Creed or Chaos by Dorothy Sayers
Excerpts from Dorothy Sayers' "Creed or Chaos"...
We still go on scolding Germany for disregarding the standard of European ethics, as though that standard was something which she still acknowledged. It is only with great difficulty that we can bring ourselves to grasp the fact that there is no failure in Germany to live up to her own standards of right conduct. It is something much more terrifying and tremendous: it is that what we believe to be evil, Germany believes to be good. It is a direct repudiation of the basic Christian dogma on which our Mediterranean civilisation, such as it is, is grounded.
It is worse than useless for Christians to talk about the importance of Christian morality, unless they are prepared to take their stand upon the fundamentals of Christian theology...It is fatal to let people suppose that Christianity is only a mode of feeling...It is hopeless to offer Christianity as a vaguely idealistic aspiration of a simple and consoling kind; it is, on the contrary, a hard, tough, exacting and complex doctrine, steeped in a drastic and uncompromising realism. And it is fatal to imagine that everybody knows quite well what Christianity is and needs only a little encouragement to practise it.
In this Christian country, not one person in a hundred has the faintest notion what the Church teaches about God or man or society or the person of Jesus Christ...Apart from a possible one per cent of intelligent and instructed Christians, there are three kinds of people we have to deal with. There are the frank and open heathen, whose notions of Christianity are a dreadful jumble of rags and tags of Bible anecdote and clotted mythological nonsense. There are the ignorant Christians, who combine a mild gentle-Jesus sentimentality with vaguely humanistic ethics...Finally, there are the more or less instructed church-goers, who...are about as well equipped to do battle on fundamentals against [X] as a boy with a pea-shooter facing a fan-fire of machine guns.