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Salient. Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 26, No. 6. Tuesday, June 4, 1963

Chaplain's Comment

Chaplain's Comment

On Easter Monday I went down to Parliament Buildings to the end-of-the-March meeting of CND. There was a large crowd, mainly of marchers bat also of supporters who share, at least in part, the concern of the campaigners. It was a moderate and orderly meeting and the speeches definite in their objective without being extreme. It was interesting, however, to see the different elements within the crowd. Many were just plain tired, but in some faces there was an emotional strain that was ready to burst into intense applause at any mention of the "enemy" (e.g. SEATO).

Another thing which struck my eye were the various banners. Most were conventional and direct but not a few were of a distinctly emotive flavour, playing on the fears of the reader. Fear of death and of destruction and possibly even a worse fear of disease and consequences of radiation—real fears, but somehow their use was reminiscent of "hell-fire" preaching which nowadays is so roundly condemned. Is it right to use these methods or not? Another banner close to me said, "Morality or Mortality?" giving us presumably the option of becoming moral people or dead ones. But what is the morality referred to? It seems to me as a Christian that often the morality proposed is a rather vague humanistic one which hopes by intellectual means to persuade everyone to be good, but bombs, nuclear or otherwise, pose a far deeper problem. They are but symptoms of man's utter inability to control the knowledge he has been given and to love his brother. Is the morality referred to on the banner able to meet this problem?

And, by the way there seems to be no CND organisation as such in the University where students of many different backgrounds can join together in this cause. While it seems to be the preserve of a few rather radical (in different fields) clubs, a number of students who would support it may be staying away because they cannot align themselves with the other views of those clubs.

"Religion is Out"

Owen Leeming in his report on Congress states that this is the case. I don't doubt for a few students that this is so, but from my observations at Congress—and I was not mixing with Christian students only—Mr. Leeming's statement seems an exaggeration. We may not discuss it so much in open forum because we are aware of our ignorance of it. But in small groups religion is still very definitely a subject of discussion. The trouble is not as Mr. Leeming suggests the impossibility "of wading into a mass discussion on who is God," but of wading through it and finding the other side,

John Murray