I see the breaking of the barriers…



In 1914, G. K. Chesterton wrote what one critic called a novel of “great anger and high mirth”.  What was its subject matter?  Ostensibly, it was about prohibition.  But the driving force behind that change, is the disenchantment of the ruling and upper classes with Christianity.  And what do they replace it with?  A growing love of anything Islamic leading to the Islamization of England – which includes the prohibition on alcohol.

There is a new video circulating the Internet concerned with that very subject – The Islamization of the West.  Its disturbing images of streets being blocked off from ordinary citizens by massive groups of Muslims protected by private security, unhindered by the police, is indeed something that smacks of what Chesterton was warning about in his novel.

What could be behind such a political turn in the policies of the State?  Chesterton uses the character of Lord Ivywood to illustrate the state of mind of one who would turn to such ideas:

“Joan,” he said, “I would walk where no man has walked; and find something beyond tears and laughter. My road shall be my road indeed; for I will make it, like the Romans. And my adventures shall not be in the hedges and the gutters, but in the borders of the ever advancing brain. I will think what was unthinkable until I thought it; I will love what never lived until I loved it–I will be as lonely as the First Man.”

“They say,” she said, after a silence, “that the first man fell.”

“You mean the priests?” he answered. “Yes, but even they admit that he discovered good and evil. So are these artists trying to discover some distinction that is still dark to us.”

“Oh,” said Joan, looking at him with a real and unusual interest, “then you don’t _see_ anything in the pictures, yourself?”

“I see the breaking of the barriers,” he answered,”beyond that I see nothing.”

She looked at the floor for a little time and traced patterns with her parasol, like one who has really received food for thought. Then she said, suddenly,

“But perhaps the breaking of barriers might be the breaking of everything.”

The clear and colourless eyes looked at her quite steadily.

“Perhaps,” said Lord Ivywood.”

Read The Flying Inn: The Flying Inn

Read the lecture: The Flying Inn

William Kilpatrick: Chesterton’s Islamic England



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