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The circumstances of this recent blowup are such that I have to make a fundamental distinction in my responses. Out of the tumult of the last several years, this is the first issue where those attacking Christ Church have a substantive point. For all reasonable people who are watching this, it is important for all the surrounding controversy to have this for its context. There were some embarrassing and egregious errors in the citations of Southern Slavery, and the fear of God requires that all of them be openly acknowledged, with no spin control. And so there it is. The lumps on our head in this exchange are richly deserved.

At the same time, some of the controversy past this point (in which I will be an ongoing participant) might make some observers say “that’s all very well, but he doesn’t sound very sorry.”

That is because we are dealing with some rabid opponents who have been flailing about for things to throw at us for a couple years, and they don’t much care what they pick up. But this time they have a point. A blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while. However, their charges are hypocritically made, and they are interested only in pursuing their agenda, which consists of running us out of town. But we are not leaving, and they must be answered.

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