G.K. Chesterton

Why Children Should Permit Busy Adults to Read Fairy Tales Aloud During Christmastide

I find that there really are human beings who think fairy tales bad for children. I do not speak of the man in the green tie, for him I can never count truly human. But a lady has written me an earnest letter saying that fairy tales ought not to be taught to children even [...]

Only God Could Tell This Tale

When our children were very young—full of beans and wonder—I would often tell them the story of young Henry, whose mother had wisely packed him a sandwich and apple before sending him and his little dog off to explore a distant and dangerous world. His travels took them as far as the backyard where, encircled [...]

Homesick at Home: A Chestertonian Thanksgiving

“Frances! Come here! Come here at once!” Frances Chesterton started and flew from her half-prepared afternoon tea to the study where she had left her husband reading. With flapping apron and flitting heart, she rushed to see what he could possibly be bellowing about so urgently. His voice had not ceased to call for her [...]

GKC’s The Napoleon of Notting Hill: How to Be a Catholic Lunatic

America stands in need of a new revolution to free itself from the tyranny of bureaucracy and the ensuing slavery of boredom. Such freedom is difficult to depict even in the land of the free, because the United States is losing its identity as the home of the brave. Cowardice, termed “tolerance,” is the marching [...]

When a Man Calls Himself a Chicken

Sanity becomes arguable when insanity becomes attractive. Only a sound mind can assess an unsound mind, and the traditional assessment of insanity is that it is a tragedy. The progressive diagnosis is slightly different. Some forms of insanity pertaining to human identity are now considered wholesome and admirable. This cultural stance of endorsing people who [...]

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Planned Parenthood has been caught selling baby parts and the headlines and talk show hosts are screaming with outrage. But not about that. About a guy who shot a lion in Zimbabwe. It turns out that the guy who shot the lion is a dentist. His office is just down the road from my home [...]

Why I Remain a Catholic

“Something had given him leave to live in the present.”  ~ Walker Percy A friend of mine sent me an email with this subject line: “A challenge for your blogging….” She included Elizabeth Scalia’s invitation to Catholics everywhere in the internet cosmos to write about “Why Do YOU Remain a Catholic”—an invitation itself prompted by [...]

Reactions to the Pope’s Encyclical on Contraception

It is interesting now to look back at the various reactions when the pope issued his encyclical on contraception. I dug up the following, and I think they pretty much speak for themselves. It is hardly necessary to add any comments at all except to say how little things have changed. A leader from an [...]

Easter and Zombies

Zombies have been making the rounds lately. Not real ones, of course, because there are no real ones. It is to their great disadvantage that they do not exist, considering how popular they are. But then, they would have no great advantages in existing, either. While they may experience a certain brute satisfaction, their intellectual [...]

Democracy is Dead

Democracy is dead. I say so not because I have ceased to believe in it. I retain a half guilty affection for that worst of all forms of government, except for most of the rest. I say so because everyone else has ceased to believe in it.
     Yesterday I asked my students what [...]

Chesterton: Patron Saint of Handgunners

During the journey from the place of his wedding to the place of his honeymoon, G.K. Chesterton made a couple of curious shopping stops. It is alleged against me, and with perfect truth, that I stopped on the way to drink a glass of milk in one shop and to buy a revolver with cartridges [...]

Great Political Ideas are Sustained by Great Religious Ideas

I do not normally read the New York Times. No normal person normally does. But every once in a while I make an exception. Which is also a normal thing to do. The article I read astonished me, especially the following passage: America had a great political idea, but it had a small religious idea. [...]

Chesterton’s Islamic England

G.K. Chesterton had a knack for anticipating future trends but when, in his 1914 novel The Flying Inn, he anticipated the Islamization of England, it seemed so far out of the realm of possibility that it was difficult to take it as anything but a flight of fancy. True enough, the book has a whimsical, [...]

The Sarcastic Soul

Every era has its own brand of humor. Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operas were the toast of Victorian London; the Marx Brothers’ buffoonery left 1930s audiences roaring with laughter in their theater seats, and Brian Regan’s honest, contagious humor has entertained us for nearly two decades. Satire, that darker strain of humor, is almost always [...]

The Lighter Side of Suicide

“People rarely joke about suicide.” ~ Dr. Aaron Kheriaty The whole world is mourning Robin Williams. He was a gifted comic; he made people laugh and smile, think and squirm; he shared his talents with the world and the world is better as a result. Williams’ gift for comedy makes it all the more startling [...]

On Doctrinal Questions, Francis Favors Cardinal Müller over Cardinal Kasper

A recent post from Sandro Magister introduces his report on a book-length interview with Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller by asking a question. This is how he poses it: “The prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith refutes the ideas of those who want to permit second marriages with the first spouse still [...]

Why Leisure is the Remedy for Sloth

Summer is ripe with possibilities for activity. More daylight, warm temperatures, and, at least for those who benefit from the break afforded by the academic calendar, more free time. This is an opportunity for many good things, but also can be a perfect petri dish for the germination and growth of sloth in our lives. [...]

Breaking Mad

Many Americans are just getting out of rehab for their addiction to AMC’s taut modern-western crime-drama, Breaking Bad. The expression “breaking bad” is street slang meaning to break loose from the established traces and give in to wildness and wickedness. The series told the tragic, traumatic tale of Walter White, an unassuming high-school chemistry teacher [...]

What is Distributism? A Controversial Alternative to Socialism and Plutocracy

Distributism is the name given to a socio-economic and political creed originally associated with G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. Chesterton bowed to Belloc’s preeminence as a disseminator of the ideas of distributism, declaring Belloc the master in relation to whom he was merely a disciple. “You were the founder and father of this mission,”Chesterton [...]

Meeting Chesterton After His Death

Tomorrow, it will be 78 years since G.K. Chesterton took his last breath on this earth. His death was front page news around the world and was met with an outpouring of spontaneous groans and genuine grief. Thousands of people who had never met Chesterton but who had welcomed him into their homes through his [...]

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