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her all the characteristics of a faction; but subordinate factions within her have often produced admirable results, from
the parties of Paul and of Apollos at Corinth down to the High and Low parties in the Church of England.
If your patient can be induced to become a conscientious objector he will automatically find himself one of a small,
vocal, organised, unpopular society, and the effects of this, on one so new to Christianity, will almost certainly be good.
But only almost certainly. Has he had serious doubts about the lawfulness serving in a just war before this present war
of serving began? Is he a man of great physical courage—so great that he will have no half-conscious misgivings about
the real motives of his pacifism? Can he, when nearest to honesty (no human is ever very near), feel fully convinced
that he actuated wholly by the desire to obey the Enemy? If he is that sort of man, his pacifism will probably not do us
much good, and the Enemy will probably protect him from the usual consequences of belonging to a sect. Your best
plan, in that case, would be to attempt a sudden, confused, emotional crisis from which he might emerge as an uneasy
convert to patriotism. Such things can often be managed. But if he is the man I take him to be, try Pacifism.
Whichever he adopts, your main task will be the same. Let him begin by treating the Patriotism or the Pacifism as a part
of his religion. Then let him, under the influence of partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part. Then
quietly and gradually nurse him on to the stage at which the religion becomes merely part of the "cause", in which
Christianity is valued chiefly because of the excellent arguments it can produce in favour of the British war-effort or of
Pacifism. The attitude which you want to guard against is that in which temporal affairs are treated primarily as material
for obedience. Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes
very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing. Provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements,
causes, and crusades, matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours—and the more
"religious" (on those terms) the more securely ours. I could show you a pretty cageful down here,
Your affectionate uncle http://members.fortunecity.com/phantom1/books2/c._s._lewis_-_the_screwtape_letters.htm 2/07/2008 THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS Page 9 of 34
MY DEAR WORMWOOD,
So you "have great hopes that the patient's religious phase is dying away", have you? I always thought the Training
College had gone to pieces since they put old Slubgob at the head of it, and now I am sure. Has no one ever told you
about the law of Undulation?
Humans are amphibians—half spirit and half animal. (The Enemy's determination to produce such a revolting hybrid
was one of the things that determined Our Father to withdraw his support from Him.) As spirits they belong to the
eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time. This means that wh...
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This note was uploaded on 02/07/2014 for the course MIS 304 taught by Professor Mejias during the Spring '07 term at Arizona.
- Spring '07