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October 30, 1964 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1964-10-30

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Seventy-Fifth Year

Religion Today: A Reply to Prof. Cutler

WheeOpi nions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MxcH.
Truth Will Prevail}

NEWS PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
Romney Should Be Reelected
To Save Republicanism .. .
IN THE CONTEXT of national party pol- moderate direction very difficult if not
itics, that Romney has been a good impossible.
governor is almost irrelevant. I urge a Nor is it at all clear that a return to
vote for Romney because he is a moder- tweedledum and tweedledee parties is de-
ate Republican. sirable. Granted that the Republican
If there is anything this country is Party as presently constituted does not
going to need after Johnson sweeps offer a viable alternative to the Demo-
Goldwater out of electoral politics, it is a crats. There are reasons to expect that
responsible opposition party. Democracy it could.
does not function at its best unless rea-
sonable alternatives to governmental pol- IN THE NOT TOO DISTANT future the
icy are brought forward. role of Southern Democrats in that
In the main, Goldwater has not of- party will be greatly reduced. Sen. Strom
fered such a choice to the American vot- Thurmond's recent switch to the Repub-
er; he has offered an echo that has lican Party will be followed by others
sounded unreal at times. who find a more ideologically comfortable
home there.
REFLECT FOR A MINUTE. What would As a result, the Democratic Party will
the situation be now if a moderate lose its most conservative elements and
like Scranton were running against John- swing further to the left. The selection of
son. Hubert Humphrey, who cannot be ruled
Instead of the disgusting spectacle of out as the Democratic nominee in either
a President of the United States being 1968 or 1972, and the recent resurgence
afraid to present policy suggestions for of the Stevenson faction of the party at-
fear he might lose more than two states, test to the beginnings of this shift.
Johnson would have to develop some- This in turn will enable the Republicans
thing other than support of "God, Moth- to move further toward the "mainstream"
erhood and Apple Pie" in his speeches. while still offering the voters a "choice."
Instead of many people wanting to In order to win, they will have to ap-
vote "NO" for President, a moderate Re- peal to those moderates whom the Demo-
ipublican would have forced a choice crats leave behind, and in order to make
upon the electorate. that appeal they will have to be a respon-
sible opposition.
ANOTHER SIMILAR deplorable situa- An effort by Romney to take the party
tion could develop again in 1968 if men away from the conservatives at this stage
ieoncoeeopaiundtowould in all probability fail, and if it
like Romney are not around to lead the
Republican Party. And who else will somehow succeeded it would prevent
there be but Romney? needed party realignment from taking
Polls with an uncanny history of ac- place.
curacy show Percy is behind in Illinois.
Scranton is limited to one term as gov- EVEN IF ONE believes party realign-
ernor of Pennsylvania expiring in 1966. ment to be undesirable or unlikely,
Rockefeller is politically dead. Rhodes is Romney should not be voted for as the
man around whom the forces of modera-
Re-elect Romney and save the two- tion should be focused. Romney is not
party system. presidential material; he has been inept
-CAL SKINNER, JR. at handling state problems such as tax
reform and apportionment, and his ef-
forts to stop Goldwater's nomination were
. . . lie Should INot ill-considered, ill-timed and taken entire-
e e e lyindependently of other prominent Re-
publican moderates. Scranton and Robert
GEORGE ROMNEY should not be re- Taft, Jr., of Ohio will both probably be
elected governor of Michigan to save around in 1968. Either would be a better
democracy. In fact, a stronger argument choice.
might be made in the opposite direction. Romney may or may not be the best
Romney can do little good and perhaps governor for Michigan. If he isn't, he
great harm as a force in the Republican certainly isn't the best man for the Re-
Party. publicans, the two-party system, or de-
Goldwaterites will continue to hold con- mocracy.
trol of the party after the election, mak- -EDWARD HERSTEIN
ing any attempt to steer it in a more Editorial Director
Brinkmanship, de Gaulle Style

