Ronnie Matthews

This is absolutely spot on, but how do we even convince politicians to even read it let alone act and live by it? How is it that we have people who classify themselves as teachers of the Gospel of Christ yet say disgraceful things from an orange stage?

May God forgive us all for our reluctance to speak out against this bigotry.

Account Deleted

What gospel are you talking about? You didn't include the gospel in this blog.

Dave Flanagan

Thought you had written sounds dissident! Lol. Yip, that,s where the michelins hit the road.

Paul Reid

Turn the other cheek is easy advice to give to causes which you are not sympathetic to. When it comes to issues closer to our heart, the cause of justice most often takes precedence.

Working class catholics can (rightfully) count on a broader community and church which addresses their concerns and which is engaged with them. Working class loyalist communities however can count on no such support.

Don’t get me wrong, I think there is a lot to be corrected within the parading culture, and more nuanced views of protestant heritage as well as the Glorious Revolution, ought to be cultured. However, the protestant middle classes and churches have, by and large, washed their hands of an entire community, relegating them to little more than white trash status.

I do think it is reasonable to present a Christian critique to the Orange Order. However, from my experience (east of the Bann at least), it would be wrong to assume that rank and file membership self identify as practicing Christians. So engagement should take account of martial culture and pagentry being part and parcel of the cultural heritage of the greater protestant community.

Finally, I think the challenges of turning the other cheek and going the extra mile is something protestant ecumenists may ask of their catholic brothers and sisters, just as much as their second or third cousins in the protestant community.


I think I tend to agree with Paul above. One or two things over the years have led me to speculate that sometimes (though I accept not on this blog) Protestant church leaders have only demanded Christ-likeness of Protestant Christians because they don't really regard the Catholic Church and its membership as "Christian".

It's (hopefully) useful to reflect that the only Church contact many Loyalist bandsmen have is when they're informed by riot police they're not allowed to play anything in front of a church building. Consequently their view of the Christian Church is a censorious and vindictive organisation, that's quite content to see low-paid and unemployed individuals humiliated and criminalised in its name. Indeed, in the name of Jesus.

I wonder how transformative it would be for the Catholic Church leaders to say to bandsmen: you know what, play whatever tunes you like, we are here in the name of Jesus, and you are more important than any building. It might just take the sting out of the situation, and may make one or two Christian Orangemen reflect on their view of the Catholic Church.

But I have seen nothing of that.

I've been increasingly troubled by the development of an NI bourgeoisie into something that never opens its mouth on the Unionist working class/underclass except to criticise, frequently with what appears to be a genuine hatred and contempt. It's part of a wider trend in our society to treat the less privileged in society as objects of entertainment and disgust; means to massage our own morality. I wonder if Jesus were here would he be a loyalist parade, or would he be at Summer Madness? I really do wonder ;)

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