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often just for the pleasure of it, like extended conversation. Good. Mr. and Mrs. John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty,” about civil liberty and toleration, has now finally found the mark in our sexual liberty and toleration, too, and we apply live and let live, laissez faire, to private life. Good. The writers can proceed within the wider amplitudes, the honest language. Good. These things are a victory, a breakthrough, that is past; it is over. Nor, although it has removed negatives, does it solve very much. It takes a time to find it out, but sex, as a source of meaning or validation, gets old, long before it gets old as itself. We all still have to love well, to live fairly, to do good. The writers still have the same problem they did to make a work of art, and they and the artists have even more to do, for now that most of the priests and the preachers are speaking in tombs, somebody has to prophesy, somebody has to say “should.” Indeed, these fairly recent changes in the sexual ethics are all so simple and natural and obviously good, the only explanation that occurs to me for the big deal made about them is the persisting hypocrisies of the edificial churches, which somehow, I guess, the Establishment moralists and media feel they should placate by making a big deal of it. Even in that book, Situation Ethics, a sane book against any absolute rules except the rule of love, this fellow talks about the Christian orthodoxies as of course the base line for conduct, from which people deviate, according to what love indicates in the situation. No, the plain truth is, there have been, among us, a multitude of total abandonments of the orthodoxies, and a multitude of new beginnings. We find afresh in our own lives the same experiences, the surprises of pain, the limits of ideals, that suggest to us how we should act toward othersthe same touchstones from which, one assumes, the religions calcified their moral forms. This way, it’s harder, but it’s more interesting. Thinking on our own ethically in the situations we find ourselves in, we of course know what the old ways say, we see why they say what they do, and to an extent we are enclosed in their vestigial forms, and we consider all that. But I do not think Christianity guides us inside any more in the way we do in sexual life, just as I do not think the edificial church \( as distinguished from the minority church, the portable church, on social justice, on Vietnam, or hate by race. Indeed, it is the corrosion of orthodox religion as the inner monitor that has cast us all into the free but gloomy limbo of these times. Where is the new church? It is among us, not beyond us or above us. Where is the new faith? It is among us, in what we do with each other. Nor just in private, nor just in public, nor just in the city, nor just in this land. D0 I HAVE anything, just now, particularly true to say about all this? I don’t know, but this is what I think of, when I ask that question. We radically suspect we are participating, in the fall of the United States from virtue and grace within, and in the world. There is so much to know, and there is so much to be done, and it is so hard, just plain hard, for anyone to do much, to prevent this fall, we are maddened by ordinary things and turn aside to posturing, pleasure, gestures, and righteousness. Yet just as we no longer know that man is good, but do know that he can slaughter children and women by the millions at Dachau and Hiroshima and still hold himself upright thereafter, so also we know that the world can be destroyed, now, by trivia, by accident, or by negligence. The questions are, what we are, and whether we have time enough to change. Our special difficulty in these our times is simply the weight of our burden. Our resources, ‘ gathering themselves under this weight, assert themselves. We sting each other with rebukes; we sting ourselves with rebukes. The father blames,: the father, and the son, the son. This is our .country, We are here, and we detest to see it failing. And there is the larger fact that with all the power our country has and will not stop having, if we are finally failing, we are not likely to go down benignly, but “raging, into the dying light,” like a poet, power-maddened and drunk, destroying the world he loves. In some sense we know that the postulates of the centuries about human na-. ture are finally meeting the ordinary test of conclusive events, the philosophies pale and faint beneath the realities of the human animal in a world we have lost control of, and now we will become truly man, or just another animal, outwitted in its own environment. Tom Hayden writes, “What is desperately needed, I think, is the person of vision and clarity, who sees both the model society and the pitfalls that precede its attainment, and who will not destroy his vision for short-run gains but, instead, [will] hold it out for all to see as the furthest dream and perimeter of human possibility.” I think this is right. Taking strength from the free private life, but not accepting enclosure within it, each of us is called upon to give all that he is able to give to our common endeavor, the validation of man as a moral being. As we must, in Mr. Potter’s phrase, “help each other to be brave,” we must also help each other to be far more serious than we have been. For the outcome is in doubt. R. D. March 3, 1967 17 MEETINGS THE THURSDAY CLUB of Dallas meets each the Downtown YMCA, 605 No. Ervay St., Dallas. Good discussion. You’re welcome. Informal, no dues. The TRAVIS COUNTY LIBERAL DEMO-CRATS meet at Spanish Village at 8 p.m. on the first Thursday. You’re invited. ITEMS for this feature cost, for the first entry, 7c a word, and for each subsequent entry, 5e a word. We must receive them one week before the date of the issue in whieh they are to be published. CRATS meet March 16th at City Health Audi torium, 1313 Sabine, at 8 p.m. You’re invited. SUBSCRIBE OR RENEW THE TEXAS OBSERVER 504 West 24th Street Austin 5, Texas Enclosed is $6.00 for a one-year subscription to the Observer for: Name Address City, State Li This is a renewal. This is a new subscription. SPEAK OUT FOR. 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