6 / CHRONICLESnsubject and in whatever way we choosenfree of every sort of governmental restraint.”nThe members have reason tonworry. Since so much of their hvehhoodncomes from government grants,nwho knows what might happen if anhterate man entered any branch of thengovernment? Even the directors of thenAmerican Booksellers Associationnhave joined the side show by votingn19-0 against Bork.nThe performance of Kennedy,nBiden, and Metzenbaum was particularlynstellar. Here were men whosenpersonal conduct would bar themnfrom any decent home in America,nbut they never missed the chance ofnleaping to the moral high ground. Innmy dreams, the hearings went like this:nSenator Thurmond: Judge Boik,nhave you evah cheated in law school?nBork: No, Senator, I have not.nThurmond: Well, then, did younever get a friend to take an exam fornyou or receive hundreds of thousandsnof dollars to “arrange” a suspiciousnbusiness deal?nBork: No, Senator.nThurmond: Judge, have you everncommitted plagiarism, committednadultery, or driven a car off a bridgenand watched as your ladyfriendndrowned in a few feet of water?nIn the mounting scuffle. SenatorsnKennedy, Biden, and Metzenbaumnare tarred, feathered, and run out ofnWashington on a rail. Around theirnnecks hang signs saying “The Dukenand the Dauphin” and “Sic SempernTyrannis.”nUnfortunately, there is no reason tonsuspect that these publicly acknowledgednscofflaws are in any way exceptionalnmembers of Congress. The alacritynwith which Republican colleaguesnleaped to the defense of Senator Biden’sncharacter can only raise the gravestndoubts over the probity of the entirenbody.nBork deserves our respect and gratitude,nif only because he once firednArchibald Cox—as smug an enemy ofnthe Constitution as ever taught in lawnschool. A firmer conservative wouldnhave stood his ground against thenscoundrels and the zanies. Judge Borknis neither unintelligent nor unprincipled.nHe is only ambitious. To reachnthe pinnacle to which he has aspirednfor so many years, he must eat crow onnhis hands and knees. Some conserva­ntives are saying that Bork has onlynmade strategic retreats. Once on thenbench, he would be there for life, andnshort of an impeachment, there wouldnbe nothing his enemies could do.nThere is enough merit in this argument,nobviously, to convince SenatornPackwood—a self-styled Catholic whonadvocates abortion rights, a Republicannwho routinely opposes the administration.nIn any event, the socialistnwing of the Democratic Party mustnvote against Bork’s nomination on^ngood political grounds.nBiden and Kennedy, still, knownwhat they are doing. All appearancesnto the contrary, they are not entirelynstupid. They realize that if a nomineencan be made to grovel, he will nevernlive long enough to regrow his backbonento its original stiffness. EvennSupreme Court justices worry aboutnthe history books, which means—inneffect—they believe what they read innthe New York Times. Even if RobertnBork should survive his ordeal, he willnhave so abased himself that he wouldnpresent no threat to the ruling establishment.nAnd that, if you did notnknow already, is what the process is allnabout. (TF)nThe United Methodist Church isnhardly a hotbed of Christian orthodoxynin recent years, and it came as a mildnsurpise when Bishop George Bashorenof New Hampshire, presiding over anjury in Dover, announced that thenRev. Rose Mary Denman had violatednthe church’s rule that excludes practicingnhomosexuals from the ministry.nThe Rev. Ms. Denman had asked thenchurch to “look beyond the law andnsee what is right.” The jury did its verynbest and handed out the mildest possiblensentence: a suspension. SincenDenman was already on leave, it wasnthe limpest of slaps upon the wrist, butneven that proved to be an insufferablenaffront. Denman recently announcednnnthat nothing the Methodists do canntouch her: She’s gone Unitarian,nDenman is used to such changes,nof course—she used to be RomannCatholic.nSome Christians would respond:nMethodist, Unitarian—what’s the difference?nBut there is an issue at stake.nMethodist elergypersons are at leastnnominal Christians, which meansnthey accept the divinity of Jesus Christnand the doctrine of the trinity taughtnby John Wesley. How many UnitednMethodist clergymen really are Christiansnis a matter it would not pay toninvestigate too closely. Of course, thenMethodists are in good company.nEpiscopalians, Presbyterians, and Lutheransnhave as little cause for rejoicingnin their shepherds. One Anglicannclergyman of our acquaintance saidnthat at his ordination, the Bishop refusednto ask him (or any candidate)nabout his faith and conviction—fornfear of getting an honest answer.nIt is hard not to sympathize withnpoor Ms. Denman. Years ago, thenchurches insisted that women couldn’tnbe ordained, because that would violatenthe clear meaning of the Scriptures.nWell, the Methodists and Episcopaliansnhave been ordaining womennright and left and forcing them downnthe throats of unwilling congregationsnin rural areas. They used to regardnhomosexuality as an abomination;nnow it is just an unpleasantncondition—something like “unsightlynfat.” It just doesn’t seem to go with anfunny collar. How long can it benbefore sexual deviance will be regardednas a positive blessing? Once upon antime even Unitarians would have rejectednSister Rose Mary. At the ratenthey are progressing, the United Methodistsnare only a decade or so behind,nChristologically speaking. In a fewnyears, the main-line churches may benjoining the Unitarians in singing theirnbeautiful doxology:nFrom all that dwell beneath thenskiesnLet faith and hope and lovenarise.nLet beauty, truth, and good bensungnIn every land by every tongue.nAmen.nIt’s like saying amen after “Ode on anGrecian Urn.” (TF)n