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Chestertonís Stars & Stripes (A different look at America)
CatholicExchange.com ^ | June 26, 2011 | Dr. Paul Kengor

Posted on 06/27/2011 8:20:37 PM PDT by Salvation

Chesterton’s Stars & Stripes

June 27th, 2011 by Dr. Paul Kengor

G. K. Chesterton is a treasure trove of wit and wisdom. Among those unearthing all sorts of gems from Chesterton’s writings is Joseph Pearce, the brilliant British scholar at Ave Maria University in Florida. (Another who continues to do outstanding work on Chesterton is Dale Ahlquist.)

Pearce recently came to Grove City College in Western Pennsylvania, where he offered an intriguing European perspective on America (click here for video). Among the Europeans that Pearce was sure to include was Chesterton—and what he said is fascinating. In my view, it’s as poignant as the richest lines on America from Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville.

Pearce notes that when it came to America, Britain, the West, and Christianity, Chesterton, as usual, was ahead of his time. Chesterton foresaw a faith in rapid decline in Western Europe, and felt it might be left to America to pick up the torch for Christendom. Hilaire Belloc, a friend of Chesterton, famously remarked that Europe is the faith and the faith is Europe. That was true then, but fading fast, as Chesterton sensed.

As a stunning symbol of Chesterton’s thinking, Pearce highlights what he dubs Chesterton’s “salute to the American flag,” a salute signifying Chesterton’s hope that America might become a beacon of Christianity worldwide. Lamenting that “the English have often forgotten the cross on their flag,” Chesterton hoped that “the crossless flag” of the United States “may yet become a symbol of something; by whose stars we are illumined, and by whose stripes we are healed.” (See: G. K. Chesterton, Collected Works, Vol. XXI, Ignatius Press, 1990, p. 591.)

Wow. Think about that line: “by whose stars we are illumined, and by whose stripes we are healed.” Have you ever thought about your flag that way—so Christ-like? G. K. Chesterton did. It’s a stirring interpretation of America and its mission.

America and Europe have gone in opposite directions faith-wise. Despite America’s serious problems—the Death Culture chief among them—the vast majority of Americans remain believers, and Christians, and we provide more missionaries than any country–including to Europe.

As we again mark the birth of America’s founding, may those stars still illumine, and may those stripes still heal.

For Catholic Exchange.com and Ave Maria Radio, I’m Paul Kengor.



TOPICS: Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: american; catholic; chesterton
Wow!

“by whose stars we are illumined, and by whose stripes we are healed.”

1 posted on 06/27/2011 8:20:42 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation

Up with the flag, folks! God bless America!


2 posted on 06/27/2011 8:21:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Jo Nuvark

Chesterton Ping, please.


3 posted on 06/27/2011 8:22:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Great post!


4 posted on 06/27/2011 8:29:35 PM PDT by Bockscar (Thanks to the Freeper dogcaller for this tag line: --Muslims do not immigrate; they colonize--)
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To: Bockscar

It made me want to run outside and hoist my flag.


5 posted on 06/27/2011 8:48:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

That is understandable :)


6 posted on 06/27/2011 8:49:24 PM PDT by Bockscar (Thanks to the Freeper dogcaller for this tag line: --Muslims do not immigrate; they colonize--)
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To: Salvation

Chesterton gets it!


7 posted on 06/27/2011 8:49:42 PM PDT by famousdayandyear
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To: Salvation

Thank you a bunch! I adore Chesterton. I’m just now reading his small treatise on Aquinas.


8 posted on 06/27/2011 10:17:09 PM PDT by baa39 (If you can't take the heat, get out of FR.)
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To: Salvation

WOW is right— I think I will remind others of this come our day remembering our Independence.I sincerely hope and Pray God has preserved for us a very small remnant that we might not all be made to be like Sodom and like unto Gomorrah—for too often I see evidence that Abraham Lincoln was right in his March 30,1863 Proclamation of a day of national fasting humiliation and Prayer We have forgotten God.


9 posted on 06/28/2011 5:49:07 AM PDT by StonyBurk (ring)
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