See also the concomitant liberal Democrat wars on coal, youth, men, masculinity, family, faith, reason, logic, liberty and the South.
Fifty years and one week ago, the celebrated author of the Chronicles of Narnia, Clive Staples Lewis died on the same day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Naturally, the world’s attention was riveted, on that fateful day in 1963 and on anniversaries since, by the violent murder of the most powerful man on Earth and its significant political consequences.
But before Jack Kennedy had commanded PT-109 and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe had been penned by the other man also known as Jack to his friends, the very same C.S. Lewis had already made his mark on his nation of Britain, a world yearning to be safe from totalitarian dictatorships and his new Christian faith.
An avowed atheist before his conversion to theism and subsequent membership in the Church of England nearly a decade before Hitler’s aerial Nazi blitzkrieg launched the Battle of Britain in the Summer of 1940, it was radio broadcasts by Lewis that later became Mere Christianity that, combined with Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s regular exhortations to arms, sustained English, Welsh and Irish hopes through Dunkirk until D-Day.
In his “Case for Christianity” and other broadcast talks, the veteran of WWI trench warfare in France and former Oxford University professor, made Christianity safe for honest minds with logically reasoned arguments for belief in one God, and Christianity’s version of that God; that not only require less faith than belief in atheism but also compelled many of those then under bombardment to see a connection between the values of Scripture and an ability to resist evil across the English Channel and from within.
So what has this to do with the war on football?
In his 1943 Abolition of Man, Lewis bemoaned a mostly godless liberal academic and cultural elite producing “men without chests”. In this construct, western men were increasingly lacking in restraints upon the mind and the stomach, thus producing a society where:
“…there is no honor or virtue, but only intellect and appetite.”
The cure, as Lewis had described in Mere Christianity, were the scripturally-conveyed morals of the Bible as the “directions for running the human machine”, whether sexual, social or religious.
Fast forward past the If-it-feels-good-do-it-1960s and through 2009’s promised government-run Hope & Change and we arrive in a Western World under assault by radical Islam from without and childless-indulgence from within. A world in which Baby Boomers rob from the progeny of the fewer that waived abortions, in order to fund cushy retirements. Where fetishes in re-cycling and politically-correct feigned outrages have replaced morals and manly chests. And yes, where football, dodge-ball are, for lack of a better term, “feminized” and when even keeping score is deemed “bullying”.
C.S. Lewis saw the seeds of Western Civilization’s destruction in an increasingly socialistic Britain where church attendance had been dropping for decades. Those same seeds were seen in Germany before they raised up Kaisers, even before Hitler. That trend was temporarily arrested over there as described, and across the pond over here after Pearl Harbor. But to maintain a society of men and women with chests, its citizens must believe in more than animal instinct satisfactions and a paternalistic big government. The brain and stomach must be regulated and history shows that the void near the heart has been most successfully filled by Judeo-Christian values and yes, for many, a faith in God that can also be supported by reason and logic.
The world lost two great men 50 years ago last Friday, both of whom were the kind of men with chests that America must produce more of if we are to ward off enemies within and without.
God bless and what time is the Iron Bowl kickoff?