To the Editor:
MR. CUTLER'S description of
the value system of the Uni-
versity in Tuesday's Daily is noble,
mature, and a certain guarantee
of success. It ought to be; it is
essentially unchanged since Phar-
aonic Egypt, when also the scribes
(the Educated Elite) were busily
engaged in praising themselves,
their social status, and their value
system based on emotional matur-
ity, in contrast to the "heated"
man. They would no dobut have
included rationality too, if "they
had had a word for it. There is
much good in the value system,
and it ought to be put into prac-
I have not met, and have hardly
heard of Mr. Cutler, and there is
of course no possibility of any
personal animus in what follows.
His brief paragraph dealing with
religion needs to be answered,
however, because it illustrates so
well the usual attitudes toward
religion at university campuses.
When we are told that the intel-
ligent, educated person today has
only two alternatives in regard to
religion, either alienation or hy-
pocrisy (conscious or unconscious),
a very serious charge is levelled
against a great number of people,
and it must be examined.
Mr. Cutler describes religion in
a way which can only be termed
an infantile caricature of any con-
cept of religion now held by ma-
ture and thoughtful persons, His
ideas about religion seem to de-
rive from only two possible
sources, either verbal formulae ab-
sorbed in early childhood which
he is now vigorously rejecting, or
from some obscure process of cul-
tural osmosis deriving from ac-
cidental elementsrin his past en-
vironment. On either ground, the
process of reaching the conclusions
he does can hardly be held to have
anything to do with the values
which he seems to be legislating
into existence.
THERE IS nothing mature or
even corresponding to reality in
his over-hasty assumption that
the regilious concern with the
"hereafter" excludes concern with
the "here and now," no matter
how he mayhave misunderstood
some radio revivalist. The history
of acceptance and rejection-and
acceptance again of a hope for
vindication beyond the historical
process stretches back some five
thousand years, and the complex
relationship between that hope
(or the rejection of it) and con-
cepts of obligation in the "here
and now" Mr. Cutler dismisses
with a cliche.
Similarily, it is naivewto oppose
in so simple-minded a way "reve-
lation" and "science." Both con-
cepts or aspects of thought have
a history going back some three
thousand years, including a his-
tory of conflict repeatedly during
that long period. Mr. Cutler's re-
ligion is largely a straw man of
his own manufacture, an ideal
model which he demolishes with
ease-but is such procedure to be
identified with the rational, dedi-
cated search for Truth,
There is some justification for
his naivetes in the simple ideas
of simple people; after all, in or-
der tobe socially functional at
all, religion must share some of
the disadvantages of any popular
movement, including the disdain
of Mr. Cutler, but why should
Mr. Cutler identify his own ig-
norant prejudices with the whole
of religion? Is this an adequate
basis for "understanding opposing
points of view?"
A SECOND POINT needs also
to be developed. Whatever else
religion maytbe, it is a concern for
the continuity of a value system
characteristic of a group of hu-
man beings. Any period of ac-
celerated and cumulative social
and cultural change such as our
own brings about severe stress on
both the concern for continuity
and the concern for the value

system. Values do not exist (ex-
cept as mere verbalisms) until
they are identified as qualitative
aspects of real experience and
action. "Understanding opposing
points of view," for example, is
a mere verbalism unless there is
evidence that such understanding
has taken place, and is presumably
followed by appropriate behavior.

r q .S, ; r
^'P ' . _ L. rv' M'' a x , Vi f . c~ t a r" !.°* r yw~.;f , 7'
v ' < fj "' t.' r'

