"The Lord is King the earth may be glad thereof:
yea, the multitude of the isles may be glad thereof”
"Put no trust in princes..... in whom there is no help"
Here we are in Jubilee year, a “Diamond Jubilee” at that. Another anniversary served up for us by the establishment and its media. (They must be running out of World War II anniversaries by now). But “bread and circuses” there must be, to keep the masses happy and quieted. And, after all, it’s so much more agreeable and far less expensive than imprisonment and transportation.
Anyway, 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II. If she hasn’t quite managed to be sent “victorious, happy and glorious”, as the national anthem goes, then she’s certainly achieved the other bit, about long reigning over us. But I couldn’t help noting that in the first book of Samuel, chapter 8, when the people demand to have a king reigning over them, God takes this as their rejection of himself as ruling over them; and in fact equates the desire for an earthly king with idolatry. Yet they want to be like the pagan nations around them, and do the de rigueur thing by having a king.
Nevertheless, God accedes to their desire and has Samuel inform them of the various oppressions that will come their way from the kings that are over them. “And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye have chosen. And the Lord will not hear you in that day.” (1 Sam 8:18) So it was. The dreary experience of Israel with her dissolute and idolatrous kings, which forms so much of the Old Testament story, is relieved only here and there by kings worthy of the name; David of course, Hezekiah, Josiah, Jehoshaphat.
The experience of Christian kingship isn’t much better. Throughout the centuries they have paraded their enormities and their tyrannies with little light relief. How many good ones have there been? How many truly Christian ones? In our own land (England) we’ve had Alfred the Great, Edward the Confessor, Canute, Henry VI, Charles I maybe, George III, and probably Victoria. And that over a period of 1300/1400 years. On the continent they’ve had Stephen of Hungary, Wenceslaus, Louis IX, Henry of Bavaria, Isabella of Spain, and Maria Theresa of Austria. The rest of the story is similar to that of Israel: rigmarole, reprobation and ruthlessness. And it’s perfectly evident that the vast majority of them have no more wanted to share their throne with Christ and model their kingship on his kingship than have the various non-Christian rulers. “The kings of the earth stand up and the rulers take counsel together: against the Lord and his Anointed.” Says the 2nd psalm. True, all too true.
But there’s another side to having kings and queens ruling over us: penance. For “our manifold sins and wickedness,” as Cranmer’s Prayer Book has it, we actually deserve them. What are all the exactions and burdens that have been put upon us by rulers except part of God’s chastening and disciplining, without which we are “bastards and not sons” (Heb 12: 6-8)
Nowadays we have “constitutional” monarchy, which enables us to enjoy the royal pantomime without the inconveniences of autocracy. Unlike the monarchs of old the new-style monarchs are said to “reign but not rule”; which is palpable nonsense because the two words mean pretty much the same thing, i.e. having power and authority. And like the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II said, “If a king doesn’t rule, then he is no king.” True enough. But the English are fond of maintaining an outward appearance which is contrary to the inward reality (you know, like Anglicanism). And so, by a nifty manipulation of the English language, Her Majesty “reigns but she doesn’t rule.” So what if the dictionary definition of monarchy says that it is “a form of government in which supreme authority is invested in a single and usually hereditary figure, such as a king or queen, who rules by hereditary right.”No matter. The world is a strange place and many things there are that are not what they seem, democracy for instance, for which reason, we are told, we have a “constitutional” monarchy; because actual authority is vested in “the people”. But this also is an optical illusion, a mirage created by the ruling class in order to conceal their minority power base. In fact, in Britain we have a single ideology state; three parties, one essence. An unholy trinity dedicated in all the major details to the same secularist agenda, and differing only in the minor details; whereby the new world order, a marriage of Capitalism and Marxism, is being established. And there’s no need to be surprised if this turns out to look a lot like Fascism. In Britain and America the appetite for invading foreign countries and glorifying the military goes hand in hand with all the spin about “human rights” and “equality.” Yet all the while free speech is increasingly restricted, closer surveillance under the guise of “anti terrorism” winds like a boa constrictor round our actions and movements, as the new orthodoxy installs itself.
