The Mike Church Show World HQ
The Mike Church Show World HQ

Chesterton Crushes H. L. Mencken

This wonderful prayer guide to honor the Holy Souls in Purgatory is a convenient size to carry on your person and refer to often.
This wonderful prayer guide to honor the Holy Souls in Purgatory is a convenient size to carry on your person and refer to often.

Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript“Chesterton had written that these emerging “non-profit charities” that were beginning to be formed in his day, that they weren’t really charities, that they were destroying the Christian meaning of the term charity.  It’s part of the trinity of faith: faith, hope, charity.  People that were performing “service” – that’s what they were calling it – were not performing a service.  It was a dubious service.”  Check out today’s transcript for the rest….

Begin Mike Church Show Transcript

Mike:  You’re not even using critical in the proper manner.  Only Chesterton could write this.  It’s just brilliant.  Chesterton had written that these emerging “non-profit charities” that were beginning to be formed in his day, that they weren’t really charities, that they were destroying the Christian meaning of the term charity.  It’s part of the trinity of faith: faith, hope, charity.  People that were performing “service” – that’s what they were calling it – were not performing a service.  It was a dubious service.  Chesterton wrote about it.  H. L. Mencken didn’t like this.  He thought that the Christian use of the term charity had expired.  He criticized Chesterton publicly.  This is Chesterton’s response.  Now that we know what started the controversy, it’ll make this a little more meaningful when you listen to part of his public answer to Mencken.

[reading]

What is the matter with the cult of Service is that, like so many modern notions, it is an idolatry of the intermediate, to the oblivion of the ultimate.

[end reading]

Mike:  I don’t even have to read any more of that.  I can think about that sentence for the rest of the day.  Remember, when we pursue ultimate causes and ultimate purposes, we’re thinking correctly.  Intermediate thinking is material thinking; ultimate thinking is spiritual thinking.  It is directed towards the eternal, which we will spend, all of us will spend and will be part of.  Whether you’re a part of it in Hell or Heaven is what we work out here in the short amount of time that God accords us in this miserable life.  Back to Chesterton:

[reading]

It is like the jargon of the idiots who talk about Efficiency without any criticism of Effect. The sin of Service is the sin of Satan: that of trying to be first where it can only be second. A word like Service has stolen the sacred capital letter from the thing which it was once supposed to serve. [Mike: When he says that, he means the capital letter C, Charity.] There is a sense in serving God, and an even more disputed sense in service man; but there is no sense in serving Service. To serve God is at least to serve an ideal being. Even if he were an imaginary being, he would still be an ideal being. That ideal has definite and even dogmatic attributes—truth, justice, pity, purity, and the rest. To serve it, however imperfectly, is to serve a particular concept of perfection.

HL Mencken[end reading]

Mike:  Think about that sentence for just a moment.  Ponder that.  That’s why Chesterton, for us remnants, for those that are trying to learn how to think properly about things, philosophically about things, Chesterton is essential reading, not optional, essential.

FOLKS, a message from Mike – The Project 76 features, Church Doctrine videos and everything else on this site are supported by YOU. We have over 70, of my personally designed, written, produced and directed products for sale in the Founders Tradin’ Post, 24/7,  here. You can also support our efforts with a Founders Pass membership granting total access to years of My work for just .17 cents per day. Thanks for 17 years of mike church.com! – Mike

[reading]

Even if he were an imaginary being, he would still be an ideal being. That ideal has definite and even dogmatic attributes—truth, justice, pity, purity, and the rest. To serve it, however imperfectly, is to serve a particular concept of perfection. But the man who rushes down the street waving his arms and wanting something or somebody to serve, will probably fall into the first bucket-shop or den of thieves and usurers, and be found industriously serving them. There arises the horrible idea that industry, reliability, punctuality, and business activity are good things; that mere readiness to serve the powers of this world is a Christian virtue. That is the case against Service, as distinct from the curse against Service, so heartily and inspiringly hurled by Mr. Mencken. But the serious case cannot be stated without once more raising the real question of whether mankind ought to serve anything; and of whether they had not better try to define what they intend to serve. All these silly words like Service and Efficiency and Practicality and the rest fail because they worship the means and not the end. But it all comes back to whether we do propose to worship the end; and preferably the right end.

[end reading]

End Mike Church Show Transcript

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