To Ken:
It was inevitable that you would chime in.  It is interesting that I have never
written nasty remarks about either you or Peter; it is always your behavior.
It is also interesting, first, that what I wrote was not a "strawman"
argument; that it was not an attack on Christianity, let alone an obnoxious
remark; that it was in no way a "knee jerk" response; and that one may
study both Eliot and religion without sharing whatever beliefs you have.  If
you think I have not read and studied Eliot's religious views and the original
sources, you have no idea on what basis I wrote.  If you think I do not have
a background in Christianity, you know even less about me than I would
assume, i.e., nothing.  I cannot assume responsibility for what you do not
understand, however.

To use words like "perverted," "obnoxious," even "unnatural" is to expose
yourself and the reason this has nothing to do with the discussion of either
Eliot or religion.  And if you think it is about some imagined Christianity of
your own, reread Gray's list of definitions and try to figure out how your
language fits into any of them or any representation of Jesus.

And to William Gray--I also did not say your argument was "trivial," only,
as presented, tautological.  I am still interested in how you get out of the


Date sent:              Sat, 28 Jun 2003 13:04:21 -0400
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   Ken Armstrong <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                Re: OT: Eden
To:                     [log in to unmask]

At 08:25 PM 6/27/2003 -0400, you wrote:

>Enough, Peter.    Why do you think your foolishly-written attacks on
>Nancy are of any interest to others?  I'm sick of you putting the rest of
>us in the position of being a witness to your stupid and self-inflated
>nastiness.  It is because Will praised you that you are annoyed that
>Nancy has joined the conversation?


Sorry you see it that way. You could drop your last sentence above and
as well start, "Enough, Nancy." Or "Enough, Carrol." "Joining the
conversation" seems euphemistic for what Nancy and Carrol do. Carrol's
ridiculous remark about Christianity and Nancy's perverted response,
camouflaged as intellectual curiosity and as unnatural as anything you will
see dressed to pass for civil discourse, to Will Gray's polite reply to
Carrol, simply repeats a pattern seen innumerable times on this list. Carrol
at least does not hide the fact that he is not interested in TSE's poetry
enough to really study or honestly represent it. That doesn't stop him from
chattering on about it (lengthy posts from someone with nothing to say, as
it were), but at least he's announced that he is not to be taken seriously,
and for that much he is to be commended.

Out of all that dissonance, to pick Peter as a point of entry for
scolding........I'm disappointed. Had the obnoxious remark been instead an
equally unjudicious remark about some other religion, I suspect the
outpouring would have been deafening. Do you think?

At any rate, Eliot was a professing Christian, was he not? It seems to me
that someone who proposes to study his poetry in view of that is proposing
a potentially worthwhile study. Instead of the knee jerk response to the
word "Christianity" (we all already know, don't we, that Eliot studied
Eastern philosophies?) so often seen on this list, what harm could there
be in actually studying the relationship? Why is the first response always
to try to diminish, with flourishes of academic superiority, the worth of
such a study or of Eliot's religion? I think I know, and I see nothing
wrong with calling these attempts what they are.

Ken A.