Beneath the Meghan/Harry royalty exposťThursday, March 11, 2021
While different ones focus on the explosive nature of the disclosures about racist sentiments in the British royal family, and the deep, negative emotional impact it caused on Meghan Markle, now duchess of Sussex, there was no surprise for me in all of this dismal saga.
Call the guarded disclosures a collective bombshell if you wish, but there is a deeper bomb that should have been exploded in Britain ages ago by the archbishops and other leaders of the Anglican church to which denomination Her Britannic Majesty belongs.
I am talking about the Anglican church's tacit support of the damnable notion of 'royal blood', and the related view of all who are not members of the royal family being seen and treated as commoners.
Academic and Church historians can correct me here, but this notion of royal blood ought to have been challenged and corrected on the unique biblical plank of substantive equality; namely, that every member of the human family is irrevocably stamped with the imago dei (image of God).
The royal blood notion is an indictable 'better than', not simply 'other than' or 'different from' idea which readily breeds its kindred negative idea of others being less than or inferior to self. Such sentiments do not simply die; they have to be killed by cogent corrective logic.
This entrenched royal blood notion is contrary to the one blood, one person doctrine of Acts 17:26.
Challenging untenable ideas of a monarch is not new to the British Anglican Church. Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton and his Christian colleagues were pivotal in the shaping of the British Magna Carta (the Large Charter) of 1215, which gave new rights to barons, and the people in general, and which also challenged the notion of the king being above the law.
Anglican clerics surely must know of fellow clergy colleague, Rev Samuel Rutherford, a Presbyterian, and his bombshell of a book, Lex, Rex, or the Law and the Prince of 1644. The main thesis, as implied in the title, is that the law is king, and so the king is under the law, and not above it — a notion that was regarded as treasonously contrary to the tradition of the 'divine right of kings'. The prophet of God cannot be afraid to challenge and correct an erring monarch!
I know that my little piece here will not reach Harry or Meghan. Yet, they both must have broached a live possibility that their courtship and marriage would trigger negative sentiments generally, and especially within the so-called Firm.
A key sentiment would be that their relationship was a veritable double invasion of white/royal privilege — marrying a 'commoner', and a black one at that!
I commend Harry, though, for equalling or exceeding the stance of his ancestor King-Emperor Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne for his intended 'commoner' bride, Wallis Simpson, who was divorced from her first husband and in train to divorce her second husband.
Harry's decision to marry a black woman and step away from royal/white privilege to protect his family is highly commendable in my view.
Rise up Anglican prophets of God and challenge the negative spin-offs of the monarchy!
Rev Clinton Chisholm is a retired Jamaica Baptist Union pastor and former academic dean of the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology. Send comments to the Jamaica Observer or email@example.com.
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