many of his peers enjoy their youthful indiscretions, Jones takes a more, shall we say, Puritanical stand.

Last weekend (June 12-15), Jones and 4,000 other young Christians packed into a convention center in Palm Springs, Calif., to hear preachers tell them that they are totally depraved, incapable of doing the right thing without a mighty hand from God, and — most importantly — have absolutely no control over their eternal fate…

“His theology is the hottest, most explosive thing being discussed right now,” said Justin Taylor, 32, a self-described Calvinist, and an editorial director at Crossway, a Christian publisher in the evangelical heartland of Wheaton, Ill. “What he taught is extraordinarily influential right now.”

Absolute depravity? Double predestination? Full-scale refutation of the doctrine of free will? Who knew these would make such a comeback? Not only do Neo-Calvinist churches like Mars Hill, Seattle and Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City have large populations of young worshippers, but they are pastored by clergy, like Mark Driscoll and Tim Keller, who have become authors and media figures in their own rights.

Burke notes that this surge in influence has been expressed in some innovative ways, like Facebook fan clubs and Twitter feeds. But, as he also does a good job of clearly articulating why and how this shower of Calvin-related worship, books, and church plants has brought controversy with it — even among conservative Christians.

…former Southern Baptist Convention President Jerry Vines said Calvinism inhibits evangelism and missionary work, which is the lifeblood of the SBC, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. If Jesus died only for the elect, then what’s the point of trying to reach others, said Vines, who co-organized a conference dedicated to debunking Calvinism last year.

“I do believe it is possible to be a five-point Calvinist and be evangelistic and missionary-minded,” Vines said. “But their evangelism and missionary work is in spite of their Calvinism, and not because of it. That’s going to make some of them mad, but I do believe it.”

Vine’s question is a very good one, and there are plenty of other ones that journalists could be asking the Neo-Calvinists. What the connection between the neo’s and the so-called “emerging churches?” What about Calvin’s strong anti-Catholic bias? Ann Rodgers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted Orthodox Church in America Metropolitan Jonah today as saying that Calvinism among some Anglican evangelicals was a “condemned heresy” posing a problem that needed to be resolved before full communion between the new Anglican Church in North America and OCA was possible.

Yes, indeed, he’s very hot at the moment.

As the media begins to dig deeper (hopefully), the controversy over what Calvin really believed and how these new Calvinists are expressing it needs to get more attention. Burke’s article is a great beginning. If you want a more secular perspective, with some interesting history thrown in, read the Associated Press story by Hanns Neurbourg here. In a story about one of the towering figures of the Reformation, there’s remarkably little analysis of Calvin’s theology. But there is a lot of data on his influence on the arts, democracy, and economics — much of it in revolt against the sage of Geneva, an apparently humble man who would probably not have guessed that 500 years after his birth, he would be making square so hip.

The picture of President Coolidge is from Wikimedia Commons

Metropolitan Obama?

th liturgy11Every now and then, it is important to offer GetReligion readers who are not journalists a glimpse inside the workings of daily journalism.

For example, readers may have noticed that your GetReligionistas — as folks who are working or have worked in the mainstream — rarely attempt to call names when we point out errors or what we believe are weaknesses in stories.

Why not blame the reporter or reporters whose names are in the byline? Well, anyone who has ever worked in a newsroom knows that the story that appears in print is often not the story that the reporter turned in or that, at the very least, the story was cut drastically or the reporter was not given enough space to do a solid job covering the territory that the story would have needed to cover in order to be balanced and complete. Journalism is almost always a team sport.

Anyway, I bring this up because some readers have sent in the URL of a recent Washington Times report about the election of Metropolitan Jonah, the new leader of the Orthodox Church in America. Some people thought that the headline was a bit much.

Since the new metropolitan will soon be enthroned in the OCA cathedral here in Washington, D.C., this is kind of a local story. I still wonder if journalists in Dallas and Fort Worth realize that this is a major local story there, too, but nevermind. That headline said:

Orthodox leader seizes own ‘Obama moment’

Now, it really helps to know that reporters hardly ever, ever write their own headlines. You can see how some readers may have thought that comparing the leader of a highly traditional ancient faith with a liberal Democrat headed into the White House was, well, a bit too cute.

