“The very fact that in World War II we chose to fight in alliance with one form of totalitarianism against the other two forms, though all were intrinsically wicked, proves not only the basic sympathy between Western materialism and communism but also the grave mistake of trying to drive the Devil out with Beelzebub.”
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
The start of a new series. In this set of posts we will take a look at truly foolish things said by people I generally admire. First up, this gem from Bishop Sheen.
The idea that we chose to have the Soviet Union as an ally in the Second World War is a doozy. Hitler made the choice when he invaded the Soviet Union. If Bishop Sheen had then wanted us to be at war with both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, he would have had to have been content with Western casualty totals probably five times what they turned out to be, and his proposed course of action would have required the existence of Western leaders capable of explaining to puzzled populations why their nations were going to war with the Soviet Union that was holding down 80% of the Wehrmacht. Such a policy would probably have resulted in an eventual renewal of the alliance between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany and led to a conflict that the Western Allies could not have won without resort to nuclear weapons, something that Bishop Sheen of course opposed.
At the end of the War we could of course have launched a new war to drive the Soviet Union out of Eastern Europe. With the exception of General Patton, there was zero appetite among the Western Allies for a new conflict after the vast blood letting that had wrecked most of Europe. I doubt if Bishop Sheen would have supported such a conflict for long, due to his coming out against the Vietnam War in 67. When the going got tough geo-politically, Bishop Sheen tended to hit the road.
That any of this has anything to do with a basic sympathy between Western materialism and Communism is false and it was sophistical of Bishop Sheen to argue the contrary. Any man, no matter how brilliant, can have an off day, and this quote is a prime example.