Page 4, 11th February 1944

11th February 1944
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Page 4, 11th February 1944 — IN A FEW WORDS
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People: Haniblett
Locations: Rome

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IN A FEW WORDS

Treason of the Clerks a WARTIME Civil Servant (in peace" time a journalist, writer and traveller) was complaining to ins over lunch the other day of the magnitude of the " treason of the clerks " in this war. That phrase, you will remember, is the name of a book published some years ago complaining, of the fact that in the mestere world the intelligentsia had betrayed their vocation to truth and lent themselves to the politicians and economists, etc., who run the world. My friend was explaining to me that the most distinguished dons now in public service seem to have lost all personal judgment and are led by any professional civil servant, even the youngest. " The atmosphere is stifling," he told me, " for anyone who still wants to think at ail."

We agreed that this had a bearing Ott the Eduoation Bill. All the money and all the buildings and all the pedagogical technique in the world will not produce men and women who stand

on their own feet if they have no solid

ground on which to stareim-and it is not education which provides the ground, it is faith, home, experience, life, the things for which the new plans make no provision.

Awkward Questions ACONSCIENTIOUS Objectors' Bulletin has issued a list of the sort of questions which a C.O. is likely to be asked by the Tribunal.

Here are some of the religious questions. They seem to me to have i more general value and are worth pondering by all of us.

Where in Scriptures does it say that

it is wrong to help your country in time of war?

Did not Christ saY: " He that bath no sword, let hire buy one"; " Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's "; " If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight "; end " I came not to send peace, hut a sword''?

Do YOU .know that the Commandment " Thou shalt not kill' refers to private murder and has nothing whatever to do with war, as God was leading the Israelites to war when it was given?.

Christ's method of dealing with the evil-doer was to threaten him with Hell —can you state any single instance where.Christ won over the evil-doer hy love?

How do you explain Revelation where it says " and there was war in heaven "?

Is the life of the devil sacred?

Have you any special communication with the Divinity which tells you what is offensive to Hint and what isn't?

If God directed you to defend your country, what would you do? •

Why do you object to killing if you believe in the Resurrection?

In Toying your enemies, has it occurred to you that you are forgetting your neighbour2 Pilate admitted that he found no stain in Christ, but he refrained from resisting evil and freeing Christ. Do you think Pilate slid right?

Democratic Italy ?

WHEN I read the Left papers and " see frantic cries of the supreme need for instituting democratic or popular institutions in Italian villages, I ask myself whether the writers are really sincere or just courting mob support. As educated men they must know that that sort of democracy is largely irrelevant in the modem world. The fate of Italy, like that of every other country, willbe decided in terms of money and a centralised politicai power directed by considerations that will have nothing in common with the views of the peasants and shopkeepers. This will remain true whateyer brand of Government . emerges. On the other hand. it is perfectly natural that the military should dislike local political activity which can create unneceseasy confusion without promoting any corresponding advantages. Every serious thinker has long ago recognised the imposeibility of the original idea of Government by the people, yet the highest type of political journalist insists on prolonging its agony. Why ?

Buildings or Babies

SiE that the peril to Rome has.

raised again the old controversy about ancient buildings versus human

lives. When someone pleads for the sparing of Rome's monuments, another person will jump up and remind us that a life (especially of an Englishman) is worth much more igban a

monument, however ancient. I sup

gest that the comparison is absurd. Two totally different sets of values are

brought into the picture. If in fact they accidentally touch one another, as when saving a building would involve the killing of a person, all of us, I suppose, would seek to save the person's life. On the other hand, to take steps to avoid destroying monuments is a natural desire of a civilised person, and if the taking of those steps involves risk to persons, that risk is taken. In practice such problems solve themselves ambulando; it is only when they are abstracted from their natural context that they create dilemmas.

The Dogmatist A GENTLEMAN called Charles Ham .41 bleu reviewed last week in the Tribune Miss Sacksille-West's studs of the two St. Theresas. He began by pointing out that Catholics would be annoyed by the book, " since, for them, the only accepted and acceptable voice is that of dogma." I have read about half-a-dozen reviews of the book by Catholic writers and, so far as can remember, it has been praised by all of them. It is an interesting example of the " rationalist " falling into a worship of the dogma that Catholis:s have no interest in reason and immediately jumping into a dog. matic statement that is at once proved to be untrue. I hope Mr. Haniblett sees this, and learns the danger of believing that " the only accepted and acceptable voice is that of dogma "even when it is anti-Catholic dogma.

JOTTER




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