science practitioners. Their very
success in the manipulation of
social organizations and monopoly
control of economic resources
available to the university com-
munity has largely contributed to
the crisis, not to the answer' of
modern society. They have been
largely responsible for the creation
of disaster areas in precisely those
fields of thought and conviction
which are most essential to the
continuity of any human society
or culture, including those dis-
ciplines having to do with the
rational and mature study of re-
ligion, while there is unlimited
elaboration of scholasticisms in
many of the social sciences vir-
tually devoid of any sound his-
torical perspective.
When Mr. Cutler makes such
dogmatic assertions about the al-
ternatives of alienation or hypo-
crisy in a field of which he ob-
viously knows next to nothing,
one can only ask whether he is
capable of recognizing relation-
ships between his own value sys-
tem and reality. There is an old
saw, not scientific, and not even
modern, about the pot which call-
ed the kettle black.
-George E. Mendenhall
Professor of Near East
Offset Publication
To the Edi'or:
HAVING READ the article in
The Daily of October 28 con-
cerning the formation of a new
group, OFFSET, planning to print
a new literary magazine, we' are
interested first, in the need the
magazine will fill, and second, in
the style of the new publication.
That is, we are interested in the
character and the appeal with
which the new publication will ap-
proach each student.
The idea of a new magazine on
campus presents, we are convinced,
the opportunity to bridge the
present gap between the students'
personalities and the students'
thoughts by avoiding at all costs
its crystallization into aspecific
and identifiable character. A
choice of periodicals too limited in
scope and mode of expression
denies each student identification
with literature of personal rele-
vance. We are, after all, learning
on this campus-all 29,000 of us-
and we need diversity through the
representation of varied styles and
varied themes with personal ap-
peal. To present a particular form
forces the reader into an uneasy
reading experience-or none at
*, * *
A PUBLICATION of unrestrict-
ed subject and style is one of un-
restricted appeal, not only to stu-
dents as readers, but also as writ-
ers. We write papers and exams
about subjects ranging from atoms
to Shakespeare; yet there is only
one persons out of thousands with
who we communicate: our instruc-
A magazine uncommited to a
specific norm of literary style and
theme is an outlet for student
ideas-not a forum of student
opinion, but an'anthology of deep-
est thoughts, thoughts prompted
by sincerity which could not be
published elsewhere. To be sure,
technique is an important criterion
for both writer and reader, but
there is a greater need fo em-
phasis on sincerity. Undergraduate
students are, above all, diverse-
they need an unrestrlctve oulet
for their endeavors and a diverse
choice of reading material: 29,000
students need not be forced to con-
form in the area of expression.
-Ellen Panush, '67
-Richard Swartz, '67



" Tg&N K kEM~EN


AEON 4& l'"

If not, it is mere pious verbalism,
a liturigical ritual which marks
the speaker as a righteous mem-
ber of the In-Group.
It is characteristic of religious
communities to identify values
w i t h particular, conventional
forms of behavior. The crisis situ-
ation arrives, however, when the
process of change renders the con-
ventional forms inadequate to
serve the value system. It is tempt-
ing to throw out baby and bath
alike, as unnecessary and unde-
sirable handicaps in the struggle
for survival-or is it the struggle
to get to the top of the heap?
However, it is the most difficult
thing in human society to create
new forms of speech and behavior
that can be identified, on the
popular level, with the received
value system. It is, in the first
place, not common in religious
communities to distinguish be-
tween forms and values-neither
is it common in academic com-
The Sacred, the Holy of Holies
in academic communities is the
value of "high academic stan-
dards" Anyone who commits
blasphemy against this ground of
being is certain to be relegated to
whatever hell there may be. I
have no intention of going to hell,
academic or unacademic. But how
many professors or administrators
can really conceive of any forms
of academic behavior which would
in practical circumstances guar-
antee the realization of this value,
other than the existing formal
procedures of examinations and
grade-point averages?
THE THOUSANDS of pages of
books and journals struggling with
the problem of readaptation now
going on in most religious com-
munities are evidently all relegat-
ed to Mr. Cutler's own private
Index Expurgatorius. He seems to
conceive of religion as a mono-
lithic, unchanged lump descended
from on high, which is now in
trouble for the first time because
of the advance of modern science.
This view is comprehensible to me
in view of the fact that what
someone has recently termed

