What to Make of Cat-Skinning

July 1, 2010

If it be true (as it certainly is) that a man can feel exquisite happiness in skinning a cat, then the religious philosopher can only draw one of two deductions.  He must either deny the existence of God, as all atheists do; or he must deny the present union between God and man, as all Christians do.  The new theologians seem to think it a highly rationalistic solution to deny the cat.  (“The Maniac,” Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton)

It would seem that Chesterton’s “new theologians” were quite successful in their evangelistic efforts, for few people lie anymore or commit adultery or act greedily.  Instead, we make misstatements and have flings and pursue the good life.  If the culture expects it, or if we didn’t intend it, or if we’re genetically predisposed to it, all is well.

But the truth remains: all of us have skinned cats and fall short of the glory of God.

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