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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 4, No. 7 July 2, 1941



We were not impressed by the standard of speaking at the Visitors' Debate on Friday the 20th June. The motion, "That the teachings of Christ are the only hope for the World today," was worthy of better treatment than was given it.


Among the supporters of the motion we remember the Rev. Mr. Newell, who spoke of such old favourites as the "normal and natural man," "our, true selves" and the "kingdom of God" (called "realm" in this republican age), his seconder Ngaire Craig, whose mediaeval logical treatment seemed quite a good approach to the problem, though her arguments would have suffered great havoc if our dialectic philosophers had been up to form; Bert Foley (of course) wanting one church (his'n) to unite the world; Harry Bowyer, Lili Li (she at least was sincere) and —Stewart Devine and—Lindsay Nathan (!). Lindsay was at his craziest and showed that Christ was an atheist, and the founder of the Third International. This and other insincere speeches gave an undesirable air of levity to the proceedings.


Perhaps the most intelligent statement from the other side was made by Miss Hildreth who pointed out that a religion which may have been a good thing when it was formulated, may have, outlived its usefulness, and indeed become an evil thing to-day. Mr. Chapman-Taylor made many excellent points, but did not appear to be at the top of his form. He outlined a rational view of the universe, in which Science was to play a notable part. In a passage which stood cut above the rest he condemned the church's attitude to such [unclear: evils] as syphilis. Mike Mitchell saw hope in the movement for the leadership of the people. Hubert Witheford was convincing in his economic interpretation of the wrongs of present-day society. Likewise Shirley Sutch who saw history as the continual struggle for the betterment of economic conditions. John McCreary expounded a Pacifist viewpoint ably enough, while Mr. Winchester put forward a Socialist argument. Jim's becoming a little sensational, perhaps due to the influence of "Super-Comrade" Nathan, but his arguments were fundamentally sound. He saw Christianity as a slave's philosophy to-day, and resented its accent on humility. Mr. Irving condemned Mr. Nathan, taking himself the more correctly Socialist view of Christianity as the enemy of working-class militancy. It was the Bishop of Toledo who led the fascists into the city.

The Rev. Newell seemed a little annoyed when he summed up. And to our mind quite rightly so. There was a lack of sincerity in many speakers, a lack of logical argument in nearly all, and generally speaking opportunities for advancing both sides were lost.

Those who prate about a better social order after the war are talking mischievous nonsense. However the war ends, we shall be an impoverished nation. We shall all have to work harder and spend less.

[unclear: Dean] Inge. .