The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedRalph E. Lapp
Title QuotedKill and Overkill
Date (Year/Month/Day)1962/12/11
ImprintNew York : Basic Books. 1962
QuotationI got a letter from Jim Douglass this morning. It was a good one, too. I think I will send "Peace in the PC" [Post-Christian Era] to Bishop [John J.] Wright. I think, too, that the new Lapp book, Kill and Overkill, is a very important one to clarify the issues, and to bring home the fact that this is not a war with bows and arrows, or even with blockbusters anymore, but that the whole concept of war has been stood on its own head, which it has always wanted to do anyway. And that if we persist in thinking it is a matter of easy syllogisms based on familiar premises, we will end up in the worst tragedy and justify the worst crimes. I am more and more convinced that the issue is one that involves a necessary cataclysm, overturning some of the most familiar axioms of our thought. If we cannot give up these apparent first principles (which are rooted in Constantine and Augustine), we are lost. Of course others have given them up long ago, and are operating without any principles at all. It sounds like Zen. I wish it were, because Zen is sane. But not the Pentagon
Quotation SourceWitness to Freedom: The Letters of Thomas Merton in Times of Crisis.; Selected and edited by William H. Shannon. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1994, p. 96
Letter toHerbert Burke
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