Sunday, December 11, 2016



Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957), "Christian Morality," Unpopular Opinions (1946; rpt. London: Victor Gollancz, 1951), pp. 9-12 (at 11):
Perhaps if the Churches had had the courage to lay their emphasis where Christ laid it, we might not have come to this present frame of mind in which it is assumed that the value of all work and the value of all people are to be assessed in terms of economics. We might not so readily take for granted that the production of anything (no matter how useless or dangerous) is justified so long as it issues in increased profits and wages; that so long as a worker is well paid, it does not matter whether his work is worthwhile in itself or good for his soul; that so long as a business deal keeps on the windy side of the law, we need not bother about its ruinous consequences to society or the individual. Or at any rate, now that we have seen the chaos of bloodshed that follows upon economic chaos, we might at least be able to listen with more confidence to the voice of an untainted and undivided Christendom. Doubtless it would have needed courage to turn Dives from the church door along with Mary Magdalen. (Has any prosperously fraudulent banker, I wonder, ever been refused communion on the grounds that he was, in the words of the English Prayerbook, "an open and notorious evil liver"?) But lack of courage, and appeasement in the face of well-organized iniquity, do nothing to avert catastrophe or to secure respect.

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