Monday, November 05, 2007

Rocket 88: Bonfire Night

Sometimes we forget that Christians enjoy killing each other as much as Muslims do -- the Shi'ite-Sunni conflict roughly mirrors Protestant-Catholic conflicts of past and present. Often, religious and political bodies are targets of attack -- something daring and spectacular to stir up murderous passions among the masses. We've seen plenty of this in recent years; another example is the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. In that incident, some clever Catholic insurgents came very close to blowing up the English Protestant Parliament in London, hoping to inspire the overthrow of King James I (the guy whose name is stamped on many a Protestant English language Bible). A Catholic-Land uprising! Sadly for Catholics in England, it was foiled on this date 402 years ago. The conspirators were hanged, drawn and quartered (not a pretty procedure).

In the British Empire beginning with King Henry VIII, Catholics were treated as second class citizens until the 20th century. An interesting take on Christian charity. British Protestants have celebrated Bonfire Night on November 5 ever since -- for over 400 years!

Guy Fawkes Night

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parliament.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

A penny loaf to feed the Pope
A farthing o' cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down.
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar.
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head.
Then we'll say ol' Pope is dead.
Hip hip hoorah! Hip hip hoorah hoorah!

Today's Rune: Journey.


Johnny Yen said...

Today is ex-wife #1's birthday, which she, the Cuban-born, US bred anglophile took delight in. "Guy Fawkes, the only man who ever entered the Parliment with honorable intentions."

the walking man said...

Makes you wonder what the empire would have looked like today had the conspiracy succeeded but the schisms of the present really aren't papist vs. protestant are they? More along the lines of homosexuality,
'family values" and who to throw the political might bone too in any given election.



Sidney said...

I watched a couple of episodes of Hotel Babylon. A guilty pleasure.

Charles Gramlich said...

Pretty much it seems that humans like killing other humans and will look for any excuse to do so. Or no excuse.