Those of my dear readers who may have chanced upon another blog of mine, Aquila et Infans, know that I have been reading C. S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength. The novel is very powerful. In particular, it highlights certain excesses which we see in our own times. I have less than 100 pages to go, and the evil organization, which has the precious abbreviation N. I. C. E., has thoroughly appalled me by their tactics and even more by their vision for mankind. Lest I give away too many spoilers, let me speak generally about what their horrifying fault is. Pride, a most diabolic and insane pride runs through the veins of the top members. Their pride consists in thinking that they can recreate mankind according to their own conceptions. Rather than discovering what man is and then deciding how to benefit mankind through understanding human nature, they attempt to force their silly notions upon human society and work from ideals which destroy people’s way of life and even their very being. Aristotle claimed that virtue was found between two extremes or vices. Humility places man exactly where he is. Pride puffs man up or deflates him beyond reason. The latter is certainly a form of pride, and may be seen in the vices of despair, materialism, and melancholy. (If cheerfulness is a virtue, as St. Francis de Sales claimed, then melancholy may surely be listed as a vice!) But, the people of N. I. C. E. do not miss the mark–αμαρτιζειν, if you will–by undershooting. Their arrow of arrogance flies far above the target and lands no where near it! Rather than follow the Master’s words: “The poor you may always have with you. You may do good to them whenever you wish,” they think that might eliminate poor persons as deadweights, which, to their mind, is the benefit of famine and war. Natural things have germs; therefore, we ought to destroy the forests and replant them with artificial trees. Sex is disgusting; therefore, let people coddle artificial replicas of their lovers rather than each other. Everyone else’s reason–especially the lower classes–is inferior and corrupt; therefore, let us lie and distort the truth. And the frightening thing is that we see reflections of these attitudes in modern times! Margaret Sanger believed that blacks were inferior and ought to be eliminated. And so, we have the establishment of Planned Parenthood. In the movements advocating sexual freedom, no-fault divorce, and gay marriage, we see the destruction of the family–that natural environment for the rearing of children and mutual love. People also assert the right, formerly held only by God Himself, to determine which infants will live and at what time one ought to die. To reference couples with their replicas, what else is pornography and the sex industry? To many a modern, man exists not in nature, but above it. So, what is the use of speaking of human nature? Or the nature of man? Or the nature of woman? In these times, it is more often heard that man created God in his image than that God created man out of the slime of the earth. The zeitgeist holds that man can make himself whatever he wishes to be. How many ills would be cured if a men tried to be men and women women! A fish is not happy on dry land nor a wolf in the Pacific Ocean. Neither is a man happy when he tries to be a god.
Pride: the Deadliest Sin