Thursday, March 22, 2007

Our Father, Desiderius Erasmus

Bio: The man who symbolized the Renaissance, Deside rius Erasmus was a humanist, a monk, and a priest. He preached the contradiction of war and Christian ity, and called for a return to a simpler, more pure form of Christian faith. The excerpt below * was taken from The Complaint of Peace, Erasmus’ mas terful polemic against war and the selfish political motivations that caused war.


"Our Father,” says he; 0 hardened wretch! can you call him Father, when you are
just going to cut your brother’s throat? “Hallowed be thy name”:
how can the name of God be more impiously unhallowed, than by mutual bloody murder among you, his sons? “Thy kingdom come”: do you pray for the coming of his kingdom, while you are endeavoring to establish an earthly despotism, by spilling the blood of God’s sons and subjects? “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”: his will in heaven is for peace, but you are now meditat ing war. Dare you to say to your Father in heaven: “Give us this day our daily bread,” when you are going, the next minute per haps, to burn up your brother’s corn-fields, and had rather lose the benefit of them yourself, than suffer him to enjoy them unmo lested? With what face can you say, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us,” when, so far from for giving your own brother, you are going, with all the haste you can, to murder him in cold blood, for an alleged trespass that, after all, is but imaginary? Do you presume to deprecate the danger of temptation who, not without great danger to yoursell, are doing all you can to force your brother into danger? Do you deserve to be delivered from evil, that is, Irom the evil being, to whose impulse you submit yourself, and by whose spirit you are now guided, in contriving the greatest possible evil to your brother?"

No comments: