Chesterton claims in Heretics that denial of the supernatural leads ultimately to the unnatural, and much of his work explores the consequences of suppressing or ignoring the fundamental religious dimensions of the human person. Indeed many of Chesterton's villains spurn religion altogether in their pursuit of social progress. In this paper, I examine the antagonists in The Ball and the Cross, Manalive, and The Flying Inn in light of their rejection of the supernatural.

In their attempts to recreate themselves and their societies, Chesterton's villains demonstrate a clear link between secularization, the loss of human freedom, and the deathly disfiguring of the human psyche.