Sample B22 from "Week by Week" Commonweal (November 10, 1961), 163-165 0010-1930 A part of the XML version of the Brown Corpus2,071 words 102(4.9%) quotesB22

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"Week by Week" Commonweal (November 10, 1961), 163-165 0010-1930

Arbitrary Hyphen: anti-recession [1390-1400]Typographical Error: Eisenhhower [1340]Note: Secretariat [0980] Secretariate [1060]

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Resuming atmospheric tests One of the inescapable realities of the Cold War is that it has thrust upon the West a wholly new and historically unique set of moral dilemmas . The first dilemma was the morality of nuclear warfare itself . That dilemma is as much with us as ever . The second great dilemma has been the morality of nuclear testing , a dilemma which has suddenly become acute because of the present series of Soviet tests .

When this second dilemma first became obvious -- during the mid to late '50's -- the United States appeared to have three choices . It could have unilaterally abandoned further testing on the grounds of the radiation hazard to future generations . It could have continued testing to the full on the grounds that the radiation danger was far less than the danger of Communist world domination . Or it could have chosen to find -- by negotiation -- some way of stopping the tests without loss to national security . This third choice was in fact made .

With the resumption of Soviet testing and their intransigence at the Geneva talks , however , the hope that this third choice would prove viable has been shaken . Once again , the United States must choose . And once again , the choices are much the same . Only this time around the conditions are different and the choice is far harder .

The first choice , abandoning tests entirely , would not only be unpopular domestically , but would surely be exploited by the Russians . The second choice , full testing , has become even more risky just because the current Soviet tests have already dangerously contaminated the atmosphere . The third choice , negotiation , presupposes , as Russian behavior demonstrates , a great deal of wishful thinking to make it appear reasonable .

We take the position , however , that the third choice still remains the only sane one open to us . It is by no stretch of the imagination a happy choice and the arguments against it as a practical strategy are formidable . Its primary advantage is that it is a moral choice ; ; one which , should it fail , will not have contaminated the conscience . That is the contamination we most fear .

Leaving aside the choice of unilateral cessation of tests as neither sane nor clearly moral , the question must arise as to why resumption of atmospheric tests on our part would not be a good choice . For that is the one an increasingly large number of prominent Americans are now proposing . In particular , Governor Nelson Rockefeller has expressed as cogently and clearly as anyone the case for a resumption of atmospheric tests .

Speaking recently in Miami , Governor Rockefeller said that `` to assure the sufficiency of our own weapons in the face of the recent Soviet tests , we are now clearly compelled to conduct our own nuclear tests '' . Taking account of the fact that such a move on our part would be unpopular in world opinion , he argued that the responsibility of the United States is `` to do , confidently and firmly , not what is popular , but what is right '' .

What was missing in the Governor's argument , as in so many similar arguments , was a premise which would enable one to make the ethical leap from what might be militarily desirable to what is right . The possibility , as he asserted , that the Russians may get ahead of us or come closer to us because of their tests does not supply the needed ethical premise -- unless , of course , we have unwittingly become so brutalized that nuclear superiority is now taken as a moral demand .

Besides the lack of an adequate ethical dimension to the Governor's case , one can ask seriously whether our lead over the Russians in quality and quantity of nuclear weapons is so slight as to make the tests absolutely necessary . Recent statements by the President and Defense Department spokesmen have , to the contrary , assured us that our lead is very great . Unless the Administration and the Defense Department have been deceiving us , the facts do not support the assertion that we are `` compelled '' to resume atmospheric testing .

It is perfectly conceivable that a resumption of atmospheric tests may , at some point in the future , be necessary and even justifiable . But a resumption does not seem justifiable now . What we need to realize is that the increasingly great contamination of the atmosphere by the Soviet tests had radically increased our own moral obligations . We now have to think not only of our national security but also of the future generations who will suffer from any tests we might undertake . This is an ethical demand which cannot be evaded or glossed over by talking exclusively of weapon superiority or even of the evil of Communism .

Too often in the past Russian tactics have been used to justify like tactics on our part . There ought to be a point beyond which we will not allow ourselves to go regardless of what Russia does . The refusal to resume atmospheric testing would be a good start .

Ecumenical hopes when his Holiness Pope John 23 , first called for an Ecumenical Council , and at the same time voiced his yearning for Christian unity , the enthusiasm among Catholic and Protestant ecumenicists was immediate . With good reason it appeared that a new day was upon divided Christendom . But as the more concrete plans for the work of the Council gradually became known , there was a rather sharp and abrupt disappointment on all sides . The Council we now know will concern itself directly only with the internal affairs of the Church .

As it has turned out , however , the excessive enthusiasm in the first instance and the loss of hope in the second were both wrong responses . Two things have happened in recent months to bring the Council into perspective : each provides a basis for renewed hope and joy .

First of all , it is now known that Pope John sees the renewal and purification of the Church as an absolutely necessary step toward Christian unity . Far from being irrelevant to the ecumenical task , the Pontiff believes that a revivified Church is required in order that the whole world may see Catholicism in the best possible light . Equally significant , Pope John has said that Catholics themselves bear some responsibility for Christian disunity . A major aim of the Council will be to remove as far as possible whatever in the Church today stands in the way of unity .