Curiously, but not surprisingly, this state of affairs will have little effect on Elizabeth II; accustomed as she is to mouthing scripts prepared for her and signing documents presented to her, so that she and her family may continue to enjoy their property and privileges. But let’s take a look at that collect for the Accession Service in the Book of Common Prayer which the good old Archbishop of Canterbury would have intoned on the great day all those years ago: “Let truth and justice, holiness and righteousness, peace and charity abound in her days. Direct all her counsels and endeavours to thy glory O Lord, and the welfare of her subjects..... that under her this nation may be wisely governed.”
So there we have it: the good solid, Christian virtues of truth, justice, holiness, righteousness, peace and charity were the required features that were hoped for and prayed for at the start of Her Majesty’s reign (but not rule). But behold! What are these loitering spectres I see before me? These guilty shadows darkening the corridors of Elizabeth’s long reign. If my eyes do not deceive me they are the dark deeds of Her Majesty’s armed forces; those much vaunted heroes we hear so much about these days, and of whom she is the Commander-in-Chief and in whose sovereign name they do what they do.
Under orders from Her Majesty’s Government these armed forces instituted a reign of terror in Kenya in the 1950’s, in response to the so-called “Mau-Mau” scare. Concentration camps were set up throughout the country where torture, flogging, and the abuse of women and children were normal. In all, some 10,000 Kenyans were killed by the British Military.
Similarly, in Malaya, at the same time, British forces conducted a kind of mini-Vietnam campaign against “Communist insurgents”, but which also targeted villages and civilians. Again, thousands were killed by Her Majesty’s forces, all in the cause of the International rubber-barons (Or is that robber barons?), and which had nothing to do with securing the welfare of the Malaysian people. So much for the Commonwealth, over which her Majesty also presides.
In another Commonwealth country, Australia Her Majesty’s forces practiced their nuclear weapons capability in the Australian desert in an area described as “un-inhabited”, but which was home to around 800 aborigines, who were later found to be suffering from abnormally high rates of leukaemia and infant mortality.
In the 1960’s Her Majesty’s Government forcibly removed 2,500 inhabitants from the British Indian Ocean territory of the Chagos islands, in order to hand the said isles over to the Americans for use as an Air Force base. Though the islanders were subjects of Her Majesty they were expelled from their homeland and “relocated” to Mauritius, nearly 2,000 miles away. What’s that line again in the Accession service Collect? “Direct all her counsels and endeavours to the welfare of her subjects!” Mmm......
Then there’s Northern Ireland, where for 40 odd years the Queen’s men have been an army of occupation, propping up a truly malicious Protestant establishment of Calvinist bigots somewhat akin to the Calvinistic Apartheid regime in South Africa, except in Northern Ireland the “Kaffirs” were Catholics.
The overall result of this occupation has been the large scale increase in the violence and antagonisms of a benighted region where “truth and justice, peace and charity” have been denied to the Catholic people of what is said to be part of the “United Kingdom”. With several thousand dead and the sum total of bitterness and suffering certainly exceeding what would have been the case without the occupation forces, it’s hardly a good advertisement for life under the British Crown. In any case the British secret services were habitually making deals with the I.R.A. and the profusion of lies and disinformation from the British Governments and the army was the villainous reality behind the whole shameful business.
When we come to Iraq the story gets even bleaker. There, Her Majesty’s gallants, along with their American overlords, have distinguished themselves by achieving a death toll of around one million Iraqis, mostly civilians and a great many of them children, taking the Gulf War, the sanctions and “no-fly zone” policy, and the Iraq War together. In addition to this there has been the widespread use of torture by Anglo-American forces, the destruction of the country’s infra-structure and the wholesale disintegration of the social order. Also, the Christians of Iraq are now suffering a fierce persecution from the various Muslim groups, which has resulted in many deaths amid the bombing of churches; whereas before there was a peaceful co-existence between the religions. All this for oil, and nothing whatever to do with “weapons of mass destruction.” The only weapons Saddam had were supplied to him by the British and Americans in the first place.
In Afghanistan the number of dead is now around 20,000 Afghans, again mostly civilians. A devastated country, a restored heroin trade which supplies 90% of the world’s heroin usage, and large parts of the country back under the control of murderous warlords armed and backed by the C.I.A. and the Anglo-American military. Even the Taliban, the “enemy” were set up by the Americans in the first place, armed and trained as part of the Mujahedeen forces designed to counter the Soviets. “They do but flatter with their lips and dissemble in their double heart” says the psalmist (ps. 11:2); as true now of evil men as it was then.
