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February 22, 1930     Arkansas Catholic
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February 22, 1930
 

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PAGE TWO THE GUARDIAN, FEBRUARY 22, 1930 Published Weekly THE CATHOLIC PUBLICATION SOCIETY of the Diocese of Little Rock 3071~ WEST SECOND STREET Entered as second-class matter March 21. 1911. at the postoffice at Little Rock. Ark.. under the Act of Congress of March 8, 1879. SUBSCRIPTION PRICE. $2.90 THE YEAR CHANGE OF ADDRESS When a change of address is desired the subscriber should give both tile old and th~ new address. CORRESPONDENCE Matter intended for publication in The Guardian should reach u~ sot later than Wednesday morning. Brief news correspondence is always welcome. The kindness of the clergy in thi~ matter is cer- ~ainly appreciated. ltT. REV. MSGR. J. P. FISHER .......... : .................. Business Manager All communications should be addressed to, The Guardian, 307~ West Second Street. Little Rock, Ark. OFFICIAL ORGAN The Guardian is the official organ of the Diocese of Little Rock. a~l I pray God that it may be an earnest champion of the cause of right, ~ustice and truth and an ardent defender of the religion which we all love so well. I extend to it my blessing with the sincere hope ,laat its career may be long and prosperous. JNO. B. MORRIS. Bishop of Little Rock. FEBRUARY 22, 1930 THE NEW PAGANISM. Is the "Broadmindedness" That Tolerates Both Truth and Error a Good Thing for America ? The Case of Dogmas. (Continued from last week.) Now, if it is right -and it is rightfor gov- ernments to be intolerant about the principles of government, and the bridge-builder to be in- tolerant about the laws of stress and strain, and the physicist to be intolerant about the princi- ples of gravitation, why should it not be the right of Christ, the right of His Church, and the right of thinking men to be intolerant about the Truths of Christ, the doctrines of the Church, and the principles of reason? Can the truths of God be less exacting than the truths of mathematics? Can the laws of the mind be less binding than the laws of science, which are known only through the laws of the mind? Shall man, gifted with natural truth, who re- fuses to look with an equal and tolerant eye on the mathematician who says two and two make five, and the one who says two and two make four, be called a wise man, and shall God, Who refuses to look with an equal and tolerant eye on religions be denied the name of Wisdom, and be called an "intolerant" God? Shall we say that the reflected rays of the sun are warm but the sun is not hot? This we are eqwivalently saying when we admit intol- erance of principles of science and deny it to the Father of science, Who is God. And if a government, with the inflexible principles of its Constitution, distant from the foundation of government by miles and separated from it by lifetimes, can empower men to enforce that Constitution, why cannot Christ choose and del- egate men with the power of enforcing His Will and spreading His benedictions? And if we admit intolerance about the foundations of a government, which at best looks after man's body, why not admit intolerance about the foundations of a government which looks after the eternal destiny of the spirit of man, for un- like human governments. "tHere is no other foundations upon which then can build than the name Jesus." Why, then, sneer at dogmas as intolerant? On all sides we hear it said today: "The mod- ern world wants a religion without dogmas," which betrays how little thinking goes with that label, for he who says he wants a religion without dogmas is starting a dogma, and a dog- ma that is harder to justify than many dogmas of faith. A dogma is a true thought, and a re- ligion without dogmas is a religion without thought, or a back without a backbone. All sciences have dogmas. "Washington is the Cap- ital of the United States" is a dogma of geogra- phy; "Water is composed of two atoms of hy- drogen and one of oxygen" is a dogma of chem- istry. Should we be broadminded and say that Washington is a sea in Switzerland? Should we be broadminded and say H20 is a symbol for sulphuric acid? Case of Dogmas. We cannot verify all the dogmas of science, history and literature, and so we are to take many of them on the testimony of others. I believe Professor Eddington, for example, when he tells me that "Einstein's law of gravitation asserts that the ten principal coefficients of . curvature are zero in empty space," just as I do not believ.e Dr. Harry Elmer Barnes when he tells me "the cockroach has lived substantfally