Secondly , a whole series of addresses and actions by the Pope and by others show that concern for Christian unity is still very much alive and growing within the Church . The establishment , by the Holy Father , of a permanent Secretariat for Christian Unity in 1960 was the most dramatic mark of this concern . The designation of five Catholic theologians to attend the World Council of Churches assembly in New Delhi as `` official '' observers reverses the Church's earlier stand . The public appeal by the new Vatican Secretary of State , Cardinal Cicognani , for renewed efforts toward Eastern and Western reunion was still another remarkable act . Nor can one forget Pope John's unprecedented meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury .

Augustin Cardinal Bea , the director of the Secretariate for Christian Unity , has expressed as directly as anyone the new spirit that pervades the Church's stance toward the Protestant and Orthodox Churches . Noting all the difficulties that stand in the way of reunion , he has said that they ought not to discourage anyone . For discouragement , or the temptation to abandon our efforts , `` would show that one placed excessive trust in purely human means without thinking of the omnipotence of God , the irresistible efficacy of prayer , the action of Christ or the power of the Divine Spirit '' . Can any Christian fail to respond to these words ? ?

The budget deficit the administration's official budget review , which estimates a 6.9 billion dollar deficit for the current fiscal year , isn't making anyone happy . Certainly it isn't making the President happy , and he has been doing his apologetic best to explain how the budget got into its unbalanced condition , how he intends to economize wherever he can and how he hopes to do better next year .

We sympathize with Mr. Kennedy , but we feel bound to say that his budget review doesn't please us either , although for very different reasons . Furthermore , we find his defense of the unbalanced budget more dismaying than reassuring .

In the first place , a large part of the discrepancy between President Eisenhower's estimate of a 1.5 billion dollar surplus for the same period and the new estimate of an almost seven billion dollar deficit is the result of the outgoing President's farewell gift of a political booby-trap to his successor . The Eisenhower budget was simultaneously inadequate in its provisions and yet extravagant in its projections of revenue to be received .

The rest of the deficit is also easily understood . Four billion dollars of the spending increase is for defense , an expenditure necessitated by the penny-wise policies of the Eisenhhower Administration , quite apart from the recent crises in Berlin and elsewhere . Four hundred million dollars of the increase is for the expanded space program , a responsibility similarly neglected by Mr. Eisenhower . The farm program will cost an additional 1.5 billion , because of unusual weather factors , the Food for Peace program and other new measures . Anti-recession programs -- aid for the unemployed , their children and for depressed areas -- account for only 900 million of the 6.9 billion dollar deficit .

Our complaint is that in many crucial areas the Kennedy programs are not too large but too small , most seriously in regard to the conventional arms build-up and in aid and welfare measures . And yet Mr. Kennedy persists in trying to mollify the intransigents of the right with apologies and promises of `` tightening up '' and `` economizing '' . We wish the President would remember that `` fiscal responsibility '' was the battle-cry of the party that lost the election . The party that won used to say something about a New Frontier .

Ethics and peace introduction of the `` dialogue '' principle proved strikingly effective at the thirty-fourth annual meeting of the Catholic Association for International Peace in Washington the last weekend in October . Two of the principal addresses were delivered by prominent Protestants , and when the speaker was a Catholic , one `` discussant '' on the dais tended to be of another religious persuasion .

Several effects were immediately evident . Sessions devoted to `` Ethics and Foreign Policy Trends '' , `` Moral Principle and Political Judgment '' , `` Christian Ethics in the Cold War '' and related subjects proved to be much livelier under this procedure than if Catholics were merely talking to themselves . Usually questions from the floor were directed to the non-Catholic speaker or discussion leader .

In the earlier sessions there was plentiful discussion on the natural law , which Dr. William V. O'Brien of Georgetown University , advanced as the basis for widely acceptable ethical judgments on foreign policy . That Aristotelean-Thomistic principle experienced a thorough going-over from a number of the participants , but in the end the concept came to reassert itself . Speakers declared that Protestants often make use of it , if , perhaps , by some other name . A Lebanese Moslem told about its existence and application in the Islamic tradition as the `` divine law '' , while a C.A.I.P. member who has been working in close association with delegates of the new U.N. nations told of its widespread recognition on the African continent . The impression was unmistakable that , whatever one may choose to call it , natural law is a functioning generality with a certain objective existence .

Another question that arose was the nature of the dialogue itself . The stimulus from the confrontation of philosophical systems involving certain differences was undeniable . It was expected that the comparison of different approaches to ethics would produce a better grasp of each other's positions and better comprehension of one's own . But a realization that each group has much of substance to learn from the other also developed , and a strong conviction grew that each had insights and dimensions to contribute to ethically acceptable solutions of urgent political issues .

One effect of the spirited give-and-take of these discussions was to focus attention on practical applications and the necessity of being armed with the facts : knowledge of the destructive force of even the tiniest `` tactical '' atomic weapon would have a bearing on judgments as to the advisability of its use -- to defend Berlin , for example ; ; the pervasive influence of ideology on our political judgments needs to be recognized and taken into due account ; ; it is necessary to perceive the extent of foreign aid demanded by the Christian imperative .