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Cook's Hits

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Oue of the reverend gentlemen of this city was so unlucky as to be present al Josepu Cook's recent lecture on the University Hall platform wlien the speaker vigorously attacked his religious views, whereupon the gentleman shows how sharply he was hit by coming out first in print, tlien in an advert9ed sermón f rom liis pulpit. He complains that it is not i-iybt to let religious partisans speak in University Hall. He goes further, and by implication questions the right of any man to promúlgate his peculiar views on that platform for fear it will aliénate the true friends and supporters of the institution. In the first place, Mr. Sunderlancl, knowing that Cook was, in his own words, " about the most intense and dogmatic reliiiious partisan now before the public," and understanding his subject as joreviously announced, ntight to have staid away, or else gone with the expectation of having his corns trodden upon. Having arrived there, and knowing these things, tv hen hit it would have been more graceful quietly to have taken his punishment. When we go to hear a lecturer witli ideas, we cannot expect to agree with all of them. If we cannot agree with them, we sliould not expect the man at once to be stopped. We believe the coinplainant in his pulpit has a deal to say about the liberty of thouglit and speech, but we notice that those who talk the most about it desire the most of it - for themselves, but the least for their opponents. The reverend gentleman is afraid that bccause Mr. Cook attacks his theological enemies, scholarly and thoughtful men will be alienated. This assertion per ie is selfcontradictory, for real scholarly and thoughtful men are seeking after truth. They must find truth only after thought, discussion, argument and thought again. To throttle discussion chokes truth. To destroy truth is unscholarly, unthoughtful, criminal, for, with Sócrates and Plato, we believe that search after truth is the liighest aim of our being. When we hear a lecture and do not agree with the ideas there expressed, it is manly to oppose them with just argument, but to cry out for some one to protect us from hearing what we do not want to hear is childish, nay more, it is barbarie, after the manner of the dark Middle Ages when men had to believe as the State decreed, or else suffer for their liberty ot thought and speech. To follow out the idea of Mr. S. would exclude all ministers from the University Hall for fear they would hurt the feelings of other denominations; all Republicans for the sake of the other parties; all scientists for the benefit of other theorists; in fact, all men of thought, tor thoughts at times will clash.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News