“A common religion”

There was hugely more sense in the old people who said that a wife and husband ought to have the same religion than there is in all the contemporary gushing about sister souls and kindred spirits and auras of identical colour. As a matter of fact, the more the sexes are in violent contrast the less likely they are to be in violent collision. The more incompatible their tempers are the better. Obviously a wife’s soul cannot possibly be a sister soul. It is very seldom so much as a first cousin. There are very few marriages of identical taste and temperament; they are generally unhappy. But to have the same fundamental theory, to think the same thing a virtue, whether you practise or neglect it, to think the same thing a sin, whether you punish or pardon or laugh at it, in the last extremity to call the same thing duty and the same thing disgrace — this really is necessary to a tolerably happy marriage; and it is much better represented by a common religion than it is by affinities and auras.

A Miscellany of Men (1912).

Published in: on June 8, 2011 at 6:47 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I especially like the part about “all the contemporary gushing about sister souls and kindred spirits and auras of identical colour.” How much more so today than when this was written in 1912. Timeless wisdom in these words of Chesterton!

  2. Well, there is something to be said for getting along and having some things in common too.


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