At a recent theology conference I made a beeline for the book table the instant a coffee break was called. But all the volumes seemed strangely familiar. Later that night, in that famed space between dreaming and waking, the trends in Christian publishing became even clearer.
Modest Girls Are Hot. By Betty Shayford, 174 pp., paperback. A 23-year-old Dartmouth graduate calls young women to reconsider the virtue of Christian modesty, which she claims is one of the most effective and least appreciated man-snares around. She argues that Christian guys find women who ignore them irresistible; therefore the best way to accomplish the all-important goal of snatching up a man is to pretend that doing so is the farthest thing from your mind. In the afterword the author discusses the importance of honesty in a relationship.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).