Plain And Passionless
The War Against God. By Sidney Dark and R. S. Essex. (Hodder and Stoughton, 5s.) Reviewed by MICHAEL DE LA BEDOYERE With some thirty pages of this hook Fr. Woodlock has already dealt faithfully in the columns of the Catholic. Herald. The remainder covers the history of Atheism from Job to Aldous Huxley in a plain and passionless style. Much of it is useful for reference purposes, but the Catholic reader may be pardoned for finding himself more interested in the mind of the authors than in "what they say. To begin with, the ability to suppress all apparent feeling when dealing with views that any true Christian must passionately hate is quite an achievement. But though there is no passion when it is a question . of mere atheism, the authors have not succeeded in so impeccable an objectivity when it is a question of other things.
One detects for example deeper feeling when dealing with. Nazism than with Bolshevism, and of course the deepest of all when Spanish Nationalism is mentioned. The authors would defend themselves on the score that open and avowed atheism is better than the hypocritical attempt to smother the true Church with a Nationalist religion.
Anti-Catholic unfairness is not entirely absent, as when the Mexican Bishops are stated to be opposed to all social and economic progress on the sole evidence of a pronouncement of Archbishop Diaz who said : " While the present social conditions prevail in the greater part of the world, capital and labour must be duly respected, because neither of them can survive without the other."
Lastly, may we hope that the authors are more familiar with the nature of atheist documents which they quote than they appear to be with Catholic ones. Thus on page 170 we are informed that there exists a Papal bull entitled, Ada Aposto!irae Sedis, just, no doubt, as there is an English Act called London Gazette.