Two objective interesting articles by Ken Trainor in the May 4 edition have rejuvenated my interest in Wednesday Journal so as to consider re-subscribing after putting up in past years with many of his un-objective anti-dialogue attacks on most breathing Republicans as if we are all the same animals.
Both articles do approach controversies with objectivity and dialogue in the Socratic method some of us learned in hiqher education. One article involves relationships between Calvary Church and First United Church. The other involves pro-life and pro-choice issues. The well written articles bring back memories of long ago Oak Park incidents involving these issues.
Calvary Church moved to its present location when it purchased the church building formerly housing First Presbyterian Church. The purchase and events preceding it involved controversy which was resolved after much dialogue.
First Presbyterian and what had formerly been known as the First Congregational Church of Oak Park had previously merged into what is now known as First United Church of Christ. I well remember some of the arguments as to the differences in polity between the two churches, such as does the congregation or the Prebytery have ultimate control of certain church matters.
Another interesting controversy involved which church building should be the location of the newly named First United Church of Oak Park. Some from First Presbyterian regretted moving across the street to the old First Congregational. This was a move away from a location where important events such as weddings and baptisms had taken place for generations of its members.
A little more controversy arose when our then minister told me he would rather not have the First Presbyterian church sold to the Calvary Church because being right across the street, there might be some proselytizing of our members. This kind of difference of feeling is indicated in the Trainor article which describes the situation as to the limitations in the present dialogue between the members of the two churches. Nevertheless, it is better to have some dialogue rather than none.
My wife and I noticed an interesting reflection of what may have been a difference in the style of the churches years ago when we were invited to a Calvary dinner at Nielson's Restaurant and some of the entertainment was watching impersonation of the beautiful Salome doing her dance and singing.
The Trainor article about the dialogue needed for the pro-life and pro-choice battle also reminds me of dialogue which helped me to develop a different opinion on the issues. The issues of what is life and when does it begin was the subject of an interesting discussion at the old First Congregational a long time ago.
Among the commentators were two nuns and a well known ob/gynecologist. During the commentary, I mentioned an old French legal case I knew of years before at law school when we were discussing the need for absolute definitions in law affecting thing such as statutes of limitations and when things legally began and ended.
The case held that life began "in ventre sa mere," or that as soon as the male sperm and female cell came into contact that life began. To my surprise the nuns did not seem to object when my doctor friend precisely disputed that life had begun at than instant.
He described the different processes which developed during each time period of the pregnancy and made a strong case that life as would be defined by many medical experts did not begin at that instant moment as held in the ancient French case.
The Trainor article in response to the Viewpoints article "Abortion is the biggest evil..." addresses a now very divisive issues with his response; "Dialogue is possible; but you have to want to exchange." This is probably an issue more controlled by emotion and religious belief than by dialogue, reason and science but I agree with the Trainor article that we need to have dialogue and an exchange.
Ward P. Fisher