unchanged on the earth for fifty million years." I accept Dr. Eddington's testimony because, by his learning and his published works, he has proven that he knows something about Einstein. I do not accept Dr. Barnes' testimony about cockroaches because he has never qualified in the eyes of the modern world as a cockroach specialist. In other words, I sift testimony and accept it on reason. So too many reason sifts the historical evi- dence for Christ, it weighs the testimony adduc- ed by those who knew Him, and the testimony given by Himself. It fails to be swayed by those who start with a pre-conceived theory, reject all the evidence against their theory and accept the residue as the Gospels. In the search it comes across such works as those of Renan and Strauss, which are critical, but it also comes across such works as those of Fillion and Grand- maison; it knows the name of Loisy, but it also knows Lagrange; it knows the theory of Inge, but it also knows d'Herbigny. And this reason finally leads me to accept the testimony of Jesus Christ as the testimony of God. I then accept His truths--truths which I cannot prove, like Professor Eddington's statement about Einstein and these truths become dogmas. There can thus be dogmas of religion as well as dogmas of science, and both of them can be revealed, the one by God, the other by man. Just as a scientist must depend on the memory of the first principles of his science, which he uses as the ground for other conclusions, so too the Church goes back into her intellectual mem- ory, which is Tradition, and uses former dog- mas as the foundation for new ones. In this whole process she never forgets her first prin- ciples. If she did she would be like the undog- matic dogmatists of the present day, who be- lieve that progress consists in denying the fact, instead of building on it ; who turn to new ideals because they have never tried the old ; who con- demn as "obscurantist" the truth that has a parentage, and glorify as "progressive" a shib- boleth that knoweth not either its father or its mother. They are of the school that would de- ny the very nature of things: free the camel of his hump and call him a camel; shorten the neck of a giraffe and call him a giraffe; and never frame a picture, because a frame is a lim- itation and therefore a principle and a dog- ma. Still Guarding the Right. But it is anything but progress to act like mice and eat the foundations of the "very roof over our heads; intolerance about principles is the foundation of growth, and the mathemati- cian who would deride a square for always hav- ing four sides, and in the name of progress would encourage it to throw away even only one of its sides, would soon discover he had lost all his squares. A dogma then is the necessary consequence of the intolerance of first principles, and that science and tha church which has the greatest amount of dogmas is the science and the church which has been doing the most thinking. The Catholic Church, the schoolmaster for twenty centuries, has been doing tremendous amount of solid, hard thinking and hence has built up dogmas as a man might build a house of brick but grounded on a rock. She has seen the cen- turies with their passing enthusiasms and mo- mentary loyalties pass before her, making the same mistakes, cultivating the same poses, falI- ing into the same mental snares, so that she has become very patient and kind to the erring pu- pils, but very intolerant and severe concerning the false. She has and she will always be in- tolerant so far as the rights of God are con- cerned, for heresy, error, untruth, affect not personal matters on which she may yield, but a Divine Right in which there is no yielding. Meek she is to the erring, but violent to the error. Truth is divine, the heretic is human. Due reparation made, she will admit the heretic back into the treasury of her souls, but never the heresy into the treasury of her wisdom. Right is right if nobody is right, and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong. And in this day and age we need, as Mr. Chesterton tells us, "not a Church that is right when the world is right, but a Church that is right when the world is wrong." The attitude of the Church in relation to the modern world on this important question may be brought home by the story of the two worn- en in the courtroom of Solomon. Both of them claimed a child. The lawful mother insisted on having the whole child nothing, for a child is like Truth it cannot be divided without ruin. The hinlawful mother, on the contrary, agreed to compromise. She was willing to divide the babe, and the babe would have died of broad- mindedness. (Copyright, 