chronological snobbery, better
chronological provincialism, is
built into most of the infant social
sciences, since they did not exist
as identifiable sub-cultures in
Western civilization until some
mere three generations ago. Since
we cannot feel superior to con-
temporary human races, we con-
sole ourselves by an unquestioning
assumption that all the human
race born before Columbus were
low-grade morons; they cannot
defend themselves.
In matter for fact, quite anal-
ogus crises involving rapid change
have happened in the history of
the biblical tradition some four
times in the past three thousand
years; I would hold that the dif-
ference between the past and pres-
ent crises is much more statistical
than qualitative. It would be an
interesting question to ask wheth-
er or not, in the light of historical
perspective, we are hysterically
over - exaggerating the present
changes because of our obsession
with novelty. Religious commun-
ities have at least a potential re-
source in historical perspective,
including the ability to place Mr.
Cutler's ex cathedra pronounce-
ments into the category of non-
rational prejudice.
Probably all religious commun-
ities are now involved in the pro-
cess of reformation, while the
power struggle within and among
societies produces, with Mr. Cut-
ler's help, such insecurity in in-
dividualsband sub-cultures, that
those obligations for the well-
being of real persons tend to be
regarded as dispensable handicaps
in social climbing. There are just
not enough people with enough
courage to rely upon something
else than power, whether eco-
nomic or political.
THIS IS THE REAL significance
in the emergence of the so-called
"post-Christian era." It is merely
reversion to pre-Mosaic myths,
in which the various manifesta-
tions of power are identified as
the only factors involved in hu-
man history and value systems-
in short, as determinants of be-
havior. Social protest arises from

the disvaluation of persons as
persons, but psychologists have
evidently not yet succeeded in
distinguishing between H o m o
sapiens and Rattus norwegicus
albinus (one even succeeded in
producing a verbal hybrid between
Rattus and Mus-we still live in
the age of miracle).
The social scientist trusted in
modern society and political life
seems incapable of recognizing
anything other than power Sys-
tems as determinants of behavior;
we ought not to be shocked or
surprised if social protest pro-
ceeds then on the assumption that
only the seizure of power, by
violence if need be, will be effec-
tive. It is very difficult to see
how any peaceful society, or any
civilization, can continue to func-
tion if such is the only resource
of social protest. Power, to exist,
must be exercised against some-
one, and it is quite clear that
human tolerance of external power
is quite limited. The entire biblical
tradition grew originally out of
just such an intolerance of power
systems, and the persons involved
had the courage to say something
else was possible. Mr. Cutler seem-
ingly cannot tolerate such un-
scientific ideas; he, like many
social scientists, wants to be the
high priest of a competing re-
ligion, and therefore feels im-
pelled to destroy the competition.
complaints from faculty and stu-
dents concerning the rigid dog-
matism and imperialism of social


IF THERE IS ONE statesman in the
Western world who exercises brink-
mansship, it is France's President Charles
de Gaulle. At home, in the European
community and in the NATO pact, he is
a real expert at this art.
Last week he did it again. Warning his
Common Market partners that France
will leave the Market if he does not get
his way, he demanded rapid action on
agricultural price policy in the Market's
trade union.
He is concerned mainly with grain and
sugar prices, which are high in West
Germany and the lowest in Europe in
France. The goal is to equalize agricul-
tural prices in general in all six Com-
mon Market member countries.
newest ultimatum go beyond just this
one. He also wants to demonstrate to his
farmers that he is willing to do more for
them. During his absence a more than
week-long milk strike struck France,
during which farmers withheld all milk
from distribution. It was just the latest
in a whole series of farmer protests
against the government's policy of keep-
ing down farm prices. (This policy is part
of de Gaulle's anti-inflation program and
it has indeed partially succeeded in bat-
tling inflation.)
De Gaulle's third aim is related to West
Germany. There, farm product prices are
especially high because of the farmer's
influence on the ruling parties. Much
of the support given to the ruling Chris-

