CHRISTMAS 2008 – A Time for Uncommon Wisdom

Once abolish the God and the government becomes the God.

G.K. Chesterton

The drama of the abrupt and steep decline of our economy, the recent presidential election and the nearly two weeks of intense and isolating storms in the Pacific Northwest seem to have exhausted Oregonians. In a season that should be joyous in the celebration of the birth of the Son of God, it appears, instead, that a veil of malaise has settled on many.

In the face of such depression, it is time for some uncommon wisdom. At the end of the day, such wisdom can relieve the angst of despair and even bring a smile to your face. But most importantly it provides the opportunity to change. Yes, change we can — not a campaign slogan — but a change of heart and mind.

When one seeks uncommon wisdom, no one comes to mind more easily than G.K. Chesterton — the turn of the century (Twentieth Century) author and intellectual. For Christmas 2008 dwell upon the following thoughts:

The Nature of Man

“What embitters the world is not excess of criticism, but an absence of self-criticism.”

“I believe what really happens in history is this: the old man is always wrong; and the young people are always wrong about what is wrong with him. The practical form it takes is this: that, while the old man may stand by some stupid custom, the young man always attacks it with some theory that turns out to be equally stupid.”

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”


“The unconscious democracy of America is a very fine thing. It is a true and deep and instinctive assumption of the equality of citizens, which even voting and elections have not destroyed. “

“Men are ruled, at this minute by the clock, by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern.”

The Media

“For fear of the newspapers politicians are dull, and at last they are too dull even for the newspapers.”

“Modern man is staggering and losing his balance because he is being pelted with little pieces of alleged fact which are native to the newspapers; and, if they turn out not to be facts, that is still more native to newspapers.


“Big Business and State Socialism are very much alike, especially Big Business.”

“A citizen can hardly distinguish between a tax and a fine, except that the fine is generally much lighter.”


“It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.”

[This seems particularly appropriate (in the wake of the recent scandals such as Gov. Eliot Sptizer (N.Y.), Gov. Rod Blagojevich (IL), Congressman William Jefferson (LA), Attorney General Marc Dann (OH)]

“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.”


“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”

“Any one thinking of the Holy Child as born in December would mean by it exactly what we mean by it; that Christ is not merely a summer sun of the prosperous but a winter fire for the unfortunate.”

God Bless you and keep you safe and healthy all of this Christmas Season and for the whole of the New Year.