By Dr. Boyd Cathey
… IN DECEMBER 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated as King of England, basically over his love for an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, something deeply frowned on and disapproved of back then—yet scarcely forty-five years later the heir apparent to the English throne, Prince Charles, married Lady Diana Spencer, a disastrous matrimony that would assist immeasurably in discrediting the House of Windsor, which had already begun a decline many years earlier.
But like most current ruling monarchies today, the catch phrase is “relevance,” getting “with it,” so to speak, with all current fads, breaking with tradition, basically turning a backside to the past and its critical importance in the survival of the nation. And if that means inviting a whole slew of remarkably disreputable Hollywood types, not to mention pseudo-celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, into the great halls and chapels that once beheld the noble figures of a King Charles the Martyr or Victoria Regina, then so be it.
And then there was the ungracious spectacle of the “Presiding Bishop,” Michael Curry, of what is called the Episcopal Church in the United States. Curry, a few years back, was the Episcopal bishop in North Carolina, and distinguished himself for his left-wing social and religious views—he would much rather preach the gospel of “Saint” Martin Luther King than St. Paul: too many inconveniences and prohibitions in the Pauline message!
And he did not disappoint in St. George’s Chapel: jumping around like a jack-rabbit, pretending he was sermonizing to a group of illiterate Yazoo bayou dwellers in Mississippi, he brought, as admiring Fox commentator/airhead Ainsley Earhardt fawned, “a wonderful and inspiring American element” to the wedding. [Where, pray tell, does Fox get all these brainless blondes from?]
For thirteen minutes he basically said just one sentence: “How great is love!” But he managed to mix in bits of MLK (yeah, cheater King was an expert on conjugal love!), civil rights, and a social gospel totally extraneous to the supposed occasion.
The Windors, for the most part, set stony-faced, enveloped by the tide of nonsense and relevance that has overwhelmed them. Oh, certainly, it was said that the ceremony
“combined the best of British tradition with a new and fresh ‘American’ approach.” But what it actually did was point out sharply the truth … about monarchy and monarchs in the modern world:
“They are increasingly a ‘sign of contradiction’; this must be their role in our world. If they fail in this—if they embrace all the tawdry excesses and excrescences of our times—they will forfeit that historic role, and rightly so.”
Our world is perishing for the lack of heroes, for the lack of those Don Juans of Austria, for those new and courageous Stonewall Jacksons and King John Sobieskis who would stand manfully against the onrushing tide of Modernity and decay in our civilization. The awe and reverence, the understanding that the past is never really “past,” that it is always potentially within us, and that it can inform our steps and continue to inspire us and anneal us in its grace, is a precious legacy, an invaluable gift from our ancestors and Christendom. We forfeit it, and the blackness of despair and death awaits us.
When the traditional champions of our culture and civilization quit the field, as the Windsors have done, only Evil—the “rough beast”—smiles.
… READ THE REST. The complete commentary is “That Royal Wedding, Reverend Michael Curry, and the End of England.”
~ DR. BOYD D. CATHEY is an Unz Review columnist, as well as a Barely a Blog contributor, whose work is easily located on this site under the “BAB’s A List” search category. Dr. Cathey earned an MA in history at the University of Virginia (as a Thomas Jefferson Fellow), and as a Richard M Weaver Fellow earned his doctorate in history and political philosophy at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. After additional studies in theology and philosophy in Switzerland, he taught in Argentina and Connecticut before returning to North Carolina. He was State Registrar of the North Carolina State Archives before retiring in 2011. He writes for The Unz Review, The Abbeville Institute, Confederate Veteran magazine, The Remnant, and other publications in the United States and Europe on a variety of topics, including politics, social and religious questions, film, and music.