...on his blog (which, with delicious stuffiness, he insists on calling a "weblog"):
The interesting reverse of the [atheist] bus slogan ["There's Probably No God, Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life"], the Christian understanding that actions matter in a way we can't readily observe or understand if we reject the eternal, is hauntingly expressed in this passage from a 'Father Brown' story 'The Sins of Prince Saradine'.
"Do you believe in doom?" asked the restless Prince Saradine suddenly.
"No", answered his guest. "I believe in Doomsday."
The prince turned from the window and stared at him in a singular manner, his face in shadow against the sunset. "What do you mean?"he asked.
"I mean that we here are on the wrong side of the tapestry," answered Father Brown. "The things that happen here do not seem to mean anything; they mean something somewhere else. Somewhere else retribution will come on the real offender. Here it often seems to fall on the wrong person."
I particularly like that phrase 'the wrong side of the tapestry', as it is such a good metaphor for the way humans so often completely misunderstand the circumstances in which they find themselves. And the idea that our actions 'mean something somewhere else' sends a shiver down my spine whenever I think about it, as well it might.
Read the whole post here.
Peter Hitchens is an interesting character. I read his recent book, The Rage Against God, several times. As a memoir of English society and attitudes to religion, it's marvellous. As an argument against atheism, it leaves something to desired (especially Hitchen's oft-repeated claim that there is no decisive proof or disproof of God's existence; something a Catholic could not affirm.) He also quotes Chesterton's poem, The Silent People, in his equally readable The Abolition of Britain.
Hitchens is pretty much a lone voice in England now in his full-blooded traditionalism. (Even Roger Scruton's conservatism is rather qualified, agnostic and fatalistic, very far from Chesterton and Belloc's rousing and fighting creed.) But Chesterton would clash with him in his defence of Prohibition.