Friday, October 06, 2006

Joanna Bogle's response...

Painting, "Elizabeth II"

A few days ago I commented on Mrs. Bogle's blog, with sincere questions, hoping to get a response in answer to my questions. (She could have told me to read a book on history.) Without ever insulting my intelligence, she very graciously and succinctly explained why the monarchy is valued in Britain. Thank you Mrs. Bogle! I copied and pasted her friendly response:

Joanna Bogle said...
Well, here goes....I'm terribly sorry that you were offended that I didn't publish your comments or reply to you....but the system of comments on my blog doesn't provide for my being able to send you a direct personal reply. I had to track down your blog via Google, so here I am!!

I have made clear on my blog that I honestly can't get involved in lengthy discussions except on specific issues largely related to Catholicism.....The blog's essentially a diary with Catholicism as its chief ideolgical component rather than any political issues. I like to steer the thing along those lines, and don't want to get side-tracked into debates with Americans - however delightful and friendly! - who quite obviously will have a different approach on Monarchy and our Royal Family.

However, for what it's worth, my comment goes like this:

America is a great and splendid nation, and one which has proved a blessing to many. It's a joyful place to visit, too - there is a sense of purpose and of welcome which lifts the heart. But it certainly has its own version of an hereditary tradition within its political system: please don't try to say that the Bushes and the Kennedys and so on don't have hereditary power! The difference is just that: there is real power wielded by great families, rather as Britain had in its days of imperial authority. George Washington imposed his family's coat of arms as the nation's flag - no harm in that, and the flag has stood for prosperity and a decent way of life for millions, including those who arrived poor and hungry fleeing from real oppression and injustice.

In Britain, we have found - not without some travail, including a bitter civil war between monarchists and their opponents - that a Monarchy and Parliamentary democracy work extremely well. We have adapted to massive social change without the struggles that this entailed in America (the "civil rights" movement, etc) and the sense of community and family that is engendered by our monarchy and its associated heritage has served us admirably. We look with pity on those European nations - France as perhaps the supreme example, currently in its 5th Republic with probably more to follow - that lack the blessings of stability bestowed on us.

We don't specially expect Americans to value our monarchy as we do, and we recognise the value of their own tradition: there are many among us who despise and reject the crude anti-Americanism that frequently sweeps Europe, and we are not unmindful of the poignant graves of young American soldiers and airmen who lie with honour in our Cambridgeshire countryside, and of the sacrifice of life they gave with generous hearts in a war that preserved our freedom.

When we speak our Queen, we don't, actually, mostly think in soap-opera terms - which is why we have been distressed by Royal events of recent years - but of the ideal of nationhood embodied in an anointed monarch consecrated to public service in a tradition stretching back through millenia. It's not an absurd idea, and we think it carries a quiet resonance at least as noble as anything that a larger republic can offer. What is likely to destroy it, tragically, is the loss of our nation's Christian identity: we admire Americans for their stalwart adherence to a Faith that many in Britain now denounce or deny.

God Bless America!
And, in this small island with a large history: God save the Queen!
With warmest good wishes
Joanna Bogle

I'm such a brat, having coerced a response from this wonderful woman. Yet I'm delighted and impressed to have heard from her...and just a tad embarrassed that I betrayed my lack of intelligence regarding Monarchy.

From now on, when you may disagree with me, maybe take a lesson from Joanna Bogle on civility when commenting.

I like the Bogle's!


  1. That was very nice of her to respond so at such length.

    I enjoy her EWTN show with her husband on English Catholic history. I'm half Irish so the English heritage is part of me in some respects. Not that I loved their policies in Ireland.

    But I don't have any gripes with the Magna Carta and the parliamentary history and heritage that was the foundation of this country.

    And I love a little pomp and circumstances, both musical and dressed up with all the ribbons, medals, sashes and the spit and polish.

    But I remember standing next to one of the very impressive Life Guards on duty near No. 10 Downing Street with his horse. I was in the Army at the time and got to within a few feet. And smiled. Underneath all that impressive uniform and spit and polish, was some 18 year old, pimply faced kid. Whose father happened to be a Marquis, I supposed.

    I see the Mau Mau Veterans Organization in Kenya has decided that are ready to sue England for all the atrocities claimed during the Mau Mau rebellion in the 1950s. If that stands up in Court, England will be defending itself in Court against lawsuits filed by half the Third World because of their colonial policies in the 19th and 20th centuries.

  2. Congrats Terry- that is too incredibly neat!

    Have to see when their program is on- I haven't seen it in a while, but it was very good.

    Plus, her blog is a good read also-

    Thanks again!

  3. Hi again-

    Well, I haven't had a chance to look up the program schedule yet, but I found this link at the EWTN audio library that you might like:

    EWTN offers much (if not all) of their programming in their audio library, which I do have permanently linked on my blog- but I'm thinking of having a separate category linked to the individual shows...

    It really is a neat service- I love it 'cause you can listen while you surf, & catch up on the excellent programming that they offer that you might have missed-
    which happens to me all the time:)


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.