Religion and Faith

Theology is only thought applied to religion. – G. K. Chesterton, “The Groups of the City,” The New Jerusalem

Atheism is indeed the most daring of all dogmas . . . for it is the assertion of a universal negative.” – G. K. Chesterton, “Charles II,” Twelve Types

"One of the chief uses of religion is that it makes us remember our coming from darkness, the simple fact that we are created." - The Boston Sunday Post, 1/16/21

"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

"If there were no God, there would be no atheists." - Where All Roads Lead, 1922

"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 riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man." -Introduction to the Book of Job, 1907

"It has been often said, very truly, that religion is the thing that makes the ordinary man feel extraordinary; it is an equally important truth that religion is the thing that makes the extraordinary man feel ordinary." - Charles Dickens

"Theology is only thought applied to religion." - The New Jerusalem

"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."

Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God. – G. K. Chesterton

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. – G. K. Chesterton, “The Shadow of the Sword,” Autobiography

Morality and Truth

"Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable." - ILN, 10/23/09

"It's not that we don't have enough scoundrels to curse; it's that we don't have enough good men to curse them." - ILN, 3/14/08

"There is a case for telling the truth; there is a case for avoiding the scandal; but there is no possible defense for the man who tells the scandal, but does not tell the truth." - ILN, 7/18/08

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - ILN, 6/11/10

"Truth is sacred—and if you tell the truth too often nobody will believe it." - ILN, 2/24/06

"Civilization has run on ahead of the soul of man, and is producing faster than he can think and give thanks." - Daily News, 2/21/02

"It is not bigotry to be certain we are right, but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong." - The Catholic Church and Conversion

"There'd be a lot less scandal if people didn't idealize sin and pose as sinners." - The Father Brown Omnibus

"All men thirst to confess their crimes more than tired beasts thirst for water, but they naturally object to confessing them while other people, who have also committed the same crimes, sit by and laugh at them." - ILN 3/14/08

"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

"Great truths can only be forgotten and can never be falsified." -ILN 9-30-33

"The voice of the special rebels and prophets, recommending discontent, should, as I have said, sound now and then suddenly, like a trumpet. But the voices of the saints and sages, recommending contentment, should sound unceasingly, like the sea." - T.P.'s Weekly, Christmas Number, 1910

"All science, even the divine science, is a sublime detective story. Only it is not set to detect why a man is dead—but the darker secret of why he is alive." - The Thing. CW. III 191

"Most modern freedom is at root fear. It is not so much that we are too bold to endure rules; it is rather that we are too timid to endure responsibilities." - What's Wrong With the World

"If we want to give poor people soap we must set out deliberately to give them luxuries. If we will not make them rich enough to be clean, then empathically we must do what we did with the saints. We must reverence them for being dirty." - What's Wrong with the World

"The world will very soon be divided, unless I am mistaken, into those who still go on explaining our success, and those somewhat more intelligent who are trying to explain our failure." - Speech to Anglo-Catholic Congress 6-29-20

"What we call emancipation is always and of necessity simply the free choice of the soul between one set of limitations and another." - Daily News12-21-05

"There are some desires that are not desirable." - Orthodoxy

"In the struggle for existence, it is only on those who hang on for ten minutes after all is hopeless, that hope begins to dawn." - The Speaker 2-2-01

"Modern broad-mindedness benefits the rich—and benefits nobody else." - "The Church of the Servile State"

"An open mind is like an open mouth: its purpose is to bite on something nourishing. Otherwise, it becomes like a sewer, accepting everything, rejecting nothing."

A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it. – G. K. Chesterton, “The Five Deaths of the Faith,” The Everlasting Man

A strange fanaticism fills our time: the fanatical hatred of morality, especially of Christian morality. – G. K. Chesterton, “The Moral Philosophy of Meredith,” A Handful of Authors

Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.– G. K. Chesterton

There are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands. – G. K. Chesterton

There is a case for telling the truth; there is a case for avoiding the scandal; but there is no possible defense for the man who tells the scandal, but does not tell the truth – G. K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News, July 18, 1908

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it. – G. K. Chesterton, “The War of the Usurpers,” A Short History of England

Bigotry is an incapacity to conceive seriously the alternative to a proposition. – G. K. Chesterton, “The Bigot,” Lunacy and Letters

Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. – G. K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News, April 19, 1930

Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance. – G. K. Chesterton, The Speaker, Dec. 15, 1900

The free man is not he who thinks all opinions equally true or false; that is not freedom but feeble-mindedness. The free man is he who sees the errors as clearly as he sees the truth. – G. K. Chesterton

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. – G. K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News,Jan. 3, 1920

The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice. – G. K. Chesterton,Illustrated London News, June 11, 1910

Miscellaneous

"It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can." - The Coloured Lands

A citizen can hardly distinguish between a tax and a fine, except that the fine is generally much lighter. – G. K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News, May 25, 1931

The decay of society is praised by artists as the decay of a corpse is praised by worms. – G. K. Chesterton, “The Progressive,” George Bernard Shaw

The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right. – G. K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News, Oct. 28, 1922