Salient: At Victoria University College, Wellington, N. Z. Vol. 24, No. 10. 1961.
Sir,—I imagine that few readers I would agree with Mr Dwyer's ! theory that Christian morality ("divine" morality, as he calls it) tends to prevent the establishment I of a good society. One has only to I contrast contemporary societies I such as Switzerland and Russia, or Israel of the centuries B.C. and Egypt of the same era to reveal the fallacy of this remark.
Your correspondent's claim that I Christianity endeavours to identify itself with the powers-that-be is gravely erroneous. On the contrary, It has tended to show a most impudent disregard for these same powers-that-be, where they are opposed to Christianity. Has W. Dwyer forgotten the Christian martyrs of Imperial Rome, the I struggle of Christianity in Buddhist societies, the efforts of countless missionaries in various parts of the globe, or, to take a modern example, the struggles of the Greek Orthodox Church in Russia?
I cannot agree with the writer's claim that "Christianity breeds the slave intellect." Would he regard G. K. Chesterton, T. S. Eliot, St. Augustine, G. M. Hopkins (I could continue Indefinitely) as "slave intellects?" Or, I wonder, would he class them as mere superstitious fanatics?
Sir,—In Mr Dwyer's contribution to Salient No. 9, he claimed a fundamental conflict in Christianity arising from its claim that God is "omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent." He assumes that God in his infinite condition cannot include what Mr Dwyer separates as evil.
Why not? Surely the fact that evil exists "within" an omnipresent God is the obvious reason why He should concern Himself with us (we being evil).
Mr Dwyer makes a further assumption to the extent that a "Divine" morality, as presented by the Church on earth, is really Divine. It seems to me that the vagaries of the Church on earth (the inconsistencies that he mentions) cannot but prove that the Church on earth is not an executor of "Divine" morality.
He is straying, therefore, when he maintains that Christianity—the belief in a God—hinders "our intellectual development" and "tends to prevent Man from achieving a good society on this earth." I mean here, of course, true Christianity. For if he is criticising the Christian morality practised by the Church, he is criticising a human interpretation of "Divine" morality; an inadequate one.
My conclusion must be that his arguments are merely vague utterings, especially since he implies in his conclusion that Man will make worthwhile steps towards "the best society possible." This is typical of a common vague attitude that the body of men are willing to make sacrifices towards this goal.
Sir,—I would be first to admire the high standard of the Drama Club's readings and productions, and the value of a group of experienced foundation members. However, as a student extremely interested in drama, but totally without practical stage experience, and having only a minimum of speech training, I do not feel that I will ever find out if I could act, here. I wonder if it would he possible for the Club to arrange talks on acting, producing, stage designing, etc., informal drama lessons, or some kind of "inihibition-losing" general activities? What do other people with a yen for self-expression think about this?
Sir,—In your newspaper, there has been much talk of "sensationalism," and "chest-beating." But why does not someone answer this charge: that there was in fact drunkenness at the Students' Orgy. If a party is an orgy, why should we call It something else? Certainly, Mr J. C. Ross very cleverly pointed out the precise amount of liquor available per head. He may be right; but his article does not disprove the fact that there Was drunkenness at the supper.
—Let's Face it.
Sir,—Salient 9 ("Swimming Activities - Calisthenics"), reads: "Victoria University Swimming Club trains and relaxes under the tuition of lovely Miss Jane Mad-docks on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7 p.m. in the new gym—M.D.K."
Can you tell me if (i) is it usual for newspapers to indulge in personal description under a "Sports Section," and (ii) was that statement editorial policy?
Fair Comment.[(i) Yes. (ii) No. But we would endorse M.D.K.'s statement if it would make "Fair Comment" happier.]
Sir,—May I commend the opening of a new tradition, I refer to the candidates' meeting held just prior to elections. Admittedly, the publicity was lousy. Admittedly, a large section of the lethargic student body just weren't interested, still if you went down to the Caf. immediately afterwards you must have heard some pretty hot debating. And the very fact that some 200 students were set thinking shows it was worthwhile.
