1. It should be noted that O'Connor wrote those words in the 1950s. Much has changed in the Southern landscape since then, from the civil rights movement to the influx of Roman Catholics and other religious groups to the increasing numbers of international immigrants in Southern cities and small towns.
2. One need only wear a clerical collar in public to see evidence of this. On encountering a member of the clergy, often, without provocation or invitation, people begin to apologize for themselves, for their behavior, for their lives. People seem to assume that a representative of the church is there to judge them.
3. To understand the believing community as the proper matrix for our conversations, arguments and struggles over character and conduct, over what it means to "lead a life worthy of God" (1 Thessalonians 2:12) is to underscore the importance of recovering the adult catechumenate in our time.
Journal of Lutheran Ethics
Volume 10, Issue 8