Monday, March 28, 2011

After the Hatchet Falls

The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt. It is no good to cry out after you are hurt; especially after you are mortally hurt. People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late. It is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exists. It is no answer to say, with a distant optimism, that the scheme is only in the air. A blow from a hatchet can only be parried while it is in the air.

So wrote G.K. Chesterton in the opening paragraph of Eugenics and Other Evils (1922). Tragically, the hatchet blow of humanist eugenics was not parried by the Church in those days when it could have, and we must now struggle against a "culture of death" that has become all too entrenched.

Yes, we will fight and fight gladly the terrible things the eugenics movement started (abortion, disrespect for the institution of family, an anti-child mentality, euthanasia, genetic engineering, and so on) but G.K.'s words remind us of how much more difficult is the struggle when God's people slumber through the first alarms.