To the editors:
The Episcopal mud-slinging contest ("Is Nothing Sacred?" June 9; "Letters" July 7 and 14) is most interesting. The banality has been marred only by Bishop Griswold's balanced and reasonable reply (July 14) to an inane anonymous missive (July 7), and Ms. Thompson's remarkable ability to express her feelings without impeaching the motives of the other side [July 7]. Fortunately, the entertainment value of the brawl was maintained by the intemperate and unlearned remarks in Father Melvin's letter and Ms. Miller's response (July 14). Their discussion of the Nicene Creed reached an especially low ebb. Ms. Miller is to be especially noted for a display of intellectual sloth combined with bad judgement. She cites retired Bishop Montgomery as her source for the history of the Creed. The former Bishop of Chicago's reputation as an administrator and pastor is well deserved, but the man is not known as a church historian. It is surprising that neither Ms. Miller nor Father Melvin consulted Professor Emeritus Robert Grant at the University of Chicago Divinity School, a world-class authority on the early Church, and an Episcopal priest. At the very least, they should have consulted a standard work, such as J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds. The resultant discussion would have been quite different.
This is the second time in recent weeks that a letter to the editor has suggested that Reader articles on scholarly topics have been done without proper homework (Foster "Letters" July 14). Perhaps a bit more editorial supervision is called for. On the other hand, reasoned arguments wouldn't provide entertaining imbroglios. Perhaps Episcopalians should sponsor a mud wrestling contest between the disputants and charge admission. If these folk are going to sling the stuff at each other, they should at least help increase Church revenues.
Gregory Holmes Singleton
Professor of History
Northeastern Illinois University