"Forms of expression always appear turgid to those
who do not share the emotions they represent."
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
(1874-1936) British essayist, critic, poet, and novelist
A Handful of Authors
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Reader comments about this quote:
Turgid, n. pompus, inflated, bombastic....in the context of these three quotes this one struck me the most interesting (although inaccurate), not only in the context of religious faith but of broader disciplines of knowledge, art, music, poetry--actually any specialized area of knowledge in which one may not be schooled. It then presumes that contact with new supra rational phenomena cannot inform nor transform. However when communicated on a level of excellence this is the great potential of all art--confronted with embodied truth one can certainly embrace it and come to new levels of understanding. This is the power of art because it moves beyond factual analysis to the emotional realm of intuitive communication where apriori knowledge is not required.
 -- EGL, LA     
  • 3
    This quote is known to those who have the audacity to question arbitrary (i.e. religious) authority and are skeptical of the beliefs of the majority. When opinion is treated as fact merely because so many people believe it, contradictory expressions are often ridiculed -- and more often than not, efforts to criminalize such expressions are instituted. This is true for religionists and secularists. Few can admit that they just don't know.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 3
    Archer has had a terrible experience with respect to religion that has led to his throwing the baby out with the bathwater. This happens very often, and is an understandable reaction to hypocrisy in religious contexts. But eventually, all men come to the knowlegde that God is a powerful living spirit, nothing at all like the invention of any religion, and that He is the ruoler of the universe. Unfortunately, some learn this too late. If someone warns you about Hell, do not blame them for the possibility that YOU could end up there....it depends on your actions, not those of another.
     -- David L Rosenthal     
  • 2
    This is true. Not right, but true.
     -- Anonymous     
  • 2
    As to the comments above addressing the quote; religion is a good example. By way of extreme brevity, religion is: real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to ⋯ our fellow men. (Bouviers Law Dictionary) Issues such as clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, financing the indigent, caring for the ill, sheltering the homeless, sacraments like marriage, baby sacrifice, and victimless crime safety/protection are all uniquely religious. The patrons of the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land always appear turgid to those who do not share the emotions they represent. The same is accurate when looking at Islam in Saudi Arabia and Iran, the different factions within Christianity, humanism as administered through socialism's communism and fascism, etc.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    David, I have spent a couple decades studying religions, philosophy, and physics, and I can still admit that I do not know of the life to come, if any, after death. I have 'decided' to NOT eliminate any of the possibilities, but to keep them all under consideration. There is plenty to discover about myself and life while I continue to live and breathe. There is plenty to do and contribute with what I have. I find all the classic 'life-lessons' built-in -- can I really avoid them? Heaven and hell can be right here on Earth. Prayers to God are often answered through other people -- that is their gift and their honor.

    An honest inquiry will yield an honest answer, if I don't have too much invested in what is not true. I believe that if God is, then if He speaks here and He speaks there, the messages will not disagree. I have found many agreements between sacred scriptures recorded around the world, some many thousands of years old. An allegorical interpretation of Christ's passion play yields many agreements with ancient Vedic texts. Astrology forms the basis of every known religion today -- while some believe that 'paganism' has co-opted Christianity, the 'solar-mythos' of Jesus is nearly a direct copy of Mithra who was the 'christ' of the day in Mithraism which reigned in Europe-Asia for 1000 years.

    What may God do? What about all the rest of the world before Jesus' time, and all the billions who worship God in other lands and cultures? What about other planets and suns? The universe is bigger than what a traditional Christian view can hold -- it has fiercely opposed any scientific discovery that challenged a 5000-year old Earth and other literal translations of the Bible. But I believe even Jesus as an allegory makes Christ real in the 'spiritual' domain and a very real 'way' for people to be in 'communion' with Jesus and all that he means to the person. I believe God talks to us however he will. Even Christians around the world have different languages and the word for God and Jesus are not the same words in English. In what language does God require I speak to Him? If religion is true piety in practice, it matters not the form of God, for we are merely being instruments of that 'good' will. Creation is constant, we are not simply burning out. We are continuing the song, in harmony, and for me, that is fulfilling the will of God (as best as I can). I do believe God's Grace is His to give however he wills, despite what religionists have defined. If God is Love, where does he draw the line? Where do I? Cheers! ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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