Tuesday, 8 November 2011

World War 2 aircrew training - ideas and ideals

Entry 8 - February 2nd

It is a pity that man should be born containing the essence of genius and yet be inarticulate. Cannot we find means of expression to convey our ideas and ideals, our visions and our dreams to the rest of the community? Within the soul of every man are conceptions of beauty and vivid ideals and yet, for the greater part, we fail to set them forth to the world in all their glory. This failure leads to the suppression of our better instincts and our outward actions, frustrated and repressed, bear hatred, recrimination and evil. Thus, although my literacy limits the horizon of my intelligence I have endeavoured to reveal, perhaps haltingly and ineffectually, those ideas and ideals emanating from the soul that God gave me.

Consideration must be given to the fact that the spiritual and material sides of man dovetail together and co-mingle. It is a fact that we must recognise. God must be given His place in our material sphere as well as in the abstract. Contentment and happiness for all must be aimed at, since it is only in obtaining this materially that we shall be able to provide the basis of a spiritual unity.

God's place in the war is marked and a definite one. The war, ostentatiously, is one between nation states as such and yet, beneath the surface, on closer examination, it bears the marks of a new and international campaign for freedom of body, mind and spirit. The struggle for the survival of Christianity. In the light of this it behoves us to take stock of our own position and see where we stand. Essentially we all must have some spiritual conception of its outcome.

Christianity teaches us the brotherhood of man. This brotherhood, or fraternity, must; when we have defeated the narrow nationalistic outlooks of Nazism and Fascism and these tendencies within our own country; be extended to all irrespective of their previous tenets or beliefs. Although this war was thrust on us by Nazism and Fascism thwarting our vested interests we must remember that those very interests originally supported and encouraged these ideologies which now wish to destroy them. Thus it would seem that even within this state there are some that will wish to maintain the original structure of society and (the original) national sovereignty. We have to struggle within the state for recognition and acceptance of these views which, I believe, are in accordance with Christ. In that will lie our victory. “Forbearing one another, forgiving one another”. We shall achieve peace at heart and a unity not only of the nation but of all the forces that are struggling with us at the present moment and a unity with all those who, all over the world, have faith in freedom, liberalism and God.

This policy entails the acceptance of Germans as our brothers and equals. Although this war was originally directed against the “Nazi Government” many have lost sight of this including, perhaps, our present government and bear an active, living hatred for the German individual. Whatever happens this will not do as it is a direct denial of all Christian thought. It is futile to imagine that we can partially accept so much of the faith as suits our purpose. We must be wholeheartedly for or against. If we are against Christianity we may as well cease fighting, for true liberty and true freedom will never be obtained without a living conception of Christ. The German Nazi must be treated as suffering from a delusion and this delusion rendered harmless.

Douglas George Banks 1920 – 1989 written in 1941

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nevell said...

"...for true liberty and true freedom will never be obtained without a living conception of Christ."
Your dad has a way of summing up the gospel essence in a phrase,in amongst his sometimes difficult to follow writings which sometimes sound as though he felt this was the war to end all wars, and the gateway to a new and ideal society. It's a curious read...

Peter Banks said...

Cheers Tim, thanks, again! Really appreciate your feedback...

Best, PB

Anita @ Dreaming Beneath the Spires said...

What an intelligent Dad, and what a wonderful legacy!