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‘Live Free Or Die’


Yesterday, Remembrance Sunday, we remembered them.

And on Friday 11 November, Armistice Day  itself, we remembered them.

We remembered those who died that we might live free.

We remembered those who died in the first World War, ‘the war to end all wars’.

And we remembered all those who have died in all the wars since.


We who remain have a debt of honour to repay. All that the fallen require of us to justify their sacrifice is to fight, fight and fight again to safeguard the liberty that we, and our allies in war, now enjoy.

The phrase ‘Live Free or Die‘ has a history dating back at least to the Enlightenment, but my favourite use of it is on the licence plates for the state of New Hampshire. Other states have innocuous-sounding phrases like ‘the sunshine state’, but you know you have reached New England when you see this admonition on the car in front of you on the motorway (sorry, expressway).

Where now comes the threat to our liberty? You need look no further than Lambeth Palace (see previous post on ‘Countdown to the Chains of the Anglican Covenant’). So what if the intention is not  the enslavement of Anglicans around the world to the ‘Instruments of Communion’? – do you not think that this phrase has chillingly Orwellian tones? – our enslavement is what will be the result. The post-Covenant character of Anglicanism will be a totalitarian régime which seeks, not episcopal oversight, but archiepiscopal and episcopal thought control. If you think I am exaggerating, I invite you to look at the documents produced by the lobby in favour of the Covenant and then re-read the Newspeak of 1984.

Anglicanism has always offered its adherents a faith less concerned with the minutiae of doctrine (holding such debate up to ridicule by characterising it as the discussion of how many angels could fit on the head of a pin) than how to lead a Christian life, informed by the creeds and 39 Articles and inspired by Hooker’s scripture, tradition and reason. The Covenant takes 5,123 words to describe future doctrine, which will be enforced by the Instruments of Communion,  rather than individual conscience which has sufficed in the past.

Now is the time for the silent majority to wake up to the tiger that is at the gates




I know that I have written two consecutive posts about the threat to Anglicanism which I believe is posed by the Anglican Covenant. I realise that I risk losing my readership, but this risk is the least that I am ready to do. For me, the cartoon’s punch-line ‘If you know of a better hole, then go to it’ is not an option – I have no wish to worship anywhere other than the Church of England, as currently constituted, that I love.

If you need to remind yourself of what we tend to call ‘the Dunkirk spirit’, referring to the second world war, I urge you to read, thanks to Project Gutenberg, Fragments From France, by Captain Bruce Bairnsfather, which describes the first world war.  The illustration is taken from its cover.

12 comments on this post:

UKViewer said...

Well said. A bit like the voice crying in the wilderness, but I’m sure people are listening.

If the covenant if passed, the church will not be the church I joined. But, a shadow of the Catholic Church. We might as well just surrender to the Pope now, after all, he had already parked his tanks on the Lawn of Lambeth Palace over the Ordinariate. The limp reaction to that demonstrated that it’s a Papal agenda that is being attempted.

Will Rowan be Pope Rowan the 1st of the Anglican Straight Jacket?

Lay Anglicana said...

You are so right (I LOVE the Anglican Straight Jacket by the way!)

I was afraid to link too specifically to the Catholic Pope and the way their church is run, but this of course is the supreme example of having to think what your parish priest-bishop-cardinal-Pope tell you to think. Being an ex-Papist yourself, you know whereof you speak and have earned the right to say it!

14 November 2011 10:32
14 November 2011 09:17
SCG said...

Well said. And I believe it is an attempt to make the CoE and all the rest of us in the Anglican Communion look more like Rome. BTW, “Live Free or Die” is a portion of a quote written in a letter by General John Stark of the Continental Army. He was one of NH’s military heroes during a certain war against a certain King in the latter part of the 1700s.

Lay Anglicana said...

Thank-you, SCG. I have been pondering overnight what to say about General Stark, and I think I have come up with a form of words of which even ++Rowan might be proud – ” ‘Live Free or Die’ is a reminder of the historic ties that bind our two nations”. Good bit of obfuscation, eh!

15 November 2011 16:44
14 November 2011 12:28
Hugh Baker said...

I have been out of the Anglican Communion for many years, but am now without a church. Imagine my horror, then, on attempting to return to the womb and gindind that the Creed has been replaced by
“We acknowlege a Light that fills th Universe…(etc)
And we call that Light God”
The CofE in Canada is gone, and some pagan cult occupies the building

Lay Anglicana said...

Dear, oh dear! It just illustrates what happens if you turn your back on the Anglican Communion for even a moment – they will revert to the worship of fire and light!

In our training for lay worship leading, we had a bizarre session on alternative liturgies. The elderly (sorry to say female) priest who led the session, came up with the idea of writing our prayers on a piece of paper, then holding them to a flame. I was reminded vividly of Hindu religious ceremonies and (perhaps not very tactfully) remarked on this to the assembled gathering. The priest was unamused.

15 November 2011 16:49
14 November 2011 12:43
Grandmère Mimi said...

Laura, from where I sit, across the pond, you can’t say enough that the covenant is a threat to Anglicanism. No matter what drivel you hear from supporters of the covenant, its adoption is a move toward centralization and the formation of a curial type structure. How anyone can take a realistic look at the RCC today and find that kind of governance desirable is beyond me.

Lay Anglicana said...

Thank-you, Grandmère Mimi. Your previous experience in the RCC is particularly valuable on these occasions. It is difficult for anyone in the Church of England to point out that this looks like imitating Rome, especially only a few days after 5th November, when we burn Guy Fawkes in effigy. And with Northern Ireland as a nearby example, the last thing anyone wants to do is to stir up internecine conflict.

15 November 2011 16:58
14 November 2011 13:19
UKViewer said...

I’ve no problem with someone wanting to belong to a religion, where your thinking is done for you, but it’s not for me.

I want the freedom of Anglican belief, with all of its fudges and peculiar’s (so to speak) that allows a wide range of thought, theology, liturgy and traditions of worship, even if it means denying the authority of your bishop, because that is what I would call traditional Anglicanism.

Still, if it goes the way it’s that Rowan wants it to go, I’ll be able to say the Hail Mary in good conscience.

Lay Anglicana said...

Thank-you for this, UKViewer. Like Grandmere Mimi, you are well-placed to compare with Roman Catholicism. On the whole, the English are rugged individualists (huge generalisation, I know) and not good at taking orders from the centre, I would have thought. All we have to do now is to find some way of pointing this out to 50 million people, give or take!

15 November 2011 17:02
14 November 2011 16:12
UKViewer said...

Perhaps there should be an OccupWabbey or OccupyLambethpalace as a form of protest.

In the best Anglican Tradition, there will be kettles and lots of fair trade cake, tea and coffee and survive on for as long as it takes the ABC to see that it’s really a serious #NOTOCOVENANT campaign.

Lay Anglicana said...

Being rather a coward, I fancy this idea after the spring equinox. Lambeth Palace has a HUGE garden, which would make a great site for an encampment. All we have to worry about now is getting in and out…

15 November 2011 21:08
15 November 2011 19:11

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