Religion: What to Call the Preacher

Laymen who feel uneasy in the presence of a Protestant clergyman feel particularly uneasy when it comes time to introduce him, capture his attention, or ask him to pass the gravy. Says Dr. Franklin Clark Fry, president of the Lutheran Church in America: "They often say to me, 'What should I call you?' And I answer right back, 'Why, call me Mister.' But they never think that term is quite adequate, and if anything, they become even more embarrassed."

One safe, nondenominational way to be wrong is to call a churchman "reverend" —which is an adjective rather than a noun, and is...

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