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G. K. Chesterton quotes page 1

29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936; Gilbert Keith Chesterton, or G.K. Chesterton as he was more commonly known, was a journalist, philosopher, biographer and dramatist who was well known in England at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. He is commonly known as the "prince of paradox" and a famed biography of Chesterton from Time magazine noted that he preferred to take popular sayings and "turn them inside out" to make his point come across. He would frequently use Father Brown, a character he had invented in his writing. Father Brown would act as a detective and perform apologetics in his writing. His two most popular writings were The Everlasting Man and Orthodoxy which found great appeal even amongst those that disagreed with Chesterton on political or religious grounds. While G.K. Chesterton would frequently speak out against conservatism and progressivism he would often write about his affiliation with "orthodox" Christianity or Catholicism. Later in life he would convert to Catholicism, abandoning his previous association with High Church Anglicanism. In addition to writing about religion, Chesterton would frequently engage in debate with well-known writers at the time - including Clarence Darrow, Bertrand Russell and H. G. Wells. The most well-known and ongoing debate that Chesterton would hold was with George Bernard Shaw who was claimed to see Chesterton as his "friendly enemy," constantly arguing with Chesterton, but acknowledging his "genius" as well. Toward the end of his life, Chesterton would also give radio talks, preparing and performing as many as 40 each year. He would often do imitations of characters and would keep his wife or secretary sitting nearby when giving his talks to help keep the tone intimate. Many speculate that the popularity of these talks would have caused Chesterton to rise as an authority on the BBC network had he not passed away in 1936.

There are a good many fools who call me a friend, and also a good many friends who call
me a fool.
G. K. Chesterton

The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.
G. K. Chesterton

An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.
An adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.
G. K. Chesterton

Children are innocent and love justice, while most adults are wicked and prefer mercy.
G. K. Chesterton

Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people
seriously.
G. K. Chesterton

Just going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage
makes you a car.
G. K. Chesterton

I believe in getting into hot water; it keeps you clean.
G. K. Chesterton

The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because
generally they are the same people.
G. K. Chesterton

All men can be criminals, if tempted. All men can be heroes, if inspired.
G. K. Chesterton

The word "good" has many meanings. For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at
a range of five hundred yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man.
G. K. Chesterton

If there were no God, there would be no atheists.
G. K. Chesterton

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.
G. K. Chesterton

Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel.
G. K. Chesterton

Love is not blind - that is the last thing that it is. Love is bound. And the more it is bound the
less it is blind.
G. K. Chesterton

Do not be so open-minded that your brains fall out.
G. K. Chesterton

I regard golf as an expensive way of playing marbles.
G. K. Chesterton

Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they
tell us that dragons can be beaten.
G. K. Chesterton

I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that
falls on them unless they act.
G. K. Chesterton

Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.
G. K. Chesterton

The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a
new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a
particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts
afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.
G. K. Chesterton

A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its
author.
G. K. Chesterton

If seeds in the black earth can turn into such beautiful roses, what might not the heart of man
become in its long journey toward the stars?
G. K. Chesterton

The first two facts which a healthy boy or girl feels about sex are these: First that it is
beautiful and then that it is dangerous.
G. K. Chesterton

Men always talk about the most important things to total strangers. It is because in the total
stranger we perceive man himself; the image of God is not disguised by resemblances to an
uncle or doubts of the wisdom of a moustache. Truths turn into dogmas the instant that they
are disputed. Thus every man who utters a doubt defines a religion.
G. K. Chesterton

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own
heresy.
G. K. Chesterton

There is more simplicity in the man who eats caviar on impulse than in the man who eats
Grape-Nuts on principle.
G. K. Chesterton

There is one thing which gives radiance to everything. It is the idea of something around the
corner.
G. K. Chesterton

Thinking in isolation and with pride ends in being an idiot.
G. K. Chesterton

The word "heresy" not only means no longer being wrong; it practically means being
clear-headed and courageous. The word "orthodoxy" not only no longer means being right; it
practically means being wrong. All this can mean one thing, and one thing only. It means that
people care less for whether they are philosophically right.
G. K. Chesterton

We are all in the same boat, in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.
G. K. Chesterton

Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist.
G. K. Chesterton

No animal ever invented anything as bad as drunkenness – or so good as drink.
G. K. Chesterton

Earnest freethinkers need not worry themselves so much about the persecutions of the past.
Before the liberal idea is dead or triumphant we shall see wars and persecutions the like of
which the world has never seen.
G. K. Chesterton

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