CHURCHILL: “According to Holy Writ” – Part 3 – “The last word in ethics”

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series GOD & CHURCHILL: The Evidence Exposed

“The last word in ethics”

Churchill in India (c.1896)

Winston S. Churchill in India (c.1896)

Before leaving for his posting with the 4th Hussars in India, Churchill had heard it said that Christ’s gospel was the last word in Ethics. School had made Churchill a scholar of the English language, but the word Ethics, was unfamiliar to the young, brash 22-year old soldier, who yearned for action and adventure. Ethics [are] concerned not merely with things you ought to do, he was told, but with why you ought to do them.

While studying the Bible more closely, Great-Grandpapa came to the conclusion that the Sermon on the Mount was the last word in ethics. He maintained that the more closely we follow the Sermon on the Mount, the more likely we are to succeed in our endeavours.

To claim the Sermon on the Mount as the last word in ethics, is no great feat. However, in order for it to be used as a significant marker of Churchill’s personal faith, I felt we needed to prove his statements meant more to him than mere words. Pro-American basketball player and Coach John Wooden once said: The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching. Did Great-Grandpapa practice in private what he professed to believe in public? Too often today our political leaders claim to be God-fearing, but their actions behind closed doors tell a different story, so was Churchill any different?

Before one can successfully delve into the evidence, we must first recognise the difference between Ethics and Morals.

Ethics are principles that govern a person’s or group’s behaviour or, in Great-Grandpapa’s case, countries at war. Churchill believed there was an ethical way to fight war, and that was not to indiscriminately bomb civilian populations. You and others may desire to kill women and children, he responded when urged to carpet bomb the German population into submission. We desire…to destroy German military objectives.

Great-Grandpapa has often been criticized for bombing cities such as Dresden, however, leadership sometimes demands hard decisions that many claim unethical, until you consider the character of the leader giving the order. The choice between life and death is clear, and your response to attack defines your ethical beliefs and moral compass. Are we monsters? He shouted in devastation at a cabinet colleague while reviewing the results of the bombing of German cities. Are we not going too far? – Morals are a person’s standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do, and in Great-Grandpapa’s emotional outburst we see his morality more clearly.

To wantonly bomb large populations as Hitler did without consideration to those innocent you are killing, is both ethically and morally repugnant. In tears, Churchill, in response to his son Randolph’s remark that saturation bombing during the Second World War was an equal horror, lamented, Tens of thousands of lives were extinguished in one night…Old men, old women, little children-yes, yes, little children about to be born.

Ethics have been misused and abused to manipulate populations and justify evils. Hitler and his Nazis twisted the meaning of ethics to suit their own needs. An eye for an eye was the spin Hitler promoted, and it was propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels assignment to reduce Jews to less-than-human status, enabling Hitler to justify their murder in the gas chambers, They’re not human beings; they are animals, Goebbels said in 1939. [Killing them] is not a humanitarian [question] but a surgical task.

Over the next few posts, we are going to examine Churchill’s character, the ethics that guided and the morals that kept him righteous.


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GOD AND CHURCHILL:
THE EVIDENCE EXPOSED

November 20, 2015

CHURCHILL: “According to Holy Writ” – Part 4
“…you shall know them by their fruits”

An in-depth analysis of exactly what Sir Winston Churchill himself professed to believe


 

Front Cover (USA) (sml-150x225)
Jonathan Sandys, a great-grandson of Britain’s wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, along with former White House aide and current senior associate pastor of Houston’s Second Baptist Church, Wallace Henley, reveal compelling evidence that overturns the erroneous belief that Churchill was either an agnostic or an atheist.

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CREDITS

QUOTATIONS

“The last word in ethics” – SANDYS/HENLEY: God & Churchill: How the Great Leader’s Sense of Divine Destiny Changed his Troubled World and Offers Hope for Ours, p.100

“Christ’s gospel” – Ibid, p.15

“Ethics [are] concerned” – Ibid, p.15

“The more closely” – Ibid, p.92

“The true test” – https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/203719-the-true-test-of-a-man-s-character-is-what-he

‘principles that govern’ – http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/ethics

“You and others” – SANDYS/HENLEY: God & Churchill: How the Great Leader’s Sense of Divine Destiny Changed his Troubled World and Offers Hope for Ours, p.109

‘a person’s standard’ –  http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/moral?q=morals#moral__8

“Tens of thousands” – SANDYS/HENLEY: God & Churchill: How the Great Leader’s Sense of Divine Destiny Changed his Troubled World and Offers Hope for Ours, p.111

“An eye for” – MACLEAN, French L.: 2000 Quotes From Hitler’s 1000-Year Reich, p.166

“They’re not human” – Ibid, p.86

 

IMAGES

Churchill in India: https://richardlangworth.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/1896Horseback.jpg

GOD & CHURCHILL, front cover, 2015 – (US-Edition)

 

Series Navigation<< CHURCHILL: “According to Holy Writ” – Part 2 – “Christian Civilisation”CHURCHILL: “According to Holy Writ” – Part 4 – “…you shall know them by their fruits” >>

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