[Continuing 4th of July celebration from previous:]
Well, by itself, that is hardly news. Chesterton lifted a pen, and he was usually spot on. He is lifting no more pens since his death in 1936, so most occasions or perhaps even all on which he was spot on are already discovered.
The newsworthy thing is a particular new circumstance proving Chesterton was spot on back then. Or if not new, at least newly discovered. Here is the old writing:
As an instance to sharpen the argument, I take the one case of our everlasting education bills. We have actually contrived to invent a new kind of hypocrite. The old hypocrite, Tartuffe or Pecksniff, was a man whose aims were really worldly and practical, while he pretended that they were religious. The new hypocrite is one whose aims are really religious, while he pretends that they are worldly and practical. The Rev. Brown, the Wesleyan minister, sturdily declares that he cares nothing for creeds, but only for education; meanwhile, in truth, the wildest Wesleyanism is tearing his soul. The Rev. Smith, of the Church of England, explains gracefully, with the Oxford manner, that the only question for him is the prosperity and efficiency of the schools; while in truth all the evil passions of a curate are roaring within him. It is a fight of creeds masquerading as policies. I think these reverend gentlemen do themselves wrong; I think they are more pious than they will admit. Theology is not (as some suppose) expunged as an error. It is merely concealed, like a sin. Dr. Clifford really wants a theological atmosphere as much as Lord Halifax; only it is a different one. If Dr. Clifford would ask plainly for Puritanism and Lord Halifax ask plainly for Catholicism, something might be done for them. We are all, one hopes, imaginative enough to recognize the dignity and distinctness of another religion, like Islam or the cult of Apollo. I am quite ready to respect another man’s faith; but it is too much to ask that I should respect his doubt, his worldly hesitations and fictions, his political bargain and make-believe. Most Nonconformists with an instinct for English history could see something poetic and national about the Archbishop of Canterbury as an Archbishop of Canterbury. It is when he does the rational British statesman that they very justifiably get annoyed. Most Anglicans with an eye for pluck and simplicity could admire Dr. Clifford as a Baptist minister. It is when he says that he is simply a citizen that nobody can possibly believe him. But indeed the case is yet more curious than this. The one argument that used to be urged for our creedless vagueness was that at least it saved us from fanaticism. But it does not even do that. On the contrary, it creates and renews fanaticism with a force quite peculiar to itself. This is at once so strange and so true that I will ask the reader’s attention to it with a little more precision.
The new circumstance proving him right is this : in Turkey it seems teaching evolution has recently been forbidden.
In most of Europe it is forbidden to teach (sometimes even in private schools, paid by the parents!) that there is a scientifical alternative to evolution, a bunch of scientific observations and arguments made in support of Creationism or of Genesis 1 to 11.
In US, fairly uniquely, there are states where teaching creation science along evolution is actually allowed.
And even there, there are states where it isn't, in public schools.
This is just one example of how Evolution is a religion. And also an example of how in these days U. S. of America is special in a good way.
Hans Georg Lundahl
St Ulrich of Augsburg
or US Independence Day