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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Religion and War

No commited Christian ever had a more antagonistic relationship to the church than William Blake. This, probably more than anything else, has prevented wider recognition of his spiritual genius. Like Paul he became an apostle to the gentiles and suffered the attacks of the orthodox. In his non-allegiance to the organized church Blake is in good company: Milton, Emerson, Whitman, Lincoln, and Gandhi all refused the church for essentially the same reasons--it never was what it purported to be.

Has there ever been a British (or American) war that the Religious Establishment hasn't approved and supported? The Bloody Sword subsumed the Prince of Peace. Nothing in Blake's world led to greater concern than this unpleasant reality.

The original Covering Cherub was the Prince of Tyre, a tyrannizer over the sacred soil of God's Chosen People. Ezekiel had something to say about that (I wonder if WB consulted with him on that point).

Milton, plate 37:
"...Abraham, Moses, Solomon, Paul, Constantine, Charlemaine, Luther, these seven are the Male-Females, the Dragon Forms Religion hid in War, a Dragon red & hidden Harlot. All these are seen in Miltons Shadow who is the Covering Cherub.."

And again: Jerusalem, plate 89:
"...Thus was the Covering Cherub reveald majestic image of Selfhood, Body put off, the Antichrist accursed Coverd with precious stones, a Human Dragon terrible And bright, stretchd over Europe & Asia gorgeous.In three nights he devourd the rejected corse Hidden within the Covering Cherub as in a Tabernacle Of threefold workmanship in allegoric delusion & woe .........A Double Female now appeard within the Tabernacle, Religion hid in War, a Dragon red & hidden Harlot Each within other, but without a Warlike Mighty-one Of dreadful power, sitting upon Horeb pondering dire And mighty preparations mustering multitudes innumerable of warlike sons..."

Well it looks like the Mighty-one of dreadful power sitting on Horeb seems to have instituted State Religion.


  1. Actually, Pope John Paul II opposed the war in Iraq, and the Catholic Church in general served as a mediator among European nations prior to the Reformation, preventing many wars.

  2. Yes, but the 'Catholic Church' still have plenty of blood on their hands, Anonymous.