Originally created 10/26/02

Editorial criticizing Schrenko was prim and pious

Nice try, Augusta Chronicle, but you're stuck with State Superintendent of Education Linda Schrenko.

The Oct. 12 editorial, "Schrenko's shocker," condemned Ms. Schrenko for an e-mail she sent to Bill Nigut, an Atlanta reporter attempting to interview her over some controversial Department of Education expenditures. Ms. Schrenko's e-mail contained, in the words of the editorial, "gutter language" inconsistent with the image of a "devout Christian woman," which Ms. Schrenko always claimed for herself.

The editorial went on to note that Ms. Schrenko's language was "too obscene to even hint at in a family newspaper," a curious statement in view of the fact that the offending e-mail was printed the same day on page 5B of the Metro section.

Nevertheless, the demurrer was a nice touch - prim and pious - with just a hint of condescension toward a once fawned-over Republican who now is obviously very much out of favor with The Augusta Chronicle and Georgia's state Republican power brokers.

Ms. Schrenko, a nice lady, was always in way over her head politically. Now, badly defeated in the Republican gubernatorial primary, seriously in debt and with family health problems, she is understandably bitter. It is unfortunate that The Augusta Chronicle chose smug piety over compassion. Whatever else it is, hitting a woman when she is down is neither gentlemanly nor Christian.

Finally, the editor could not resist a final thrust. Ms. Schrenko, if The Chronicle has its way, no longer has the right to claim to be a Christian. She has been demoted to "foul-mouthed humanist." As I said, nice try. But humanists are no more inevitably foul-mouthed than Christians are pure of speech.

No, you're stuck with her. Judging by that e-mail, Ms. Schrenko is simply a foul-mouthed Christian. But I wonder: Whatever happened to the old Christian claim that "Christians are not perfect, just forgiven?"

Charles Heywood, Martinez, Ga.


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