Sunday, September 23, 2007
The Poet’s Choice
The Church of England was pulled out of the mess of divorce. Henry VIII was desperate for the church to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragorn which the Pope would not do, partly because there was no basis for the annulment, but mostly because he was afraid of Catherine’s nephew, Charles V the Holy Roman Emperor.
Over the succeeding decade, Henry demanded money from the Catholic church in exchange for freedom from prosecution, forced them to accept him as the head of the church in England and nephew and removed their right to appeal to Rome. It was only incidental that this enabled him to both get his hands on the considerable money that the church had amassed and a divorce.
The church denies this of course. If asked, they will swear that the church is based upon the sixth century decree by Ethelbert of Kent, a pagan, that his wife should be allowed to worship her own god in her own way. It’s just a pity that successive heads of state haven’t viewed religion as a private affair since.
A whole church based not just on shagging, but upon shagging and money. If a woman did that they’d have a name for her. When a church does it, they call it The Will of God.
In point of fact it really doesn’t matter what name you go by. It’s what you believe and how you honour those beliefs that matters. Did Elizabeth I worry about being excommunicated because of her father’s acts? I think not. She got on with crushing the Catholics because they had more money than she did, a pattern which America has followed faithfully ever since and good luck to them.
The tragedy is that, in recent years, the Church of England has become so desperate to attract the faithful through the doors that they’ve become the Poet’s Church. Sunday after Sunday we are exposed to the most dreadful, hackneyed poetry on the planet, pronounce fit and good because it praises a God who forbade their basic tenets in the first place. All this guilt is funnelled to Heaven along with the banging notes of an organ in desperate need of tuning played by a man who thinks musical phrases are when you ask the way to the airport in a funny accent.
So after the wince-inducing cacophony of church bells had finished Harold and I put on our Sunday best and went to see Ada. We were armed, as were thousands of other sons going to visit their mother on a Sunday, with a box of chocolates and a bunch of flowers. Probably not the best bunch in the world but at least they were hand picked and not a pick-up from the local garage. I doubt Mrs. Morris from number 23 will notice her depleted chrysanthemum bed anyway.
Felicia came with us. She’s rather fond of Ada since the old dear saved her life. She baked a cake specially. Quite how the two equate I don’t know, because if you’ve ever tried one of Felicia’s cakes you’d think she wanted you dead yesterday.
Ada was pleased to see us. I could tell that, because she didn’t tell us to get out immediately. Felicia put the kettle on while I sat down to have a chat with Ada.
Until the morrow.