family friends neighborsThe 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?


  1. Do you ever get the same feeling I get when I look at the plus and minus markings of the candidates I have to vote for on the sites you recommend? The feeling that I am not really choosing who I want to represent me, I am instead voting to choose the lesser of two evils for the most part.

    Regards and good will blogging.


    1. Think about the outrageous promises politicians sometimes make. Didn’t Obama pass himself off as some sort of savior? And what do too many Republicans do? They make it sound like they can fix the economy, save us from poverty, lower the crime rate, and educate us. Except for dealing with crime, the government doesn’t have any real responsibility for any of those things.

      We make the economy work by working. All our government can do is provide laws and regulations designed to keep us from robbing and cheating each other.

      As individuals and participants in non-profits, we are suppose to help the poor. All our government will do is take our money and buy votes.

      The notion of government-run education is simply absurd. Why would we want to use a Socialist education system to teach our children how to operate in a capitalist economic system? Why would we want to trust politicians, people nobody should trust, to educate our children? An why, after all these years, are we still pumping more and more money into a system that keeps getting worse?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Reality check: Every time we vote, we are voting for the lesser of evils. No candidate is perfect; whomever one votes for is a flawed human being just like the rest of us. If you want to make it sound more positive and less cynical, you could say you’re voting for the better of the available options; but it really boils down to the same thing. Anyone who declines to vote until the perfect candidate appears on the ballot will be waiting around for a long, long time (see “nirvana fallacy”).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I could overlook human flaws if I was convinced the politician had the best interests of all the voters in his or her mind when they make a decision. However, when they make obvious decisions to further the financial interests of their campaign donators at the expense of the average Joe, the nirvana fallacy has no bearing to the reality of flawed politics and politicians.. Check out my post, King Solomon on Wreckers about voters who decline to vote.

        Regards and good will blogging.


      2. The “nirvana fallacy” provides an excellent comparison with the problem of voting.

        I thought this a good explanation.

        Here is illustration of its use with respect to waiting for the perfect candidate.

        I wish I had heard of the “nirvana fallacy” before. I think it would be a good way to encourage at least some folks to vote, but better late than never.


        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s been one of my pet peeves for a long time — people who won’t vote because the perfect candidate isn’t on the ballot and they fancy themselves too pure to sully themselves by voting for an imperfect one. I get especially irritated with Christians who take this attitude, and chastise those of us who vote for people like Mitt Romney with the admonition that “when you vote for the lesser of two evils, you’re still voting for evil.” These holier-than-thou types stay home on election day, and so we end up with Barack Obama in the White House. Thanks a lot, you guys.


        2. When people won’t vote, I think that is more a sign of laziness or cowardice than anything else, but only God knows. They should know better than to try to fool Him.


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