Reseerch Perfesser

Tom Garfield wrote a letter to the editor setting the record straight on the alleged neo-Confederate nature of Logos School. In that letter he challenged Nick Gier’s great abilities in sitting loose to the facts, and invited him up to Logos School to have a look around for himself. You know, looking around for yourself might be something a research professor might be interested in.

Nick Gier then responded with a letter of his own. Gier says a bunch of stuff in that letter, but I wanted to respond to just a couple sentences that mentioned me. Gier said, “Garfield also states that Logos School would use the Confederate flag for teaching purposes only, but I have it on good authority that the flag has been displayed in Logos classrooms, social functions, and during Wilson’s Sunday sermons.”

Good authority, eh? Is this how reseerch perfessers do their footnotes these days? Good Authority Review, Spring 2003, pp. 210-218?

Good authority? Perhaps good authority would be willing to answer some questions then. The flag has been displayed during my Sunday sermons? Who is this authority? What Sunday was this? When? What are you talking about? Was PhotoShop involved? The least we can ask is that you produce this authority and supply us with some specifics. Because in my copy of Good Authority Review, I read that Gier has close ties with Stalinists at the UI, and has not distanced himself from displays of the Soviet flag at the peace rally in Friendship Square. If pressed on the point, I could say, coyly, “Who says this? Oh . . . people.”

Gier’s scholarship is frankly a joke. He has trouble with the simplest of facts, and he has trouble with them when everyone is looking at him expectantly, wanting him to do nothing more than get the facts straight. By “facts straight” I am referring to the standard held by cub reporters, but not, apparently, by reseerch perfessers. Gier goes on, “Readers will recall a letter to this paper by a minister of Wilson’s own denomination who testified that a Confederate flag was prominently displaced in Wilson’s office.” A minister in my own denomination? The comment was made during the history conference flap by Joe Morecraft in a letter to the editor of the Moscow/Pullman Daily News. He was writing about a visit he made to Moscow sometime in the early nineties or late eighties. First, for Gier. Joe Morecraft is not a minister in my denomination. He is a minister in the RPCUS, and I am a minister in the CREC. This can be confirmed in Better Authority Review, Fall 2000, p. 28. Following Gier in search of simply factual errors is like following a lit fuse in search of an explosion.

Joe Morecraft is in a different category because his facts were technically accurate. At the time I had a Confederate handerchief that I used as a dust cover for my computer keyboard. Back then my office (the church office) was physically located at Logos because (also at the time) Logos was a ministry of the church. We have since formally separated the ministries because of our conviction that parents have the primary responsibility for the education of their children, which is why Logos is now governed by an independent parent-run board.

I offer this, not by way of backing away from anything, but rather in the interests of clearing the good name of those who subscribe to Good Authority Review. Some of us know how to read carefully. I have it on good authority that if you were to visit me in my office at Anselm House today, I would be happy to show you my portraits of Stonewall Jackson and Jeb Stuart. When our clamoring multiculturalists want me to back away from the facts, I want to do my best imitation of Stonewall at First Manassas. But I feel bad for those fellow Christians, like Joe, and Terry, and Cal, and others, who are willing to retreat from their basic covenant loyalties on the basis of whatever their own petty issues are.

But I do not know what happened to the dust cover. If anyone wants to track that down they can check with Terry Morin. He ran Bob Forrey’s political campaign for lieutenant governor out of that particular office, and he might be able to remember when and how the dust cover disappeared. So I am admitting that we ran a political campaign out of our church office? We sure did, about fifteen years ago. Well, Terry was the one who actually ran it, but it was my idea. We were young, stupid, and full of beans. I have it on good authority.

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