Missing the point is a very fine art; and has been carried to something like perfection by politicians and Pressmen to-day. For the point is generally a very sharp point; and is, moreover, sharp at both ends. That is to say that both parties would probably impale themselves in an uncomfortable manner if they did not manage to avoid it altogether. G. K. Chesterton, Utopia of Usurers and other Essays, 1917
In case you were thinking the dishonesty of our press and politicians was something new.
America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance — it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded. – Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
Yeah – and methinks it has only gotten worse.
Cultures spring from religions; ultimately the vital force which maintains any culture is its philosophy, its attitude toward the universe; the decay of a religion involves the decay of the culture corresponding to it – we see that most clearly in the breakdown of Christendom today. The bad work begun at the Reformation is bearing its final fruit in the dissolution of our ancestral doctrines – the very structure of our society is dissolving.
In the place of the old Christian enthusiasms of Europe there came, for a time, the enthusiasm for nationality, the religion of patriotism. But self-worship is not enough, and the forces which are making for the destruction of our culture, notably the Communist propaganda from Moscow, have a likelier future before them than our old-fashioned patriotism.
In Islam there has been no such dissolution of ancestral doctrine – or, at any rate, nothing corresponding to the universal break-up of religion in Europe. The whole spiritual strength of Islam is still present in the masses of Syria and Anatolia, of the East Asian mountains, of Arabia, Egypt and North Africa. – Hilaire Belloc, The Great Heresies, 1938
Our civilization lost it’s religion (Christianity); it substituted patriotism for a while, until that went cold. Then various forms of communism became fashionable and while they still exist, the don’t really call forth any devotion. Islam, however, continues. If you wonder why some children of the West go to join Islam and fight for it, look no further than the fact that we believe in nothing…and Belloc figured this out in 1938, when Islam – as such – was completely decayed and almost entirely under the European thumb. The Muslims believe – you can say they believe wrongly, but they believe…and only those who actually believe in something stronger than Islam will survive.