IS THERE A DIVINE RIGHT OF Kings, or is he full of shit?
Since high school, I have been a student of Magna Carta, its history, and content. I visited an original at Salisbury Cathedral in England. My particular interest in the document and the event is that one of my ancestors was forced at sword point to agree to it and sign it by a bunch of rebellious Barons. Of course, he had his fingers crossed while doing so (maybe the origin of the “King’s X.” In any event, after disingenuously signing it, he went running to the pope to have the contract declared null and void. The pope obliged, and the king went on a rampage to subdue and punish dissent, using the divine right of kings as justification.
Now that king was a total ass-hole. While his brother, King Richard was returning from a crusade, he was captured in Germany and held for ransom. John, regent at that time refused to pay, allowing him to continue ruling and oppressing his people. When he was finally made king, John continued his dictatorial and greedy ways until his barons said “enough,” which brought about the rebellion at Runnymede where King John signed the Magna Carta. Embodied in that document were the concepts of due process of law and equal protection of the law, as well as some rules minimizing the ways in which he could screw his people. Additionally, he had to agree to appoint judges learned in the law instead of rubber stamp judges. King John invoked the divine right of Kings every time he caused harm to one of his subjects.
The document has had many revisions throughout history, but the concepts remain the same. It formed the basis of our Constitution, 6 centuries later. One of the most important and long-lasting provisions, other than trial by jury, is the right to due process of law. That concept, which has been with us for centuries is being ignored by the modern version of King John. Somehow, the ignoramus became President, and in a spectacular display of ignorance or arrogance has called for the abolition of due process for immigrants. Like Hitler, he expects judges rubber stamp his policies or be abolished. I am personally insulted that he thinks the people are so stupid or self-centered to go along with this blatant disregard for tradition, law and decency. His “lock her up” mantra is appearing more and more insane.
However, since history tends to repeat itself, I have some hope. While my ancestor traveled about the country punishing his enemies he contracted dysentery. I believe that he was so full of shit that divine intervention sent a message to despots. On the way back to London, he lost the crown jewels in a swamp and died from dysentery. At least he wasn’t full of shit anymore. The London Telegraph, during the 800th anniversary, stated the following:
John’s offences are almost too numerous to list. In the first place, he was treacherous: when his older brother, Richard the Lionheart, was away on crusade, John attempted to seize the throne by plotting with the king of France, Philip Augustus, prompting contemporaries to damn him as “a mad-headed youth” and “nature’s enemy”. He was also lecherous: several nobles are reported to have taken up arms against him because he had forced himself on their wives and daughters.
Most of all, John was shockingly cruel. In a chivalrous age, when aristocrats spared their enemies, capturing them rather than killing them, John preferred to do away with people by grisly means. On one occasion, for example, he ordered 22 captive knights to be taken to Corfe Castle in Dorset and starved to death. Another time he starved to death the wife and son of his former friend, William de Briouze. In 1203 he arranged the murder of his own nephew and rival for power, Arthur of Brittany. Marc Morris is the author of King John: Treachery, Tyranny and the Road to Magna Carta
As you have probably surmised, I am not proud of my ancestor. In fact, I am embarrassed. My grandfather taught me about most of our ancestors, the names of the sails on the tall ships and how to be a fair master. None of which was very practical, but interesting nonetheless. Upon analysis, our president isn’t the greatest danger to our country and its form of government. Our greatest danger to our country is ignorance. How else could we have such a president, sponsored by an enemy state and preferring fascist heads of state to democratic ones. The Greeks used ostracism against miscreants. I believe that is necessary and for decades, I have advocated this practice when dealing with “white collar” criminals. However, not only did they ostracize, they were notable scholars and teachers. Both are needed. Shun evil but educate ignorance. Continue expressing disdain and anger against an administration that would become a dictatorship. Correct the attorney general for his misleading, stupid interpretation of the Bible. Get angry. Get involved. School the ignorant.