The title of this post is that of a book by the late Fr Eric D'Arcy, a gifted De La Sallean alumnus, the popularity of which amongst seminarians has no doubt fallen into desuetude. It deals in part with those things that fall between Caesar and Spirit, issues such as abortion, sterilisation, homosexuality and euthanasia. Traditionally as a society we recognised the primacy of individual conscience in such matters; Catholic surgeons were encouraged to make arrangements in the operating theatre to let someone else snip the vas deferens or excise the ovary, orthodox social workers were excused from counselling pregnant teens and so on.
It was the rise of liberalism, and not just the liberalism of the left, that abrogated wholly to the State those matters which previously had been regarded as within the realm of individual conscience. In the black Rousseau-esque world of the secular State, there is no room for personal liberty, no place for faith, and in that grey area in which the duty owed to Caesar and that owed to the self overlap, the State says that Caesar's interests must be paramount. But conscience is a quality interior to man, and whatever powers the State has over our mortal bodies, here is a place the power of the State cannot reach.
Neither is there room in faith for moral relativity, the scourge of our age and the cancer that eats at the Anglican church. The teaching of the Church must be a matter of moral absolutes or it is meaningless.
And when our interior, personal conscience and the teaching of the Church both together ajudge an act or course of action as morally wrong, there is no legitimate temporal authority on the Earth that can compel us to disregard the scintilla conscientiae, the spark of conscience.
As I have written previously, no Christian need be under any obligation to heed the assumptions behind Equalities or other legislation in so far as this violates the sanctity of individual conscience and Christian faith; being true to one's conscience is the prime duty we owe to our interior selves, and this is not a realm where Caesar has any authority.
And before those of you who are driven to do so leave vituperative comments, I would ask you to consider that I'm not seeking to compel or regulate your behaviour or beliefs, merely for the freedom for each individual to do so for themselves.