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Question 'Miracle' Editorial

The Mail


To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

Your editorial on "The Miracle" (Saturday, January 27th) was very interesting, but I was a little confused by your reasoning. You stated that no group "has the right to use their personal judgments as a standard for what the public should or should not see. Such biased 'purification' of the public media in the guise of public protection has been identified with every dictatorship." The state censors are a group; a state censor, I assume, is as biased as anyone else; the state censors use their personal judgments as a standard for what the public should or should not see. It follows that we should abolish state censorship. But you seem to approve of the New York Supreme Court's decision that "the right to determine whether a picture is indecent, immoral or sacrilegious is vested solely in the Board of Education" (the authorized censors in New York). In fact, the rulings of the censorship board should apparently be accepted without challenge or criticism, for your attacks on Spellman are all based on the fact that he disapproved of their judgment on "The Miracle."

I was also a little perplexed by the statement that "certain religious groups are now trying to impose their moral judgment on the rest of the public by pressure and intimidation," since I am unable to find any mention of such methods in the rest of the editorial.

It seems to me that the argument should be concerned with the merits of the movie, rather than with Spellman's or anyone else's right to decide whether the board of censors are performing their function. To condemn him for doing so is simply to revert to the intellectual "dictatorship which your editorial is so anxious to avert. John Ziegler '53

The CRIMSON of course does not question Cardinal Spellman's right to call for a ban on "The Miracle." But, as our editorial pointed out, we feel that there was ample precedent, even from the Catholic Church, for considering "The Miracle" not blasphemous. We simply hoped that Boston's censors, and New York's, would not give in to the Cardinal's pressure, would not prevent people who may disagree with the Cardinal from seeing the movie.

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