Writing in his 1905 book “Heretics,” G. K. Chesterton commented on the humanist writers of his time and the direction of Western intelligentsia, saying that there might well be a day when the simple act of truth-telling would be revolutionary. “Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four,” he wrote. “Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer. We shall be left defending, not only the incredible virtues and sanities of human life but something more incredible still, this huge impossible universe which stares us in the face.”
It seems the day that Chesterton feared has finally come to pass.
My knowledge of this was brought about this week by what I thought was a fairly safe peak at the “Drudge Report.” But the “Drudge Report” itself has become a dangerous place, the bold and daring news site that once broke the story about Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton now seemingly a part of Woke News Inc.
“Texas Cops Given Power to Arrest Illegals,” the headline read. A dark and foreboding black-and-white image of cuffed hands accompanied the red-inked wording. I’ve got to be missing something, I thought. Surely so dramatic a presentation can’t have been prompted by the mere … enforcement of the law.
Opening the story wasn’t reassuring.
“Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday approved sweeping new powers that allow police to arrest migrants who illegally cross the U.S. border and give local judges the authority to order them to leave the country,” the article from the “El Paso Times” read, “testing the limits of how far a state can go to enforce immigration laws.” In language that reflected the blood-red headline, the article warned that the new legislation was the “most dramatic” since 2010, while offering frightful images of people rounded up and ordered to face stone-faced judges who would prosecute them and send them away.
It was true, then. The fact that the law is being enforced at our southern border is now so unusual that it’s worthy of a national headline.
To point out this absurdity brings the feeling of what Chesterton mentioned above. Indeed, claiming that border laws ought to be enforced, especially since we have laws on our books insisting this, has all the desperate feeling of trying to convince the doubters that grass is green or that two plus two equals four. It causes one to wonder what is next. How far are we willing to go to prove that up isn’t down, that water is wet or air is dry, that abiding the law is better than breaking it?
It's disorienting, these times we live in. But we mustn’t hesitate to do just what Chesterton mentioned above. We should plumb every depth of moral fortitude we have to declare, not only that two and two equals four, but also that corrupt moral leadership leads to corrupt governmental outcomes. We should state clearly, not only that leaves are green in summer, but also that nations have borders. And finally, we should shout from the rooftops, not only that virtue is a virtue, but also that enforcing the law is the role of government, and not to do so is to fail to live up to the purpose for which government was instituted in the first place. By this only can we hope to quell the insanity, not only at the southern border but also of the culture itself.
Along with his father, Allen Keller runs a lumber business in Stevenson, Alabama. He has a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from Florida State University and an MBA from University of Virginia. He can be reached for comment at [email protected].
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News.
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