In the current issue of First Things, Joseph Bottum writes:
In 1948, as he completed his draft of the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Canadian law professor John Humphrey went home and noted in his diary that what had been achieved was “something like the Christian morality without the tommyrot.”
That seems a nearly perfect phrase: Christian morality without the tommyrot. Humphrey meant, of course, all the unnecessary accretions of prayer and miracles and faith and sacraments and chapels. But the phrase might be the motto of all who answer surveys by saying they are “spiritual, but not religious.” It might be the motto of all who have a vague and unspoken—indeed, unspeakable—feeling that it is somehow more Christian not to be a Christian.
Questionis disputanda: how is it possible, or how is it impossible, to adhere to the morality on display in the Universal Declaration without “the tommyrot”?