Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cry ‘God for Boris, England and St George!’

With a bit of luck (actually, much fasting, fervent prayer and intense intercession), this will be the last St George’s Day under this appalling Labour government. If St George’s Day 2010 still sees Labour clinging to power for the remaining few weeks, Cranmer shall be tempted to scatter his own ashes to the wind.

With the news that the Mayor of London has fulfilled his promise to hang a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen at City Hall, there is a sense with each passing week that the next Conservative government shall instil a sense of patriotism and redress the UK’s constitutional imbalance by throwing a few crumbs to England. Today, Mayor Johnson is touring the capital city in an open-top bus and on Saturday he shall be promoting a free concert of modern English folk music in Trafalgar Square.

England is worth celebrating and the English should be proud to do so.

St George was not English. Indeed, he was born in (what is now) Turkey and was martyred in Israel (which some prefer to call Palestine). Yet his story is bound up with that of England, for it is a story of a quest for religious liberty. Born of Christian parents during the late third century, George became a soldier – a loyal and successful one – in the army of Emperor Diocletian. When in AD302 the Emperor issued an edict that every Christian soldier in the army should be arrested and every other soldier forced to offer a sacrifice to the Pagan gods, George refused. He was neither going to bow the knee to false idols nor honour religious tyranny. Just as the English were eventually to do, George rejected the notion of ‘Divine Right’ and king worship. He renounced the Emperor’s edict and declared before his fellow soldiers that he was a Christian and would worship only Jesus Christ. Diocletian had George tortured by laceration on a wheel of swords. He was eventually beheaded for his faith, a witness which caused others to convert to Christianity who were themselves martyred for their faith in Jesus.

It is no surprise that such a story should inspire the English who endured centuries of persecution at the hands of their own religious fanatics. And Cranmer surely knows. It is a bloody, messy and murky history. But the settlement came at the beginning of the 18th century, since which time England has been a nation of increasing liberty, and that liberty has been a beacon of light to the modern free world.

As far as Cranmer is concerned, St George’s Day should be a national holiday in honour of all that England has bequeathed to the world. And while His Grace is in a patriotic mood, he wishes it to be known that all public buildings ought to display prominently and permanently a portrait of Her Majesty. All schools, hospitals and town halls ought to make a very public display of affection for and allegiance to the Sovereign Head of State (even if she be a vassal citizen of the European Union). Civic pride must be restored: ‘citizenship’ must be supplanted by an appreciation of such notions as loyalty, allegiance and respect for liberty and the traditions of liberal democracy. In addition, the BBC, as the State broadcaster, financed by a compulsory tithe of Her Majesty’s subjects, ought to reinstate the daily rendering of the National Anthem.

It is not mere coincidence that St George’s Day coincides with the birthday of the world’s greatest poet and playwright.

Go on, Mr Cameron: give a manifesto pledge. Grant the English a day of liberty to honour St George and William Shakespeare. Your victory at the next general election would thereby be assured.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good stuff, your Grace - but jsut ot say that there was no 'Turkey' when St George was born - the Turks were central Asian invaders of the Christian lands of Anatolia.

23 April 2009 at 07:49  
Blogger Cranmer said...

His Grace has added parentheses to both Turkey and Israel.

23 April 2009 at 07:57  
Blogger OldSouth said...

Well said!

And, here on the other side of the pond, a return to a tradition in public buildings and schools: The posting of the portrait of Washington, and the Declaration of Independence; and the respectful display of the national and state flags(the Stars and Stripes above the State flag, always). Children at school competed for the honor of raising and lowering the flags every morning and afternoon.

In some places, I recall seeing the images of Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln, grouped together.

We were all carefully (almost to the point of bored tears) taught the contents of the US Constitution, and could recite the opening paragraphs of the Declaration.

Thus, when Nixon attempted to shred the Constitution, the outcry was huge and well-informed.

Now, Obama threatens to burn it before our eyes, and most don't even know what it is, or what that would mean for us.

Wishing you well over there.

23 April 2009 at 07:58  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Well said! I'm wearing my Cross of St. George today - right in the faces of the Commie so-and-so's.

Just one thing - having started on the patriotic thing, how about releasing HM (and the rest of us) from that despicable euSSR?

Vassal indeed. They'd better not bring any euros near me until they know their proper place!!!!!

23 April 2009 at 08:14  
OpenID jobtwenteewun1to3 said...

Well said Your Grace, and this from a Welshman residing in the land of his fathers. The UK needs a strong and vibrant England as the lead nation in our wonderful country. As a matter of fact I may join the celebrations by donning a St George's Cross myself.

23 April 2009 at 08:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And a glorious day it is, too. Happy St George's Day, everyone.
From a Happy Atheist.

