August 4th, 2011A Tale of Two Irelandsby Joseph Pearce
Robert Asch's post earlier this week highlighting the hypocrisy of secular Ireland has prompted me to add my voice to the discussion.
One of the major misunderstandings about modern Ireland, particularly amongst Irish Americans, is the belief that the Emerald Isle was an avowedly Catholic land until relatively recently. The truth is that large sections of the Irish population were seduced by the spirit of secularism many years ago. Take, for instance, the Irish flag. Why did the Irish choose to model their national flag on the anti-Catholic tricolor of the French Republic? Why didn't they simply remove the St. Patrick's Cross from the flag of the United Kingdom, thereby separating the Irish flag literally as well as symbolically from the Union? The answer, of course, is that many of the architects of Irish independence were more enamoured of the secular fundamentalism of the Enlightenment than of the Catholic orthodoxy of Christendom. In turning their back on their patron saint, they were symbolically turning their back on their Christian heritage and prophesying the eventual apostasy of the nation as a whole.
As for the Irish tricolor, it symbolizes the travesty and tragedy of modern Ireland. The green was meant to signify the nationalist or Catholic element in Ireland and the orange the unionist or Protestant element. The white in between the orange and the green signified the peace between the two parties. In fact, of course, the flag became a cause of great division so that the white has really come to signify the no-man's-land that separates the two communities, a separation that is as brutal as the political separation via apartheid of blacks and whites in South Africa. In consequence, the Irish have now symbolically erased the orange from the flag, referring to its colours as green, white and gold. There is no room for any "orange" on the flag, any more than there is any room for any "orange" in the nation. The white on the flag is therefore besmirched with the blood of the thousands who have been killed in the sectarianism of "the Troubles".
The choice facing modern Ireland is as stark as it is simple. She can either return to St. Patrick and the Faith that is her true inheritance, or she can follow the secularism of Sinn Fein, with its Marxist ideology and its support, in the past, for Colonel Gadaffi and Islamic terrorism.
True Irishmen should take up the Cross of St. Patrick and brandish it as a flag and as a sword in the war against secular fundamentalism. The alternative is the sinking of Irish identity in the quagmire of euro-globalism.