A veritable poster boy for the western secular left in the 21st Century, King Henry VIII of Britain was one of the most interesting monarchs in the history of that extraordinary island nation.
He was also a monster.
Best known for having had 6 wives and disposing of them in various ways, Henry VIII is almost as well known for having fathered Elizabeth 1, thought by many historians to have been the greatest British monarch of all time. A man of voracious appetites and enormous ego, King Henry would not have been best pleased with either of these historical claims to fame; as he not only considered himself to be a great ruler, but also to be an able practitioner of the divine right of kings.
It is often the case in studying history that a little factoid will stand out and bring into clarity the concept of what one is attempting to comprehend of another age. In the case of King Henry VIII, it is clear that he was a true believer in the rule of the divine right of kings, and that his faith in that concept justified every outrageous act he took during his reign. The following little histoire provides a remarkable demonstration of how ingrained was this belief in the King.
This story is to be found in the autumn of the king’s life, and though he had already been very busy in his reign destroying the Catholic Church in England, causing the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands of people, destroying the most magnificent monasteries and centers of learning in the world, he felt that he still had quite a lot more such work to do. It was similarly the period in his life in which he had made the conscious or unconscious (he was also not totally sane in this period of his life) decision that food and drink, and enormous amounts of it, was more important than maintaining what had been quite a handsome appearance and imposing physical mein. Though no longer a Catholic people, the British adhered to most such religious traditions, and as such, abstained from eating meat during the period of Lent. The King was meant to do so along with his subjects, (since God was still supposedly still of greater significance than the King), but since he liked meat, and didn’t want to spend a month eating just fish, he issued a royal decree that chicken was not meat. Voila! Now the otherwordly person of King Henry VIII of England could indulge himself during Lent as much as he did during every other part of the year.
What extraordinary power, or perhaps, hutzpah, you may think. I would venture to say that only Kings, Emperors and the American left could get away with something like that.
In 1536, in the 27th year of Henry VIII’s reign, there were over 800 monasteries, nunneries and friaries in Britain, many of which were the greatest centers of learning in the land. This was at a time when Henry had decided, for various reasons, to divest himself of the Church of Rome, and to establish the Church of England, of which he declared himself the leader, and insisted everyone in his nation must join. The implementing of this decree bore the following results, among others: by 1541, there was not one monastery, nunnery or friary left in England. More than 10,000 monks, friars and nuns had been dispersed and/or killed, and all the buildings in which they had lived and served their God had either been seized by the Crown, destroyed, made ruins of or ‘leased to new lay occupiers.’ As such, centuries of scholarly work, and innumerable holy articles of indescribable beauty and/or value, had been annihilated.
Glastonbury Abbey was one of the principal victims of this action by the King, who had been named previously by the Pope as ‘Defender of the Faith,’ that being the Catholic faith, during the social and religious upheaval known as the ‘Dissolution of the Monasteries.’
One of the great physical symbols of this faith in Christendom was Glastonbury Abbey, the second wealthiest, and the most magnificent abbey in Britain. Glastonbury was an ancient Christian site, and it was reputed to have been where the Holy Grail was stored when it was brought to England from the Holy Land; where Joseph of Arimethea visited on his only trip to England; and where King Arthur and Queen Guinevere of Camelot were buried. Glastonbury was, and is, revered as one of the most magical, sacred and mystical sites in England, and this is true, today, despite that this very special place has been a ruin for over 500 years.
I was fortunate enough to have been given the privilege of raising funds for Glastonbury Abbey while I was living in Europe, and became familiar with this extraordinary place. The ‘Glastonbury Thorn’ is, or sadly, was, perhaps the most remarkable physical evidence of the specialness of Glastonbury. One felt truly honored to have seen this, well, I’m trying to think of the right word, well, this…miracle.
Its origin is found during the only voyage of Joseph of Arimethea to England in the 1st Century. Upon disembarking on what is the current site of Glastonbury, according to legend, Joseph stuck his staff into the ground and it ‘flowered miraculously into the Glastonbury Thorn,’ a tree that became known as the ‘Holy Thorn.’ This tree grows naturally only in the Holy Land, (outside of Glastonbury in England), and was the kind whose branches were used to make the crown of thorns that was placed on the head of Jesus Christ at the time of His Crucifixion. This has, since ancient times, in England, grown only where it was supposedly ‘planted’ at Glastonbury, and each year it has flowered only twice, once in the spring and again around Christmas time. Each year, for no one knows how long, a sprig of the thorn tree was cut and presented to the serving monarch.
That is, until the modern secular multicultural Christian-hating left entered the western cultural picture, which is a place where everything that has anything to do with Christianity, whether it be physical, intellectual, theological or emotional, is to be reviled and/or destroyed. The Glastonbury Thorn, an extraordinary manifestation of Christianity’s remarkable story, meant much to those who believe in God and in Jesus Christ, so to those who hate Christianity, it had to go. Thus, in the stillness and gentleness of a British pastoral night, the miraculous thorn tree that had been in place for centuries, and had given joy to millions, was viciously chopped down and destroyed, to the extent that no bits of it seem to have survived enough to enable its reproduction.
One cannot help but imagine what the world reaction would be if something as sacrilegious as this act, and of this magnitude, were done to a symbol this precious of the world of Islam. While this act breaks the average Christian heart, beheading everyone involved in this offense would probably not occur as an appropriate punishment as ordained by Christ. Conversely, something as innocuous as a cartoon reproducing an image of Mohammed provoked the members of the world of Islam to cause worldwide riots and massacres, and similar such events have occurred with alarming repetition. The West, in its increasing dhimmitude, has recorded a reaction no stronger to these events than to refrain, out of fear of possible similar Islamic repercussions, from ever doing anything again that might possibly offend any Muslim anywhere in the world. Even more stunningly, the horrifying, sick and atrocious physical act perpetrated on one of the most sacred Christian sites in the world, is completely ignored by the supposedly civilized citizenry of the West.
This abominable act has been ignored by the same people and press who couldn’t stop screaming about the ‘insult’ to Islam by the fictitious toilet-dunking of the Koran at Guantanamo, by the intended but not carried out Koran burning by a deranged pastor in Florida, and by the bestowing of the name of Mohammed on a teddy bear in an elementary school event by an innocent and well meaning school teacher. The perpetrators of each one of these events, by the way, were showered with death threats by members of the religion of peace, and all involved still live in a very real fear of their lives.
As no one seems to care about such sacrilege in the Christian world, that is, no one in the mainstream media, no one representing Western governments, no civilized nation speaking out, it is no wonder that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, despite the increasing fanaticism of its members. This is at the same time that attendance at Christian churches continues to decline throughout the globe, and everywhere the world quakes in fear at the growing power of Islam. It is with the non-response on the part of the Christian west to acts such as the destruction of the Glastonbury Thorn that the bizarre and deadly combination of Islam and the secular left will indeed bring about the destruction of Western civilization.
Henry VIII would be proud.