Proof that Chesterton Was Not a Prophet

He was off by 17 years:

We cannot and will not obey the HHS Mandate.

  • Dave

    Well, he did say “ABOUT a hundred years”

    • The Byzantine Bandit

      I was going to say that on facebook!

  • ivan_the_mad

    I still have one of those cards of St. Thomas More from when I lived in that diocese. They kept them in the back of the churches, and this was several years ago!

  • Michelle

    Prophets are not fortune-tellers, they are witnesses. What matters in prophecies is not the literalistic accuracy of minor details like dating, but the essential truth of the testimony. After all, eyewitness testimony is accepted in a court of law even when the witnesses disagree with each other on non-essential detail (in fact, such minor differences in testimony oftentimes is considered proof that the witnesses have not colluded with each other).

    • Kyle

      Come on Michelle…17 years is not a “non-essential detail”. Chesterton clearly had no idea what he was talking about.

      • Mark Shea

        You do realize I’m speaking tongue in cheek, right?

        • Kyle

          Oh yes :) I thought Michelle’s comment was a bit too serious though

          • Kyle

            And now I just read Michelle’s comment below and realized that I too was duped.

  • Andy, Bad Person

    There’s nothing to say that it won’t be worse than it is now in 17 years. In that case, Chesterton will be dead on.

    • Mark Shea

      Hmmm. Touche.

  • Sean P. Dailey

    For those of you disagreeing with Mark, I think he had his tongue planted firmly in his cheek when he posted this.

    • Michelle

      Yes, I know. But confusing prophets with fortune-tellers is a personal pet peeve of mine. So there. ;)

    • Mark Shea


  • Daniel Collins

    Well… He may still be right. Imagine if we fail to stop these people. Right now More is a ‘call to arms’, in 17 years time he may be an example to follow, right into martyrdom. Chesterton may be proved a prophet after all.

    • Ted Seeber

      Somehow, I don’t think it will take 17 years before we start hearing about certain outspoken critics of whoever is in power at the time having their houses hit by “lightning” causing a “gas explosion”.

      • Daniel Collins

        I agree with you Ted, God save us, I agree with you.

  • Rich Fader

    Which begs the question of whether a prophet is false if his prophecy comes true ahead of schedule.

  • John C Wright

    What is this in reference to? I thought I was familiar with most of Chesterton’s work. Are you talking about 17 years ago or 17 years to come?

    • Mark Shea

      I can’t recall. I suspect it has something to do with The Napoleon of Notting Hill, which is set, portentously, in 1984.