It should also be noted that the vast majority of Anglo-American soldiers who are dying over there are very young men, many in their teens, almost all privates. Not many in their later twenties, hardly anyone in their thirties. Not many sergeants, even corporals, and only the occasional officer. Mainly boys, and that’s the right word, who have been deceived into joining the Army by promises of acquiring skills and making careers, achieving this or that qualification, being “a professional” , dedication, service, duty etcetera, etcetera , etcetera, as Yul Brynner would say. It reminds one of those poor young boys sent to Vietnam to kill and be killed so that wicked politicians might achieve their dishonourable ends. The same here as well, most of the fighting and dying was done by lads barely out of their teens and even still in their teens, whereas the “lifers” largely took a back seat. And those poor, pathetic young girls sent over to boost the flagging morale of these boy soldiers. “Doughnut Dollies” they were called. It is quite enough to make a 50 year old man weep. “The war on Terror”, “The war against Communism”, “The War to end all wars”, “The Finest Hour”. Cant, every last bit of it. The real war is the war waged against life by governments and their politicians. Actually, it is a war waged against God, against his Creation, against his loving purpose, against his law. “Thou shalt not kill,”, “Thou shalt not steal,”, “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (i.e. lie), “Thou shalt not covet what belongs to thy neighbour.” . Instead we get the very opposite from rulers, heads of state, politicians and generals: mass slaughter, genocide, invasion, imperialism, lies, propaganda, and limitless greed.
But, as psalm 81 says, God stands among the rulers of the world and judges their actions. “How long will ye give wrong judgement, and accept the persons of the ungodly? Defend the poor and the fatherless, see that such as are in need have right. Deliver the outcast and poor, and save them from the hand of the ungodly. “ (ps. 81: 1-14).
I wonder if any of this makes even the slightest impression on Queen Elizabeth II. I wonder, if she is at all concerned, in this her “Diamond Jubilee” year, that Britain having at the outset of her reign been in the top five of the world’s leading manufacturing countries, is now a country with virtually no manufacturing industry; except the Arms industry, where she is number two in the world, behind the U.S.A. Does the fact that certain members of her family, Prince Charles, and Prince Andrew, are actively and lucratively involved in this trade, as representatives of British industry, cause her any unease, any worries? I suspect not. Nothing of this kind seem to trouble her. British “cluster bombs” that tear human skin to pieces, “drones” that drop “vacuum bombs” which suck the air out of human beings, as well as the latest Hi-tech bombers, missiles, and tanks that are sold by British governments and business to genocidal regimes like Suharto’s in Indonesia, which slaughtered 200,00 people in East Timor. Not a problem for Her Majesty, so it seems; never a murmur from her. Nor even when those die-hard and ever so loyal Gurkhas in her Armed Forces were being unjustly treated. It took an actress to defend their course, when as usual their Commander-in-Chief said and did nothing.
Nothing does this woman ever do according to conscience, only “duty”, and duty to the state, not duty to God, by whose grace she is said to reign. And so she signs the Abortion act, “the worst thing I have ever had to do” she is reported as saying. “Had to do “ Madam? Forty-five years on and 7,500,000 babies have been killed in the womb. I suppose, like Lord Nelson, she’ll be thanking God that she’s done her “duty”. The same God that is, who according to the prayer of the Accession service, she should be “devoted to with her whole heart, persevering in good works to the end.” I wonder if her conscience, if not yet completely suffocated, can hear the words of God’s prophet calling to her from the Holy Scriptures she has sworn to uphold: “Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Is.5:20)
But the excuse of duty is not good enough. A Christian monarch is required to exercise mercy. And if a monarch has no say whatever in the legislation enacted in her name, then quite simply she is no monarch, rather some kind of state controlled marionette, a zombie manoeuvred by parliamentary witch doctors who thereby continue to cast the “royal” spell upon the populace, “bread and circuses”, to keep the masses docile. The whole thing is a farce. Such a monarch has no authority. It’s the Emperor’s new clothes scenario.
Yet this is a recent thing. Queen Victoria was not shy about having her say when she felt certain principles were at stake. And several times she tried to influence legislation. She had a passionate heart that on occasion would reveal itself quite tenderly. Likewise for her son Edward VII who had plenty to say about the government of the country, and once even took the initiative by going to Paris to effect a stronger alliance with France, without waiting for government permission. In like fashion did constitutional monarchs before them, whether they were William and Mary, Anne, the Georges, or William IV.
