Worthwhile Reads: Monumental and Titanic

First, Julie Ingersoll examines What Kirk Cameron’s Monumental Reveals about the Subtle Influence of Reconstructionism. This is a must read.

Second, with the anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking coming up, Doug Phillips is planning a centennial celebration – and arguing that the movie “Titanic” Dishonors the Sacrifice of Brave Men. This is an example of Vision Forum’s Titanic Worship.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffnord Jeffrey Nordstrom

    Holy crap, those are appalling! What an astounding load of tripe!

    It astounds me how they can so easily drip with fallacy and ignorance, and yet appear totally unaware of it. Not that I should be surprised by them Vision Forum folks, but wow. Wow.

  • Rachel

    Hi Libby Anne,

    I came to your blog through research (for personal interest) on conservative Christianity and politics, and I now read regularly, but this is my first time commenting. I’ve learned a great deal from your writing.

    I’m always interested in how the interpretation of historical events is continually negotiated and put to present-day use, and Vision Forum’s harnessing of Titanic to support their agenda is really fascinating.

    A few months ago I read ‘Iconic Events: media, politics, and power in retelling history’ by Patricia Leavy, and she discusses how the Titanic disaster was interpreted in 1912. Many editorials were very critical of the women and children first policy. One suggested that the (allegedly) Chinese policy was better: men first, because they contribute most to society; children next because they might grow up to contribute; and women last. They couldn’t comprehend why an upstanding man like John Jacob Astor went down with the ship and immigrant women and children were saved to become leaches on society. Chivalry? I think not. Dozens of third class women and children died, and people cared more that Mrs. Astor, pregnant with Mr. Astor’s offspring, made it into a lifeboat. It was absolutely class-based.

    Anyway, it’s an enlightening read. I just think it’s bizarre that Vision Forum is romanticizing the tragedy and holding it up as an example of male sacrifice to emulate. Yes, there were self-sacrificing people on board the Titanic, but there were also lifeboats that left the ship far below capacity. And in case they forgot, hundreds of people died, including women and children, and I’m not sure how they intend to gloss over that.

    Sorry, this is kind of long, but I’m a big history nerd, so I felt compelled to pitch in. Thanks!

  • Tsu Dho Nimh

    Good grief … they locked the gates to keep the 3rd class passengers (men, women and children) from getting onto the decks. That’s heroic?

    They could have taken more passengers onto the lifeboats, but they were pretending everything was OK, so many people who had a chance didn’t get into a boat because they didn’t think there was any reason to do it.

  • minuteye

    I particularly love the part of the Capital resource institute’s article that gives the number of 1st class survivors as 202, and the number of 3rd class survivors as 174. As far as I can tell, the numbers are reasonably accurate, but it’s given as evidence that there were no class distinctions made, completely ignoring that there were more than twice as many people in 3rd class as in 1st. Make the evidence fit the thesis, eh?

  • lucrezaborgia

    Horse shit on that lack of class distinction! Exactly ONE CHILD died from first class and that child would have lived if the parents hadn’t refused to hand her over. None from second class. More children and children died in third class than survived.

    http://media.cleveland.com/pdgraphics_impact/photo/08cgtitanicjpg-5f0f2030a8601b3f.jpg

    As to the rest, it’s not really true that third class was locked below deliberately to keep them from getting on the boats. What was typical was for third class to be locked away from the rest of the ship to keep them contained until they could be processed by immigration. Hardly any of the staff knew their way around the ship, let alone passengers who had only bee on the ship for a few days.

  • Scotlyn

    I just had a lightbulb moment reading Julie Ingersoll’s definition of presuppositionalism:

    Presuppositionalism stipulates that all knowledge is understood to begin with the acceptance of unprovable assumptions. For Reconstructionists only two mutually exclusive starting points are possible: the true sovereignty and authority of the god of the Bible or the false claim of the supremacy of human reason.

    I had grappled with this argument being used against me in debates with religious relatives, but spelled out as she has done, it is immediately evident that:
    a) all knowledge begins with evidence, while unprovable assumptions generally lead to nowhere productive, and can actually stand in the way of evidence being seen or accepted.
    b) from an evidentialist point-of-view, there is little difference between the choices of “the authority of the God of the Bible,” and the “supremacy of human reason,” since it is human reason, untempered by evidence, that creates all gods, and lends them its authority.

    Thanks for the pointer. (And I shall now forward Ingersoll’s article to my father who insists Rushdoony is a completely uninfluential outlier in evangelical circles.