1930, N. C. W. C.) .0 THE NEW PAGANISM. Modern Humanism An Ancient Movement With a New Label--How History Proved Its Fatal Defects. sis. In the first instance, however, the reason It may be interesting to examine for the examination is to elevate the soul by lthought of these two scholars in the purification; in the second, it is to ease the bodyIthe great Christian traditiofl of twent by sublimation. Another example of this ten-lturies. To modern minds are lool dencyis furnished us by our movie-worla: Holly-I light, the Humanism of these two will wood is fascinated by the Cross of Christ, just great attraction. It does take account as Christians are, but not because the Cross is inot as a bio-chemical entity made of the prelude to the empty tomb, but rather the land' reflexes, but as a moral and intel prelude to a full purse; it is good business. The world thus becomes blighted not only by bad things but also with good things; a pat- ronage is shown towards the better things of life which at times becomes more intolerable than persecution. In this connection, Mr. Ches- terton wrote not so long ago: "By its own rad- ical incapacity for restraint or dignity or hon- orable privacy, it is spoiling all the good things as instruments of good. The virtues it is too weak to practice it is sufficiently strong to weaken. All that is hard in fact it will make soft with fiction; and make a cant even of death and pain and the last reserves of humanity." Humanism---An Old Movement. In keeping with this general attitude to do Christian things for an un-Christian reason, is to be noted a very old movement which is thought to be very new, namely, Humanism. Rev. Mr. Fosdick has defined it as "the endeavor to keep the best spiritual values of religion while surrendering any theological interpreta- tion of the universe." In its broadest sense it is an endeavor to have Christianity without Christ, godliness without God, and Christian hope without the promise of another life. This description of it is fairly accurate, but it does not describe it in all its phases. Human- ism, like many other "isms," suffers from want of definiteness. There are some of its minor prophets, like Dr. Potter, who make it little better than a vague humanitarianism, and to this school the definition of Rev. Mr. Fosdick does adequately apply. On a slightly higher level belongs, Mr. Walter Lippmann, who like Polonius by ' many indirections finds directions being'. To these same minds, now generations separated from the dition, it appear with all the force elty. But to those of us who are famii Christianity as a life extending through centuries, even this higher Humanism will little of the appeal of novelty, and the is this: Humanism is very old; in the en it by Mr. Babbitt and Mr. More, it is 1,500 years old, at which time it was Pelagianism. For that reason we have this discussion of Humanism "The NeW gianism." Mr. Babbitt and Mr. More kn, much about the history of early out" and ends by making any old test-tube a refuge to preserve us from being eaten away by "the acids of modernity." Then there is the school of Mr. h-ving Babbitt, who has been call- ed "America's chief exponent of Humanism." and above him Mr. Paul Elmer More, one of the really intellectually dignified scholars of Amer- ica, who along with Professor A. El Taylor of Scotland makes up probably the two greatest non-Scholastic minds in the world today. There is, however, a difference between the Humanism of Mr. Babbitt and that of Mr. More Mr. Babbitt admits that above tile humanist level there is another, the spiritual one of the supernatural or grace. Modern thought, he fur- ,her concedes, has failed to find an adequate ubstitu e for that supernatural principle of 'race. Mr. Babbitt believes, however, that it can be found by appealing to a principle of Eastern thought, namely, the supremacy of the will. Writing in the Forum (Feb., 1930), he asks, "Why leave the affirmation of such a will to the pure traditionalist? Why not affirm it first of all as a psychological fact. one of the immediate data of consciousness?" In other words, instead of appealing to grace anc[ the supernatural order'as the saurce of man's ele- vation, he would appeal to man himself. For grace he would substitute "decorum," "modera- tion, common sense and common decency." While admitting the hypothesis of a supernat- ural order, Mr. Babbitt refuses to adventure into it, believing that man can perfect himself thanks to the energies of the human. "Intuition," and "Imagination." Mr. More, on the contrary, goes further. Re- fusing to be a "modernist" like Mr. Babbitt, he prefers to be "modern" in the sense of using a rigorous