Wednesday 14 November 2007

Queen rules OK

The Queen debate seems to have died down so either the antis have given up or perhaps have been pacified.

One person wrote in - despite the lengthy explanations already given - and asked why the Queen couldn't just refuse to sign the legislation, saying she should be condemned for not doing so. One person even likened her to Hitler for not doing so - as if she, herself, had ordered the setting up of death camps to exterminate people!


How do you debate with people who refuse to debate and can only repeat themselves like parrots?

I won't rehearse the arguments all over again since those who think and understand will already have the point and those that don't, won't be persuaded by any argument from me, however cogent or good.

But in simple terms the answer is this: she can't; it would be illegal. It would be an illegal act against the constitution and the state, a coup d'etat, a revolution from the top.

What can one say to an alleged democrat who would be outraged if the Queen suddenly refused a law passed by the democratically-elected Parliament because she thought it wrong, but, because he thinks a law wrong, is just as outraged when she doesn't refuse it?

When he wants it, the Queen must be an autocrat. When he doesn't want it, she must not interfere with the democratically-elected Parliament.

That is no more than total chaos, anarchy and arbitrary government. Indeed, it is not government at all.

Yes, it would be much better if we had a constitution that followed God's law but the fact that we do not does not mean we - or the Queen - have the right to overthrow it.

So much is simply Catholic doctrine. It is lamentable that - seemingly - there are some Catholics who do not realise it.

We are bound to obey the law and the constitution, save where it orders us - personally - to do something immoral. That we must refuse, whatever the consequences. But we have no right to overthrow a legitimate constitution nor to insist that others do so, even the Queen.

The present constitutional convention is that the Queen is a protection of last resort against a rogue government that, say, refuses to hold a General Election or where there is a constitutional deadlock that cannot be resolved by the courts.

That is a vitally important power. The Queen has that power. But that is all. She has no other - or virtually no other - real power beyond that. That is our current constitution, for good or ill. We have no right to insist that it be overthrown. We may campaign for it to be changed by legitimate, constitutional means - but we do not have the right to overthrow it.

Nevertheless, your inconsistent and illogical democrat blames her for the Abortion Act and a host of other rotten laws besides. The mover of the Bill, Lord Steel, does not get the blame. The Wilson government who pushed it through do not get the blame. Those who voted for the Act do not get the blame. Oh, no. Only the one person who could do nothing about it gets the blame.

Well, it's a point of view!

Just not a well-informed one.

The real reason we have such laws as the Abortion Act is because we - the people as a nation - have lost our moral bearings. We have capitulated to the spirit of immoralism. If we want to blame anyone for our evil laws, we should start with ourselves.

Who voted in the governments that passed these laws? Was it the Queen? Oh, no. It was ourselves. WE voted them in! The Queen does not even get a vote!

Therefore the blame undoubtedly lies with ourselves.

And we cannot off-load it onto others. Particularly not if we ever voted for a member of a government that actually passed these odious laws. Blaming the Queen will not obviate our own blame.

No, it is us, ourselves, who have done it.



Anonymous said...

It is lamentable that you are so protective of the Queen of England on a site devoted to "Roman Christendom."
Of course, she is a figurehead with no power. But, then, what purpose does she serve? Should she not at least assert some moral authority? Can she not refuse to sign the abortion bill to avoid any appearance of cooperation?

You also made some points about the illegitimacy of Revolution. However, the pope can certainly call for Revolution against a regime which he by his authority declares unlawful.
By the way, was not the legitimate English monarch overthrown in 1688 by a the invasion of a Dutch king in alliance with certain English traitors?

Tribunus said...

Sorry, Viator, but since this is so obviously an example of the very kind of parroting and re-parroting about which I complained I am going to have to feature you in my main page.

I don't want to be unduly personal or rude but can you not read?

I have VERY FULLY answered all of your questions numerous times over.

And still you parrot and re-parrot the question!

How is asking and re-asking and re-re-asking and re-re-re-asking the same question that has been answered several times over, helping to resolve the issue or even explain your own position?

What is your problem?

If you disagree with my answers, ah, well, that's quite another thing. But you must tell us WHY you disagree and WHAT your REASONS are.

Simply repeating the question that has already been answered several times over just looks, I'm afraid, like mindless barracking.

Anonymous said...


Don't think I've given up, I still think the Queen, like any Christian, is morally obliged to do everything she can, including surrender her position, to end especially the hideous crime of abortion. You let her off the hook far, far to easily.

Please believe me when I say I'm not judging the condition of her soul, but somehow on her BIG DAY, I can't envision getting a pass through the gates with the explanation that "I would've provoked a constitutional crisis."

Apologies for not providing a more well-thought-out response, but I'm afraid I don't have time at the moment.

Tribunus said...

Dear Orestes,

With a reply like that I fear that you have, indeed, given up!

You don't answer any of my points you simply re-state your original position.

With respect, that is not debate, it is mere barracking.

If this were just about the Queen resigning, then you might have a point but, as I have now argued in no less than three separate posts and numerous replies to comments, it is not.

You are asking her to break the law, overthrow the Constitution and to sin - in order to achieve what we would both of us agree is a great good, the de-railing of the Abortion Act.

