“I tried to find the source of evil and I got nowhere.” Augustine before becoming a Christian
A celebrated French atheist addressed the Dominican Monastery of Latour-Maubourg in 1948. He arrived among these Christian monks bearing witness to his great personal faith that, historically, for all of us, the project of human happiness remains largely the same whether you do or do not love Jesus.
He is here to urge, on grounds of common humanity, a reconciliation between believers and nonbelievers in the name of everybody’s desperate hopes for the post-war future. “If Christianity is pessimistic as to man, it is optimistic to human destiny. Well, I can say that, pessimistic as to human destiny, I am optimistic as to man.”
We recognize Albert Camus’ deep flat voice, his take-it-or-leave-it way with the most ultimate words. If it can be truly said of any man that he was born to be a hero, mention, too, this five-foot-ten Algerian whom the 1957 Nobel Prize For Literature cited as the conscience of his generation.
Now, four years after the Liberation, still-battered and newly-Existential France feels itself caught between a ruthless Soviet Russia out for world domination and the super-power Coca-Colonization of the United States. Typically, Camus refused to chose between such palpably false alternatives. So here he is among the monks.
To demonstrate good faith at the outset of a dialogue with these people of faith, Camus concedes his own defeat in a recent public debate with a famous Catholic novelist. Camus then evokes post-war humanity’s continuing suffering. This he blames on the moral collapse of both Right and Left. Neither bourgeois capitalism nor Soviet communism offers the Earth’s people a way forward of freedom and dignity — those human conditions alone under which happiness becomes possible.
“What the world expects of Christians is that Christians should speak out, loud and clear, and that they should voice their condemnation in such a way that never a doubt, never the slightest doubt, could arise in the heart of the simplest man.”
God, no god? Who cares? We, you and I, are, historically, either way beyond or long before any meaningful taking up of this argument. What about RIGHT NOW? Do you not hear the screaming? Today, this instant, children are being tortured as a matter of state policy.
Fatherless son of West-African poverty, philosopher of an unblinking atheism which experienced the world as absurd but not without hope; a political activist and lyrical exponent of the sun, the sea, the happy body: an athlete — soccer, swimming, boxing — ladies’ man, young leading man in his own radical theatrical troupe, and later a true hero of the French Resistance, editor of the underground newspaper Combat revealed, after the war, to be none other than the acclaimed author of The Stranger.
“They (Christians) should get away from abstraction and confront the blood-stained face of history has taken on today. The grouping we need is a grouping of men resolved to speak out clearly and to pay up personally…”
In short, a new Maquis, the bravest of the best, and not confined to a French underground such as Camus fought among in World War II but an organization gone global, battling against History itself to win for humanity a Third Way, a way ahead scaled to you, the living individual of flesh and bone, not a stripped and humiliated integer naked to the State’s murderous usages.
“I am waiting, for a grouping of all those who refuse to be dogs and are resolved to pay the price that must be paid so that man can be something more than a dog.”
Camus’ terse eloquence availed nothing, of course. Two generations later, we are still waiting for word from the church. Now it seems sure it will never come again. Too much has been passed over in silence for far too long to be either excused or forgiven. Thinking now like Camus, we can say Christ’s divinity has nothing to do with it; we are judging our betrayal by other men like ourselves.
Judeo-Christian culture is killing Judeo-Christian civilization, and the church murmurs “yes” while religions of submission — Islam, the globalist Left — systematically set about trying to shut down Christianity itself. And once again, a godless caste of self-selected superior beings glides forward out of the shadows, smiling and certain, the swans of their disease, firmly in control of… us.
“I am fighting you because your logic is as criminal as your heart,” Camus once wrote to a former friend.
At the turn of the millennium, the Pope published a book of theological essays. The word “soul” did not appear anywhere in the index. Very well. There is no last word, but what would Albert Camus say? What would he say RIGHT NOW?