Sir,—One bright light which has recently appeared on the intellectual horizon of the University is the appearance of the Victoria University of Wellington Social Credit Club. For the University this is significant and encouraging because it shows that the spirit of inquiry—the "Nullius in Verba" of the Royal Society—the practice of scientific investigation, at least in the economic sphere, is not dead.
The club originated from a handful of students whose concern for economic trends and policies in New Zealand and overseas was such that they felt it was tine something was done to express the dissatisfaction that a large majority of the students feel about orthodox financial policy.
The programme that the V.U.W. S.C.C. has set itself is to bring before the student body the absurdities, contradictions and frustrations of contemporary economics and to demonstrate in debate, on the speakers' platform and per medium of publicity the superiority of a new economic system based on sound scientific principles—Social Credit.
In propounding such views the Social Credit club will flaunt tradition and scorn orthodoxy but for the sake of economic sanity, social welfare and international harmony its radicalism should be more than welcome.
The Social Credit club is non-religious, non-racial and will attempt to be as non-political as its principles allow.
An invitation is extended to students to attend meetings which will be held regularly throughout the year; and membership, a challenge to the thinking student, is free.
G. J. Dempsey,
Sir,—I think that all you people who want to stick to the name Victoria need your heads read. Who was Victoria, anyway? A tyrant with a capacity for world shattering remarks like "We are not, etc." Who wants a good University to hide under a name like hers? (Just because the crown is holy, holy, holy . . .)
Hear those remarks at Tournament about the touching conservatism and royalism in Wellington students? Incidentally, who wants to shout Vio. at Tournament? It's a hard, difficult sound to shout and it needs masses of glottal stops and all that. I personally shall be shouting Wu-Wu-Wu and having the time of my life.
I think it is very tactless of your editorial comment to refer to the whims and egos of petty businessmen [when your executive is crawling: around the city asking for substantial donations from these Same petty businessmen to furnish the new Student Building].
Wellington University students wake up and move with the times!
Sir, This whole set-tip's lousy.
|(1)||S.U'.B. cleaning—non-existent. Still no rubbish tins even. The place is disgusting—so impressive for our open-house guests!|
|(2)||Open-house tours—large scale over-ambitious advertising plus inadequate organisation.—What happens? Dozens of visitors stranded in the foyer without a guide.|
|(3)||S.U.B. telephones: The place is riddled with coloured telephones which cost £2 a year each more than ordinary ones—unwarranted extravagance when you consider! half the rooms have no furniture at all. Also a lot are in empty rooms unusued while only one four public boths is functioning.|
|(4)||Food in the caf.: Too Dear|
I am, etc.,
Sir,—I would like to point out an error in your June 6 ! issue of Salient.
In the report of the Executive Meeting of May 25, you refer to a gift to the Women's Common Room from the University Women's Club. This gift was actually from the Women Associates of Victoria University the members of whom would be pleased to have this; error rectified.
P. J. Palmier,(Hon. Sec., Women Associates).
Deranged Sir,—It is with no small sense of my own genius that I enter a twisted saying or what have you for the Salient competition. To add my voice to these that have been raised already against the debaucheries practised by the Association. I am, of course, referring to certain functions held in the new Building. I believe in muckraking, sir, and with due consideration have produced this saying.
"People who dwell in stone houses shouldn't throw glasses."
*Read here ferroconcrete or similar such adjective.
If any interest is forthcoming I shall of course supply you with a complete and detailed analysis of the metaphysical meaning behind a statement with so much; latent depth.
"Ravings" by R.S.A.
Sir,—I read with considerable agitation the most recent ravings of the R.S.A. on the subject of national defence. For shreer diehard woolly-headedness this takes a lot of beating. If, or rather when the Government acts upon it, it's back to good old C.M.T. for us. Now, when we have a labour shortage threatening us and the economy is in rather precarious straits, they are going to sap our manpower and increase military spending, to interrupt careers and splurge on toys; for adults. New Zealand needs compulsory military training and an increase in her forces like she needs a gold-plated battleship. Any army in this country is an expensive anachromism we cannot afford. The existing army is quite capable of meeting our so-called commitments overseas, and in the event of a major war the proposed compulsory training would be in any case completely worthless. How much better to meet our commitments to mankind by devoting this wasted money to the under-developed countries, if better uses for it can't be found at home.
