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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 13. October 4, 1951



Sir,—Canon Green proved very eloquent, and a lot of people who had thought that marriage meant coconut palms and tropical moons got from him a glimpse of the reality which is the sacrament of marriage.

It was a pity, therefore, that Canon Green went even further than the famous Resolution 15 of the 1930 Lambeth Conference, and said: "The use of scientific and other means of birth control in marriage is not wrong, though not particularly desirable ... in some cases, birth control could be justified, but not for purely selfish reasons."

For rational creatures human morals are not judged according to desirability; they are either right or wrong, according to whether they conform or not to the natural law.

The tragedy of Lambeth is that expediency, once allowed, extends indefinitely. This is what happened when the blessing was given, however, reluctantly, to divorce. The total number of divorces in England in 1945 was 15,221, nearly twice as many the following year, and 34.217 in 1949. At the time of the Lambeth conference one marriage in 100 ended in divorce: in 1949 the ratio was one in 11.

As the "Daily Express" wrote at the time of the conference: "Birth control is approved under the shelter of piety. Divorce is condemned—and reprieved. So the resolutions follow the tortuous path of compromise until there is hardly a single item of the moral code dealt with which could not be construed according to individual discretion . . . ."

The tragedy comes, as it is coming to the populations of N.Z., the U.S. and England, which are barely reproducing themselves, when the absolute law is replaced by each individual's consideration of his own comfort. Moral anarchy has never worked, and even Canon Green's eloquence could not put up a case for it, or disguise the fact that too many of the Protestant churches are content to follow instead of lead.—

I am, etc.,

Freedom Under Law