The present style of monarchy dates only from George V, who was characterized by a general dullness from which he never recovered, and who was haunted to the point of fury by his decision not to grant the Tsar Nicholas II and his family refuge in Britain, thereby as good a signing their death warrants. (Tsar Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, and their children are now canonized saints of the Russian Orthodox Church, and rightly so. They were killed because they were Christians, and therefore they are martyrs of the Church. Whatever Nicholas and Alexandra’s incompetence as rulers may have been, they were exemplary in their love of God, and in their love of their children and their people. That does not mean that they did not make some monumental blunders, but there was in their life a real desire to do God’s will. This is movingly shown in Alexandra’s last diary where we are given an unforgettable portrait of a truly Christian family. The betrayal of Nicholas and his family by his cousin George may have sealed the fate of the present Royal Family.) The old quotation from the Merchant of Venice is readily to hand, “the quality of mercy is not strained.” Well, I’d say it was considerably strained here. As it also was at the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign, when she too was put to the test of Christian compassion. The father of Derek Bentley, whose 16 year old accomplice had shot dead the police officer about to arrest them for burglary, sent a letter to this Queen begging for his boy’s life to be spared, as he had been sentenced to hang because the accomplice was too young to suffer the death penalty. Alas, not surprisingly from what we now know of her character, she uttered not a word, and Derek Bentley was hanged for a crime he didn’t commit, unlike the millions of mothers who have slaughtered their children in their wombs since the fatal day when Her Majesty signed the terrible Abortion Act. (Incidentally, these days, under the same Queen, people who actually commit murders, and vile ones at that, are given only a few years in prison). It’s very disappointing, especially when one recalls that Queen Mary Tudor, called “Bloody Mary” by Establishment Protestant Propaganda, once pardoned at a stroke over a hundred men, who having participated in Wyatt’s rebellion against her, were on their way to the Scaffold when they saw the Queen at a window. Down they all went on their knees and begged her to spare them. And spare them she did. How about that? “Bloody Mary” can manage mercy and Elizabeth II can’t. She’s obviously chosen to follow her namesake Elizabeth I in this area, another Queen noted for putting on a show but being somewhat lacking in the compassion department. Yet what does the Good Book say? “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” says the Lord (Hos. 6:6). Pleading duty at the expense of mercy is the age-old retort of all scoundrels who prefer to please men and forge for themselves successful careers and comfortable lives rather than to risk losing these things by obeying the God who says to us “Be compassionate, as your Heavenly Father is compassionate”(Lk. 6:36).
Shall I tell you what they could do as an alternative spectacle for the grand “Diamond Jubilee weekend”? Given their superlative devotion to the culture of death, The Royal Family, the Armed Forces, the politicians and the Media ought to put on sackcloth and ashes and parade down Whitehall chanting The Penitential Psalms, whilst forming themselves into a flagellant procession down Pall Mall on the way to Buckingham Palace. Once there, they should have read to them the fourth chapter of St. James’ Epistle. For her part the Queen needs to be taught to meditate on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, particularly the third one, the Crowning with Thorns (Is it I Lord?). And while they’re at it, they can haul down the Union Jack and run up the Jolly Roger, which would be a far more authentic symbol of the whole Westminster regime than the Christian flag of St. George and the Saltyre of St. Andrew. But if you think that I’m being unduly outrageous here, I’ve actually been beaten to it; by the captain of the British nuclear submarine, HMS Turbulent, whose vessel, when sailing into Plymouth on its return from Iraq, actually did fly the Jolly Roger. The said gallant captain went on to report that they had fired 30 Tomahawk Cruise missiles at Iraq, killing or maiming who knows how many people, including children, in a stricken, defenceless country. Captain Courageous could only say that he was “proud to be called forward.” No doubt Her Majesty’s grandsons, William and Harry, would say something similar, unless their mother, Princess Diana, has handed on to them her detestation of landmines, which makes one wonder if she was not killed by Arms Dealers. In fact when one considers the resemblance between the state-sponsored piracy of Elizabeth II’s reign with the state-sponsored piracy of Elizabeth I’s reign, then one has had an encounter with Blake’s “fearful symmetry”. Any day now, I’m expecting those old pirates Drake and Hawkins, Raleigh and Frobisher to turn up on postage stamps or on the back of Stirling notes.