But no. Petty party pique, R.S.A. pressure, the need to keep doddering service chiefs employed and the temptations of puny nationalism and militarism will apparently prove stronger than Mr Holy-oake's claims of "sound, progressive government." The clock will be put back in yet another field, unless (oh vain hope!) the public wakes up and protests. If a couple of hundred students would disobey the call to arms when it comes, they would be doing New Zealand a greater service than an infinite number of conforming trainees could ever hope to accomplish.
J. K. Murphy.
Sir,—While guiding parties of dear old ladies around our new Student Union Building during the recent Open House week, I was asked by a graduate of about 1912, "... and what is this little room used for?"
The entire party swept into the room, as I explained that this was at present unfurnished but was going to be used as a—gulp—Committee Room ... the words faded away. You see, Sir, we were confronted by the spectacle of a carton of empty gin bottles, six cartons of empty beer bottles, a broken chair and a lavatory seat. I realise that this is a fitting memorial to that "swinish orgy" (the Graduands' Supper), but must it remain there permanently? Please, Sir, could the House Committee, do something!!!
Sir,—The sight of each new Salient peering fresh-faced out of the honesty boxes brings as always, anticipation of Joys spiritual, intellectual, etc. But now. alas, the deeper aesthetic needs of the student spirit are thwarted, suppressed, frustrated, left to utter abandonment . . .
Please Bring Back the Pretty Coloured Cover!
Mad Urge To Decorate Walls
Sir—Our Union Building has not been in use long but it is already an art gallery of posters and notices. The men's toilets near the Administration Block have for some time been cubicled volumes of depravity.
Perhaps we are not at V.U.W. to "seek truth"; perhaps our university is only a billboard for posters and its walls, doors, etc., are too tempting for the Gully Jimsons who come here.
Sir,—The trouble with most fundamentalist sects is that they see the world in two colours only. It is to this that I attribute Frank Buchmann's (wealthy leader of M.R.A.) vision of Hitler as an angel sent to rescue the world from the devil Stalin. I adopt this view, rather than the more uncharitable one that Buchmann found Hitler's political, economic and racial policies most akin to his own, because I am a charitable person.
By the way, Mr Caughey, how many Jewish members are there in M.R.A.?
I wonder what was the motive that inspired General Jouhard (French M.R.A. spokesman) to participate in the abortive Algerian revolt? To overthrow General De Gaulle, communist puppet, or to show his great love of humanity by shooting his coloured Algerian Moslem brothers?
Communism must be fought sir, but cannot be by the foolish philosophy of M.R.A. or by the money-oriented, publicity-minded members of M.R.A.
V. G. Maxwell.
|(1)||The claim that M.R.A. is an ideology which combats "Godless Communism on a world front and Godless materialism on the home front" is true only insofar as the aim of M.R.A. as an organisation is to seek out and destroy Communism within and without the State.|
|(2)||That their tenet of "absolute love" is sheer nonsense—it needs the addition of "towards those who agree with us and support us."|
|(3)||That the Christian basis they claim for it and the use they seek to make of Christianity is a distortion of true Christianity (M.R.A. simply uses Christianity as a cleansing force: to them M.R.A. is greater than Christianity).|
|(4)||That those who make the biggest financial contribution to the movement (not "ordinary men and women" but big businessmen and other vested interests) are concerned mainly with using M.R.A. to advance their own interests. This is not a wild claim, but cold, sober truth.|
|(5)||That M.R.A. is in fact an international McCarthyist movement, as Philip Hey wood put it, in an article in " Isis."|
As a Christian, I would like to believe in some of the avowed aims of M.R.A. but I cannot believe in the movement as a whole, in the methods they use and in their fundamental philosophy of life (which is not based on the lour "absolutes").