23 April 2009 at 08:32  
OpenID britologywatch said...

His Grace writes: "the settlement came at the beginning of the 18th century, since which time England has been a nation of increasing liberty".

Might I remind His Grace that true freedom of religion for all Christians in England did not arrive until the Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829. Even so, I fully agree that St. George is a fitting symbol for the freedom - including religious freedom - for which England has stood since pre-Reformation times, i.e. at least since Magna Carta.

23 April 2009 at 08:56  
Anonymous not a machine said...

your grace may be feeling like my self , that I have been cured of a debiliating mental health problem , as labour presented its budget of the ecnomic heretics to the UK people.

St george is reminder that there is honour in refuting paganism an following christ .

although i do wonder if paganism is part of the RPI shopping basket ??

and yes with you on god bless our queen as well ,

its all comming back to me now , thats right i live as free person in christian UK , what drug has been administered to me these last 12 years to make my sleep so deep and my thoughts so feeble ??

23 April 2009 at 09:16  
Blogger Demetrius said...

Personally, I am sticking to St. Eadburga.

23 April 2009 at 09:35  
Anonymous Brian said...

Your Grace,
Since Saint George is offensive to our Lords and Masters, might I suggest that we replace the flag of Saint George with the flag of Saint Rowan - a white cross on a white background.

23 April 2009 at 10:48  
Blogger Wyrdtimes said...

Waes Hail and happy St George's Day.

Here's to home rule for England.

23 April 2009 at 10:54  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Good post Your Grace, it's good to reflect on the history of Christians that stood up for their faith to the point of sacrificing themselves & interesting that many brave men were inspired by this act to embrace the faith. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the blood of His saints. Lest we forget, many are still paying with torture & death for the gospel, & by their actions others are being saved daily. So as we celebrate St George let us pray for the unsung saints that are still giving their all for Christ, & for the ultimate victory of the gospel of salvation for all men of truth, grace & honesty.

23 April 2009 at 11:12  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

You say that, ‘England is worth celebrating and the English should be proud to do so.’

Indeed, my lord: it is a privilige to be born an Englishman.

Mind you, my lord, I only came to this view after some years of serving our Lord.

‘tis a strange paradox that just when I had given up on England and aimed for the Kingdom of Heaven that our Lord threw Earth into my lap for good measure.


Let us declare a national holy-day and thank God for our country: the past, the present and the glorious future that awaits under God’s good providence.

23 April 2009 at 11:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well written (as always) and in principle no problem with the idea.
However, I can't see the Scots/Welsh/N.Irish wanting a national holiday to celebrate St.George's Day, so presumably it would only work if they each had their own national holiday at the appropriate time. This, of course, couldn't work as you can't have parts of the UK taking different public holidays. Therefore I think that although everyone thinks it's a good idea, it will not happen.
I am Welsh, by the way, so I tend to consider things from a UK perspective not an English one.

23 April 2009 at 11:59  
Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

23 April 2009 at 12:40  
Blogger Si Hollett said...

There's a problem with having St George's Day as a national holiday for England. It's simply at the wrong time of year.

Sandwiched between the Easter Bank Holidays (Good Friday can be St George's Day at the latest) and May Day (we can have St George's replace that) it comes in a flurry of Bank Holidays. If a Tory Government make the 23rd of April a Bank Holiday, then the first time it gets used, 2011, you'd have the 22nd as Good Friday, 23rd and 24th as the weekend, 25th as Easter Monday and either the 22nd or 26th as St George's Day Bank Holiday (like when the other fixed date ones end up on a weekend it moves). If you keep the May Day one, that's a three-day week and 2 four-day weeks in a row. Even without May Day, it's very cluttered with Bank Holidays in a time that gets enough (Half our Bank Holidays are in March-May, or April-May most years).

It's a shame that St George's day isn't 6 months later on the 23rd of October. Either that or we didn't decide to replace King St Edward the Confessor with a Crusader-helping, (Welsh?) dragon-slaying patron saint in 1350 (you can see why it was changed). St Edward's date is in mid-October, a time crying out for a Bank Holiday.

23 April 2009 at 12:52  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Si Hollett has a good point about the cluster of holidays at this time of year. One answer would be to drop the rule about shifting any bank holiday to a weekday when it falls on a Saturday or Sunday. If New Year's Day, May Day or whatever falls on a weekend, tough luck, that's your holiday. Most countries do it that way, I believe. I would personally be strongly in favour.

23 April 2009 at 13:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy St George's day to all of your readers:

23 April 2009 at 13:27  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Sorry Your Grace I cannot support St George as Patron of England when there are far better claimants to the title.

