The League Against the South

Letter From York

York, Alabama, is a sad little Southern town. Though it is small, it lacks the typical charm of the South. Not much happens there, but what does happen happens in the typically Southern way. The wheels of justice grind not with something as tacky as money, but with the more genteel means of connections: It's not how much you have, but whom you know. But a man of the cloth has entered the fiefdom of York, and entered with all the bluster and tact of Martin Luther. His name is Martin Murphy, so far still the pastor of tiny little York Presbyterian Church. York Presbyterian is not a part of that old yet hip monolith that is the Presbyterian Church U.S.A., they of the yearly debates on the merits of repealing the Seventh Commandment. York is a part of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, a denomination much like the town of York. It is old, Southern, lacking in any particular distinctiveness, and tends to be run by those with the greatest pedigree.

Martin, with his faithful preaching of the Gospel and with the fruit thereof (outsiders actually came in and joined the church), has upset the balance of power. Like the other Martin, he proved unintimidated by the existing powers. Two church elders (elders in Presbyterian churches are like the board of directors) demanded his resignation. Martin refused, as the majority of the elders and of the church (by a two-to-one margin) asked him to stay.

Presbyterians are an orderly...

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