Saturday, September 15, 2007

Balls to the King

Had a pleasant afternoon watching Shakespeare's Henry V at the Manchester Royal Exchange. Loved the cheek of the French for sending him tennis balls when he asked for the throne of France. Wish it had actually happened that way, but that particular detail was a genius invention from the Bard. In reality, the French would have been too scared of Henry to take the mickey like that.

Speaking of balls and the monarchy, The Archbishop of Canterbury has declared that Prince Charles must be defender of THE faith, and not faith in general.

Some questions :-

(1) Just how stupid would Charles look being the defender of religions he doesn't believe in ?
Such as when he's defending Islam, Hari Krishna, Rastafarianism and my Atheism for example. Personally, anything that needs a chinless-wonder to defend it isn't worth protecting.

(2) Just why does the Church of England need to be saved ?
That religion has a majority in both Houses of Parliament, the Judiciary, the Police and the Armed Forces. It is not in any danger.

(3) Which Church of England needs to be saved ?
The new back-to-basics homophobic African-influenced version, or the liberal native English one. And what about the churches of Wales and Scotland ? He would after all be the British king.

I really don't think Henry V would have tolerated posturing like this by his head churchman. He should know his place, which is head of a Protestant sect and not someone who lays down national policy. That's not even the King's job any more.

It's obvious that Rowan Williams is falling over himself to be hard-core because he's scared he's going to lose half his church to the extremists. I wonder what kind of extremist-friendly claptrap is going to come from Lambeth Palace in the coming weeks.

4 comments:

Flitcraft said...

A former church historian writes...

It's all a load of bollox anyway as Henry VIII got the title from the Pope for writing a thesis defending the Catholic view of the sacraments against those nasty new Proddy heretics. Even more amusingly, laughing boy was defending the supremacy of the pontiff and the sanctity of marriage in his little treatise (I bet some poor schmuck had to ghost-write it for him while he played tennis and chased ladies-in-waiting round the shrubberies, you know, the usual kingly duties). Anyway you can guess what happened to Big Harry's little courtesy title after the spectacular falling out with Il Papa about whether he could divorce the Holy Roman Emperor's aunty (at a point where his imperial highness and his army were threatening to cut the Pope's balls off, and they didn't mean the tennis sort, if he annulled Henry's marriage to nice Aunty Cath in favour of that new Boleyn floozy)

So Henry stuck two fingers up to the Pope, and explained that he was very much in favour of the sanctity of marriage, so much so that a man couldn't have enough of it and he was marrying the floozy anyway, and thus got his title revoked. Now the title was only regranted to the English monarchy by parliament - not the Pope, not the archbish of Canterbury, but parliament, and who does parliament represent? Everybody in the UK. So if parliament decides Charlie boy is going to be defender of all faiths and must go and defend Rastafarianism, The Solar Temple Cult, Real Ale and Free Presbyterianism, it's up to them and not up to Rowan Williams.

Anyway Charles already has two faiths as he's officially a Presbyterian in Scotland, so I don't see why he cant have a few more - just think of the regalia, he could have a few more silly hats and outfits in the dressing up box - which is all they're good for nowadays.

And alas you're absolutely right about the Archbish making soothing noises unto fundies. Apparently the most earth-shattering problem in the entire developing world is the thought that a middle-aged Bishop somewhere in Vermont might be taking it up the bum and liking it, and therefore the Anglican communion must be rent apart and children and pets must be saved from this terrible evil! However I'm reliably informed that if it involves the Archbish of Canterbury bending over and getting royally screwed by a large Nigerian gentleman in a frock that Jesus thoroughly approves!

Stan said...

Cheers Flit - nice to be told I'm right (and entertained !) by a real historian.

Harry Truman once said of Hitler versus Stalin "I hope they both lose". I couldn't summarise my view of the Monarchy versus Church fight better.

ArcticFox said...

On a less hostorical note, as is my flippant wont.....

I'd like to see Charles as defender of rastafarianism!! I bet his (pass the) Duchy of Cornwall brand could turn out a bit of wicked home grown skunk!!

FoX

Stan said...

Yeah mon ! He put de "high" into "Highness" an' no mistak', brother !