Chesterton and the Charming Devil

Tod Worner recounts a Chesterton story here.

As a young student Chesterton was friends with a charming, well connected and well off young man. They debated and discussed most everything, and then the conversation went to morality and religion.

Suddenly things went cold…

But in spite of his intelligence, polish and facility with different topics and diverse people, there was something sinister about him. The conversation began when his friend asked Chesterton why he was “becoming orthodox” in his religious worldview. Fully considering this for the first time, Chesterton acknowledged that this was true and further answered,

“I am becoming orthodox because I have come, rightly or wrongly, after stretching my brain till it bursts, to the old belief that heresy is worse even than sin. An error is more menacing than a crime, for an error begets crimes…An Imperialist is worse than a pirate. For an Imperialist keeps a school for pirates…”

“I hate modern doubt because it is dangerous.”

His friend would delicately respond,

“You mean dangerous to morality. I expect you are right. But why do you care about morality?”

It was at this point that Chesterton perceived that something was terribly wrong.

Read Tod’s whole post here…it’s a good one!

About Fr. Dwight Longenecker

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