Sunday, June 20, 2010

Prince Charles versus G. K. Chesterton

From the Hermeneutic of Continuity comes a notice of how G. K. Chesterton might have replied to Prince Charles, who recently gave one of his off-the-wall speeches on how population control is the answer to the world's problems. Fr. Finigan notes that The Catholic G. K. Chesterton Society posted the following quotes from Chesterton on its website in reply to his majesty the slightly addled one.

Chesterton Answers Prince Charles

In 1925 Chesterton wrote an introduction to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in which he said that “The answer to anyone who talks about the surplus population is to ask him, whether he is part of the surplus population; or if not, how he knows he is not.”

Elsewhere, in an essay titled “Social Reform vs. Birth Control,” Chesterton argued that it is typically the wealthy elite who are interested in promoting population control as a solution to poverty, often simply as a means of avoiding dealing with the more difficult root problems that lead to poverty. "If [the Birth-Controller] can prevent his servants from having families, he need not support those families. Why the devil should he?” wrote Chesterton. “The landlord or the employer says in his hearty and handsome fashion: ‘You really cannot expect me to deprive myself of my money. But I will make a sacrifice. I will deprive myself of your children.’”
Perhaps it cannot be proven that the Prince is not part of the surplus population, in which case his duty to ensure that his mother outlives him is quite clear. That would certainly be an answer to the prayers of a number of Anglicans who quite understandable shudder at the thought of him as the head of the Church of England and "Defender of Faiths" - the first postmodern monarch.

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