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In Christ There Is No East Nor West!

Re: [ENS] Chaplain resigns after column supporting Robinson's election

> Chaplain resigns after column supporting Robinson's election
> by Jan Nunley
> [Episcopal News Service] An Episcopal chaplain who wrote a column
> for a Georgia private school's newspaper supporting the election of
> Canon Gene Robinson, an openly gay man in a committed relationship,
> as bishop coadjutor of New Hampshire has resigned under pressure
> from the school's administration.
> The Rev. John Merchant was chaplain of Darlington School, a
> non-denominational private Christian preparatory school in Rome,
> Georgia. He took the position this summer and resigned effective
> October 10....

Bless Father John's heart.  Darlingtonians will learn to bless his
name for teaching them that some things are more important than job
security.  May his numbers increase.

I taught English and Bible at Darlington from 1959-1962.  I turned 23
in 1959.  Segregation was still in full force.

I was an Alabama native and had begun to deal with my racism only at
the intellectual level.  The KKK frequently had hospitality booths on
the road that led from Rome out to the campus.  Dr. White, the
President of the School, gave an annual speech to the lads about the
importance of segregation.

On October 29th, 1961 -- 42 years ago on the day the ENS report --
Bishop Randy Claiborne confirmed me at St.  Peter's in Rome.  How
ironic that two days before the ENS report, one of my students at that
time reconnected for the first time:

On Oct 27 10:21am xxxxx xxxx  wrote:

> You may or may not remember me from our time at Darlington, but I
> saw your name in an article on the controversy within the Episcopal
> Church and wanted to take a moment to thank you for providing the
> crowbar that opened my mind. Specifically, you asked us if we had
> sung "In Christ There Is No East Nor West" in chapel that morning.
> Most of us had. Then, you asked how many of us believed in racial
> integration. No one raised a hand. You then told us that we were a
> bunch of damned hippocrites. That comment stayed with me and changed
> how I view most of my dealings with society. My life has been
> enriched by the simple act of withholding a judgement about a person
> until I have gotten to know that person. Thank you for this
> marvelous gift.
> I regret that I have not located you sooner because I once spent a
> large amount of time in the I-287 area while working with AT&T and
> would have enjoyed catching up with you in person.
> >From your website, it would appear that you have a joyous and
> >active life. I hope that this is the case. I would love to hear
> >from you if you have a moment in a busy schedule. In any event, I
> >will keep up by visiting your website.
> Fondly,
> Dadeville, Al 36853

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