The greatest obstacle to international understanding is the barrier of language.
As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy.
American literature has never been content to be just one among the many literatures of the Western World. It has always aspired to be the literature not only of a new continent but of a New World.
As I have pointed out, it is the Christian tradition that is the most fundamental element in Western culture. It lies at the base not only of Western religion, but also of Western morals and Western social idealism.
If man limits himself to a satisfied animal existence, and asks from life only what such an existence can give, the higher values of life at once disappear.
Man is a means and not an end, and he is a means to economic or political ends which are not really ends in themselves but means to other ends which in their turn are means and so ad infinitum.
For humanism also appeals to man as man. It seeks to liberate the universal qualities of human nature from the narrow limitations of blood and soil and class and to create a common language and a common culture in which men can realize their common humanity.
You can give men food and leisure and amusements and good conditions of work, and still they will remain unsatisfied. You can deny them all these things, and they will not complain so long as they feel that they have something to die for.
Law describes the way things would work if men were angels.
The sublimated idealism of the Enlightenment, the spirit of the League of Nations and of the United Nations Charter have not proved strong enough to control the aggressive dynamism of nationalism.
Humanism and Divinity are as complementary to one another in theorder of culture, as are Nature and Grace in the order of being.
Thus Christian humanism is as indispensable to the Christian way of life as Christian ethics and a Christian sociology.
Yet humanitarianism is not a purely Christian movement any more than it is a purely humanist one.
It is clear that this essential Christian doctrine gives a new value to human nature, to human history and to human life which is not to be found in the other great oriental religions.
Moreover, behind this vague tendency to treat religion as a side issue in modern life, there exists a strong body of opinion that is actively hostile to Christianity and that regards the destruction of positive religion as absolutely necessary to the advance of modern culture.
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