Search This Blog

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Queen

Well, the Queen of England is still here, having dined at the White House with our "royalty" yesterday. Mind you, the "royalty" of the United States was mostly celebrities and sports stars. That must be whom we value most. There are lots of pictures of the White House dinner for the Queen, including photos of many of the guests. You can view them at;_ylt=AlBuzWVvkWWjoh8vFIUWIF8ZO7gF.

The Queen is somewhat of a phenomenon I think. Most people seem to either love her or hate her. Maybe they just love or hate what she represents. Or maybe it's just what they think she represents. I was listening to Christian talk radio yesterday. (I think it's 100.7 FM here in Dallas, Texas - I had to first get over the shock of hearing Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a non-believing Jew, rudely cut off hurting people with real concerns. After she was finished, the host tuned in with the White House correspondent for the station to discuss the Queen and her visit.

Now the White House correspondent for The Word FM tried his level best to report the facts. But the show host continually tried to engage him in a debate about Queen. He made numerous disparaging remarks about her monarchy being a farce, a sham foisted on the citizens of the United Kingdom, an unreasonable tax burden. It was slightly offensive and rude. He wasn't very subtle about his total disapproval of the Queen and her monarchy.

I kept thinking of James 3:18 from The Message Bible, which says “Real wisdom, God's wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.” I wondered if the show host thought he was living up to that!

I suppose there are probably lots of others who view the Queen and her monarchy similarly. Personally, I have a different perspective though. Having spent quite a bit of time in the United Kingdom, I've apparently acquired a point of view that I suspect is slightly more balanced. I think it has to do with the difference between celebrity and leadership. Let me explain.

While some might say that the Queen acts as nothing more than a figurehead, others might say that she fulfills all of the responsibilities of a figurehead. Those of us who are outside, looking in, see a celebrity. But I've found that people who live under her reign tend to see her more as a leader. You see, the Queen is the point of reference that let's the country and its people know that everything is okay. She is steady, quiet, reserved. She offers words that seem wise. Her presence brings about smiles and joy among her people. She is loved beyond explanation. Even the British people I've spoken with have been hard-pressed to explain their adoration of the Queen.

I was living in London at the time of the Queen's 50 year jubilee .... celebrating her 50 years on the throne. The BBC hosted a documentary profiling her reign. It was called, "Queen & Country." I liked it so well that a friend who lives there got hold of the BBC and bought the whole series for me on video! At any rate, watching the hours of footage about the Queen's reign, one gets a picture that makes one appreciate her in a very unique way. For starters, she never expected to be Queen! But when her father took over the throne unexpectedly, and then died an early death, the position was foisted upon her at a very young age. She rose to the occasion.

Through the years, I began to see the history of a country being made. We watched the turbulent times of societal changes, the challenges of government and its people, etc. No matter what, the Queen was always there. She lent stability, security and even hope to every circumstance that the country endured. She seemed to give the people something to believe in. It seemed to me that they derived hope from her. Quite frankly, I found myself having some of the same feelings!

I'm sure that the Queen lives a very privileged life ... more than anyone should. I'm sure that she is paid too much by too many to do too little. But then she wouldn't be the first. I wonder if our own "royalty" here in the U.S. ---- who are also paid too much by too many to do too little --- offer our people as much. There is a difference between celebrity and leadership. Britain's Queen has offered her country real leadership over the years. And maybe that's the true value that she brings to the table.

I say it's time to back off on our criticism of the Queen, especially if we're Christians. Let's show a healthy respect for the choice of the British citizens to maintain the institution of the monarchy that helps them function as a healthy society. Long live the Queen.

No comments:

Post a Comment