Christian Newswire is celebrating the mythical Christian legacy of the Titanic’s sinking. Desperate to find some virtue in the long and mythical history of Christianity’s pro-women stance, they manage to find in an exception to the rule of the sea “every man for himself” a non-existent Christian standard of conduct witnessed only once before and never since.
Of course, myth requires celebration, so welcome to “Titanic 100: International Event to Celebrate Christian Legacy of Titanic’s Sinking“! May mythology be ever in your favor!
Here’s the claim:
BRANSON, Mo., March 27, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — As the world pauses this April to remember the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, one group will gather to celebrate the sacrifice of the men and boys on board the ship who gave their lives so women and children might live. Titanic 100: An International Centennial Event will be held on April 13-15 in Branson, Missouri, and is unique as an anniversary commemoration in focusing on the Christian doctrine of “women and children first” that was displayed in the midst of Titanic’s tragic sinking.
Of course, there never was any sort of Christian doctrine of “women and children first.” As Swedish investigators have just announced, their study shows that the rule of the sea is and has always been “every man for yourself” and they mean literally, “man.” Because women have much less chance of surviving a shipwreck than men. As Agence France-Presse reports,
Mikeal Elinder and Oscar Erixon, economists at Uppsala University north of Stockholm, have studied 18 of the world’s most famous maritime disasters since 1852 and found that men have nearly about double the chance of surviving a ship wreck as women.
“There is this popular culture myth promoted through the Titanic film and others, where women and children are led to the lifeboats and the men stand back,” Erixon told AFP Thursday.
But in reality, he said, “it really doesn’t usually go well for women in ship wrecks”.
It turns out that “Out of the 15,142 people onboard the 18 ships sailing under eight different national flags when they went down, only 17.8 percent of the women survived compared to 34.5 percent of the men.”
But why look at facts when you can pimp a tragedy for gain instead?
“Next to Noah’s Ark, no other ship in history has captured the imagination of more people than the R.M.S. Titanic,” noted Doug Phillips, President of Vision Forum and Founder of the Christian Boy’s and Men’s Titanic Society. “Yet most people today ‘miss the boat’ when it comes to understanding the most important legacy from Titanic: the heroic examples of manly sacrifice displayed during the ship’s demise, as men and boys stepped aside to let women and children board the ship’s handful of lifeboats.
“Regrettably, popular books and films such as James Cameron’s box-office smash have portrayed a false image of Marxist class-warfare as Titanic foundered, with the rich seeking to bribe their way to freedom, the poor deliberately prevented from reaching safety, and the nobility of Christian sacrifice minimized and ridiculed,” Phillips observed. “Such depictions are historical nonsense.”
But what do the researchers say about the Titanic?
The most famous maritime catastrophe of them all — the Titanic — is one of the exceptions to the rule: 70 percent of the women survived that tragedy compared to just a 20-percent survival rate for the men, according to the study.
The other exception was the 1852-wrecking of the British Birkenhead off Danger Point outside Cape Town, South Africa, where all the women survived but only 33.5 percent of the men did.
“The Birkenhead is where the myth originated, this idea of women and children first,” Erixon explained.
In both those cases, however, the captain had given orders to get women and children out first, and most significantly, in both cases, men onboard were threatened by armed crew members to keep them away from the lifeboats.
Oh dear, that won’t do…armed crew members threatening the upstanding Christian men into letting the women and children go first?
“The Titanic 100 will be a joyous, uplifting family event,” Phillips remarked. “Every element of the celebration is designed to inspire families to remember the heroism of the past and to embrace a fundamental principle of Christian civilization — that women and children are to be honored and protected.”
“In a day when men shirk sacrifice and we send our women into combat, the doctrine and legacy of ‘women and children first’ has been all but been abandoned — and it’s high time we remember and reclaim this foundational principle,” continued Phillips. “It’s our prayer that the Titanic 100 will encourage many to do just this.”
A foundational principal, eh? Discovered in 1852 off Birkenhead by a British captain who had to threaten the male passengers into letting the women and children off first. Yes….I can see where that would be inspiring.
But nothing like doubling down on a good lie:
Doug Phillips founded the Christian Boy’s and Men’s Titanic Society in 1997, and each year the society hosts a gathering on the anniversary of Titanic’s sinking to commemorate the legacy of male chivalry demonstrated on board the ship when the great ocean liner foundered. The society stands for the proposition that the strong must sacrifice for the weak, that greater love has no man than he lay down his life for another, and that the doctrine of “women and children first” must be preserved.
“Titanic’s sinking marked the darkest and brightest night in maritime history,” Phillips commented. “Though more than 1,500 people died in this international tragedy, the Darwinian notion of the ‘survival of the fittest’ was rejected in favor of the age-old Christian doctrine that the ‘strong sacrifice for the weak.’ No event in modern history has done more to remind the world of this important bedrock of Western culture, and we hope that many will join us at the Titanic 100 as we showcase this legacy.”
Sadly, Darwinian is just the word to describe traditional Christian attitudes toward women and children. Those women should have been expected to have practiced personal responsibility and gotten themselves out of that jam – that seems to have been the view of the Christian men of the time and it is the attitude of many Christian men today as well, whatever myth they’re peddling.