Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Seeing Orange

For one of my British History classes, I have to lead a seminar on the "Glorious" Revolution of 1688. For those unfamiliar with British history: in 1688 James II a Catholic, tried to pass laws of Religious Toleration and had a male heir. This was enough for parliament to treasonously plan a Dutch invasion of England and a Coup D'Etat in which William of Orange, military leader of a Protestant league waging war against Louis XIV of France, could take the crown. Many Scottish and Irish Catholics died fighting for King James, but English historians call the event a "bloodless revolution" (as any student of England knows, Catholics and non-English folks don't 'count'). My professor is an oldschool Englishman who was at least nominally CofE from what I can tell, and characterized James II as a despot and absolutist. But I mean, who wouldn't call legislation for Freedom of Religion despotic? How mindlessly absolutist to act well within constitutional law to protect a persecuted minority. ...sarcasm...

Then I saw this video of Northern Irish politician Ian Paisley screaming at the Pope: It's weird how things change, because I was actually in a bible study with his grandson at bible school in England. I think we stopped being facebook friends when I converted to Catholicism. When we were at school both he (the grandson) and I, actually agreed that we had doubts about those who believed in infant baptism and the Trinity, could really be biblical Christians. Good old Evangelical Arianism and Anabaptism...

Then I found the Canadian Orange Lodge, which is like the KKK for anti-Catholic Anglos. The Strange thing is how I could see myself being in it if I hadn't gone Roman.

I feel like Joseph Pearce a bit, the famous Irish convert to Catholicism. It's always a weird thing to switch 180 degrees from your upbringing. But I find myself with the famous Catholic historian Lord Acton saying that communion with Rome, is more dear than life. It's strange that for us Anglo's, Catholicism is a political thing. For every other race, it's not a political matter if you become Catholic, but for the descendent or student of English History, conflicting loyalties to King and Church have been quite common.

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