I watched parts of a tape on the Coronation of King Charles. The ancient customs, the protocol, the history, St. Augustine’s Gospel Books of the Sixth Century—all of this seemed to delight and even mesmerize the crowds and viewers. Yes, I know about the horrors people cite in the vestiges of Empire, but the sense of a continuing and evolving culture that appreciates its past is fascinating and, I think, vital.
We’ve recently returned from Paris—and we’ve found the same phenomenon in Italy, though the Italians are much more casual about it—and were once again overwhelmed at the breadth and depth of the great art and cultural history all around us, from the architecture to the museums. We were engulfed in it.
Yet it seems to me in the US we are determined right now to either forget our great history and to even denigrate it. We are a flawed people. But if we abandon the values that have been positive and served us well, then we simply have chaos and anarchy.
To go back even farther, what’s so wrong with simply practicing “Do unto others….”? Or does that somehow violate the mantra of church and state separation?