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Don't Link Gill and His
Sexual Deviations to Distributism


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OK, so, I've just read your tirade on the sinner Eric Gill and your linked condemnation of Distributism simply because Gill happened to espouse that doctrine. I don't suppose then that you will also condemn by association Chesterton and Belloc. The fact is, my friend, that you come across to me as rather uncharitable and doing exactly what Our Lord Jesus told us not to do. Don't be your brother's judge (that's God's job) - hate the sin and love the sinner. And I tell you this in all humility, recognizing that I fail in the same way, too.

BTW, I recognized some of Gill's engravings as presenting relations between Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (and yes, that WAS fornication and yes it IS in the scriptures), not as you state, 'Jesus fornicating with an unknown saint [click here]. And saints, 'virgin' married saints, do have sex with their wives and see that as a gift from God.

On Gill's personal sins. Indeed terrible, and probably an indication that like the Cheshire cat in 'Alice' he was 'not altogether there, himself.' Still, his evil conduct does not invalidate the validity of Distributist doctrines. What you propose would be akin to proposing the abolition of the United States because a number of the Founding Fathers were sinners and not quite honest in their dealings (which they were).

You seem to be bent more towards capitalism (that product of the deformation... beg pardon, 'reformation'), so I urge you to 'hold your nose,' forget a bit about Gill, and study the Distributist doctrine. You will realize that it is a viable, just alternative within the framework of Church teaching and tradition.

     The Peace of Jesus be with you,

     E.J.
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TIA responds:

Mr. E.J.,

We are sorry for being late in answering your letter.

1. Mr. Odou did not condemn Chesterton and Belloc by association, as you pretend. He has not studied these authors yet in relation to this topic. To date he has examined various works by Penty and Gill [see articles below], and recently he also analyzed works of Fr. Vincent McNabb, Herbert Shove, and Harold Robbins [click here].

The generalization “Distributism is bad because Penty and Gill are bad” was not an initial conclusion of Odou. A certain propaganda campaign that has inundated conservative and traditionalist milieus in the U.S. the last few years presented a group of authors as founders of Distributism. Included among those founders were Penty and Gill. Until recently they were being praised together with McNabb, Belloc, and Chesterton.

Several books published works of those authors as a compilation representing Distributism. Odou analyzed Penty first, then Gill, and reached the natural conclusion that they were expressive of the ensemble. It was the common view at the time.

It was only after his attacks that fans of Distributism considered it better to “burn” these few authors to save the rest of the group. Therefore, your accusation that Odou is making an exaggerated generalization does not correspond to the reality.

2. It seems that your observation that it is a lack of charity to show the scandalous life of Gill is not objective, as well. When one is dealing with a public man who acts in a scandalous way, it would seem to be a moral obligation to prevent him from being presented as a model to be followed. A grave mistake - or even a fraud - was being committed by trying to pass off a sexual maniac as a social model and good teacher for children. To denounce such a fraud is not a lack of charity. It is a work for the common good.

3. Your observation that the male figure displayed in the sexual act in one of Eric Gill’s graphics is not Christ but Solomon also does not seem objective. Solomon was far from being a saint and was never represented with a halo. Further, the halo with the internal lines making a cross that the male figure has around his head is the halo reserved to Christ in Catholic iconography.

Your reasoning that since “those saints were married, then it is correct to represent them having sexual relations” is completely baseless. No one is discussing whether the sexual act is legitimate in marriage. The question at hand is the representation of the sexual act in pictures. This is obviously condemned by Catholic Morals.

4. Regarding Capitalism or other social-economical systems that may be adopted by societies, we are proud to follow Catholic doctrine on the topic. We only defend Capitalism in the points it is in accordance with Catholic doctrine.


     Cordially,

     TIA correspondence desk.

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Related Topics of Interest


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burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes   Other Moral “Pearls” of Eric Gill

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes   Eric Gill, a Precursor of Vatican II



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