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RELIGION: Scotty McLennan, the American Civil War and the Pope

Mary Huyck asks: "What do you mean that Mrs. Stanford said that there should be "no creed" in services at Stanford Church? Surely one can infer from looking around the nave at the mosaics and stained glass windows that she reckoned the church would be the site of Christian services. Why, indeed, would Jews or Moslems or others even want to hold services in such a venue? The Stanford administration reminds me of Prince Charles, who says that he wants to be known as "defender of faiths" rather than "defender of the faith." Perhaps the thinking is that by watering down a message and trying to generalize it, one will appeal to the greatest number of people. Of course, perhaps it will become so insipid that people will just opt to stay home, read the Sunday papers, and have another cup of coffee instead."

My reply: This is indeed a critical issue: Mrs Stanford wanted no creed recited in the Memorial Church, and none is. However, the iconography is clearly Christian, and implies belief in such things as the Resurrection; Mrs. Stanford wanted a broad Christianity. I mentioned the old, tired arguments about dogma, which went on until recently. The Episcopalian Church had the 39 articles, and belief in the Trinity was required. Things have changed without fanfare, and now the Church is down to the minimum, belief in the Resurrection. Personally, I view Christ as the turning point in history, but I view all the miracles as symbolic rather than real.

Indeed, Jews do not like attending events in Memorial Church. When events involving a Jew are held there, the Crucifix is taken away. At one memorial service, a Jew giving a eulogy pointed to all the icons and made a disparaging remark about them. This is a mirror image of anti-Semitism. There must be some Southerners who still hate Lincoln. Christ was "the light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people, Israel." He is indeed. Jews do not have the believe in The Trinity or any of the Christian dogmas.

Ronald Hilton - 3/11/01