Strolling through the news since Queen Elizabeth II's death, I quickly was reminded of how visceral and evil hatred and jealousy are!
Despite Twitter and Facebook and many news sources teaming up to dismantle fake news, one thing that has been a constant is that these very entities have really only conspired to prevent news of certain political leanings.
Thus, as a Catholic, every day, we see misinformation about our roles in the history of the world, without contextual basis.
It should not be hard to understand how good our Church is when looking at the barbaric practices of so many institutions today from the Communists in North Korea to the Islamists in Afghanistan. And the truth is that the major changes for good in our world have mainly come from the very Western entities that have withstood the test of time such as our Church.
This does not mean the people that represented these institutions were always perfect, but what it does mean is that despite thousands of years of human history based on warfare and conquering, it is in the last 77 years that we as a world community have sought a world that fought slavery, terrorism, and promoted peace. Our most powerful institutions close to home have changed the rules of nations for the better.
One of these lasting Western institutions has been the British Monarchy and for much of the last two centuries, it has become synonymous with Queen Elizabeth II.
This is the legacy of Queen Elizabeth II. Under her rule, she reposited the importance of the monarchy to not only rule over the United Kingdom with good governance, but for those in the rest of her countries to receive good governance too, even if that meant independence and for them to leave her control.
So many countries today owe their independence to Queen Elizabeth II's feelings towards democracy, self-determination, and peace.
We can name so many of these nations from Kenya to the UAE to Malaysia to South Africa to Guyana, and so many more like Ghana, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
But, she was no push over either.
As Queen, she oversaw many pursuits to make the world better against the evils of others.
For example, the Queen and her nations have fought tirelessly to bring about good governance and positive social change through apparatuses like the Commonwealth of Nations.
This includes 56 independent countries and thus their many dependencies too, most of which were former British dependencies or mandates/trust territories. This association works to promote liberty, free trade, the rule of law, and to fight racism, poverty, and other social short falls.
She further sought unity across the Anglosphere by promoting the Commonwealth Games to bring countries from India to Jamaica to Australia and to Canada together to compete as nations united in a common goal for human excellence.
But, despite peacefully leading over 15 independent countries and a plethora of dependencies at the end of her life, Queen Elizabeth II has been subject to numerous false portrayals of her life.
For example, many anti-colonialists will present Queen Elizabeth II as a racist and imperialist despite when looking through the history books, one can clearly see how she gave many nations their independence, and let others leave peacefully if they so wished. Just last year, Barbados removed Queen Elizabeth II as their Head of State and the royal family sent congratulations to the island nation for their decision, while many trashed the House of Windsor and previous royal houses of Great Britain. This displayed how the Queen and her royal family stayed above the fray of petty politics.
In terms of religion, despite many conservatives feeling she did not fight for the traditional beliefs of the Church of England enough, many anti-Christian people still attacked her for her Christian beliefs.
What is ironic is that Queen Elizabeth II has been mostly remembered with love by those most conservative and moderately liberal in society, despite her actions and lack of actions leading to the dismantling of the British Empire and the collapse of the Church of England in their beliefs, legitimacy, Faith, and popularity.
Yet, the people most upset with Queen Elizabeth II will not acknowledge her role in changing the world to look more like the world they call for, and this displays the crux of the problem.
When it comes to people of these persuasions, they have no concept of forgiveness and personal change and are unwilling to be respectful to many who lost someone they loved and admired. They are further never satisfied.
Luckily for us though, our Catholic Faith implores us to think differently and to encourage forgiveness and personal growth, a concept most of the world would be best served by. Not everyone is taught this.
There are many leaders who we all do not see with a rosey eye, who we can all pinpoint for something they did that was wrong.
A person like President Nelson Mandela comes to mind because for some, he is remembered as a terrorist, and for others, he is remembered as a fighter for Civil Rights. But in the end, what was he? In the end, what was Queen Elizabeth II?
Were they the bad accusations many try to accuse them of?
They absolutely were not.
People learn and grow with time.
But, we must remember to forgive others because we too seek forgiveness from God.
None of us will go to Heaven if forgiveness did not exist and people could not change.
Therefore, as many mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II, remember a few things and be thankful you have the tools to do so as a Catholic because you should always strive to be a good person.
One, remember to be respectful because some people just lost a dear friend, a family member, and a loved one. Many lost their leader. Many lost a role model. We all lost an era.
Two, give people grace. We can all sit back and pretend we are better than others but a post I saw online really reminded me of how petty and insignificant this all is. When looking at what people have done, few have done more to create a better world than the institution of the British Monarchy and Queen Elizabeth II. They may have at times engaged in the previous established evils that many practiced, but they were also the first to give us our modern-day best forms of governance and economic structures via the Magna Carta and the Industrial Revolution, while also giving us a universal language to speak, English, and quests to strive for such goals as the ending of slavery and the spread of constitutional democracy. When we look at what we want our world to be tomorrow, there are few ideas that Queen Elizabeth II did not embrace. Just look at the goals set forth by the Commonwealth of Nations she headed. So, look at the good in people too. And pray for them to go to Heaven because you too are riddled with sin.
Three, do not give in to jealousy and hatred. Many people come from far less successful nations than the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and of course Canada, plus many of the other nations the Queen ruled, and this can create jealousy and hatred, on top of the personal jealousy many feel comparing their own situations to those of the House of Windsor. We must rise above this fray. As Catholics, we know all too well what it is like to have many people hate you over disinformation or out of context reasons that often lead to jealousy and misguided dislike. We must use our God-given smarts and decency, plus our own experiences to be loving instead of hateful. Just because someone is old or wealthy or powerful does not mean they are not a child of God too. We must learn to love those more and less successful than us.
As we move toward a new era, we must also further remember that the Monarchs of Great Britain really have become a defining characteristic of the eras of the world. The Elizabethan Age is over. Now it is onto King Charles III.
Instead of looking down on this institution, I would love to see the British Monarchy brought back into the Catholic Church, or at the very least, for our Popes to garner so much influence and love. If we could have another Saint Pope John Paul II, maybe we would be able to rival the leaders of the Anglosphere because as our world becomes more secular and more global, our world becomes more focused on the state and the Anglosphere, both of which our Church has failed to capitalize on or realize in the past decade.
Our Church also appears to be marred by party politics which is bizarre given how we legit have a blueprint of what our Church supports via our Dogma, Doctrine, and Church teachings. If more of our leaders followed what our institutions are supposed to be, there would be far less controversy and far more respect and evangelization for our Church. Remember, we are an institution for over one billion people and many more when you include all Christians. Yet we pale in comparison lately to the British Monarchy because unlike them, we have alienated the most loyal to our Church and have not embraced changing demographics.
So perhaps, most of all, some of our failure to recognize the greatness of Queen Elizabeth II from a Catholic perspective comes from our own inability to stay relevant in a world where almost all other traditions besides the British Monarchy no longer are.
I completely agree with the reservations to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's life, especially from a Catholic perspective. What she has not done in her own Church has caused the Anglicans to be further distant from their original Christian beliefs. The countries she ruled over have also become more anti-Christian in their laws. There is no doubt that she did not always show the best leadership.
But, look at all the good she did. Look at what she meant for her people, for the Anglosphere.
Even in the United States of America, a country far removed from the Commonwealth of Nations and the idea of the splendor of the British Empire, Queen Elizabeth II was seen as a cultural leader due to being within the Anglosphere as well.
In the end, as Catholics, we must remember to love and to forgive, as well as be respectful.
Let us remember our own struggles as we remember Queen Elizabeth II. Let us pray God saved the Queen.