Columnist fails to provide whole picture about Titanic survival

I fully support the letter-writer (April 16) who showed contradiction in the April 11 column of Cal Thomas concerning the Titanic disaster, where he ascribed self-sacrificing behavior by four wealthy individuals, so that others less privileged might survive, as evidence of “the undeniable influence of Christianity” – while he ignored the fact that three of the four were Jewish.

There is still more that needs to be said about this. Thomas uses these four cases of altruistic behavior to define “the true story of the Titanic” while he condemns a series of motion-picture accounts of the disaster for depicting the wealthy as having advantages in the struggle for survival. By stating that this “plays on issues of class warfare and social inequality” he relates the issue to our current political climate, and the side he takes is obvious.

Again, Thomas ignores facts, namely statistics indicating that noble actions by a few wealthy people did not reverse the overall picture relating survival opportunities to wealth. Depending on who is counting, at least 50 to 60 percent of first-class passengers survived; 40 percent of those in second class; and a mere 25 percent of the people in third class.

I cherish our freedoms, particularly those of speech and the press. I also realize that with these freedoms come responsibilities. When I subscribe to a newspaper to bring me news and opinions, I expect that their limited space – and my limited reading time – will be devoted to writers who respect the truth and are capable of logical reasoning. As in many previous instances, Cal Thomas comes up failing in both departments. How long will the Daily Progress continue to tolerate this fiasco?

James R. Burns
Albemarle County

(This letter was published April 25, 2012, in the Charlottesville (VA) Daily Progress. In that publication, the final paragraph was deleted.)


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