A Catholic Monthly Magazine

MM 50 Years Ago

‘Impuritans’ vilify Miss Bartlett

Puritans of the tight-lipped ‘wowser’ breed are rare here now and are little heard of even in correspondence columns. Journalists have recently labelled Miss Patricia Bartlett a ‘puritan,’ but her form of opposition to salacity is mild compared to the classic puritanism of England and of New England.

What are more numerous and more vociferous today are the ‘impuritans’ who have ‘bees in their bonnets’ about censorship. They claim the natural sex instinct has become morbid through being hushed up in pre-war days. They write about how evil it is to repress nature. …To them, social permissiveness indicates social progress, maturity, freedom from restrictive religion and from unenlightened elders.

In the last analysis, of course, it is not legislation but our personal attitude that will decide the issue. Laws are ultimately ineffective unless they reflect the mind and the will of the people.

One hears too of some Catholics …becoming so affected by the fear of being called intolerant as to hesitate before even stating what is the plain law of Christ. They prefer to remain ‘non-aligned’ where moral issues are involved lest they be branded as fanatics.

September 1971

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