Thursday, December 06, 2012

More barriers fall

The Brits are amending their law to allow women to stand in line for the throne in their birth order, their sex no longer being a barrier. So an older girl becomes queen even if she has a younger brother.

Ex Cathedra thinks that's a bad idea, of course, and indicative of the decay of the West, but given the state of Britain, it doesn't matter.

Plus, they are removing the restriction against the monarch having a Roman Catholic spouse. This, we are told, is a victory over "unjust discrimination."

God, how I have come to hate those words.

Mixed as my feelings are about the English reformation, there was nothing unjust about wanting to keep Roman Catholics away from the throne of a Protestant country and its environs. Once the country had definitively made its turn toward Protestantism, it only made sense to make things simple. Charles I and his Catholic wife Henrietta, etc. Who has a "right" to marry a king? And if you're a king, and not a private person, who you marry is as much a state matter as a personal one.

Discrimination, that is, the act of recognizing differences and evaluating them, can be unjust, but it can also be not only just but virtuous and necessary. Why can't five year olds vote? Discrimination.

And although the persecution of Catholics in England was, to my mind, quite excessive, I can't protest too strongly against a country's clear policies designed to support its own stability. So if England wanted to keep Catholics out of higher education and the professions and politics, why not? And if, earlier in its history, it did not want Jews to live there, why not? A nation is not a blank sheet of paper without margins.

The notion that the 20th and 21st century liberal state is some archetypal form of universal rule is silly.


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