Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Karma Can Be A B-word

Instant karma's gonna get you.
Karma - if only it worked this quickly all the time . . .

 Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, lived a secure and pampered life as the darling 'placeholder' heir to the English throne - until her daddy the king fathered a (legitimate) baby boy.

Years passed.
1517, 1518, 15119 . . . like sands through an hourglass, thus go the Days of Our Lives. . .
An illegitimate baby boy came along when Mary was a toddler; the king glommed onto him and gave every sign of considering the boy, Henry Fitzroy, as a possible heir to the throne.
Henry Fitzroy was Threat #1 to Princess Mary.
"But I don't WANT a bastard brother! Only just ME!!"
Catherine of Aragon, past her child-bearing years, could only wring her hands

and wish things were different; she'd borne many children but only Princess Mary survived the vicious Tudor-era infant mortality rates.

Enter, Anne Boleyn.
 reaction the tudors natalie dormer anne boleyn
This young woman entered the court scene in service to Catherine of Aragon and it was there she caught the eye of Henry VIII.
Long story boring, she and the king married after splitting the country off from the Roman Catholic church rule, and together they produced another princess.
Princess Elizabeth was Threat #2 to Princess Mary.
"But I don't WANT a bastard sister! Only just ME!"
Princess Lady Mary could only wring her hands and wish things were different; she'd done nothing wrong yet had been jettisoned most rudely from the inheritance line.
Her mother - sent off to a series of increasingly damp, cold, living quarters in the most hostile climates England can boast - was cut out of Mary's life.
Cold? Check. Damp? Check. Malaria-potential? Check. Okay, send her there. . .
That was the 'kill 'em without laying a finger on 'em' approach favoured by the Tudors - if benign neglect didn't bring a subject (or a queen) back into line with the monarch's thinking, the monarch upped the ante and made the neglect much, much less benign.
An extra blanket?
Food that's edible?
Wood for the fire? 

Princess Lady Mary, forcibly kept from seeing her mother, received some harsh treatment herself at the hands of the hands of her father's chosen caretakers.
She suffered verbal abuse, most of her influence as the daughter of the king was turned to a mockery as 'disrespect' became the buzzword for how to treat her, and she was demoted to serving her half-sister in Princess Elizabeth's household.
Anne Boleyn had no sympathy for Princess Lady Mary; Anne Boleyn was too busy yanking Roman Catholicism from the hands of the devout (which was everyone) and replacing it with a new, non-Pope faith.
That made Princess Lady Mary hate her even more.
Princess Lady Mary was devout in her faith.

Flash-forward another seventeen years or so; Princess Mary had offed the competition for her throne in a matter of weeks and now, after the death of her half-brother Edward VI, she sat on the throne of England.
Finally. FINALLY!
And here is where karma enters the picture.
Mary I wasted very little time settling scores on the basis of religion.
By God, England would return to Roman rule if Mary I had to destroy every one of her (newly) Protestant subjects.
She got busy burning 'heretics.'
There's no way to excuse her actions.
Of all the ways there are to die, burning at the stake is quite possibly the worst.
Bound to a pole, firewood stacked around, the lick of flames came closer and closer, the scorching heat an inferno, and if that weren't enough, it took as long as a couple of HOURS to die. 
Holy shit.
Was the queen taking revenge on those who followed the religion formed when her parent's marriage went bust?
'Cause burning someone to death is certainly the act of a pathologically psychotic mindset.
Oh, hi, Aileen. Meet Mary.

If the executioner had been well-paid by the prisoner, he might deign to affix a packet of gunpowder to the throat of the victim prisoner.
Use your imagination. 

Back to Mary I and the karma - and if you're squeamish, here is where you have your chance to back out.

The burnings were done in the name of the queen.
She has responsibility for anything over-the-top that happened in her name, as she instigated the whole 'burn heretics' order.
So, on the day in 1556 when a pregnant woman was burned as a heretic and her baby (alive) was chucked back into the flames after she split open (don't say I didn't warn you) the blame is square on Mary I.*

The God who Mary I was convinced authorized her to burn heretics (Jesus jumping Christ, I mean, REALLY?) turned around and gave Mary I the big F.U. when she desperately tried to conceive a baby - which would have allowed her reign to go forward in the hands of her son/daughter. 
God's will?
"Here's me, expressing myself. And I don't need fifteen pieces of flair to do it."
I'd like to think it's a little of both.

Mary I had at least two 'phantom pregnancies' - she was convinced there was a bun in the oven (sorry) to the point where her abdomen became enlarged; when it was time for the 'baby' to arrive, instead of the healthy squall of a newborn infant, all that anyone heard was . . . crickets.
The God whom she'd decided she was acting on behalf of never gave her a kid of her own.

Mary I's throne went to her sister, Elizabeth I.
"WOOT!!! Mary I - OUT! Elizabeth I - IN!"
Elizabeth I didn't exactly tolerate all differences in religion; she had to slap down those zany Roman Catholics when they got too close to assassinating her.
Yes, Mr. Craig, we see you. Please go put on the blue trunks now."
"Much better."

Elizabeth I never had any children of her own; that was the price she paid for maintaining her throne and all power due the monarch.

She never had a pregnant woman and an infant burned to death in the name of her God. 


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