Letter from the Editor
We are pleased to present the spring issue, 2011 of The Christendom Review. A new poet, Lee Evans, appears in these pages for the first time. In Signs of Grace, William Luse details the unlikely spiritual journey of Christian singer/songwriter Bob Ayanian, a former professor of economics, and interviews him. Also appearing for the first time here is a short story by writer William Mickelberry, whose talents in other genres our readers have observed in previous issues. In our selection of essays, high school English teacher Jeff Trippe presents two pieces on the teaching of literature. Also, Lydia McGrew probes the Federal court case of Julea Ward, dismissed from Eastern Michigan University’s counseling program for her refusal to use counseling methods that affirm homosexuality. (So…refusing care to an infant survivor of a late-term abortion: okay; refusing to engage in counseling protocols that pretend that homosexual acts are not risky behavior: not okay. Got it!)
The Visual Arts section of the Review features the literary drawings of the late Darius Lecesne. Many of Darius’s friends and acquaintances will recall receiving his black and white ink drawings as postcards or thank-you notes. Those here are among ones I received over the twenty years of our friendship, which began when we were both graduate students. Intellectual without pedantry, learned and keenly insightful without pretension or ego, generous without calculation, he was the friend of a lifetime.
Darius kept a large correspondence going. To receive one of his letters was a great treat. They were little seminars on his understanding and insight regarding the modern error (the anthropocentric notion that man answers only to himself) gleaned from the news and the popular entertainments of our time, also from the half-dozen or so books he seemed to be reading at any given time. Marion Montgomery, a prodigious reader himself, remarked that he didn’t know when Darius slept, he read so much. Though one of the gentlest souls I have ever met, Darius did not suffer fools well; his letters were peppered with humorous pokes at the sophistry of “the chattering classes:” puffed literary darlings, bloviating news reporters, and movie star political pundits. The buffoonery of certain news reporting of the recent murders of U.N. workers literally torn limb from limb in their “safe rooms” in Afghanistan by angry mobs in reaction to a Florida pastor burning a copy of the Koran would not have passed unnoticed. (One major U.S. newspaper’s headline read: “Afghans avenge Florida Koran Burning.”) I can imagine Darius’s response: Pure chicanery! As if a rash of lynching in Alabama in 1870 could be truthfully characterized as Southerners avenging Reconstruction.
It was said of Flannery O’Connor that she would answer anyone who might write her. The same could be said of Darius Lecesne. He is missed by all who knew him.