A Robert Sewell runs a genealogical site which is primarily dedicated to his “illustrious” ancestors. The following statement is an example of Sewell’s self-important psychology:
“I didn’t realise when I started this project that this is a very contentious issue, especially among persons with an interest in family history who want to say with certainty: “My ancestor came with William the Conqueror”.
In our family, we are not overly concerned about this issue. We say: “My ancestor was William the Conqueror”.
But descent from a group of people who invaded a county, killed and maimed those that attempted to defend it, took possession of the goods and lands of those that lived in this country, and then subjected them to a brutal, tyrannical rule, is nothing to be proud of. Rather, it is something to be deeply ashamed of.
Scanning a document giving the names of William the Conquerors companions, I see the name “Bastard”:
William the Conqueror was sometimes known as William the Bastard, because his mother was unmarried, and in accordance with the alternative definition of “bastard” he was like all elitists and warmongerers a despicable person. He is better named “Bastard” than “Conqueror”.
It might be argued that at least Sewell is a mere talker, bragging about his descent from elitists and warmongerers, rather than emulating these people. But as Jesus once rightly said, if you lust after a woman you have committed adultery with her in your heart. This most important of ideas is not taken seriously by modern Christians (they’re be forced to re-think their “I can do anything I like for I am forgiven” attitude if they took it seriously, or if they took anything the man they supposedly follow said seriously), but it is an important truth that one is tainted the mere thought of wrongdoing, that such thoughts ought not to so much as cross the mind. By the same logic, one is tainted by any admiration one feels for a person arising from their wrongdoing, and tainted therefore by any admiration one feels for someone such as William the Bastard.