However, if you read the story you’ll note that the Obama image was being applied to the election itself, not to the man. Tricky. Here’s the lede:

They already are calling him “His Beatitude,” and comparing him to Barack Obama.

In less than a month, Metropolitan Jonah, 49, will be enthroned as the leader of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), the nation’s second-largest branch of Eastern Orthodoxy.

Some have termed Metropolitan Jonah’s election an “Obama moment” because of perceived parallels between him and the U.S. president-elect: a much younger man with little experience shaking up a corrupt status quo by coming from outside the establishment via an electrifying speech.

Maybe the headline writers thought they needed an election metaphor on A1 in story here inside the DC Beltway? After all, the body of Julia Duin’s story is dedicated to new material, drawn from an interview with the new metropolitan.

In particular, Orthodox readers will be interested in the material near the end of the report which focuses on why this monk made the decision to convert to Eastern Orthodoxy — he was raised as an Episcopalian — in the first place.

He was persuaded to join Orthodoxy through the reading of one book: “The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church” by Vladimir Lossky.

After attending St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary on Long Island, he traveled to Russia in 1993 at the age of 33 for a year to think through his future and decide whether to marry his girlfriend. If an Orthodox candidate for the priesthood wishes to marry, he must do so before ordination. Orthodox monks cannot marry at all. …

“I wanted some resolution to my dilemma, but I didn’t want to go according to my own will,” the new metropolitan remembers. “The whole spiritual life is built on obedience, respect and trust in love to your spiritual elder.”

After several months at the Valaam Monastery, on a lake island north of St. Petersburg, he was introduced to a venerable Orthodox elder known as Kyrill.

“So I asked the old man what should I do,” Metropolitan Jonah said. “Should I get married or should I become a monk? He said, ‘I know, I know.’ He blessed me and said, ‘Become a priest-monk.’”

A rather radical form of career counseling, but there you have it. Interesting reading, if you wanted a glimpse into the process that leads a young American into a monastery and then on into a leadership role that seemed to come out of nowhere.

PHOTO: OCA photo from the new metropolitan’s first Divine Liturgy after his election.

Orthodox regional reporting

2008 1112 jonah2 smWhat do you know! One of the newspapers in a region linked to the story of the monk formerly known as Jonah Paffhausen has noticed that he was raised — 12 whole days after being consecrated as an auxiliary bishop in Dallas — to the position of metropolitan (think archbishop) of the scandal-torn Orthodox Church in America.

It’s interesting that you can read about this story in Moscow, because of the OCA’s Russian roots, but not in some local places here in the United States.

No sign of coverage yet in Dallas, Washington, D.C., where he will be enthroned, or Chicago, the original hometown of the former Episcopalian who is now Metropolitan Jonah. But the Mercury News has stepped up to the plate with a story in Santa Cruz, Calif. Here’s the opening of the story from reporter J.M. Brown:

SANTA CRUZ – A UC Santa Cruz graduate has been named archbishop of the Orthodox Church in America and Canada.

Bishop Jonah Paffhausen, who graduated from UCSC after founding an Orthodox Christian Fellowship on campus, was named Wednesday to the top post at the 15th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in Pittsburgh. … Longtime friends from Santa Cruz County said the 49-year-old bishop has the ability and humility to serve the entire church, which means ironing out a well-publicized financial scandal involving misuse of church funds and bridging gaps between various sectors of the orthodox faith, including the Greek, Arab and Russian Orthodox churches.

“His election points to a very strong determination to change the way things have been done in the past,” the Rev. Mel Webber, the pastor of Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church in Santa Cruz for 11 years, said in a phone interview from Pittsburgh Thursday. “He’s got the skills to become one of the most enlightened leaders this church has seen in a long time.”

There’s some strange things in there — like the small “o” on the front of “orthodoxy” in some cases and the proper big “O” in others. I also think that it’s kind of interesting and, frankly, a nice sign of this monk’s ties to wider Orthodoxy that this veteran Greek priest traveled to Pittsburgh for this OCA meeting. Someone must have had a hunch and seen potential in this bright young man (49 is young for a bishop, let alone an archbishop).

