November 05, 2015

Today in History: Guy Fawkes Day; bonfires, bomb threats, gun powder and treason (Nov 5)

John RobsonResident Historian
 

November 5 is Guy Fawkes Day. Not that people much care anymore and that’s a good thing.

Although Guy Fawkes Day was a lot of fun, with its bonfires and so on, it was also anti-Catholic, less because Fawkes was a Catholic fanatic who tried to blow up Parliament and the King than because militant Protestantism, and with it anti-Catholicism, used to be one of the less attractive features of the Anglosphere self-image.

Anti-Catholicism, and Guy Fawkes Day, were gradually suppressed by tolerant-minded people like George Washington and Queen Victoria.

I’m sorry to see traditions fade as a rule. But if the British are now largely celebrating Halloween at this time of year and saying “Trick or Treat” instead of chanting “Remember, remember the 5th of November, gunpowder treason and plot”, well, it’s a good substitute holiday.

 

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Comments
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commented 2015-11-11 16:47:21 -0500
The good prof sort of skipped over GF’ questions and answers sessions with the authorities,
some of which were supposedly quite loud affairs with the King in attendance. His execution apparently was not one of those quick run of the mill hurried affairs either.
commented 2015-11-08 15:42:01 -0500
Thursday November 5, 2015
Dear Diary:
This is exhausting. I thought I’d never get rid of Mansbridge. Anyway, I got “the call”, you know “THE call”. That’s right, from the man himself. He sounded all goody-goody and how he was happy for me, so I figured I’ll tell him straight to his face over the phone that I’m pulling our CF-18’s out to show him how bi . . . oops. No, I stopped myself just in time.
commented 2015-11-08 15:39:14 -0500
Thursday November 5, 2015
Dear Diary:
Oh crap. Now I find out that my newly appointed Minister of Science, Kirsti Duncan, falsely described herself on Facebook as a “Nobel Peace Prize Laureate”. This could be awkward for me. I wonder if Gerald knew about this when he told me to appoint her. How the hell to I smother this? I know, I’m spending the day with Mansbridge, he’ll take care of it, after all, for another $150,000,000 on top of the one billion, he owes me big time. Nothing solves a problem better than throwing money after it.
commented 2015-11-06 08:08:22 -0500
There was a group on the steps of Calgary’s city hall selling Guy Fawkes masks yesterday. Some were screaming profanities at passers by. Others were talking to the police (4 present when I walked past, their masks were pulled up so the police could see their faces during the discussion). Average age seemed to be about 18. I didn’t want to miss my bus, so I didn’t stop to ask if they knew what Guy Fawkes was after. I suspect that most would think he was a comic book hero rather than a man who wanted to stop personal freedoms and impose a Catholic theocracy. But, like, it’s all good ‘cause Justin’s gonna legalize pot and come smoke it with us, man.