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The Root of War is Fear

July 13, 2018

As I read Merton & Forest’s words from the early 1960’s I cannot help but sense that either history is repeating itself or we have learned nothing from the lessons of the past (or both)… written during the Nuclear Weapons Race and in the Vietnam War era, they ring true today.

Forest’s words regarding Merton’s book, Peace in the Post-Christian Era:

I was startled by the book’s title. Were we really living in a post-Christian world? Most Americans professed belief in God, a great many identified themselves as Christian, and one did not have to travel far to find well-attended churches. On reflection, however, I realized that it wasn’t easy to find Christians whose lives in some way were shaped by such basic teachings of Jesus as love of enemies or even a readiness to forgive. (page 60)

Merton’s words from his book: Whether we like it or not, we have to admit we are already living in a post-Christian world, that is to say a world in which Christian ideals and attitudes are relegated more and more to the minority… It is frightening to realize that the facade of Christianity which still generally survives has perhaps little or nothing behind it, and that what was once called “Christian society” is more purely and simply a materialistic neo-paganism with a Christian veneer… Not only non-Christians but even Christians themselves tend to dismiss the Gospel ethic on nonviolence and love as “sentimental.” (page 60)

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