Thursday, October 20, 2005

The pathos of our times

England's King Henry VIII was granted the title "Defender of the Faith" in 1521 by Pope Leo X, who was grateful for Henry's attack on Martin Luther. Though Henry was to make his own break with the papacy in later years, successive British monarchs have retained the title, down to Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth is to be the last of the British monarchs crowned with this title, "Defender of the Faith." Charles, the current Prince of Wales, is likely to be England's first New Age king, complete with belief in reincarnation, a panentheistic worldview, and postmodern morals. In a recent interview, Charles declared himself unwilling to take on the title, "Defender of the Faith." Better, he said, to be known as "Defender of Faith" since "people have fought each other to the death over these things, which seems to me a peculiar waste of people's energies." He added that he would be the "defender of the Divine in existence, the pattern of the Divine which is, I think, in all of us, but which, because we are human beings, can be expressed in so many different ways." So the future King Charles will defend faith, but no particular faith, including Christianity and especially the Church of England, of which he will be head. Charles will be the perfect king for a church whose bishops routinely deny the most basic doctrines of the Christian faith.
(From Albert Mohler; read the whole thing here.)

In many ways, it is very sad to live in such a diminished age of chestless men. As a child and adolescent, I always believed that the collapse of civilizations must resonate with dramatic and heroic events, shot through with gallantry and high tragedy. In reality, it is merely shabby and pathetic.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
(William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming)