Tailor-Made for Evil
Hiding Foul Things with Garments of Legal Fictions by Joshua Hren
Gustave Doré's drawing of Dante's illicit lovers Paolo and Francesca presents us with an eternal inversion of their earthbound, extramarital Eros. For though the two lovers are enclosed in sheets, their infernal consummation is not cloaked: we see the nakedness of their affair, rather than the covers which could lend modesty to their misdeeds. In The Revenge of Conscience, J. Budziszewski notes that "because we can't not know that sex belongs with marriage, when we separate them we cover our guilty knowledge with rationalizations."
Doré's sheets give guilty rationalization physical form, even if they fail to conceal the lovers. At times, though, such rationalizations are threaded through less tangible things. Although, in the words of Aquinas, law ought to be a "dictate of reason" concerning "what should be done to insure the common good," legality can also be a garment by which we try to cover our guilt.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more on literature from the online archives
more from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor