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Anniversary of G. K. Chesterton's death


Today, June 14, is the 73rd anniversary of the death of the great Catholic writer, G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936). My colleague, Ralph C. Wood, has a wonderful online collection of articles and links about and by Chesterton. You can find it here. The following are some Chesterton quotes. You can find a larger collection here.

"Love means loving the unlovable - or it is no virtue at all." - Heretics, 1905

"A man imagines a happy marriage as a marriage of love; even if he makes fun of marriages that are without love, or feels sorry for lovers who are without marriage." - Chaucer

"Women are the only realists; their whole object in life is to pit their realism against the extravagant, excessive, and occasionally drunken idealism of men." - A Handful of Authors

"The whole pleasure of marriage is that it is a perpetual crisis." - "David Copperfield," Chesterton on Dickens, 1911

"A good man's work is effected by doing what he does, a woman's by being what she is." - Robert Browning

"Women have a thirst for order and beauty as for something physical; there is a strange female power of hating ugliness and waste as good men can only hate sin and bad men virtue." - Chesterton on Dickens

"Marriage is a duel to the death which no man of honour should decline." - Manalive

"The first two facts which a healthy boy or girl feels about sex are these: first that it is beautiful and then that it is dangerous." - ILN 1/9/09

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people." - ILN, 7/16/10

"There are those who hate Christianity and call their hatred an all-embracing love for all religions." - ILN, 1/13/06

"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." - Chapter 5, What's Wrong With The World, 1910

"The truth is, of course, that the curtness of the Ten Commandments is an evidence, not of the gloom and narrowness of a religion, but, on the contrary, of its liberality and humanity. It is shorter to state the things forbidden than the things permitted: precisely because most things are permitted, and only a few things are forbidden." - ILN 1-3-20

"These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own." - ILN 8-11-28

"Puritanism was an honourable mood; it was a noble fad. In other words, it was a highly creditable mistake." - Blake

"Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law, when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice." - ILN 9/11/09

"I say that a man must be certain of his morality for the simple reason that he has to suffer for it." - ILN 8/4/06

"To the humble man, and to the humble man alone, the sun is really a sun; to the humble man, and to the humble man alone, the sea is really a sea." - Heretics, CW I, p128

"Big Business and State Socialism are very much alike, especially Big Business." - G.K.'s Weekly, 4/10/26

"[No society can survive the socialist] fallacy that there is an absolutely unlimited number of inspired officials and an absolutely unlimited amount of money to pay them." - The Debate with Bertrand Russell, BBC Magazine, 11/27/35

"A citizen can hardly distinguish between a tax and a fine, except that the fine is generally much lighter." - ILN, 5/25/31

"Big Business and State Socialism are very much alike, especially Big Business." - G.K.'s Weekly, 4/10/26

"[No society can survive the socialist] fallacy that there is an absolutely unlimited number of inspired officials and an absolutely unlimited amount of money to pay them." - The Debate with Bertrand Russell, BBC Magazine, 11/27/35

"A citizen can hardly distinguish between a tax and a fine, except that the fine is generally much lighter." - ILN, 5/25/31

"Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it." - Autobiography, 1937

(Cross-posted on Return to Rome)

Comments (7)

Thanks for the links, Frank.

"A citizen can hardly distinguish between a tax and a fine, except that the fine is generally much lighter." - ILN, 5/25/31"

Ideas do have consequences. Glib quips on marriage are likely harmless. The consequences of this one have left us debt and a crumbling infrastructure. Its also quite ignorant as fines are highly regressive. Thanks for pointing this one out.

Smart guy.

I think my favorites of these are:

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people." - ILN, 7/16/10

"Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law, when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice." - ILN 9/11/09

Somewhere, I've encountered the statement that "All good comedy ends in a marriage." Was it Chesterton who said that, does anyone know?

A few months ago, in the odd moment between sleep and waking, the thought came to me (expanding on that idea): "The Bible is a comedy. And like all good comedies, it ends with a marriage."

And you can find even more Chesterton quotes at The Hebdomadal Chesterton.

In a long list of brilliant quotes, this can only be taken as a momentary fit of insanity:

"Women are the only realists; their whole object in life is to pit their realism against the extravagant, excessive, and occasionally drunken idealism of men." - A Handful of Authors

"The greatest writer of the twentieth century" Dale Alquist wrote for reasons he goes into. And then there's that great quote from Etienne Gilson. "Chesterton was one of the deepest thinkers to have ever lived, he was deep because he was right."

I think he'll be made a Doctor of the Church. I've asked CS Lewis and GKC to pray for me to God for wisdom and right thinking.

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