In dealing with Mr. Blatchford's new book, 'God and My Neighbour', which is the harvest of his Secularist articles in 'The Clarion', there is one matter the clearing up of which must be prefatory to other things. Mr. Blatchford puts it in his preface. That preface he begins by printing in capital letters INFIDEL! And he proceeds, both here and throughout the book, to describe himself as being scowled and shouted at as an infidel, greeted everywhere with shocked faces and wagging heads, with horror, and contumely, and disgust. Now, I imagine that there are people of this kind, and I imagine that there are a great many of them. But they have nothing to do with the serious question. If I wished to fling epithets at Mr. Blatchford the very last epithet I should shout would be 'INFIDEL'. I should shout (at the top of my voice) 'INDIVIDUAL HAMPERED BY A NOBLE CREDULITY TOUCHING THE FINALITY OF CURRENT INTELLECTUAL FASHIONS'. But, the fact that an enormous number of people would confine themselves to a shorter (but not more biting) formula, has nothing at all to do with Christianity. It is simply the result on large masses of men of any long continued and successfully conducted regime. A hundred other instances might be given. For example, Mr. Blatchford is a socialist, and therefore believes, with the vast majority of men, that the corporate State has a right to override the individual will. And if a philosophical anarchist were to come up to Mr. Blatchford and suggest that this old human institution of the State was a bad one, Mr. Blatchford would defend the State, and give good reasons for it. But if the philosophical anarchist were to go up to the first well-dressed man he met in Church Parade, or the first old charwoman he met in Farringdon Street, and attack the State, he would not receive a philosophical defence of that institution; he would simply receive the reply: DYNAMITER! But that does not prove that the State is a superstition. It only proves that the State is a success. It means that it has made men sufficiently at home in it to be able to think of other things. I should much prefer, certainly, that every man should have the controversial philosophy of everything at his fingers ends; just as I should much prefer that everyone should be everlastingly astonished at everything- should be startled at the steady sunlight as at a flash of lightning, and weep with gratitude every morning at the thought that he possessed a nose. But human nature being as it is, capable of fatigue, and Custom being what it is (that is, the Devil), it is not reasonable to expect that the steady routine of a whole civilization, going on for centuries, will leave everyone in the matter of its original principles immoderately excited or highly well-informed. And if Mr. Blatchford ever gets his Socialistic State established, in so far as it is solid, in so far as it is enduring, in so far as it is capable of being lived in, so far it will be taken for granted. And anyone who questions its fundamentals will receive from ordinary people the reply, 'INFIDEL'.
-November 14, 1903, Daily News