Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Today With G. K. Chesterton - The Apostle of Common Sense

Chesterton died in 1936, but his writing is as relevant today as it was 86 years ago.  In 1905 he was invited to write a column in the then famous Illustrated London News (published from 1842 -2003).  He was told he could write about anything except politics and religion to which he answered  there was nothing else worth writing about.  Chesterton observed:

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.

Chesterton went on to write about religion and politics for the next 30 years.

Chesterton was controversial, and still is, because he took the trouble to defend simple, basic truths.  The First Things. The Permanent Things.  In spite of that, the newspapers say, in spite of what the colleges teach, and in spite of what laws the politicians make, most people hold certain basic truths in common.  Chesterton said that the common things are not commonplace; they "are terrible and startling, death, for instance, and first love."  The common things are the basis of common sense.  Chesterton called common sense "that extinct branch of psychology."  In the modern world, common sense and the common man are under constant attack.

(Taken from Alquist, Dale. G. K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense.
Ignatius Press, 2003. pg. 13-14 )


Felisol said...

I knew there was a reason I like Chesterton. Now I have got several..

Annie said...

Dear Elise,

I'm involved in some serious self- study of Chesterton. I had read bits of him but then something changed. I found Chesterton.org and there was so much there; I just dove in. I'll be posting more.