Friday, February 28, 2014

New Royal Poster

Earlier this month a Canadian gentleman named Matt Baker contacted me about his new Kings & Queens of England Poster and kindly offered to send me a free copy in exchange for a post about it at this blog. The poster arrived today; I am happy to oblige and report that it would be a lovely addition to any royalist's wall. Extensive genealogical diagrams show not only the British and English monarchs back to Alfred the Great but also their relationships to other European royal families including the Habsburgs, Bourbons, and Romanovs, with pictures of many of the individuals. I particularly admired this idea of including Continental royalty, which the older poster of English/British monarchs I have does not. The portion displaying current royalty is as up-to-date as it could be at present, including Prince George and the new Dutch and Belgian monarchs. My only criticism would be a few minor errors such as calling Prince Philip's mother "Princess Alice Mountbatten" (she was born Princess Alice of Battenberg and married Prince Andrew of Greece long before her father's name was changed to Mountbatten, so was never known by that name) and showing Albert I of Belgium as the son (rather than nephew) of Leopold II. Nevertheless I would encourage anyone interested in royal history attractively presented to purchase this beautiful poster. I look forward to putting it up at home myself.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Progress" and the World

The world is a mess. Everyone deplores it. But not enough people yet draw the obvious conclusion: Modern Political "Progress" Is Not Working! Russia (and most of what is now the Ukraine) was better off under the Romanovs; central Europe was better off under the Habsburgs; France and southern Italy were better off under the Bourbons; Iran was better off under the Pahlavis; Egypt was better off under the Muhammad Ali dynasty; Spanish-speaking Latin America was better off under the Spanish Crown and Brazil under its own Braganza monarchy; Afghanistan was better off under King Zahir Shah; China was better off under the emperors, and all of those countries and many others could have grown to be better off still by today had they remained under the guidance of their legitimate rulers. The worldwide trend (greatly accelerated since 1910) of replacing Kings with other types of regimes has been a disaster for humanity. If one has taken a wrong turn in the forest, the quickest route to genuine progress is to turn back.

Global Monarchist Counterrevolution Now! It's only impossible if people say it's impossible.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Australian Monarchists: The New Generation

I can't remember the last time a news article made me as happy as this one did. I could try to quote my favourite parts, but I'd end up practically reproducing the whole thing, though I will note that I'd have to plead guilty to being one of those monarchists who "collect memorabilia and have big portraits all over their walls." Well done to the young Australian royalists interviewed for the article, who vindicate much of what I've been saying about Monarchy and its appeal to the young since 1999, when the referendum in which they were too young to vote sustained the Australian constitution so that it might thrive in the current century. God Save the Queen of Australia!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Some thoughts on Religion

Sorry for the (mostly) off-topic post but I wanted to say this somewhere and it's too long and potentially controversial (I've had enough Facebook arguments recently) for Facebook. And I know many readers of this blog are either Catholic or Anglican/Episcopal and am curious as to whether they'll agree with my speculations.

Conservative Catholics, perhaps especially in the United States, sometimes wonder why liberal Catholics who want women priests and acceptance of same-sex relationships, contraception, and remarriage after divorce don't "just" become Episcopalians, since The Episcopal Church is a liturgical, sacramental church with vestments, bishops, and cathedrals that already has these things. Of course, a few have, but most don't, and probably won't. There are many possible reasons for this, but here's one. Admittedly what follows is based on anecdotal impressions rather than hard evidence, but I think that despite superficial agreement on sex & gender issues, when it comes to worship liberal Catholics and liberal Episcopalians do not actually want the same things.

I think it's fair to say that many (perhaps even most) liberal Episcopalians, while firmly committed to both women's ordination (which despite a few reactionary holdouts like me is no longer even considered controversial) and gay rights, have no problem with, or even enthusiastically embrace, most or all of the following: priests celebrating "Ad Orientem" facing the altar, Kneeling for Communion at a rail, Incense, Latin, Gregorian Chant, "Elizabethan" English, Music ministries that emphasize sacred works by prestigious (mostly long-deceased) European composers sung by a professional or semi-professional Choir, the Pipe Organ as the church's principal (or even only) musical instrument, preference for traditional Architecture and care for historic buildings, a generally Dignified and Reverent "Sunday Best" approach to worship that avoids emotional exuberance, and (here we get back on topic) a certain Downton-Abbey-watching nostalgic fondness for England and the British Monarchy. In contrast, Progressive Catholics are likely to object to some or all of those things. Additionally, even if they've discarded the conservative moral views of their Irish ancestors, many American Catholics are likely to retain a chip on the shoulder regarding anything perceived as "elitist," "English," or "WASPy," while simultaneously romanticizing the idea of being in communion with a billion mostly non-white and non-wealthy people around the world. I should say that the "traditionalist" aspects of Episcopalianism I've identified--all of them dear to my heart--are far from unchallenged or universal within The Episcopal Church, but they do survive, perhaps even more in perception than in reality.

Therefore, most Call To Action, National Catholic Reporter, Hans-K√ľng-admiring types would not be comfortable in The Episcopal Church, and that--and not just a revolutionary desire to change the Church they were brought up in, though that surely exists as well--is why they don't join it. Of course, all this also works in reverse: the surviving traditional attributes of Episcopalianism I mentioned have also probably been a major factor in discouraging conservative Episcopalians not thrilled with certain contemporary developments from leaving to join the Roman Catholic Church.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Priorities

I am aware that some right-wingers who broadly agree in principle with my preference for Monarchy may find my focus on it, to the exclusion of most other political issues, excessive. One response to that is that the pendulum since 1910 has swung so far towards the dominance of republicanism, and Monarchy, even more than most other aspects of traditional civilization, has been so relentlessly attacked (whether destroyed or weakened) by the Left and--perhaps more importantly--ignored or abandoned by the Right, that it is necessary for at least some of us to be willing to risk being seen as excessively preoccupied with monarchism in order to restore any sort of balance. I would say the same with regard to the very different but not entirely unrelated issue of music in Christian worship since the 1960s.