A blog dedicated to providing quotes by and posts relating to one of the most influential (and quotable!) authors of the twentieth century, G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936). If you do not know much about GKC, I suggest visiting the webpage of the American Chesterton Society as well as this wonderful Chesterton Facebook Page by a fellow Chestertonian

I also have created a list detailing examples of the influence of Chesterton if you are interested, that I work on from time to time.

(Moreover, for a list of short GKC quotes, I have created one here, citing the sources)

"...Stevenson had found that the secret of life lies in laughter and humility."

-Heretics (1905)

_____________________

"The Speaker" Articles

A book I published containing 112 pieces Chesterton wrote for the newspaper "The Speaker" at the beginning of his career.

They are also available for free electronically on another blog of mine here, if you wish to read them that way.




Sunday, August 26, 2012

"...what is the matter with Mr. Blatchford and his school is that they are not sceptical enough. For the really bold questions we have to go back to the Christian Fathers."

I have said it before, but it cannot be too often repeated, that what is the matter with Mr. Blatchford and his school is that they are not sceptical enough. For the really bold questions we have to go back to the Christian Fathers.

For example, Mr. Blatchford, in God and My Neighbour, does me the honour to quote from me as follows: “Mr. G.K. Chesterton, in defending Christianity, said, ‘Christianity has committed crimes at which the sun might sicken in Heaven, and no one can refute the statement.’ ” I did say this, and I say it again, but I said something else. I said that every great and useful institution had committed such crimes. And no one can refute that statement.

And why has every great institution been criminal? It is not enough to say “Christians persecuted; down with Christianity,” any more than it is enough to say, “A Confucian stole my hair-brush; down with Confucianism.” We want to know whether the reason for which the Confucian stole the hair-brush was a reason peculiar to the Confucians or a reason common to many other men.

It is obvious that the Christian’s reason for torturing was a reason common to hosts of other men; it was simply the fact that he held his views strongly and tried unscrupulously to make them prevail. Any other man might hold any other views strongly and try unscrupulously to make them prevail. And when we look at the facts we find, as I say, that millions of other men do, and have done so from the beginning of the world....

If only Mr. Blatchford would ask the real question. It is not, “Why is Christianity so bad when it claims to be so good? The real question is, “Why are all human things so bad when they claim to be so good?” Why is not the most noble scheme a guarantee against corruption? If [Blatchford] will boldly pursue this question, will really leave delusions behind and walk across the godless waste, alone, he will come at last to a strange place. His sceptical pilgrimage will end at a place where Christianity begins.

Chrisitanity begins with the wickedness of the Inquisition. Only it adds the wickedness of the English Liberals, Tories, Socialists, and county magistrates. It begins with a strange thing running across human history. This it calls Sin, or the Fall of Man.

If ever I wish to expound it further, Mr. Blatchford’s list of Christian crimes will be a most valuable compilation. In brief, however, Mr. Blatchford sees the sins of historic Christianity rise before him like a great tower. It is a star-defying Tower of Babel, lifting itself alone into the sky, affronting God in Heaven. Let him climb up it for a few years. When he is near to its tremendous top, he will find that it is one of the nine hundred and ninety-nine columns which support the pedestal of the ancient Christian philosophy.

-"The Eternal Heroism of the Slums" (1904), The Blatchford Controversies

No comments: