The Prince William-Manassas Family Alliance‘s blog has run a series of posts on Heretics by G. K. Chesterton. When I was reading Chesterton’s work, I experienced something of a revelation I think worth sharing. In Chapter 12, Chesterton writes On Certain Modern Writers and the Institution of the Family. He asks us to think about the family as a small community.
The family may fairly be considered, one would think, an ultimate human institution. Every one would admit that it has been the main cell and central unit of almost all societies hitherto, except, indeed, such societies as that of Lacedaemon, which went in for “efficiency,” and has, therefore, perished, and left not a trace behind. Christianity, even enormous as was its revolution, did not alter this ancient and savage sanctity; it merely reversed it. It did not deny the trinity of father, mother, and child. It merely read it backwards, making it run child, mother, father. This it called, not the family, but the Holy Family, for many things are made holy by being turned upside down. But some sages of our own decadence have made a serious attack on the family. They have impugned it, as I think wrongly; and its defenders have defended it, and defended it wrongly. The common defence of the family is that, amid the stress and fickleness of life, it is peaceful, pleasant, and at one. But there is another defence of the family which is possible, and to me evident; this defence is that the family is not peaceful and not pleasant and not at one.
It is not fashionable to say much nowadays of the advantages of the small community. We are told that we must go in for large empires and large ideas. There is one advantage, however, in the small state, the city, or the village, which only the wilfully blind can overlook. The man who lives in a small community lives in a much larger world. He knows much more of the fierce varieties and uncompromising divergences of men. The reason is obvious. In a large community we can choose our companions. In a small community our companions are chosen for us. Thus in all extensive and highly civilized societies groups come into existence founded upon what is called sympathy, and shut out the real world more sharply than the gates of a monastery. There is nothing really narrow about the clan; the thing which is really narrow is the clique. The men of the clan live together because they all wear the same tartan or are all descended from the same sacred cow; but in their souls, by the divine luck of things, there will always be more colours than in any tartan. But the men of the clique live together because they have the same kind of soul, and their narrowness is a narrowness of spiritual coherence and contentment, like that which exists in hell. A big society exists in order to form cliques. A big society is a society for the promotion of narrowness. It is a machinery for the purpose of guarding the solitary and sensitive individual from all experience of the bitter and bracing human compromises. It is, in the most literal sense of the words, a society for the prevention of Christian knowledge. (from here)
When we are born, we do not choose our family; our family does not choose us. Instead, we strive to be accepted, and those who love us do accept us — those who have truly learned how to love. Because love is what holds a family together, the family is where most of us learn how to love. And contrary to what we have been taught, because the family is where we learn how to love, the family is where we learn how to appreciate our differences.
In the modern world, too many seek the death of the family and those small communities made up of families. To fully control us, our leaders need to divide us and pit us against against each other. So they encourage us to form what Chesterton called cliques, what we now call identity groups. Through the formation of identity groups we can be divided by race, sex, creed, age, wealth, disability, profession, hobbies, and so forth. Ironically, to sell us on the need for these divisive cliques, our leaders tell us this great lie: because diversity brings us all together, we must divide into a multitude of identity groups. In reality, such willful divisions can only tear us apart.
When we go to the polls on November 4, 2014, what can we do? How can we reverse this abominable trend? We can stop voting for it. With respect to issues important to strengthening the family and our local communities, we can determine where the candidates stand. Then we can vote for those candidates most supportive of families and small communities.
Do you know where the candidates stand? Would you like to know where to start your research?
- Do you live in Prince William County, Virginia? Then check out the PRINCE WILLIAM & MANASSAS FAMILY ALLIANCE VIRGINIA 2014 VOTER GUIDE. That provides information on the congressional races that affect us. In addition, check out The Prince William-Manassas Family Alliance‘s information page on the 2014 ELECTIONS. That page provides additional information, including a list of link to 2014 CHRISTIAN VOTER GUIDES, some of which cover Virginia’s U.S. Senate race.
- If you live elsewhere, then check out ChristianVoterGuide.com.