But alas, the convention was a sham. Dreams were crushed, and at least a few people were out Two Large.
Scene Publisher Brian Rieck, the man totally responsible (read: Editorial types are scurrying away from culpability), offered lengthy yet unoriginal excuses for the paper's shocking display of duplicity. Suffice to say that Scene has tightened its advertising policies, chastised the appropriate scapegoats, blah, blah, blah.
For nine years, SS. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church has allowed the Lakewood Democratic Club to hold luncheons on church grounds. That would appear charitable enough, given the church's historic mission of community outreach. But a seemingly innocuous luncheon held October 29 has made Pastor Jerome Duke an arch-villain to Right-to-Lifers nationwide.
The logic: Because the Democratic Party is largely pro-choice, and because Duke agreed to house the luncheon, he is obviously in league with Satan.
To Duke's dismay, boisterous Right to Life activists amassed outside the Lakewood church in protest.
"I had three baptisms going on, and they were picketing outside, calling me a babykiller," says the cantankerous clergyman, a pro-lifer himself. Duke blames this year's protest, organized via the Internet by a Lakewood man, on the event's proximity to Election Day.
"One branch of Right to Life -- how can I charitably describe them -- is overzealous and has equated all Democrats as pro-choice," says Duke, who has been inundated with phone calls and hate mail.
"We are not the enemy," Duke offers with a sigh. "It's no fun being pastor, because the buck stops here." The bucks did too: The LDC donated $250 to the church's fund for Tommy Halloran, the seven-year-old Lakewood boy critically injured by a vehicle two weeks ago.