The Lure of Chesterton

Michael Blowhard has just read "Orthodoxy," which reminds me I should check it out again. Chesterton is the original theocon. Pretheocon, if you like. And like all those who prefer their religion and politics black and white, there's also something inherently infantile about him:

Although Chesterton is constructing arguments, something else emerges from his book too. It's that he finds Christianity fortifying, while he finds the modern pseudo-faiths and philosophies (evolution, Marxism) enervating.

It seems to buck him up to picture the world as a battle between on the one hand negativity and nihilism -- between a devil-like impulse towards meaninglessness -- and, on the other, positivity, clarity, and life (Christianity, Catholicism, faith, tradition). He likes the idea that it's a pitched battle. And he likes fighting on the side of the life-enhancing good guys; it revs him up. Though I find this a little ... well, boyish, I also have to admit that part of the fun of Chesterton's writing generally is that while being such a giant he's yet so in touch with his inner little boy.

Jim Kalb responds here.