Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thought-Piece for Saturday

It's not hard to figure out who gave this speech; it may be a bit more challenging to determine who wrote it.  But it's just as true now as it was then.  An excerpt:

...For the object of the Communists is to reduce human nature to the material elements alone. And the object of thinking Americans and their allies is to preserve and strengthen the spiritual elements of human nature. The material conception of man and the spiritual conception of man cannot be reconciled. For this reason I have said that only through victory will we secure ourselves. More than a century ago, Abraham Lincoln declared that this nation cannot endure half free and half slave. Today that solemn fact is true of the world.

Between Communists and men who believe in a transcendent order there can be no enduring compromise; for Communists will not tolerate religious belief, unless they find it so weakened and tamed that it seems harmless; and men who discern natural rights will never be able to live under Communism. This eternal hostility was expressed far better than / can put it by a brilliant and God-fearing American for whom I have great personal admiration, a man who lies buried here in the chapel at Notre Dame: Orestes Brownson. Only a few months after the Communist Manifesto was published, Brownson--who had been a radical in his youth--denounced as heresy the philosophy of Marx and the sociologist ideology in general.

Brownson saw at the outset that Marxism was a political substitute for religion, caricaturing Christian doctrine. And Brownson knew that the terrible power of this ideology could be resisted only by true religious understanding--and by willingness to sacrifice for the enduring things. With a gift almost prophetic, Orestes Brownson declared that the struggle of the future would be between Socialism and Christianity. In 1962, the fate of humankind is in the balance, and this contest seems to draw toward judgment.

The competition between the Communists and what we call the "Free World" is clearly not being decided by living-standards or even by the big battalions. The issue will be determined by power of conviction: the conviction of men who fear and love God, or the conviction of materialists who detest anything higher than themselves. And if our faith and our culture are to prevail, we must tale our stand forthrightly on certain moral truths and ancient ways

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