Sunday, November 15, 2015

Secularism's guilty compassion and resentful brutality

The great nineteenth-century Spanish Catholic political thinker, Juan Donosco Cortes, addressing the issue of capital punishment in his Catholicism, Liberalism and Socialism, writes:
Governments seem to be endowed with an unerring instinct that teaches them that they can only be just or strong in the name of God. Thus it happens that whenever they commence to secularize, that is to say, to separate themselves from God, they always begin to relax the severity of penalties, as if conscious that their right was weakened. The loose modern theories regarding criminal law are contemporaneous with the decadence of religion, and they have prevailed in the code whenever the complete secularization of political power was established....

"Those who have made the world believe that this earth can be converted into a paradise, have not more readily made it believe it ought to be a paradise where blood is never shed. The end is not in the illusion, but in the very day and hour that this fallacy is everywhere accepted: blood will then gush from the rocks, and the earth will become a hell. Man cannot aspire to an impossible felicity in this obscure valley of our dark pilgrimage without losing the little happiness he already possesses."