6.11.05

Crazy like a Fawkes

I'm in London for work this week, and arrived just in time for Guy Fawkes Night. Having only a cursory knowledge of the origin of this holiday, I felt I had to do a little research...

For those of you not familiar with the occasion, it is a celebration of the capture of Britain's most notorious traitor, Guy Fawkes. This frustrated military man - whose biography bears several resemblances to that of a more recent American - and his cohorts planned to blow up Parliament (Roman Catholics trying to disrupt Protestant rule with an act of domestic terrorism).

So how does England commemorate the foiling of The Gunpowder Plot? She co-opts the explosive approach Fawkes took... setting off fireworks, bonfires and flaming effigies of the Pope for a night. Okay, the Pope part doesn't happen so much anymore, as Catholics now celebrate the holiday, too. But the holiday was originally set to celebrate the saving of the King and to instill violent anti-Catholic sentiment.

All this drove me to the point that prompted this post:

When you get down to it, practically every recorded incident of terrorism revolves around the fundamental inseparability of a Church and a State. So are we ultimately fooling ourselves when we believe the two can operate independently of each other?

4 comments:

imp (Iva-Marie Palmer) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
E said...

If you want a good fictional take on Guy Fawkes and an interesting dissection of terrorism, Check out Alan Moore's "V for Vendetta". Sure it's a comic, but Moore's the best. There was talk of releasing the movie this past weekend, but that was deemed a bad idea (plus the film's not finished?). The film is supposed to be one of the more fatihful adaptions of his work, but the book is really where it's at...

imp (Iva-Marie Palmer) said...

Hope you set up your comments to send to email because I somehow deleted mine when I was trying to addend (that a word?) to it.

pylbug said...

Reposting an accidentally-deleted comment from imp (iva-marie palmer):

imp (iva-marie palmer) said...
Fooling ourselves? It seems that way but I hope not. Every religion cultivates blind followers and some become foot soldiers in the truest, most violent sense of the word so it will be a long time coming before anyone wakes up. My hope is that evolution -- and not this 'intelligent design' crap -- brings about people with stronger mental faculties, granting the ability to interpret religious texts (and even believe in a something bigger than themselves, if that's really what they want)while simultaneously doubting one's superiority over the other and deciding a certain belief system warrants murder. Wishful thinking, in all likelihood, because bloodthirsty religious fervency only seems to have increased (and got better toys to enact its crimes...)