Sunday, January 13, 2019

"On our side in one thing"

Peter Hitchens reviews a recent biography of Francisco Franco in "The Caudillo." It is one of those reviews from which much can be learned and perhaps the most important lesson is cautionary. Hitchens concludes:
.... Power is the opposite of love. This does not absolve Christians from fighting for, and more often against, armed power of one kind or another. But it surely means they must be very careful whom they aid, and whom they oppose. In general, the slide from civil peace to civil war begins when both sides become enemies instead of opponents, and then cease to listen to each other. It ends with the worst possible cruelty, because when brothers fight brothers, they have to strip away the very last and deepest restraints to draw the sword and strike the blow. Take the first step down that particular slope, and you will find it very hard to retreat. We should seek to exert our influence long before it comes to that. We are warned in the terrifying Epistle of James that “the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” When we consider men such as Francisco Franco, and are tempted (as even I have been) to make excuses for them because they seem to be on our side in one thing, we make a serious mistake. Do not, if you can possibly avoid it, take that path. It leads into a long and dark valley.