Monday, November 5, 2012

Guy Fawkes was a religious terrorist not a freedom fighter

Sean Ewart

Morons wearing a Guy Fawkes mask.
Remember, remember the 5th of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot.
I know of no reason why the Gun Power Treason
Should ever be forgot.

The Gunpowder Plot was a 17th century terrorist attempt and nothing more.

When, in 1605, Guy Fawkes and his conspirators, funded by Catholic kings on the European mainland, gathered together in a bar in London to talk revolution, they were not advocating the overthrow of tyranny. Fawkes and friends were instead discussing the most effective way to slaughter the entire Protestant government of England and replace it with a Catholic monarch.

The details of the story were left out of the 2005 Warner Brothers adaptation. V for Vendetta glossed over the facts of the Gunpowder Plot in favor of the inspiring imagery.

And it made for a great movie.

Since then the Guy Fawkes mask has become the veritable symbol of the righteously indignant. It is the calling card of the annoying hacker group Anonymous and has been used at Occupy Wall Street rallies. The mask also made appearances during the September 11, 2012 attack on the American Embassy in Cairo (where, I suppose, it actually fits the narrative of religious warfare better).

Ironically, because Warner Brothers owns the rights to the mask, every time one is bought by some credulous revolutionary, the Bros. get richer.

The truth is unless you believe that Catholic tyranny is preferable to Protestant tyranny, Guy Fawkes is not your hero. Stop acting like he is.

I would say he was the 17th century's Osama Bin Laden except he was a way, way worse terrorist.

At least Bin Laden landed a blow.

Guy Fawkes and his murderous companions, were, like Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, religious zealots on a bloodthirsty campaign.

The real irony is that when the Guy Fawkes mask is donned, the person behind it is also representing, albeit unwittingly, the symbol, not of freedom, but of religious bloodletting and tyranny.

It is credulity at best, cruelty at worst.

Remember, remember the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot
And dwell on the reasons for September 11
And the pain that religion has wrought


  1. Remember remember the 5th of November the Gunpowder Treason and Plot...
    I think it's a PITTY the Gunpowder DITTY has been most completely forgot!

  2. Here's the full rhyme:

    Remember, remember the fifth of November
    Gunpowder, treason and plot.
    I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
    Should ever be forgot.

    Guy Fawkes, guy, t'was his intent
    To blow up king and parliament.
    Three score barrels were laid below
    To prove old England's overthrow.

    By God's mercy he was catch'd
    With a darkened lantern and burning match.
    So, holler boys, holler boys, Let the bells ring.
    Holler boys, holler boys, God save the king.

    And what shall we do with him?
    Burn him!

    Remember, remember, the fifth of November,
    Gunpowder, treason and plot!
    A stick or a stake for King James' sake
    Will you please to give us a faggot
    If you can't give us one, we'll take two;
    The better for us and the worse for you!

    Guy Fawkes, Guy
    Stick him up on high,
    Hang him on a lamp post
    And there let him die.
    Poke Him in the eye,
    Put him on the fire
    And there let him die
    Burn his body from his head
    Then you'll say
    Guy Fawkes is dead
    Hip, Hip, Hooray!

    People didn't celebrate Guy Fawkes, they called him out for being a traitor to the Crown and the people. Parliament was forming the roots of democracy in Britain, and Fawkes wanted to destroy it along with the King.

  3. Someone hasn't done their research. Suggest you read V for Vendetta by Alan Moore. The adoption of the mask may then make more sense. Bad journalist here.