Sunday, December 23, 2012

"We do not really want a religion that is right where we are right. What we want is a religion that is right where we are wrong."

Chesterton explains one of the chiefest reasons I became a Catholic, even though I did not originally agree with several aspects of Church teaching (e.g. on contraception, prohibition of homosexual acts, opposition to capital punishment, abortion for fetal deformity, among others).

I wanted to learn, not to teach. I listened carefully, and tried to understand, and I fell in love with the wisdom of the Church.

Chesterton as usual gets it right.

We do not really want a religion that is right where we are right. What we want is a religion that is right where we are wrong. In these current fashions it is not really a question of the religion allowing us liberty; but (at the best) of the liberty of allowing us a religion. These people merely take the modern mood, with much in it that is amiable and much that is anarchical and much that is merely dull and obvious, and then require any creed to be cut down to fit that mood. But the mood would exist even without the creed. They say they want a religion to be practical, when they would be practical without any religion. They say they want a religion acceptable to science, when they would accept the science even if they did not accept the religion. They say they want a religion like this because they are like this already. They say they want it, when they mean that they could do without it.” 
—G.K. Chesterton
HT: Anchoress 


  1. '(O)me of the chiefest reasons...' I've never come across this use of the word 'chief' before. 'Chiefest' is the superlative of 'chief'. You can only have one superlative. So 'one of the chiefest...' Is redundant. It's either 'the chiefest reason' or better the simpler 'the main chief reason...' me a pedant, if you will.

    Anyway, how do you know that the Church is right and you're wrong? You as a human developed your own beliefs. Humans within the church developed the church's position on such topics as contraception and abortion for fetal defects. How do you know that their human judgement is more infallible than yours?

  2. Yes, the Roman denomination is right about some important things, such as abortion. But, it is also obstinately wrong about other things, such as contraception (*) and captial punishment (**) ... and about saints, especially Mary (***).

    (*) The use of contraceptives (being distinct from abortifacients) is not immoral. That they may be unwisely used does not make contraception immoral -- you know, as with guns and automobiles.

    (**) Capital punishment is one of the (many) things about which, due to the reality of history, the bureaucracy of the present-day Roman denomination tries to have it both ways: to be both for (because of history) and against (because, in their hearts, they are “liberals” and leftists). But, the fact is, just capital punishment is a duty incumbent upon human societies – to *refuse* to execute murderers, even vicious ones, is to compound the injustice done their victims.

    (***) The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is an after-the-fact justification prompted by the endemic Maryolatry of Catholics, which is actively promoted by the bureaucracy … and simultaneously amusingly denied even to exist. AND, the doctrine makes a mockery of Christ’s redemptive work – even aside from that appalling heresy that Mary is our “co-redemptrix”.