Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Mad Rant: Respect for Authority
I see this sort of stuff all the time and maybe it only stands out to head cases like myself but it seems to have spread everywhere. Think about the angels. Everyone likes angels, right? We think of angels and we think of “Highway to Heaven” or “Touched by an Angel” or we picture chubby little naked babies with wings. Give me a break! Just take a look in your Bible and you will see that (some, not all) angels were pretty terrifying creatures. When we think of cherubs we think of, again, cute little naked babies with wings. That’s sweet and adorable and all that but the actual Biblical description of these angels is creatures with four heads, six wings, the body of a lion and hooves like an ox. That’s not “cute”, that’s good, old fashioned nightmare fodder right there! All of this stuff, in my view, makes a difference. It seems to me that “we” (as in Christendom -or what’s left of it) have tried so hard to make God and Jesus and the angels “nice guys” and sweet, lovable best friends that people think nothing of just letting religion slide. “I can do what I want,” they think, “because if God is such a nice guy, he wouldn’t hold anything against me, he’d understand”. Well, yeah, God understands everything but that doesn’t mean the Almighty won’t throw you into a lake of fire if you don’t take Him seriously.
This goes for many monarchies as well as republics. In the U.K. and Commonwealth realms, people think nothing of insulting, mocking or even seriously calling for the overthrow of the Queen. And saying that they do the same in the United States is no excuse because in the United States it is not the President who is supposed to be the source of all government authority and the foundation for the very existence of the state as in Great Britain. This is about a mentality, a mentality that (sadly in my view) many royals themselves go along with, just as many Christian leaders go along with portraying Jesus as some sort of hippie and Satan as a “social construct”. This mentality does not exist everywhere of course, but seems to be becoming more prevalent. Not only do these things not go on in the few remaining absolute monarchies of the world, but I could not imagine monarchs being mocked and ridiculed as they are in Europe pretty much anywhere in Asia. In Thailand, a very free and even libertine country in some ways, you can still get in pretty big trouble for speaking slightingly of the King. Whether such laws exist in Cambodia, Japan or Malaysia I do not know, but I could never imagine anyone ridiculing the reigning monarch no matter what the law says in the same way as is commonly done in other parts of the world.
As anyone who knows me well can attest, there is very little, in my opinion, that anyone needs to know that cannot be learned by studying ancient Rome. Whether they know it or not, modern political leaders all over the world have learned and adopted the lesson about “bread and circuses” very well. Yet, despite their many problems, the ancient Romans, of both the republican and imperial eras, had a far greater respect for authority than we do today. Elections were sacred rituals, parliamentary rules were considered a religious matter and people, whether the tribune of the plebs or the Emperor of Rome were installed in office in sacred ceremonies. Today we cling ever more tightly to the forms of democracy while treating the whole process with contempt just as we condemn our politicians while continuing to reelect them to office time and time again. We despise them, but increasingly expect them to do everything for us just as we (or perhaps I should say “we”) mock religion, try to twist it, deny it and deny God but whenever disaster befalls us we expect God to help us or ask where He is or how He could have “allowed” this or that to happen. We want to have our cake and eat it too and, perhaps most importantly, we never want to admit that we just might have made a mistake. In fact, we seem to never even want to consider it. So, our societies become worse, our governments more corrupt and ineffective and our lives ever more empty while we still smile at the cameras and say we have “no regrets”.
It’s rather pitiful really. And it makes me a rather baffled, gloomy and … Mad Monarchist.