Chesterton

American Catholics Must Stand with Hong Kong

The autonomous territory of Hong Kong is in a fight for its life. For over two months, the citizens of Hong Kong have persisted in protesting an attempt by the Hong Kong chief executive to impose an amendment to the existing extradition laws that would allow the Chinese government to take suspects from Hong Kong [...]

The Desires of Man

At the beginning of each academic year, we talk of a desire to learn. We think we have developed institutions that facilitate this learning. True, we question the cost of a university education. Many students end with significant debts; jobs are often scarce. Many do not actually learn much in college, especially about the important [...]

Who Dares Attack My Chesterton?

It is a cliché of pop psychology that we are least able to tolerate people who remind us of our own selves. There’s only room for one Life of the Party and we feel a twinge of antagonism toward anyone whose excellence threatens to outshine our own. I was reminded of this when I read [...]

The Lost Art of Catholic Drinking

There is Protestant drinking and there is Catholic drinking, and the difference is more than mere quantity. I have no scientific data to back up my claims, nor have I completed any formal studies. But I have done a good bit of, shall we say, informal study, which for a hypothesis like this is probably [...]

Sense and Nonsense: Extraordinary Enough To Be Exciting

In his Autobiography, G.K. Chesterton, who as he tells us was in despair as a young man, decided finally that he had had enough of this pessimistic thought and had decided to revolt against it. He found very little help from the standard sources, he recalled: But as I was still thinking the thing out by [...]

Sense and Nonsense: The Partisans of Excellence

In an old Peanuts sketch, from a book Scott Walter once gave me, Linus and Charlie Brown are seen walking across the countryside. Linus says to Charlie, “I have a theological question. . . .” Next, they are seen, caps on, leaning on a stone fence, as Linus continues: “When you die and go to [...]

Sense and Nonsense: Angels

“For who will dare to say or believe that it was not in God’s power to prevent both angels and men from sinning? But God preferred to leave this in their power, and thus to show both what evil could be wrought by their pride, and what good by His grace.” —St. Augustine, City of [...]

Sense and Nonsense: Fighting For Christmas

In G.K. Chesterton's essay, "Dickens and Christmas," we read that "in fighting for Christmas, he [Dickens] was fighting for the old European festival, Pagan and Christian, for that trinity of eating, drinking and praying which to moderns appears irreverent, for the holy day which is really a holiday." What strikes me about this particular passage [...]

Sense and Nonsense: Augustine For the Ages

Book III, Chapter 7 of St. Augustine's Confessions is entitled, marvelously: He Deplores His Wretchedness, That Having Been Born Thirty-Two Years, He Had Not Yet Found Out The Truth. In a culture whose public (oftentimes even ecclesiastical) doctrine, is theoretical "pluralism" — that is, that there is no "truth" but one's own private feelings — [...]

Quodlibets: The Wisdom of Chesterton

Michael Ffinch’s new biography of Gilbert Keith Chesterton (G.K. Chesterton; London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson; 344 pp.) begins by noting that C. S. Lewis had predicted Chesterton would be rediscovered fifty years after his death and that June 14, 1986 brought us to that point. In an obvious sense, Chesterton, like England in Orthodoxy, can only [...]

Sense and Nonsense: The Truest Philosophy

My brother-in-law, Jerry Vertin, in Steven’s Point, Wisconsin, has a collection of Gilbert and Sullivan records. While I visited this summer, I was listening to the Yeoman of the Guard, which came with a printed libretto. In Act I, I came across the following passage of Jack Point: My masters, I pray you bear with [...]

The Cross and the Flag

There is nothing the matter with Americans except their ideals," said Chesterton. "The real American is all right: it is the ideal American who is all wrong." Was that just another of his famous paradoxes? After all, ideals are usually held in high esteem, even while we regret people's failure to live up to them in [...]

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