There’s one other reference in this piece that Orthodox readers will find interesting and a bit strange, in terms of the wording:

After growing up in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla, the Chicago native was first received into the Russian Orthodox Church in San Diego in 1979. After fully converting to orthodoxy following a talk at UCSC by orthodox icon Seraphim Rose, friends said Paffhausen had long tried to open a monastery in Santa Cruz, but could not find the right location. …

Paffhausen, whose official title will be archbishop of Washington and New York and Metropolitan of All America and Canada, earned two degrees from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York before working on his Ph.D. at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. He took a break during those studies to work in Russia, where he later joined Valaam Monastery and became a monk.

Well now. Someone the reporter interviewed probably said that Father Seraphim Rose has become “like an icon” for many Orthodox in America, but he has not been formally canonized.

Still, there’s lots of interesting information in this story. The key is that the story was published in the first place. Someone spotted the regional angle in this remarkable national-level story. Good for them.

Chicago, Dallas, we have Orthodox news

l14934838245 6185There was a stunning, amazing news story yesterday in the struggling, scandal-rocked Orthodox Church in America and the man at the center of it used be known as James Paffhausen.

Now, you need to know that Paffhausen was born in Chicago and grew up as an Episcopalian. He converted to Orthodox Christianity while attending the University of California at San Diego and then, while working in Russia, he became interested in monasticism. In 1994 — note how soon this was after the fall of the Soviet Union — he was tonsured, ordained and given the name Jonah. Eventually he came back to California, where he started several mission parishes and then a monastery.

For the past 12 day — he was consecrated a bishop that recently — he has served as the OCA’s auxiliary bishop of Dallas.

Yesterday, the 49-year-old monk was elected as metropolitan, the leader of the entire Orthodox Church in America, which is the main branch of Orthodoxy in America that traces its roots to Russia and one of the driving forces toward the creation of a united Orthodox flock in this land.

If you want to read about this stunning development, there are some journalists covering the story.

But don’t look in the obvious places, in view of his life story.

I mean, don’t search for the word “Jonah” at the Dallas Morning News. Zip. Don’t search for him at the Chicago Tribune, either. Nada.

However, since the election took place in Pittsburgh and that is the home of one of the nation’s top religion writers — one Ann Rodgers — you can read all about it in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, under the headline, “Convert is chosen to lead Orthodox Church in America.” Here’s the top of the story:

Auxiliary Bishop Jonah of Dallas, left, who was a monk until 12 days ago, was elected Metropolitan of All America and Canada by the clergy and laity of the Orthodox Church in America at its meeting at the Hilton Pittsburgh yesterday.

Hundreds of clergy and laity of the Orthodox Church in America wept for joy yesterday as a monk who had become an auxiliary bishop just 12 days earlier was elected to lead their scandal-plagued church into the future. His predecessor retired suddenly in September as the church released an internal report detailing the disappearance of more than $4 million in church funds under two successive administrations.

Now, Rod “friend of this blog” Dreher is actually a friend of this man and is blogging on what this all means (note the link to the bishop’s blunt speech on reform and the future of the OCA, delivered shortly before the election). You also should check out the report from the Orthodox Christians for Accountability website.

But, once again, you need to look to Pittsburgh for the mainstream coverage.

Among those weeping and embracing friends was the Rev. John Reeves, pastor of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in State College and an outspoken advocate of reform.

“This is a miraculous occurrence. We hear of stories like this in the lives of the saints,” he said of the selection of the least known, junior bishop.

The key is that this bishop has no ties to the scandal that has rocked this church in recent years. He is young, young, young and that would seem to set up an independent-minded hierarchy for some time to come. Like I said, it’s an amazing story — especially if you happen to live in Chicago, southern California or Dallas. I hope this draws some coverage, pronto.

Thoughts on Newsweek

There is a point at which media criticism becomes rather censorious, and I think we’ve crossed it in the Newsweek scandal. Jonah Goldberg, in his latest column for National Review Online, writes of Michael Isikoff’s motive for breaking the story, “my guess is that [he] was more motivated by a reporter’s desire to break a story than by some Left-wing anti-Americanism.” Then he gets to the argument:

But what on earth was gained by Newsweek‘s decision to publish the story — whether it was true or not? Were we unaware that interrogators at Gitmo aren’t playing bean bag with detainees? To me the similarities with the Abu Ghraib are greatest not in terms of the abuse but in terms of the media’s unreflective willingness to undermine the war on terror.

