Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A Palate Cleanser from G. K. Chesterton

My father was a convert to Catholicism. I have the same name that both my father and my grandfather had -- and as far as that goes my son has the same name as well, but I have repeated told him that as soon as we get this "Gilbert Hunt Bailie" right we can quit this nonsense.

Anyway, since my father was a convert, and despite the fact that his father was Gilbert Hunt Bailie too, I fancy the idea that one factor in his decision to continue the Bailie family assault on individuality by naming his son, yet again, GHB was that he was fond of Gilbert Keith Chesterton. He (my father) got himself bombed by the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge, so I never got to ask him. I'm told that he (my father, who never laid eyes on me -- he was off fighting the Germans who eventually bombed him to death) had a great sense of humor, and anyone with a great sense of humor must have one of England's greatest converts, Gilbert K. Chesterton, as an unofficial patron saint.

All of which is my excuse for quoting this typically Chestertonian bon mot, which is not entirely irrelevant to this weblog's recent dust-up:
If our aunts ought to have been able to hear of immorality without fainting, surely our nephews might brace themselves to hear about morality without throwing an epileptic fit.

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