Letter to the Editor

Recently seismographs have shown there to be a great movement in the earth's crust from Appalactia to California. These were announced as earthquakes. However, it's my opinion that these movements were caused by a great throng of "cowards" rolling over in their graves simultaneously. Some of your critics (preachers, of course) have elected to label anyone as a COWARD who uses a pen name, in The Examiner, have caused this phenomenon. [Example: In the June issue of Torch, J. T. Smith charges that those who use "pen names" are "obviously...too cowardly to sign their names."]

"Coward" Alexander Campbell would cause the hills of Bethany to shake for his first effort as an editor was in the Washington, PA Reporter is signed "Clarinda." He was trying to reform the social problems of the day. (Memoirs of A. C., page 283, Vol. 1)

Old "Coward" Thomas Campbell would give Bethany's hills a further shake for he signed most of his articles in the Christian Baptist simply "T.W." (Thomas Campbell, Man of the Book, page 188).

Walter Scott who baptized over 1000 people each year for 10 consecutive years was another of our early cowards. When he wrote for the Christian Baptist he signed his name "Philip." (Life of Elder Walter Scott, page 80)

One person among many of the thousands who have used pen names would include a real coward for he used many. His first was to hide behind a woman's skirt and call himself "Mrs. Silence Dogwood." But students have known him for 200 years for his most famous literary work as "Richard Saunders." In its time it outsold every book in the English language except the Bible. We know it today as "Poor Richard's Almanac." It made him so much money that he could devote most of his time to our country. We know him as the statesman, philosopher Benjamin Franklin. (Encyclopedia Americana, World Encyclopedia)

Maybe some of your critics should be writing Ester Friedman or Pauline Friedman about their cowardice problem. But we who don't think everyone is a coward who chooses to write under a pen name know them as "Ann Landers" and "Abigail Van Buren" or "Dear Abby." These sisters might suggest ways to get your pen name writers to come out and play in the mud with those who are so preoccupied.

Cowards? What an ugly charge to accuse those who use a pen name of being cowards. Should a Christian do that? -- Philip Jackson, Chattanooga, TN