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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 17, No. 15. July 29, 1953

[Catholic Students' Guild advert]

[Catholic Students' Guild advert]

It begun when we were talking about churchgoing with an American girl one day. She was we gathered, generally in favour of the idea though she wasn't doing anything about it. She offered a little explanation: "If doesn't seem worthwhile bothering to join a church this year, but next year when Chuck and I are married, we'll join one in our neighbourhood." in the meditative fashion of brides-to-be the went on: 'I used to go to a Methodist Sunday School, but I think we'll join the Episcopalian Church—I like their services better." Startled, and. It must be confessed, a little scandalised, we murmured, sotto voce, "Hut doesn't It matter at all whether a religion is true or not?" Afterwards we were glad we hadn't said this out loud because no one likes to confound a blushing bride and we've since found countless people at university and elsewhere who have the same quaint notion. They approach churchgoing the way they approach film going: you go where, when and if you want to go. The quality of the aesthetic and emotional experience is what counts, not the truth or falsity of the doctrines preached and acted upon by the particular Church. Surely a more reasonable attitude is that of the late Professor C. E. M. Joad and the writer and mountaineer Sir Arnold l.unn who both thought that "If Christianity is true it is the most important thing in the world." and therefore worth their while studying and writing books of controverseas about. They agreed, too that one of the things a man's reason is commptent to do and should do is to decide whether the claims of religion are false or true. This is tuir enough—you'll find the same sort of assumption being made every day by university examiners who persist in regarding young minds as capable of weighing up evidence. They are even capable of positive discourtesy to students who prefer to believe Samuel Johnson the author of "Hamlet" or Napoleon an Englishman in disguise. Opinions which have no less foundation when you come to think of It than such announcements by students who should know better as: "Oh, but I'm sure God couldn't be like that:" or "But I prefer to think of Christ as the perfect man," If God exists at all his nature could hardly correspond to all the multifarious prejudices and preferences which human beings have expressed through the centuries, for their ideas of what would be must suitable and pleasing in the Deity have probably changed about as often as the fashion in hats.

(This advertisement sponsored by the Catholic Students' Guild)