Monday, January 4, 2016

Rare Film of G.K. Chesterton at Holy Cross College, Massachusetts: "I Can Only Say That I Am Not Much of a Crusader but at Least I'm not a Mohammedan"

Note the general laughter that follows the remark.

Now, if Chesterton had been alive today and said that sort of thing he could have had his publishing contract dropped and the rest of his lecture tour cancelled. He might have been banned from entering (or re-entering) the UK. Or, since the speech was uploaded to YouTube, it's possible he would have been charged with a hate crime violation.

Of course, even in 1931, Chesterton and his Catholic and Christian friends were somewhat out of step with the Zeitgeist. But the film shows just how far we have come. Chesterton was being made an honorary member of the Holy Cross Crusaders, after all. What would Bishop Barron think of that?

By the way, I too first thought he was holding a microphone. But in fact it's a walking stick, or rather, one of two walking sticks.



  1. Fascinating to connect a voice to the man! His voice was a lot higher pitched than I would have imagined. It's not too high, and maybe there is some sound distortion in such an old recording, just higher than I would expect for a gentleman of such, um, generous proportions. A singular individual. One of a kind. God rest his soul. And yes, the contrast between those good, old days and what we have now, is enough to make one tear up.

    1. I found this through listening to a YouTube audio of Hilaire Belloc singing his own songs (!). Google it. It's really neat. His voice also sounded high-pitched. So I'm with you in wondering whether that's not just an artifact of early recording techniques--like when you hear an orchestra recording from the early 1900's and they sound like they're playing toy instruments. I'm not even sure how that sort of recording worked in those days. For example, where was the microphone?

  2. "May John the Baptist protect Islam."
    "pope" John Paul II

    "You are king of all those who are still involved in the darkness of Islam; refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God." Pope Pius XI

    Seattle kim

  3. As a Holy Cross alum i was amazed to see that. Had no idea. I wish I could place where he was standing on campus. Holy Cross has lately removed IHS from its insignia. The new one is nondescript, just a picture of a sun.