A new republican

June 17th, 2008 § 0 comments

I had Radio 4 on the wireless on the way to picking my daughter up from her afterschool club yesterday. It was Beyond Belief and there was a it about the monarchy and how it is maybe a bit wrong that we couldn’t have a monarch of a different religion to Protestantism, or even a secular monarch. And then it occurred to me. I’m a republican. Not a Republican, but a republican.

I’d never given it much thought and never connected the two things, my athiesm and my ever-so slight affection of the monarchy.
I don’t believe in god, in an all powerful being that knows all and is either controlling us, like a Big Brother director or just sitting back watching like a BB viewer. There is no such thing as reincarnation and karma is, once looked at, rubbish. That’s not to say there aren’t things we cannot explain, just that we cannot explain them yet.

I quite like the monarchy. I think the Queen does a good job of erm, representing us when she visits abroad and she hasn’t poot a foot wrong for many a year. and on the whole they’re ok (putting aside the civil list, which is a different mattter).

But can we have a secular monarchy? I don’t think so.

Throughout the centuries, monarchs have claimed divine right to rule over their lands. To be the most important person in the country (most powerful person is different) you need some big claim to make you exceptional to stop just anybody trying to take you place.
And that claim is divinity. The method of succession is by family, but they rule through the grace of god.

To have a secular monarch, removes the one thing that makes them exceptional. A monarch without the divine claim is just an ordinary (wo)man with an army, and anyone can be king if they have a big enough army.

The title Defender of the Faith, could be changed to Defender of Faiths, as Prince Charles says he will do. In my view that is better, by being more inclusive of the society we live in today. But isn’t all religion exclusive? If you don’t follow religion A, you’re going to hell for not embracing and giving yourself over to a particular god. If you believe in reincarnation, you’ll keep getting reborn untill you get it right.
In the eyes of a Christian, a buddhist cannot get heaven. My wife reckons I am a step nearer to getting to heaven because in this life I have come into and become emersed in hindu culture and religion

In becoming the Defender of Faiths, Prince Charles will be giving up his heavenly mandate, because, “You shall have no other gods before me” sounds like a choice of Christianity or hell to me. How can one religion promote another? It can’t, they’re all vying for the same audience, they all have to win, become the dominant religion. It’s all good and well being tolerant of other religions, but in the end, it’s them others that are going to hurt if they don’t convert. The unbelievers need to be saved.

When Prince Charles becomes the Defender of Faiths he will be going against his own religion. He will be defending the worship of false gods. How can he square that with his god? How can all the faiths that he defends take him seriously when he contradicts his own beliefs?

So, the monarch has a choice. Either become an athiest and defend all faiths with a clear conscience under the banner of freedom of speech, or carry on defending the one true faith and screw the rest of their subjects that are of a different denomination.

If the monarch recinds their celestial undertaking, becoming secular, so as to avoid the contradiction of promoting the worship of false gods then they logically can’t have a divine calling to rule the land. If the monarch doesn’t have god on their side they return to being unexceptional and not worthy of being in such a position of privelige and (albeit symbolic) power by the fortune of parentage.
If the monarch sticks to just defending protestantism, it is no different to the Star of David on the Isreali flag, only representing part of the society and needs to be changed.

The only way it can be changed is by becoming a republic.

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