Wednesday, September 14, 2022

On Mourning the Queen as an American Monarchist

Probably my greatest weakness as a Christian is that while this should not be construed as ingratitude for the positive aspects of my real life I’ve never been able to overcome a certain theoretical resentment at having been born American rather than British, which prevents me from ever feeling quite as docile to God’s will as we’re apparently supposed to, as indeed the late Queen herself was. Indeed, my whole way of being Christian as an Episcopalian is so deeply intertwined with Anglophilia and the Monarchy (which for an Anglican in England would be nothing abnormal) that I don’t know how to separate the two. It’s all sort of the same thing for me, which I suppose is why I tend to see “British” republicans as utterly evil enemies of God, akin to the monstrous orcs in Lord of the Rings, rather than as simply people I disagree with.

As lovely as last night’s Evensong [in thanksgiving for the life of Queen Elizabeth II at St. Matthew's Cathedral] mostly was, there were still a few lines in the homily that made me wince, as did the fact that even on this most inherently royalist of occasions the officiant still sang “State” rather than “King” during the (Smith) Responses. Even many Americans sincerely paying tribute to the Queen feel obliged to include some sort of republican disclaimer, which I never like, because I wholeheartedly believe that “our” way is wrong and theirs is right. I suppose a certain such discomfort is inevitable as long as I live here, and I don’t seem to be moving. But with all my heart I reject 1776 and all its works. God Save the King.

No comments: