Father Greeley, Century, Georgia Run Off

Wayne Holst, a Canadian colleague, has a list serve he sends out weekly with information and reprints, Recently, he included an update on the condition of Chicago’s Father Andrew Greeley, the Catholic priest and novelist, who has been in a coma as a result of a fall on a Chicago street. A second Short Take from Holst is a note I sent to Wayne after he published a report from Christianity Today with a reference to The Christian Century.

From Martin Marty: As of 1:51 p.m. (Monday, Nov. 24th) this word from the Greeley family: A glimmer of better news: Andy (Father Greeley) has been upgraded from critical to fair condition, vital signs remain stable, he is off the ventilator but still taking some oxygen, has not yet regained consciousness. Terse, to the point, leaving openings for us all to fill in the blanks with our prayers and hopes.

Holst also took note of a reference to The Christian Century in Christianity Today. He posted my response to the reference:

From Jim Wall. . . . The magazine began using the name, The Christian Century in 1900, not 1908. Christianity Today may have been thinking of 1908 as the year when Charles Clayton Morrison took it over and made it officially an “undenominational” magazine. From 1884 to 1900 it was called the Christian Oracle, a Disciples of Christ denominational magazine They picked up the Christian Century name, as CT suggests, as part of the excitement of the new century which Protestantism believed would truly be a “Christian Century”, thanks to the modern advancements in communication and transportation. In 1908 Morrison made the shift to “undenominational”. Morrison continued as editor until 1947. There were several editors after him before I took the job in 1972. I was the sixth editor, Morrison was the first. He served the longest as editor. I served the second longest term, 29 years, until 1999.

Run Off Election in Georgia Tuesday

Mudflats, the Anchorage blog that has kept us up to date on Sarah Palin, takes note of her appearance in Georgia Monday where she will campaign for incumbent Senator Saxby Chambliss. The Senator was disgruntled over having been forced into a runoff election (he failed to get 50% of the vote). For the entire posting, click here, and look to the right for the posting, “The Governor of Alaska and the Queen of Georgia”.                              ”.

This is Mudflats’ conclusion:

. . . while America prepares to witness the most historic Presidential inauguration of our lifetime, and children of every color look at their TV screen at our new first family and think, “Yes, I can” maybe for the first time, we hear again from Senator Chambliss. Here’s what he said about the neck-and-neck race that brought about this run-off election.

“There was a high percentage of minority vote,” Chambliss told Alan Colmes on Fox a couple weeks ago, “but we weren’t able to get enough of our folks out on election day.”

“WE weren’t able to get enough of OUR folks out on election day.” Who is “we”? Who are “our folks”?

During the fall Senate campaign, Chambliss cautioned his followers that “the other folks” are voting. The senator added that the “rush to the polls by African-Americans” has “got our side energized early, they see what is happening.”

In Chambliss’ world it is “our side” vs. the African-Americans. Our folks vs. the minority vote. I am tired of Chambliss’ world. I am tired of racially divisive politics and the words that keep it alive. It was Gandhi who said, “Words become our deeds.” This country has had enough of those words, and those deeds. And this country has had enough of those who support them. This is not a chess game.

Huffington Post’s  Sam Stein sees Saxby Chambliss repeating his 2002 tactics when he ran against Vietnam veteran Max Cleland, accusing the triple-amputee of a lack of patriotism.  Stein sees an “eerie familiarity taking hold” in the runoff.

This time, Chambliss and other Republican groups are going after Democratic challenger Jim Martin for being soft on crime and a danger to children, even though Martin’s daughter was kidnapped at the age of eight and, subsequently, the Georgia Democrat introduced a wide-variety of legislation to protect families from crime.

Martin is being outspent by Chambliss, but he has responded with this new ad which explains why the fight to protect children is personal for Martin. Pro choice forces have rallied behind Martin, calling attention to Chambless’ disastrous record on women’s issues.

Major Democratic stars have been campaigning in Georgia, including Bill Clinton and Al Gore. President-elect Obama has taped robo calls and radio ads. Still, Martin remains the underdog, with The Daily Kos poll giving Chambliss a 52-46 margin going into the final weekend.

Martin’s chances now rest on his ground game, led by a strong Obama organization that remained in Georgia following the General Election.  If the turnout is strong Tuesday, especially among African American voters, Martin could win in an upset. But the odds are against him.

UPDATE (December 3) The turnout for the runoff election was low, and Senator Chambliss, with 97% of the districts counted, returns to the Senate for six more years. The results, as reported by Talking Points Memo: Chambliss: 57% (1,220,854) and Martin 43% (905,637)

About wallwritings

From 1972 through 1999, James M. Wall was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, lllinois. He was a Contributing Editor of the Century from 1999 until July, 2017. He has written this blog, wall writings.me, since it was launched April 27, 2008. If you would like to receive Wall Writings alerts when new postings are added to this site, send a note, saying, Please Add Me, to jameswall8@gmail.com Biography: Journalism was Jim's undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. He is an ordained United Methodist clergy person. He served for two years in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF reserve. While serving on active duty with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years.
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