St Edward the Confessor is the natural choice as Patron Saint of England for every true Englishman, as England's only sainted king and her first recognised and nationally adopted Patron Saint (before the foreigner Saint George took over in 1350), St George is a usurper; a pretender to the title imposed on the native English by the Norman invaders for political purposes. St Edward constructed the Abbey at Westminster where today his shrine remains, where are the bones of St George, eh? St Edward was considered to be the patron saint of England from the reign of Henry II for well over 200 years before the imposter St George, Shakespeare mentions St Edward in Macbeth as the ‘Saintly King of England’, far better than coincidently sharing a birthday.

In 1163, the newly sainted king's remains were enshrined in Westminster Abbey (his Abbey, the one he built) with solemnities presided over by Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, I mean Thomas Becket, Saint Thomas Becket recognised St Edward the Confessor as Patron Saint of England, how cool is that?

If we were to re-adopt Saint Edward the Confessor as Patron Saint of England the holy days would be 13 October, just when we need it in the dark days of autumn, when everyone gets a bit depressed, summers over, it’s not Christmas. That’s why Guy Fawks did what he did on November 5, he was depressed, you removed the saints' and holy days from the Church calendar, and he had nothing to look forward too, its your fault he had Seasonal Affective Disorder, he was SAD and its all your fault.

Also have you noticed how similar the stories of St Alban and St George are, very suspect that, even St Alban is a more credible patron saint as we have the Shrine of Saint Alban in St Albans Cathedral, There isn’t even an Anglican Cathedral to St George in England, only a Catholic one is Southwick or a Greek Orthodox one in London, ha you don’t even believe it yourselves.

So I say "Cry 'God for Harry, England and Saint Edward the Confessor!'", I’m sure that was how it was written by Willy before Christopher Marlowe sneaked in one night and changed it, for a bet.

23 April 2009 at 13:40  
Blogger Gnostic said...

It is not mere coincidence that St George’s Day coincides with the birthday of the world’s greatest poet and playwright.Laffing! Actually, it is. Unless you are trying to tell us something about a second devine birth previously unknown to your communicants. It's my nephew's birthday today and since he's a right little sod (but cute with it) I'm assuming his date of birth was a coincidence too...

A good post, Your Grace. And an uplifiting one.

PS Good on ya, Boris.

23 April 2009 at 14:10  
Anonymous Hereward said...


The Confessor was appropriated by the Plantagenets as their personal patron (eclipsing Edmund of East Anglia), and it was they who contructed the bulk of the Westminster Abbey that we now see, work continuing long after 1350. Having lost almost all the French territories, they needed to wrap themselves in the banner of a legitimising saintly English predecessor or two. Have a look at the Wilton Diptych, for instance: Edmund of East Anglia and Edward the Confessor both supporting Richard II.

George was venerated in England before the Conquest, his importance reinforced by those of all ranks returning from the Crusades (long after the Normans, who imposed many things on us, but not St George), and so whereas the Confessor became the patron of Anglo-Norman royalty, George became the patron of England as a whole. (It was riding on the back of this popularity that Edward III founded St George's Chapel, Windsor, the order of the garter, etc., again appropriating legitimacy from what was popular in the country as a whole, not imposiong it as a foreign import.)

That there is no cathedral dedicated to him in fact gives the lie to the notion that he was somehow imposed on the English by the Normans and their successors: if they had wanted a cathedral or major abbey rededicated, or a new one built, they could have arranged it. They didn't: they focused on Westminster and the shrine of the Confessor.

George's ethnicity doesn't seem to be a problem to Catalans, Georgians, Muscovites etc. Why should it bother us? The Scots seem happy with their Jewish patron, the Irish with their Welsh one.

That St George is associated with those seeking to relieve the Holy Places from the Infidel seems a bonus. Long may his cross fly in this land!

Personally, I'll have all three -- why stick at one?

23 April 2009 at 16:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,
Surely any true Englishman celebrates St. George's day by NOT celebrating it.
Making a fuss simply demonstrates insecurity and an inferiority complex,as such it is the kind of behaviour to be expected from the Scots and Welsh.
I fear a bank holiday would soon descend into a commercialised drink sodden event that would do
no honour to St George or St Edward.(An English version of St Patrick's day anyone ? - No thanks).
I hope your grace and your readers will use the day to pray for our troubled land.
God save our gracious sovereign. May the Lord send her good ministers and wise counsel. May she (and us) soon rid of the corrupt and incompetent individuals whose advice she is currently obligied to accept.

23 April 2009 at 16:15  
Anonymous Hereward said...

Oh, and the Cross of St George was first used by the English army in Edward I's Welsh campaigns, late 1270s.

23 April 2009 at 16:16  
Blogger The Half-Blood Welshman said...

"Oh, and the Cross of St George was first used by the English army in Edward I's Welsh campaigns, late 1270s."

Wrong I'm afraid Hereward - it was first used by William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Why? Because he was marching with the Pope's blessing and St. George was the saint most closely identified with war. It is true that Edward also used it, as befitted another Crusader King, but he wasn't the first.

