The God in the Cave

I’m going to post some things about Christmas that I have found interesting over the years. Feel free to share any that you like!

This sketch of the human story began in a cave; the cave which popular science associates with the cave-man and in which practical discovery has really found archaic drawings of animals. The second half of human history, which was like a new creation of the world, also begins in a cave. There is even a shadow of such a fancy in the fact that animals were again present; for it was a cave used as a stable by the mountaineers of the uplands about Bethlehem; who still drive their cattle into such holes and caverns at night. It was here that a homeless couple had crept underground with the cattle when the doors of the crowded caravanserai had been shut in their faces; and it was here beneath the very feet of the passers-by, in a cellar under the very floor of the world, that Jesus Christ was born. But in that second creation there was indeed something symbolical in the roots of the primeval rock or the horns of the prehistoric herd. God also was a Cave-Man, and had also traced strange shapes of creatures, curiously coloured, upon the wall of the world; but the pictures that he made had come to life.

A mass of legend and literature, which increases and will never end, has repeated and rung the changes on that single paradox; that the hands that had made the sun and stars were too small to reach the huge heads of the cattle. Upon this paradox, we might almost say upon this jest, all the literature of our faith is founded. It is at least like a jest in this, that it is something which the scientific critic cannot see. He laboriously explains the difficulty which we have always defiantly and almost derisively exaggerated; and mildly condemns as improbable something that we have almost madly exalted as incredible; as something that would be much too good to be true, except that it is true. When that contrast between the cosmic creation and the little local infancy has been repeated, reiterated, underlined, emphasised, exulted in, sung, shouted, roared, not to say howled, in a hundred thousand hymns, carols, rhymes, rituals, pictures, poems, and popular sermons, it may be suggested that we hardly need a higher critic to draw our attention to something a little odd about it; especially one of the sort that seems to take a long time to see a joke, even his own joke. But about this contrast and combination of ideas one thing may be said here, because it is relevant to the whole thesis of this book. The sort of modern critic of whom I speak is generally much impressed with the importance of education in life and the importance of psychology in education. That sort of man is never tired of telling us that first impressions fix character by the law of causation; and he will become quite nervous if a child’s visual sense is poisoned by the wrong colours on a golliwog or his nervous system prematurely shaken by a cacophonous rattle. Yet he will think us very narrow-minded, if we say that this is exactly why there really is a difference between being brought up as a Christian and being brought up as a Jew or a Moslem or an atheist. The difference is that every Catholic child has learned from pictures, and even every Protestant child from stories, this incredible combination of contrasted ideas as one of the very first impressions on his mind. It is not merely a theological difference. It is a psychological difference which can outlast any theologies. It really is, as that sort of scientist loves to say about anything, incurable. Any agnostic or atheist whose childhood has known a real Christmas has ever afterwards, whether he likes it or not, an association in his mind between two ideas that most of mankind must regard as remote from each other; the idea of a baby and the idea of unknown strength that sustains the stars. His instincts and imagination can still connect them, when his reason can no longer see the need of the connection; for him there will always be some savour of religion about the mere picture of a mother and a baby; some hint of mercy and softening about the mere mention of the dreadful name of God. But the two ideas are not naturally or necessarily combined. They would not be necessarily combined for an ancient Greek or a Chinaman, even for Aristotle or Confucius. It is no more inevitable to connect God with an infant than to connect gravitation with a kitten. It has been created in our minds by Christmas because we are Christians, because we are psychological Christians even when we are not theological ones. In other words, this combination of ideas has emphatically, in the much disputed phrase, altered human nature. There is really a difference between the man who knows it and the man who does not. It may not be a difference of moral worth, for the Moslem or the Jew might be worthier according to his lights; but it is a plain fact about the crossing of two particular lights, the conjunction of two stars in our particular horoscope. Omnipotence and impotence, or divinity and infancy, do definitely make a sort of epigram which a million repetitions cannot turn into a platitude. It is not unreasonable to call it unique. Bethlehem is emphatically a place where extremes meet. G K Chesterton

10 thoughts on “The God in the Cave

  1. Retired Spook November 30, 2020 / 1:17 pm

    My oldest daughter, who is 51, decided a while back that she no longer believes in God. We’ve only had one conversation about it, probably 4 or 5 years ago, and she asked me how I could believe in something for which there is no scientific proof. I told her that it’s because observation of the natural world makes it harder to believe that it all happened by accident than that there was a master designer that we can’t begin to comprehend. Then I asked her how she could believe in man-made climate change without any scientific proof. She said, “but 97% of scientists agree that man-made climate change is real and an existential threat. No scientists agree that God is real.” My response was that the 97% figure has been refuted many times, but even if it were true, consensus is not scientific proof. And at least a third of American scientists profess a belief in God, so her second assertion is a lie, which she believed also without any proof. In the interest of maintaining a relationship, we agreed to disagree and never discuss it again.

