Friday, December 21, 2007

Chesterton on the Christmas Carol our Rulers Would Prefer

"Some of our more advanced ethical teachers might well write a new version of 'The Christmas Carol' -- a sort of Anti-Christmas carol. For the drama of Dickens might well appear to them not a comedy of conversion, but a tragedy of apostasy. The story would start with Scrooge as a lofty and idealistic vegetarian, partaking of a pure and hygienic diet of gruel. It would end with the same Scrooge, not degraded by superstition, and engaged in a cannibal conspiracy for the assassination of a turkey. It would exhibit that maniac as so morally depraved as to entrap even a small boy out of the streets and make him a tool in the consummation of the crime. . . .Eugenics, which often forms part of such ethics, might here suggest a thoughtful passage about the mistake made in the birth of Tiny Tim, and the desirability of correcting that mistake with all speed in some quiet and painless fashion. Anyhow, a large number of highly modern morals might be drawn from the new story."

-Originally from the 27 December 1919 number of the Illustrated London News, but I found it in the Ignatius Press edition of More Quotable Chesterton under the "Christmas" heading.

Why that passage? Because I'm on the other Schindler's List and the latest newsletter was in my mailbox this morning.