On a fateful day in 1963, the 50th anniversary of which we celebrate on 22 November, three prophets died, the death of two eclipsed by the dramatic assassination of the third. The death of the Declared Hedonist overshadowed the deaths of the Declared Atheist and the Declared Christian. The Declared Hedonist was prophetic in his wisdom and in recognising the evil intent of his enemy and we do well today to learn from his practical wisdom and insight into evil. JFK – John Fitzgerald Kennedy, commonly known as Jack – was indeed a great statesman albeit flawed in his personal morality.
'No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue.'
'A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.'
'The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.'
'Let us pray that God may grant us the wisdom to find and to follow a path that will enable the men of Notre Dame and all of our young men to seek truth in the halls of study rather than on the field of battle.'
The Declared Atheist of course was none other than Aldous Leonard Huxley – three initials again – and as you know he was wonderfully prophetic. In 1931 he described in Brave New World a laboratory in which fertilized human ova would break into separate buds, each maturing into an embryo that could be genetically manipulated for various roles and purposes. So prescient.
'Interestingly enough, the people who are conducting this experiment have figured out how to pre-program genetically what each person who will be created in that test tube will be. Some will be labourers, some will be congressman, some will be business leaders.' (from Brave New World)
'That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.'
'Cynical realism is the intelligent man's best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation.'
'I'm afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery.'
The Declared Christian – arguably one of the greatest writers and apologists ever – was, of course, Clive Staples Lewis, again known by his initials, hardly ever by his two given names and also commonly called Jack. His work is major: in an incredible and prophetic series of three memorial lectures in 1943 at the University of Durham, subsequently published as The Abolition of Man, he talks about 'men without chests' or adults who lack moral formation and moral character, who divorce their head from their hearts, who use their 'head' but lose their 'chest.'
Discuss in our Forums
See what other readers are saying about this article!
Click here to read & post comments.
12 posts so far.