Evening News for a recent leading article, entitled " The Fight For The Home."
Having pointed out how Hitler " has steadily undermined the family life that is the basis of Christian civilization " and how the course of the war has led all over Europe to the break-up of the home, the article plainly says: " The fact has to be faced that the German attacks on this country are threatening the English home. The bomb that smashes a little house may break up at least one little family. The evacuation of women and children is obviously necessary; the provision of communal meals is a social obligation; but it is of the first importance that these things should be regarded as tem• porary war measures, and should not be allowed to be the beginning of revolutionary changes in the structure of society."
Far more dangerous in this respect than the German bombs which temporarily shatter many homes is the philosophy which permanently destroys the home.
That philosophy reaches its fullest expression in Bolshevism, where the home and family life cease altogether; in Nazi and Fascist totalitarianism the rightful autonomy of the home is gravely weakened while in our free order disintegrating ideas and forces are tolerated and even encouraged because they make it easier for the State to obtain rights over the family without the appearance of compulsion.
Immoral teaching advocating the artificial limitation of children; a wage system that takes no account of family needs and responsibilities; social relief and help operating almost wholly outside the family; housing that destroys the privacy of the family and prevents its growth; education that " by-passes " the natural hierarchy within the family; industry that tears the family to pieces or makes it wholly dependent upon the fortunes of the enserfed wage-earner; the propagation of literature and recreation that mocks or belittles domestic virtues—these are some of the almost unnoticed Ways in which the taw of nature (upon which Christian teaching is built) is undermined.
It is not a big step from all this to the views of totalitarians, whether Bolshevik or Nazi, who would oust the family unit altogether, except as a breeding bed, in the interests of State efficiency.
With such views prevalent we have reason to fear that the accidental break-up of so many families through the destructive effects of air-war may lead to permanent changes, fatal to family life, after the war. The drift will inevitably be in that direction, and there will be plenty of enlightened reformers only too eager to take advantage of the opportunity.
We dare not postpone the fight to save the family and the home until after the war. While safety and the essential economic welfare of the individual dictate evacuation, shelterlife, communal feeding, hasty rehousing, separation of children from parents, and husband from wife, all this must be tolerated under protest and with the constant effort to reestablish the moment it is possible the unity, independence, authority and economic welfare of the family unit. And while fighting the totalitarian enemy, we shall do . well to note the process by which that enemy reached his intolerable philosophy. Let us be warned in time by the realisation that this grotesque travesty of human society against which we are fighting began with the attempt to reverse the law of nature in regard to the sacredness of the family.