Question: who are Crombie Taylor, Lyndon Lyon, Paul Sacher, John Tigrett, Waldo Semon, Ed Peterson and James Blades? Do you recognize any of their names? Let's look around us. On almost everyone's list of the ten greatest architectural achievements in America is Chicago's Auditorium Theatre. Louis Sullivan designed it.
The Ten Commandments may soon, by decree, be posted on public school walls. Burnt into wood or graven as images in stone, or merely inked, they will contribute to American moral security. Soft-headed liberals react by pointing out how many Americans are left out by such government endorsements of a particular faith. Many schools have Muslim majorities.
Knowledge of the finer points of theology is neither irrelevant nor a luxury. Lack of that knowledge can entail great risk and expense. A case in point: Suppose you are a woman capable of conceiving a child. Suppose you read that an insurance company will insure you against "immaculate conception." You fill out the forms and send in the money.
Daniel Klaidman made a naïve comment about special prosecutor Kenneth Starr in Newsweek (April 12). I assure you this is not a column about Starr; I don't do politics on this page. It's about Klaidman's assumptions, evident in this comment: "Starr would like to return to the comforts of a prestigious law firm or the tranquillity of academia."
Institutions, like individuals, go through passages and need rites for them. We do not often talk about the inner life of the Christian Century, but when we have an editorial change, it seems right to observe the passage.
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).