Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Monday 5 July 2010

Religion & State Celebrations

Following a recent television programme, I was thinking about the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in which her elevation to the post is by Divine Authority. She promises to be the Defender of the Faith and is annointed with Oil (In secret) which confers on the monarch a special, almost quasi-divine, quality.

The Coronation is one of several occasions of state that provide part of the fabric for the customs and rituals that make up our heritage and define the peoples as a Nation. I remember seeing on television the State Funeral of Winston Churchill, an occasion dripping with the Majesty that befitted the National mood.

If the Nation was completely secular and had no established Church, how would the Nation celebrate events such as a Coronation, a state Funeral or a Memorial services for lost heroes. A special department, the Department of Public Celebrations? What form would these celebrations take? Would they be held in the 'O2' arena or perhaps, the Albert Hall. It is inconceivable that a memorial service for a deceased Prime Minister would take place on an open field site or a village hall.
The point is, that these events of national celebration were borne out of traditions established over many years, traditions rooted in our Christian past. In the same way that mankind still bears all the DNA of its biological heritage, then today, even as an atheist, I can accommodate the wish that all our old Traditions are maintained in amended form when it becomes clearer that God, the Creator, as he has been portrayed is no longer relevant.

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