seems to be aiming at such internal in-
stability, from which his own stable gov-
ernment has all to win and little to lose.
His ultimatum proves even more that de
Gaulle likes nothing less than competi-
tion, be it from east, north or west.
jF, HOWEVER, agreement is not reached
by the December 15 deadline, de
Gaulle will have to make true his pledge
that he will pull out. It is very unclear
exactly how he is going to do this, as
there is no provision in the Rome Treaty
for dissolving the partnership.
The necessity for a final decision about
a common agricultural policy is un-
disputed. De Gaulle thus found him-
self supported by some outstanding ex-
perts of Common Market politics, al-
though all of them opposed the brusque
quality of the ultimatum. Eurocrat Mans-
holt in particular felt that factually
France was justified in asking for a ful-
fillment of Common Market aims, yet
that she was wrong in provoking a Euro-
pean crisis over the question.
Interestingly enough, these words re-
flected the viewpoint aired by the French
farmers' leadership after the ultimatum
was issued. From that quarter, careful
negotiations were urged--in contrast to
the abrupt Gaullist demands. It was ar-
gued that farmers would otherwise lose
what they have gained so far from the
Common Market.
de Gaulle's action seems even less log-
zin' T+ c iiatc,+*1 h'r ,c-nm dinlnrma tg

It Must All lie in Hollywood

Discordat Elemrents an
Hurt MVmichatit's 'u
At the Cinema Guild
LEWIS MILESTONE'S production of "Rain," an adaptation of a
play taken from an original story by Somerset Maugham, combines
incongrous artistic and box-office elements to niake a movie that is on
the one hand powerful and on the other hand disturbingly silly.
A fine performance by Walter Huston and Milestone's excellent
direction of the artistic elements of the movie produce a gripping
account of a man's inability to coordinate the rational and passionate
sides of his nature. The Reverend Alfred Davidson, played by Huston,
is a man who considers it his duty to save souls.
Speaking his lines in a rigid,.stylized manner, Huston conveys the
impression of a man keeping a tight curb upon his passions. At the
same time, his gestures and facial expression indicate that the Rev-
erend is interested in more than Sadie Thompson's soul.
MILESTONE USES the rain as a symbol of the Reverend's attempt
to restrain his natural impulses. On the night that the rain has become
heaviest, drums in the background symbolize the Reverend's lust, which
is pounding against his restraint. His lust wins. In the morning, the
rain stops and we see the first sunrise in days.
As the loose woman, Sadie Thompson, Joan Crawford turns in an
adequate performance. Any shortcomings in Sadie may be attributed
to the discordant functions which this character performs in the movie.
She provides a foil for the Reverend, proving that human passion can-
not be ignored. At the same time, she is the "good-hearted" loose
woman, designed to attract a large 1932 box office.
* * * 4
OTHER DISTURBING box office elements include a foolish sub-
nlt to rnvlafn *.nnle nSri."ntl"Sr~ i 'aa


At the State Theatre
I N A PRETTY colored wrapper
with all kinds of neat things
happening inside, Hollywood-with
its unceasing sensitive concern in
the grave moral problems of our
times - presents its version of
Harold Robbins' "blistering best-
seller "Where Love Has Gone."
Ah yes, poor love: I remember
it well: "Do to me now what you
wanted to do the first time you
saw me . . ." is the first aspect.
And then, of course, there's: wife
sets up "double-entry housekeep-
ing" because husband drinks; and:
husband starts - but - not - quite -

ed considering the cast, but the
role given Bette Davis is absolutely
one-dimensional and does not al-
low her proven ability any range
Susan Hayward's role is a little
better, but only a little, though
she does do a good job of it.
Otherwise, the only interesting
role is that of the art critic, where
the characterization achieves some
depth, even though it's of a bad
TO LOOK at the film seriously
for a moment, however, is dis-
turbing. It is, of course, "formula
art' and can't be expected to do

on his own two free, individualis-
tic, self-reliant feet. The disturb-
ing thing is an attitude that un-
derlies the whole film--as Hero
puts it: "Architecture is for pid-
geons to sit on; buildings are for
This attitude holds art -or
even anything vaguely "intellec-
tual"-in contempt. Hero's wife
is a sculptress, and the film says
that only when she sinks the low-
est, when she is most promiscuous
sexually, i.e., evil and bad, does
she create her best work. In her
life, where she is finally driven
to self-destruction, and in that

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