12 Oct 2007
It is disappointing to discover that the original by Adlai Stevenson apparently contained two "apostles." Those words serve as sleeping-policemen in a sentence where wit partly depends on speed of delivery. The misremembered form -- "I find Paul appealing and Peale appalling" -- improves on the original. Or perhaps, we can allow ourselves to believe, the better version was indeed the original, and others, possibly in the audience of Baptists he was addressing, misremembered, and piety prompted them later to have claimed to have heard the (un-uttered) "apostles." Or perhaps Stevenson felt he had to be careful in how he referred to Paul, as he had been given to understand that he was being allowed to speak only as a courtesy, given that he had already been consigned to the outer darkness by the un-apostolic "Peale" -- that is, the late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a downmarket and coarse version of the intelligent and respectable, but even later, Harry Emerson Fosdick.