Out of curiosity - why no mention of the stand out candidate on this thread - St. Augustine? He brought Christianity to Southern England and working from his base at Canterbury, spread it all across the country. Switching to him would bring us in line with Ireland and Wales (Patrick and David) whose patron saints fulfilled similar roles. Moreover, just a thought, his feast day is 23rd May - no need for a special feast day, just redesignate the Spring Bank Holiday!

23 April 2009 at 16:54  
Anonymous Maturecheese said...

Your Grace,

I very much doubt if Cameron will make St Georges day a public holiday as he won't want to "offend" the Muslim population(voters)

23 April 2009 at 17:26  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Mr Hereward,

I was just fishing for a big Cranmer fish but he's not biting today, Although Edward the Confessor is a better Patron Saint.

23 April 2009 at 18:20  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Recusant,

His Grace rarely takes bait.

St Edward the Confessor is too much of a mouthful in soundbite Britain.

He half expected you to build up to St John Henry Newman.

23 April 2009 at 18:39  
Anonymous Hereward said...

Half-blooded Welshman

From this quarter-blooded Welshman:

Perhaps my post was ambiguously phrased, but I did say English army. William the Bastard's Normans were not that. (If it is indeed true that William had papal approval and a papal banner at the battle, and this is not, as some believe, some later legitimising propaganda, then the cross is yellow, not red, as can be seen carried by Eustace of Boulogne in the Bayeux Tapestry (panel 45). This cross, I presume, lies behind the one we can see superimposed on the red cross of St George in the flag of Guernsey.)

The first English crusaders wore white crosses, the French wore red. There were as yet no associations with any saint.

The Cross of St George, as we currently know it, emerged in the early part of the 13th century, and first became what we might consider an official emblem of the English army in the late 1270s under Edward I who, as you rightly say, was a crusader king. That does not mean that no one else in Eurpoe was using it before, or that it is in any way exclusive to England.

I hope that clears up the ambiguity. And apologies if I have got carried away.


23 April 2009 at 19:44  
Anonymous Hereward said...

Mr Recusant

Ah. Well I hope your alternative catch didn't disappoint too much. . .

23 April 2009 at 19:47  
Blogger Devv said...

Blessings on your day no matter which Saint you feel is most fitting for the sceptr'd Isle.

However as a restive Colonial I somewhat beg to differ with the statement:

"since which time England has been a nation of increasing liberty, and that liberty has been a beacon of light to the modern free world".

This is because my perception is that England's increasing Liberty came at a heavy cost for the liberty of other lands. The capital wealth that made the final overthrow of feudal power possible, came in large part from the enslavement of others, and later on from the commercial exploitation e.g. of the Middle East and Africa. If there's a beacon at all, it was lit with other people's oil.

Boris...hmm. I don't get the popularity of Boris, but must admit that he makes a good if rather camp St George. It's that hair. So very un-English, dontcha think? Un-Turkish, too, of course.

23 April 2009 at 19:56  
Anonymous Voyager said...

It is good that St George is the Patron Saint of England and of the City of Moscow and that he is tangentially linked to what the invaders now call Turkey.......for Boris has Turkish ancestry and London is now home to so many Muscovites and Turks that they should join the English in celebrating St George

23 April 2009 at 20:40  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Well, I always heard E Confessor was weak and preferred his froggie Favorites over Englishmen. If he'd had any wit, furthermore, William the Bastard might not have tried to legitimize himself at our expense. I'm used to St. George, though; and I like what he represents. I don't know why we should have to change.

Devv - I do protest at your perception of England's liberty. Such statements are fashionable and based on commie-decon-neu historical approaches; but that doesn't make them true. Rather it makes them sweeping generalizations put about by people who want excuses for hating; it helps develop stereotypes that suit young people who never were under British rule, but who are so hate-filled that their minds are closed to what the British stood for, and who don't even realize that half the time all we wanted to do was go home - which we eventually did. So I say this type of 'scholarship' continues to foster further hatred, racism, and deconstruction on the part of our present-day enemies, and to turn our friends against us. It's part of the communist subversion of the West, and of all freedom and independence.

The inhabitants of what we know as 'England' have fought long and hard for their rights - often against other inhabitants of this land. They've also exported their ideas for the protection and development of Freedom all over the world. When those ideas - founded on Christianity - had some currency, the world seemed to me much pleasanter than it presently does. Now that our way has no influence, and the world has reversed the flow, turning instead to pagan and secular intellectualism - not even England is fit to live in.

Btw e.g's: What were the Americans, in the first place, but a bunch of Englishmen standing up for their rights?
Also: Remember Wilberforce and the opposition to slavery - that he could build upon?

24 April 2009 at 04:56  

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