critical and positivistic approach to the supernatural. Modernists, he suspects, are wrong on the question of the origin of Chris- tianity. In a four-volume work, therefore, he makes a critical study of Greek tradition, and the religious problem concerning the nature of man, and ends with the acceptance of the Defi- nition of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 con- cerning the two natures of Christ in the unity of His Divine Person, as a dogma most conform- able to our religious experience. This is a noble conclusion. But how do we know the Revelation of Jesus Christ and the existence of His grace? By a supernatural gift which is Faith? Mr. More, if I understand him properly, would attribute this knowledge to something human which he calls "intuition," or the "imagination," the, use of which faculty gives us not certitude but only probability, be- By Rev. Fulton Sheen, Ph. D., S. T. D. The New Pelagianism. cause one has alread:y passed beyond the facts The Modern Paganism is doing the same thin of experience where the critical-positivist meth- the Christian world has always done, but is do- od can be applied. The "imagination"--it is ing it for a different reason. It has retained unfortunate that Mr. More could not find a the external form of things but emptied their better word for what he wants to say--in pres- content and meaning, ence of facts conceives an idea , or an ideal, The Christian world, for example, recom-iwhich serves to dominate the undisciplinedin- mends fasting. The modern world fasts, too,]stincts and disordered appetites, and thus brings ,one ]think I am calling them names, when I Mr. Babbitt is a Pelagian, and Mr. More a Pelagian. Influence of the Orient. It is curious and interesting that and Humanism both began with men their Plato and their Stoics better Christianity; both were started by men West influenced by Eastern ideas; both ments emphasized the will at the exl the intellect and grace. The differ, tween the two movements is in their merit. Pelagianism appeared in a which there was a great intellectual hence its shortcomings very soon parent; Humanism, on the contrary, a society in which most of the lights out, and hence appears wiser than it for a lantern in darkness is more sati a lantern in the sunlight. What was Pelagianism? It was a taught by a great student of Greek Pelagius by name. who held that human by its own power is able to Save itself the help of God's grace. Old Humanism under the name of ism was finally condemned at the Carthage in May, 418, A new era soon ed in its wake. The Semi-Pelagians. of Monks of Marseilles, admitted, in to the decrees of Carthage, that man grace, but held that by natural good could merit grace. The Semi-Pela concessions to the supernatural wh Pelagians did not, just as Mr. More mal e cessions to it which Mr. Babbitt refuses to Mr. More admits the supernatural, carnation; he admits that it corresponds out spiritual experience, but states that merit it, or enter into its world thanks tion" and "imagination." This is ism, a very old error, but revived in But to minds who do nor know the be hailed as a new-birth when it is onl label. In addition to this historical two-fold criticism is to be made of viz., it fails to take account of the great ment of Humanism in the past, and it is too inhuman. Humanism fails to take account of lesson humanity learned during the sand years previous to the Incarnation that man, neither by his own human I nor by his own power or ' will," is able to himself and make himself a perfect in the natural order. Two great peoples divided the world bore witness to this The Jews and the Gentiles. (Continued next week.) O Frank Sullivan, Seattle banker, has an old folks' home, collected money for it, ed to get the right contracts for its but and fittings, and made it a hobby. He is ing to pension, he says, men and wome have spent all their money living their lives. O. The dime stores and the low-price cht partment stores are skimpy with the wa pay to the girls behind their counters. ports the Women's Bureau of the ernment. In every state studied save and in every city studied save Chicago them make under $9, $10, $11, $12, up to $15 a week, depending on the How do they live? Well, five-sixth live with their relatives; somebody is ing them--and the stores. -O There does not seem to be any earth for our government not to agree sult with other governments considered broken the Kellogg Pact by going to war. consultation does not mean action. agreement would help to lower the lear of European countries that no the Kellogg Pact is broken, we will with them and we will ship, metals, cotton and food to the violator.