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Friday, 29 April 2011
The God In The Machine
I've watched the BBC all day, when not following BBC coverage online, and on the radio. The Royal Wedding was a smashing success: weather, dressmaker, kiss, and cartwheeling verger all being splendid. People showed up (a million) and were patriotic and happy. There has been a lot of nonsense from the media, mostly tea-leaves reading regarding the future of the Monarchy. Apparently, the use of Aston Martins, chocolate cakes, etc., are portents of a renewed modernity in the land. What hasn't been discussed (until 23:00 on Newsnight, briefly) is the elephant in the room - Anglicanism. While a Catholic myself, I am a former Anglican, and was deeply impressed by the beauty, seriousness, and moral force of the Christian sacrament of marriage - for most of the key hour of today's wedding took place in a house of God, featured sermons, readings, and hymns, and featured a sacred vow. This extraordinary showcasing of the English Faith was admirable, impressive, and reassuring - for a day, it seemed, there was a kingdom on earth as in heaven. The absence of any reflection on this core aspect of the wedding - the wedding itself (separate from the surface of clothing and pomp) - is a failure of Britain's secular media to appreciate, and observe, and report upon, what was staring it in the face. Forget a renewal of the Monarchy. Today's marriage renewed, in front of billions around the world, the significance of religion in the UK.