There you have it. Publishing the alleged details of interrogations of foreign prisoners should be a big no-no, even if the story checks out. Bye bye Abu Ghraib, hello trend stories.

Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds, an Internet acquaintance for whom I have much respect, has disagreed with some more rabid bloggers about whether legal action against Newsweek is warranted. He also insists that his earlier warnings about what this story could do to freedom of the press in this country were just that: warnings. He explains:

Today’s expansive press freedom, which I support wholeheartedly, is of recent origin (essentially, it’s a post-World War II phenomenon) and not to be taken for granted. Remember all the talk about the Enron scandal, and how free enterprise was at risk if greedy corporations didn’t clean up their acts? Well, I’m afraid that press freedom is at risk if it’s seen as a vehicle for out-of-touch corporations to peddle defective products without fear of consequences.

I think I made this clear with my last post, but let me say it again: Newsweek screwed up and screwed up badly. I am not against anonymous sourcing, or even using a single anonymous source for an explosive accusation. But if you are going to rely on that source, you had better be darned sure that he has an unblemished track record of getting it right and that he will not flip under pressure.

The signs are abundant that Isikoff and company did not have an unimpeachable source and that they knew it, so why did they run with the story and risk exposing themselves to massive recriminations? I don’t know. The motives put forward for doing this are (a) Bush hatred; (b) a general skepticism of the U.S. military; and, in a pinch, (c) stupidity.

To run with the story was certainly stupid, and it is highly unfortunate that politicians in Afghanistan and Pakistan used the story to start riots that killed over a dozen people. This is likely to stain Newsweek‘s reputation for some time. It could result in a raft of cancellations, and I’ve no doubt that hawkish bloggers and the White House will continue to throw this back in the newsweekly’s face for quite some time.

That would be unfortunate, I think. Newsweek‘s response to the scandal has consisted of equal parts contrition and struggling to understand the truth of what happened. Editor Mark Whitaker forthrightly apologized to readers, and longtime Newsweek hand Evan Thomas reported on the fallout of the magazine’s screwup in fairly unflinching terms. Isikoff reportedly offered to resign as penance. There was no stonewalling, no cover up, no arrogant attempt by people at the magazine to spin the story in their favor.

That should be the end of it, folks. If we believe journalism is important, then we have to believe in freedom of the press. Part of that freedom is the normal back-and-forth in which newspapers and magazines are going to get it wrong every so often, come under criticism, and, we hope, acknowledge those mistakes and learn from them.

Who's John Tierney's broker?

tierney.jpgLet me say a few good words about The New York Times’ op-ed page.

No, that wasn’t a typo.

The choice by Gail Collins and company to hire John Tierney as the replacement for William Safire caught me completely off-guard. I was convinced that Andrew Sullivan’s recent announced hiatus from regular blogging was intended to clear the way for his appointment to the Times.

Sullivan’s tone and his politics and his moral posturing, I thought, made him a shoo-in for the current op-ed page. Granted, Tierney would be a better pick, and, sure, the Times has a fairly decent history of promoting employees who’ve stuck with the company for some time. But I doubted that the Times would have the intestinal fortitude to give him such a large soapbox.

Editor & Publisher‘s story on Tierney’s appointment quotes two moderate, more secular conservatives — Debra Saunders and Jonah Goldberg — praising the decision to the skies, and two social conservatives — Cal Thomas and Kathleen Parker — saying, essentially, who the heck is this John Tierney chap, anyway?

This could create the impression that Tierney isn’t likely to, ahem, get religion, but I’ve a feeling that readers of this website will be pleasantly surprised. “The fact that he fraternizes with Chris Buckley is a good sign,” Parker told E&P.

And it is a good sign. Tierney’s friendship with novelist Christopher Buckley (son of William F. Buckley) has paid literary dividends. They’ve cowritten both The Best Case Scenario Handbook and God Is My Broker.

God Is My Broker is the story of a man who quits Wall Street to join a struggling order of monks. The story is a slight but amusing tale about how the love of money can corrupt even those who take vows of poverty. It grapples with Catholic history and doctrine in a way that either gets it right or gets it wrong in such an over the top way that it’s clearly satire.

Tierney is often described as an “iconoclast,” but I’m betting there are some icons he won’t be smashing in his new column.