Friday, December 9, 2011

Thirty Followers!

Welcome to anyone who has started reading recently, and thank you to older readers!

Remember you are all welcome to blog here-- just send a post to and I will put it up as long as it doesn't libel anyone and bears some conceivable relation to Chesterton.

To celebrate, a passage that caught my eye from one of Chesterton's Illustrated London News articles (for October 10, 1908, as it happens):

As a matter of intellect and conviction I believe in one religion; but, as a matter of fancy and sympathy I can believe in any number. Charles Lamb said that he could read any books, not counting books that were not books-- such as works of history, science, philosophy and politics. So I say that I can feel a sympathy with any religion that is a religion; I don't count the Higher Pantheism or the Newest Theosophy or the Christianity of Tolstoy. I mean really jolly religions, where you do something-- bang on a gong or attempt to worship a bear.

People who want religion without ritual, ceremony and all the trappings such as robes and mitre that seem to offend their egalitartian sympathies so much, seem to me rather like people who want Christmas without turkey, baubles, tinsel or gifts. Of course, the analogy is not perfect-- but don't these people see how miserable they are being? The bishop wears his robes for our benefit, not for his own. The treasures of the Vatican are for the benefit of the pilgrims who have scraped and saved to make the pious trip, not for the sake of the curia, on whom the novelty must have worn off to some degree.

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