Ad Gloriam Dei

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corintians 10:31

"Let us pursue the things which make for peace and those by which one may edify another"- Romans 14:19

"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." - Proverbs 27:17

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Comment on Religion and War with Particular Reference to Ireland

This is something I wrote in response to some comments on a newspaper's blog, one of which called for the closing of churches to stop the animosity in Ulster:

Again we hear the old Atheistic lie: “every war in history has had religion at its roots”. Is this true from an objective assessment? Was Hitler and Stalin’s invasion of Poland due to religion? Was WWI due to religion? Was the Vietnam War due to religion? Did the Romans attack the Carthaginians because of religion? Did Napoleon fight his wars because he was opposed to the religion of his enemies?

The fact is that war can have a religious motivation, sometimes a nationalistic one, sometimes an economic one, sometimes because there is an egoist at the helm. Frequently it has been atheists who have caused a number of the aforementioned wars, usually tied in with a socialist revolutionary spirit.

Let is be noted, despite the obvious, though complex religious aspects to the troubles in Ireland, that a number of the revolutions/ rebellions/ freedom struggles in Irish history are actually linked with this socialist revolutionary spirit. The 1798 Rebellion was linked with the French Revolution, the 1920’s Revolution was linked with the Communist struggles elsewhere and the recent “Troubles” was linked with the revolutionary spirit of the ‘60’s, e.g. French students came over and taught the Republicans how to stage riots and make petrol bombs. One need only enter “Republican West Belfast” to still see that rabid, extremist socialist spirit sprawled on the walls.

Although most of us deplore this violent revolutionism and terrorism, nevertheless there was economic and nationalist provocation behind this. The landowners (including native Irish Catholics) abused the poor people over the years, leading to the terrible Potato Famine. What is often overlooked is the abuse of the Presbyterian people by the same landowners. Many of these Protestants fled Ireland in the 18th Century because of this, leading to the prominent Scots-Irish bloodline of rural America, and the American War for Independence (“that Irish Presbyterian rebellion” as it was called).

Please note as well that when the English invaded Ireland, they were Catholics invading Catholics, and that one of the reasons was to make the Irish Church toe the Roman line. As long as the English were Catholic, then Rome encouraged the Irish to be obedient to their English masters, but when the Reformation happened, then Rome’s view changed.

Why was Ireland so little affected by the Reformation and the people vehemently opposed to Protestantism? One of the main reasons was that the snobbish English aristocrats allowed services and religious books in Latin and English, but not “barbarian” Irish. Elizabeth I fought against Puritan attempts (not to be confused with Cromwell) to translate the Bible into Irish. Protestantism was inextricably linked with Nationalism.

Despite this, you will find many Irish “Catholic” surnames in Protestant churches, and in the Great Revival of 1859 what was noted was the peace around the Twelfth. Loyalist paramilitaries are usually deeply opposed to colleagues who “find religion”. They hate Biblical Christianity as much as those who think that all wars are started by religion!

"Close all the churches"? He is really naive who thinks that Republican and Loyalist terrorists care about going to church!

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