Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Sign Of The Broken Sword

In The Sign of the Broken Sword Father Brown- G.K. Chesterton's priestly detective- uncovers the disgustingly unheroic truth about a legendary war hero but resolves to keep it quiet because he believes- as a Catholic brought up on the cult of the saints well might- that hero worship does more good than harm. A tale of heroism- even a false tale of heroism- will inspire heroism in others. I see the strength of the argument but I've never been wholly convinced by it.  How can we prepare a right response to the world if our data about it is faulty? Better to face reality in all its baffling complexity than as an innocent who still believes in goodies and baddies.

Nelson Mandela showed great courage, great wisdom, great magnanimity. He was also a working politician who made choices, took decisions that...

Ah well, never mind. That other stuff will keep.
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