Comparisons between the two Elizabethan ages could go on: the same lawless foreign adventurism (then against the Spanish Empire, now against poor countries), the same propaganda peddling (then Lord Burleigh, now the Media), the same “anti-terrorist” security (then Walsingham, now M15 and the Police), the same exaltation of the monarchy (then “Gloriana” and “Good Queen Bess”, now “Mother of her people”), and the same enrichment of the ruling elite at the expense of the growing number of poor and the increase in vagrancy and homelessness. And if that’s not enough we even have the persecution of Christians; then Catholics and Puritans, now any Christian who wears a cross, refuses to be involved in an abortion, or who disagrees with the state’s new orthodoxy, homosexualism.
To all this the second Elizabethan age would add widespread drug stupefaction, the seemingly ubiquitous “one parent family”, the almost compulsory two-children-and-no-more family, “test- tube babies” embryo experimentation, cloning, sex as the height of mysticism, homosexualism as an evangelical religion and transexualism as the ultimate expression of choice and doubtless the highest form of conversion. Huxley’s “Brave New World” is here. The expression first uttered by Shakespeare, in the first Elizabethan age, has become a Satanic incarnation in the second, as we accelerate towards the zenith of human folly and depravity.
Where, we may ask, amid this nightmare world where Christian Civilization is being gradually and deliberately dismantled, is the “Defender of the faith”? Come out, come out, wherever you are! Or are you just as elusive as Baal, that false god of the Israelites in the days of Elijah. Do we have to, Elijah-like, inquire as to your whereabouts? “Perhaps she is engaged, or on a journey, or asleep, or not fully apprised of the facts.”? Alas, Anglicans, your “Supreme Governor” has “left the building”.
Enough! I’ve gone on too long and still many things are coming to my mind. The whole wretched business is a dissipation of the soul. “Royalty”, like the Anglicanism created to serve it, is pseudo-religion, and should be dealt with as Josiah, the only kind of king worth having, dealt with the altars at Bethel, so that not one stone remained upon another (2Kings, 23:15). What’s that the psalmist says about idols? “They are the work of men’s hands, they have mouths and speak not; eyes have they and see not. They have ears, yet they hear not. They that make them are like unto them, and so are all they that put their trust in them.” (ps. 134: 15-18)
Trumpery and knavery are man’s habitual pursuits. Or as Gilbert and Sullivan might put it: “Things are seldom what they seem, skimmed milk masquerades as cream.” In a Western World going stark raving mad the Christian must become a kind of counter-nihilist for the sake of Christ, through prayer, penance, pen and word “ to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God; and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2. Cor 10: 4-5)
Let’s leave Elizabeth II, devoted as she is to “duty”. She loves the crown, her privileges and her property, more than she loves God, and more, I venture to say, than she loves the English people, who need the truth and not a sham. Let’s leave to her to complain whenever her financial assets are threatened, or when her Wellington boots haven’t arrived on time, instead of complaining when injustice, lies, hypocrisy, immorality, and infidelity abound within the Government, the Military, the Media, and the State Church, all of which either act in her name or exalt her person.
There have been times in history when monarchy was a splendid thing. And Elizabeth Windsor/Hanover/Sax-Coburg-Gotha would have done well to have taken the example of some of her namesakes, like Elizabeth of Hungary, Elizabeth of Portugal, or even Grand-Duchess Elizabeth Federovna, royal saint and martyr of Russia. She could still do it, late as the hour is. Even after death she might still make it if Margaret of Austria is anything to go by. This Regent of the Spanish Netherlands, in order to atone for her sins, ordered that after her death she was to be made a nun, complete with habit and wimple, and placed in choir with the living nuns. Every Friday her corpse was to be scourged, but each day she was to be sat at table and offered food and drink fit for a nun, if not for a queen. I’m sure some Anglican nuns can be found who would happily render their “Supreme Governor” this notable service.
Meanwhile, Christians know who their true Queen is: The Blessed Virgin.
They know who the true Defender of the Faith is: The Pope.
And most of all, they know who their true and only King is: Jesus Christ, Son of God.
“Except the Lord build the house:
Their labour is but lost that build it.”
God Save the Queen
Brother Jonah Kelly
Order of Hermits