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Free Inquiry

by Matt Cherry

The following articles are from Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 18, Number 3.

Ours Is Not to Reason Why

Secular humanists stand accused. We are charged with the offense of making people think. The April 17 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education published a two-page feature about the Campus Freethought Alliance. Along with the eloquent comments of freethinking students, the article included a memorable condemnation of the Marshall University group Rationalists United for Secular Humanism (RUSH). Bobby Williamson, a Baptist studying at Marshall in West Virginia, declared, "Students are looking to the human mind for answers, and RUSH provides that. It disturbs me, because they are leading people in the wrong direction." RUSH ought to be ashamed. Imagine, they actually encourage young people to use their minds! And at a university of all places.

Waiting for God Oh!

Cheng Hengming, leader of the Taiwanese sect God's Salvation Church, prophesied that God would appear on Channel 18 across the USA on the night of March 25. Imagine my horror when I turned on Channel 18 that evening and saw ... me! Did this mean I was God? If so, would I, an atheist, lose all belief in myself? Then I realized the show was a repeat of a local cable program I filmed a few weeks before. Still, I breathed a sigh of relief the next day when Cheng Hengming admitted that his prophecies had been "nonsense."

Satanic Titanic

Titanic has won 11 Oscars and is already the highest grossing movie of all time. It tells an inspiring tale of love, courage, and selflessness in the face of hypocrisy and tragedy. Here are some Christian comments on the world's most popular movie:

  • "Titanic reminds me of the distinctions between people of faith and secularists. ... The heroes of this modern Titanic fit into this latter category. ... [Titanic is] fundamentally immoral."

    (Elizabeth Farah, conservative commentator)

  • "For millions the Titanic is now a triumphant story of how one upper-crust girl found salvation - body and soul - through sweaty sex, modern art, self-esteem lingo and social rebellion. Titanic is a passion play celebrating the moral values of the 1960s as sacraments. Rose sums it up by saying that she could abandon her old life and family because her forbidden lover [Jack] `saved me in every way that a person can be saved'."

    (Terry Mattingly, syndicated columnist)

  • "The line that set me off I believe also to have been the defining line of the film: the assertion that the sort of saving that Jack did was, ultimately, the only kind of saving possible. If that was the thesis statement of the film, then I start looking for the cloven hoof and sniffing for brimstone."

    (Father Patrick Henry Reardon, a philosophy professor and Orthodox priest, writing in the ecumenical journal Touchstone)

Titanic's director James Cameron seemed to confirm his critics view of the film as promoting secularism when he said of the ship's tragic voyage: "I think I discovered the truth of its lesson - which is all you have is today."

Send interesting news items and tidbits to Sidelines, Free Inquiry, POB 664, Amherst, NY 14226-0644, or e-mail to: aszalanski@centerforinquiry.net

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