On ‘Letter From Washington’

In his June 1989 column (“Our Nation, Your Money“), Samuel Francis claims that Carl Hagen’s Progress Party in Norway is one of the right-wing European parties that are nationalist and socialist. In fact, the Progress Party grew out of the Norwegian tax revolt; its platform combines immigrant-bashing with a healthy distaste for government, thus making the organization an anti-socialist nationalist party. (Other examples of anti-socialist nationalists: the Progress Party in Denmark and the Freedom Party in Austria.)

        —Martin Morse Wooster
Silver Spring, MD

On ‘Letter From the Southwest’

Really now, is not Odie Faulk’s “Doctoring Honor” (June 1989) a bit finicky? As a clergyman I have always enjoyed checking the year’s roster of those receiving honorary doctorates of divinity. Usually it says all too much about the current ideology of our seminaries.

Mr. Faulk missed the ideological sideline in the business of granting honorary doctorates. In the Episcopal Church it is de rigueur to grant every new bishop a D.D. Just this past year, however, we witnessed the previously unheard of spectacle of a seminary publicly withdrawing its proffer of a D.D. to a bishop. Apparently the feminist contingent was outraged at the bishop’s refusal to support the ordination of women. Oh well, there are compensations: bishopess Barbara Harris, who hasn’t even an undergraduate degree to her name, to say nothing of a seminary degree, will undoubtedly soon acquire a doctorate, if she hasn’t already acquired one. Should, God forbid, I ever meet her, it will give me something to call her, since I certainly can’t call her a “bishop.” O tempora, O mores.

When I went to seminary, all we got was a mere Bachelor of Divinity, but the powers that be decided that it would be more dignified and presumably more honorable to grant a master’s: so years later ex post facto we all got upgraded. Ain’t academia wonderful?

        —Father Winston Frithiof Jensen
Superior, WI