Saturday, 2 August 2014

A chilling phrase

As we approach the centenary on Monday of Great Britain's entry into the Great War, I noticed this rather chilling phrase on the much misunderstood but very sane (see his recent comments on Gaza)  Peter Hitchens's Blog :
"Having lived all my life in a world that was largely sensible and reasonable, I sense that the bad times are on the way back."
In all kinds of ways, we can observe the freedoms and the Christian values our fathers and grandfathers fought to defend being discarded, and the achievements of a once great civilisation being dismantled around us. The irony is that this collapse has not been caused by any kind of external threat but by a massive loss of confidence from within - more then that, even a hatred of the culture which has produced us. 
La trahison des clercs certainly, but one senses that its roots go further and deeper even than that.  
"..... The great masquerade of evil has played havoc with all our ethical concepts. For evil to appear disguised as light, charity, historical necessity or social justice is quite bewildering to anyone brought up on out traditional ethical concepts, while for the Christian who bases his life on the Bible, it merely confirms the fundamental wickedness of evil. The "reasonable" people's failure is obvious. With the best intentions and a naive lack of realism, they think that with a little reason they can bend back into position the framework that has got out of joint. In their lack of vision they want to do justice to all sides, and so the conflicting forces wear them down with nothing achieved. Disappointed by the world's unreasonableness, they see themselves condemned to ineffectiveness; they step aside in resignation or collapse before the stronger party.
Still more pathetic is the total collapse of moral fanaticism. Fanatics think that their single-minded principles qualify them to do battle with the powers of evil; but like a bull they rush at the red cloak instead of the person who is holding it; he exhausts himself and is beaten. He gets entangled in non-essentials and falls into the trap set by cleverer people..."
Dietrich Bonhoeffer: 'Who Stands Fast?'

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