    • Amazona December 1, 2020 / 5:24 pm

      A response I have always liked is “It’s OK if you don’t believe in God, as long as God believes in you”. Another version is “You might not believe in God but God believes in you” but I think the first is a little less confrontational.

      • crewman4238 December 1, 2020 / 5:39 pm

        Amazona shows up and comments disappear. You’re like a one-man wrecking crew, aren’t you. lol

      • Amazona December 1, 2020 / 5:51 pm

        I just got here, you paranoid little doofus.

  2. Amazona December 1, 2020 / 6:00 pm

    Putting a lot of miles on the truck these days, trying to get stocked up for winter. Today was supposed to be a feed run to Montana but it was snowing and even in an F-350 diesel truck the wind actually moved me over a lane a couple of times, so maybe tomorrow….. for now I stopped at my Wyoming place.

    Yesterday morning as I was driving from Wyoming into Colorado I heard a Glenn Beck guest, Philip Kline of the Amistad Project say something so startling that I would like to hear what you guys think of it. (Not whiny-pants crewman, though. Nothing from that corner of the playpen is ever worth looking at.)

    Listen to this—not the whole thing, just skip to 1:30:45, and then see what you think about who Kline identified as the source of many millions of dollars spent on things like election officials, etc. Glenn had guessed it was someone whose name started and ended with “S” and I think he was even more stunned than I.

    • Amazona December 1, 2020 / 6:23 pm

      In September, the Detroit City Council approved a $1 million contract for the staffing firm P.I.E. Management to hire up to 2,000 workers to work the polls and staff the ballot-counting machines at the TCF Center. P.I.E. Management reportedly paid temporary workers at least $50 per hour, far above rates in most rural communities. The lawsuit claims that this money came from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg through the group CTCL, “which paid over $400 million nationwide to Democrat-favoring election officials and municipalities.”

      Let’s not forget this is the same Facebook that deleted the New York Post article on the Hunter Biden laptop and blocked all references to it from anyone. The feeble excuse was that they thought the information had been “hacked” which is stupid, as anyone reading the article could tell how the author got the information.

    • Retired Spook December 1, 2020 / 7:11 pm

      I was listening to Beck at the time. I won’t say I was shocked that it was Mark Zuckerberg, but he wasn’t my first guess. What is stunning is the amount of money invested in this election by big tech. Last spring Beck had a guest on on more than one occasion who talked about how much people in the tech world bragged that they could affect the election by guiding and limited searches and censoring information. IIRC, he estimated the effect could be as much as 15% of the vote.

      • Amazona December 1, 2020 / 8:28 pm

        I’m wondering just how far someone has to go to be guilty of criminally influencing an election, if there is such a law. It seems to me that the combination of covering for Biden plus spending tens of millions of dollars to pay large amounts of money to election officials adds up to some kind of criminal act.

        Clearly it is time to shut down this social media scheme. It appears on the surface to be a harmless tool much beloved by aunties and grannies as well as young people. I am always hearing “I only use it to exchange recipes” or some such silliness, when I know that every action of every family member is posted, often with pictures. People are emotionally dependent on them—“them” being social media in general. And they provide tracking of everyone, which younger people simply accept as normal and don’t find threatening. All of that is bad enough, but learning how they actually control the population is downright scary. And being able to control who becomes president is beyond scary, it is sinister and has to be stopped.

  3. Amazona December 1, 2020 / 8:42 pm

    That sound you hear is the plot thickening:

    An investigation into SEC filings has revealed that the firm which owns Dominion Voting Systems received $400 million dollars from a Swiss bank with close links to the Chinese government less than a month before the election.

    The investigation, conducted by Austin Security and Investigation Solutions, centers on Staple Street Capital, which acquired Dominion Voting Systems in 2018.

    “On Oct 8, 2020, Staple Street Capital filed SEC Form D offerings and sales amount of $400,000,000 with the Sales Compensation Recipient identified as UBS Securities,” states the investigation, which also notes that another payment of $200,000,000 was received in December 2014.

    “UBS Securities is a swiss investment bank which owns 24.99% of UBS Securities Co LTD, a Chinese Investment Bank. The remaining 75% of UBS Securities CO LTD is owned by the Chinese government,” states the report.

    The overall owners of UBS Securities Co LTD are;

    – Beijing Guoxiang (33%)
    – UBS (24.99%)
    – Guangdong Comm. Group [zh] (14.01%)
    – China Guodian (14%)
    – COFCO Group (14%)

    Aside from UBS, the other four owners of UBS Securities are all Communist Chinese front groups.

    Gee, Russia only bought a few Facebook ads.

    And Joe Biden, among his other relationships with China, also got a five million dollar interest free loan from China, evidently with no payback details. That might turn out to be a good investment for China if they manage to pull off this election heist.

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