But Catholics MAY NOT do evil that good may come of it.

See St Paul in Rom 3:8, and the teachings of the Fathers, the Doctors, the Councils, the popes and the saints.

It is forbidden.

And it is a sin to attempt to overthrow a legitimate state and constitution. See St Thomas in De Regimine Principum, where he cites the proper Catholic authorities. Likewise St Robert Bellarmine, St Alphonsus Liguouri and numerous papal encyclicals, not least those of Pius XII, Pius IX, Benedict XV, Leo XIII, Pius IX, Gregory XVI, Leo XII.

In short, you demand that the Queen must commit a sin.

And you think that on her BIG DAY she will get through the pearly gates for so doing!

If so, she would be the first and only unrepentant mortal sinner who succeeded in so doing!

Actually, I think it is YOU who would then be letting her off, far, far, too lightly!

Ttony said...

Are you perhaps spending too much time on this? You have won the argument.

You could, perhaps, apply the view of an English jurist to the discssion here.

Tribunus said...

Hmm. Yes I think you are right.

Time to move on!

Anonymous said...


What can I say? I'm a Yankee of contradiction. Must be the nefarious influence of that Houdon bust of General Washington sitting over there on my bookshelf.

By the way, I enjoy the blog immensely!

And haven't "won the argument" ;^)

Tribunus said...

Thanks Orestes. I appreciate the plaudits.

But let me have some fun, anyway.

I'd be much more worried if you had a bust of Jefferson, the "Freedom-fighter" who kept slaves, had children by them and then kept those same children as slaves (source: Jefferson by Conor Cruise O'Brien who gives the original sources).

It was of Jefferson that Dr Johnson once memorably said: "Why is it that the cries for liberty come loudest from the drivers of slaves?".

Well, indeed!

Regardless of the fact that the Church teaches it is evil, the sane man is always instinctively suspicious of revolution and revolutionaries.

I don't agree with Washington's rebellion but he was, at least, a gentleman and - by the way - very nearly the first King of America. He was offered the Crown by key members of the Continental Congress and nearly accepted!

Poor old Queen. She gets attacked for things she cannot control but US Presidents are rarely attacked in the same way.

How many Catholic Democrats (I think there are still a few left, aren't there?) demanded the resignation of President Bill Clinton for not reversing Roe v Wade or for vetoing the Partial Birth Abortion Bill?


Gee, well ain't dat funny?

Listen, buddy. He may be a gangster but, hey, he's OUR gangster. Got da picture?

Yeah. Now dat Queen o' England, she's a real no-good, see?

Yeah. Scum. I hoid she eats babies for breakfast!

No. You're kidding!

Yeah, true story! I read it in da New Yoik Times.

Den it's gotta be true, right?

etc etc etc

Ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

Anonymous said...


Now one thing I agree with you on is today's post. I lived in Richmond for several years, and grew to be a great fan of General Lee. In fact over my desk today hang three portraits: Benedict XVI, St. John Neumann, and General Lee.

More than any other American city, Richmond reminds me of England, with it's great mounted statues in the middle of roundabouts. I hope one day you're able to visit and see the 63' statue of The General. It's quite a sight.

As for Dr. Johnson, 19 years ago during my one and only visit to London, one of the first things I did was visit his house near St. Paul's. I treasure the picture of myself taken standing in his doorway.

So it seems we have much in common!

Btw, although I lived in Virginia, where Jacobin Tom Jefferson is still referred to as "Mr. Jefferson," I'd NEVER have a bust of him perched anywhere near me. So not to worry!

Tribunus said...

Excellent, Orestes!

Delighted to hear it!

Great name Orestes, by the way.

Orestes Brownson, perhaps? The Brook Farm convert to Catholicism?

Anonymous said...


I stumbled upon your site and was glad to have done so. I am an American who has always been fascinated by European history, with a particular interest in the British Isles. The things that I find inspiring about monarchy in general, and the particular survival of a monarchy in Great Britain, are also related to my reception in the Catholic Church, so I was intrigued by your post about the Jacobite succession and the spirited discussions about moral issues like abortion.

You have much positive to say about Queen Elizabeth II (and I would agree) but also presented a negative assessment of her Hanoverian forebears. What is your assessment of King George III or his successors prior to Elizabeth II?

It seems like it would be safe to say that you generally do not admire Thomas Jefferson, a man who was in so many ways the embodiment of "Enlightenment" assumptions, but yet who also was a strong agrarian in his vision for America. How would you compare Jefferson and Robert E. Lee, and what is your reaction to the assertion that, had he lived to see it, Jefferson would most certainly have supported the Southern cause during the Civil War?

What is your opinion of Alexander Hamilton, as someone who battled Jefferson's Enlightenment (or shall we say "Whiggish"?) assumptions, but yet who supported the growth of capitalism of which you appear (or would I be wrong) to be suspicious? When you used the phrase "filthy lucre" in association with the growth of British capitalism during the Hanoverian era, it seemed like you might be overly condemning of capitalism as a system when the real problem (as you would surely know) lies not in that system (which is not perfect) but in the human soul. Without capitalism and industry, we certainly would not have this medium of the internet to communicate or have the diversity of life choices that we currently enjoy.