Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 9, 1961

"It's All The Rage.... I'm In The Extreme Middle"

Conway Skinner

"It's the same...the extreme right is a greedy bunch ....the extreme left is greedy....WHICH ONE'S YOU FOR?"

"I am for the extreme center." "So you're a extremist, too?"

"Yessirree....It's all the rage....I'm in the extreme middle."

The above (none too grammatical) is taken from the POGO comic strip of May 28th, and May 29th. Just in case you think the extreme middle is a good place to be, then please read the following article:

Fancy Name For Fence-Straddling?

"You hear a lot about the alleged dangers of "rightwing extremism," but what about the middle-of-the-road philosophy as a threat to our American freedoms — freedoms which have been ours to enjoy because of our "extremist" ancestors? What is the real difference between a middle-of-the-roader and a fence-straddler?

"Few people respect a fence-straddler, Such a position is generally scorned as signifying timidity, indecision, neutrality and even downright cowardice. But when you give fence-straddling the more dignified label of a middle-of-the-road position, it usually commands widespread respect. Many hewing to the "middle" seemingly think they possess a Christ-like tolerance and wisdom. Some regard themselves as being on the order of gods gazing down from Mount Olympus, perceiving the follies and stupidities of those taking clear-cut stands on burning issues.

"Actually, a middle-of-the-road position can result from selfishness and fear — fear of getting into controversy, fear of losing money, fear /of being criticized, etc A great leader, Hon. William G. Saltonstall of Massachusetts, has put it this way: "One of our human fallings has been our admiration of the middle-of-the-road in some areas, compromise is flabby and dangerous. Any person of real conviction must choose one side of the road or the other. It would be a strange kind of education that urged us to be "relatively" honest, or "sometimes" just, or "for the most part" decent There will be some wrong decisions, of course, but as long as mistakes are recognized, the loss is far less serious than playing the middle-of-the-road — sitting on the fence, undecided, unconvinced, incapable of strong feeling.

"More emphatic language on 'Dangers from the Middle' is used in the following comments by William Kennedy, Jocelyn Hollow Road, Nashville, Tennessee:

"May we be saved from the Middle-of-the-Roaders who straddle the center line and frantically scream "extremist" at everybody trying to do something. For it is they who are doing the most to lose for us the struggle between Communism and American freedom... Any person without the guts to take a stand in this most dangerous period of history richly deserves a fall...."

The above is from Tom Ethridge's Mississippi Notebook, as found in the May 24th edition of the Clarion-Ledger. I heartily recommend his reasoning.

— Forest, Mississippi