In his latest Quadrant column, the good doctor skewers the weak-kneed, self-flagellating, virtue-signaling response of the father of the Englishman stabbed to death by a convicted Islamic terrorist, who was inexplicably released early from prison.
He would be greatly encouraged in his misapprehension by Mr Merritt’s words in response to the slaughter of his own son, not even having enough sap in him to reprehend or be angry with his killer. This our terrorist would regard as contemptible, as well as a symptom of new-born-kitten levels of helplessness. Mr Merritt is of a people who do not even wish, and therefore do not deserve, to survive. They are not even prepared to take the most obvious measures to prevent themselves from being killed by their enemies.
Excellent. Yes, Chesterton was right about the modern world’s isolated and wild virtues. That is perhaps one if his keenest insights (and he had many). The redeemer complex is real (have seen it in my own heart) and it is rooted in pride – all the virtues become more susceptible to pride when they are isolated from each other. C.S. Lewis wrote that they “swell to madness” in their isolation (from “The Abolition of Man”). What can make mercy and justice kiss? Humility is a good starting place. Chesterton concluded in his own search for the answer that Christianity can. That passage comes from his masterpiece, “Orthodoxy”.
Thank you for the excellent comments, Rebekah. Chesterton had a genius for understanding human nature and how the Christian ethos fits perfectly with our fallen, flawed nature.
I found the following two Chesterton quotes that relate (in my mind at least) to the main topic in this Dalrymple article:
“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”
“Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference which is an elegant name for ignorance. Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid. Do not be so open-minded that your brains fall out.”
By the way, that is a very clever shirt that you are sporting in your avatar. If you have a link for where it can be purchased, please let us know. Thank you. Cheers.
“Those underrate Christianity who say that it discovered mercy; any one might discover mercy. In fact, everyone did. But to discover a plan for being merciful and also severe— that was to anticipate a strange need of human nature. For no one wants to be forgiven for a big sin as if it were a little one.”
Haha! It’s fun, isn’t it? I purchased the shirt at a conference of the American Chesterton Society. I don’t think they sell it from their website but others have found it online elsewhere.
Those are also excellent quotes. Trees have no dogmas. Turnips are singularly broad-minded …. another favorite like your second.
One reason I enjoy reading Dalrymple is that he reminds me of GKC in many ways, though I don’t think he has the latter’s joy.
Not yet, at least. I’d love to argue with him about the Ontological Argument (one of my favorites).