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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 21, No. 2. March 27, 1958

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Dear Salient—

The upward flip in the proportion of Roman Catholics in our midst appears to give you much delight. You seem to imply that this is some manifestation of the approach of a new age of light. In fact, the reasons for the (small) increase to which you refer are very simple: firstly, the Roman hierarchy's peculiar views on birth control, and secondly, the influx of predominantly Roman Catholic immigrants from Europe.

On the first point, it stands to reason that as long as a child is to be expected as the result of every act of marital intercourse between Roman Catholics, but not necessarily between Protestants, then the former will increase at a faster rate than the latter. In fact, in drawing my attention to the press announcement of the very figures you quote in your editorial ("Rationalism in Decline", 13/3/58), an old R.C. acquaintance chuckled: "If we can't out-argue you blokes, we can always out-breed you—so long as import controls don't affect rubber."

On the second point, the religions complexion of new Australians recently received some attention from the Labour Party there—not from reasons of religious bigotry, but because of the great disservice done to Labour by the interference of the hierarchy in a narrow and sectarian direction, and the tendency of European Catholics, often nurtured in superstitious ignorance, to follow the politics of the local hierarchy without question. A Netherlands Protestant cleric commented on the preponderance of Roman over Protestant immigrants in New Zealand from his country a few years ago, and it is understood that the position is still much the same.

C. V. Bollinger.

(Mr. Bollinger may resort to childish cynicism if he wishes, but this does still not explain away the 36 per cent, decline in our Rationalist adherents in a space of only five years. —Ed.)