Chesterton Sightings

Where you can report references to The Big Man from your daily life of talking, reading, listening, etc.


10 thoughts on “Chesterton Sightings

  1. Am reading “Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assasination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism”. In discussing the connections between JFK’s and A. Lincoln’s funeral he quotes Whitman and compares the grieving that went on for Lincoln’s death to “…an extended revival, mixing politics with religious themes …”. He then references GKC’s observation that “The United States is a nation with the soul of a church.” The author, James Piereson, then concludes the section with “If this is true, or if it was once true, it was Lincol who was instrumental in making it so.”

  2. Turned on Rush Limbaugh on my way back to the office about 1:45 today on KMOX. Just caught him mentioning G. K. Chesterton and paraphrasing the adage about how the person who stops believing in God will believe in anything. He was discussing the religion of global warming when he made reference to The Big Man.

  3. In the 10/14/07 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Kevin Horrigan wrote a column titled “Mega-America”. He starts out with discussing his Dad (aka The Old Man) and times gone by, moves to beer and on to “church”. His experience was with a evangelical mega-church in the north Chicago suburbs.
    As he listened to the sermon, he thought of GKC writing about “The Christian ideal … left untried.”
    Read it for yourself at “” and click on columnists and then Kevin Horrigan and then come back to give us your reaction.

  4. In the October 22 issue of National Review James E. Person Jr. reviews a new book about Robert Frost by Peter J. Stanlis. In discussing the book (which is reviewed favorably), Person writes:
    “Far from viewing the state of humanity as a puzzle to be solved – how best to liberate mankind from one constrait or another in order to enter a brave new world – Frost’s thought took into acount the unique, dual nature of man, ‘with his strange and wicked and yet half-heroic heart’ in the words of Chesterton’s Father Brown.”

  5. On Wednesday the 24th, there was a TV show that ended at 9 PM on one of the three broadcast networks; some kind of crime drama. I was not watching it but my wife Lisa informed me that in the closing part of the show a character referenced G. K. Chesterton. The comment was about how fairy tales teach us that dragons can be slayed. I haven’t researched it yet to find what show it may have been- any one out there happen to be watching?
    11/12/07: Please see below for more information from the American Chesterton Society blog.

    1. sounds like Criminal Minds, usually at the begin or end of each episode, they have a quote from anyone from Socrates to Augustine to William James,
      and I think I remember hearing the GKC quote once

  6. Defending tradition in a Church where sex differences still matter


    Colleen Carroll Campbell

    Tradition, according to Catholic writer G. K. Chesterton, “means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead.”

    The above is from the 11/15/07 column taken from the website. You can read the whole column there. I would just add that Chesterton was not a Catholic when he wrote the above, but that it is one of my favorite observations from the Big Man (along with about a thousand others!).

  7. In the National Review issue of April 7 James E. Person Jr. reviews “Sanctifying the World: The Augustinian Life & Mind of Christopher Dawson” by Bradley J. Birzer. In it Person writes:
    “Born into a devout Anglican household and educated at Oxford, Dawson was a child of the late afternoon of Queen Victoria’s reign. The era was described by Chesterton as the time of the ‘the break-up of the compromise,’ a period when secularism, industrialism and scientism largely overthrew Europe’s lingering culture of Christian faith that had long held at bay the naturalist claims of Darwin and Comte.”
    I have heard of Dawson for quite some time, but have not read anything of his that I can recall. Person connects him to Russell Kirk (reading his book “The Conservative Mind” was a significant event for me) and T.S. Eliot (whose poetry I have not seriously read). Person also identifies Dawson as a traditionalist and Roman Catholic layman who has been strangely forgotten since Vatican II. Does this description fit anyone else?

  8. Am re-reading Peter Kreeft’s “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Heaven… But Never Dreamed Of Asking”. In Chapter 2, he addresses the question :Do Ghosts Come From Heaven? In answering he speculates that there are probably three types of ghosts and concludes his answer by quoting GKC (in Orthodoxy) about the empirical evidence of an old apple woman. Not to believe this evidence, Kreft concludes would be “A most undemocratic and unscientific prejudice”. In another question; Is Heaven Funny or Serious?, he again borrows from Orthodoxy in saying “…in Heaven, humor is high seriousness. It is the inner secret of God and the blessed”.

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