Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Cultural literacy is the knowledge we have about culture which helps us to understand information. If I said to you that a bush was burning in Texas, many of you would associate Texas and Bush with the presidency of America. A knowledge of the culture can help us understand words beyond their literal meaning. V for Vendetta is a movie where the hero takes on the persona of Guy Fawkes. The British remember his Catholic plot to kill the Protestant King James I on November 5th, the day he was discovered under the Houses of Parliament protecting a suspicious pile of wood which covered a pile of gunpowder kegs. He and his conspirators were hanged, drawn and quartered after days of torture. The way that he was treated is seen by some as parallel to the terrorists detained by the Americans who are subjected to near drowning and other methods that some call torture. V for Vendetta recasts Guy Fawkes as the hero and not the villain. Government is evil and should fear the people. The movie seems to advocate an anarchy and overthrow of institutions. The movie also includes religion as a tool of the state.
How does an understanding of Guy Fawkes help us to understand the movie V for Vendetta? Should a Christian watch V for Vendetta? How should Christians react to a movie which advocates resisting a government accused of torture, unjustified war, and tesing drugs on its own people? If such a government existed should we take up arms against it or should we accept the authorites that God has placed over us?
“Guy Fawkes (1570-1606), English conspirator, born in York. A Protestant by birth, he became a Roman Catholic after the marriage of his widowed mother to a man of Catholic background and sympathies. In 1593 he enlisted in the Spanish army in Flanders and in 1596 participated in the capture of the city of Calais by the Spanish in their war with Henry IV of France. He became implicated with Thomas Winter and others in the Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament as a protest against the anti-Roman Catholic laws. On the night of November 4-5, 1605, he was caught in a cellar underneath the House of Lords and arrested. After severe torture he disclosed the names of his accomplices, and with them he was hanged. Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated on November 5 in the United Kingdom and some other parts of the British Commonwealth with bonfires and fireworks.” (Encarta)