Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Forum Search

Forum Search

Public Forums Only
Search by Author (Last month only)
Public forum posts since 25 May '18 .
Enter the exact name of the post author
  1. Standard member finnegan
    02 Jun '18 22:31
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    The People deprived for centuries of their human rights were victims of the foreign occupation you justify based on anti-Catholic bigotry.

    It's obscene for a defender of the occupation and oppression in the ACLEI to pretend to be concerned about human rights.
    Actually, as you have now melted into dribbling idiocy, I will vanish from the site again.
  2. Standard member finnegan
    02 Jun '18 22:24 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    The People deprived for centuries of their human rights were victims of the foreign occupation you justify based on anti-Catholic bigotry.

    It's obscene for a defender of the occupation and oppression in the ACLEI to pretend to be concerned about human rights.
    Where did I defend foreign occupation and where did I base that defense on anti-Catholic bigotry.?

    And where the fk is the ACLEI? How many times have people to tell you that your personal invention of acronyms is just strange and weird behaviour?

    Read my earlier posts before answering. And get sober.
  3. Standard member finnegan
    02 Jun '18 22:09
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    Is your bottom line, Finny, that the island of Eire should not be free of foreign occupiers because the RCC has too much influence in it?
    Eire is an invention.

    See my post on that topic above.
  4. Standard member finnegan
    02 Jun '18 21:58 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    I suppose a Jewish West Bank settler could bemoan the silly "nativist" arguments of Palestinians who don't want their land seized by foreign occupiers.

    Throw in a few pages of anti-Islam history and we have a mirror image of your argument.
    Palestinian refugees [many of whom are Christian and many others not Muslims] do not base their claims on a nativist argument, as you ought to know. Zionist Jews do, which is bizarre. Even converts to Judaism are given a right to return, in a way that Palestinians driven forcibly from their homes are not.

    It is a bit sick that you are willing to abuse language so unscrupulously to score a cheap shot.

    Nationalists of necessity strike the impossible conundrums of identifying who is entitled to be a citizen and who is not. Those who are arbitrarily designated as not-citizens are routinely deprived of their human rights, something that is happening on a distressing scale in Israel, in the USA and in the UK. It is no coincidence that these three states have the same disastrous attitudes; they are built on racism to a degree that it seems invisible to them. Nor is it a surprise that you connect your nativist thinking with support for avoidable political violence.

    Nativism is a fundamentally racist conception with horrific implications for our fellow humans. You need to use the language of racism with more caution.
  5. Standard member finnegan
    02 Jun '18 21:37 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    Another unresponsive post.

    Sorry, I have better things to do then listen to a man on a soapbox. If you ever want to debate, please start by dealing with the points I raise.
    The point you raised was in your original post about the role of the priests in Irish affairs and I dealt comprehensively with your point.

    I have no special desire to debate with you. But your gratuitous use of my name in the orginal post appeared to invite me to respond, as I did.

    I enjoyed rooting out the references i used, including re-reading some quite old material. I know you don't appreciate the effort but it was an amusing exercise. Recalls to mind the old Kahlil Gibran aphorism on my profile: "I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers."

    You talk too much; you're intolerant; you're unkind. I ought to be more grateful.

  6. Standard member finnegan
    02 Jun '18 21:26 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    Is your bottom line, Finny, that the island of Eire should not be free of foreign occupiers because the RCC has too much influence in it?
    You may like to refer back to your original post in this thread, when you gratuituously mocked me by name, knowing I have not contributed to this forum nor played chess here since about January.

    I responded to your post and you seem unable to handle my response rationally. Widening the debate, changing the focus or the topic, shifting the ground...

    ...all the rhetorical tricks we know you use to evade any and every effective challenge.

    You mocked me assuming you would not get a reply. Now you are unable to deal with the reply.

    Henry Patterson's book, The Politics of illusion, provides full and comprehensive answers regarding the Republican politics of the IRA and its splinters. They do not stand up to scrutiny. Go read that - you seem to know nothing useful beyond a litany of cliches which were out of date in the Seventies. [It's a very old book but it's still more up to date than you are! It just happens also to be a good one for your purposes.]
  7. Standard member finnegan
    02 Jun '18 21:18
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    For clarity, "what impossible position" do you imagine I hold as regards the influence of the RCC in the Republic before recent years?

    Even a virulent anti-Catholic such as yourself should know that Church teachings regarding the obligation of the State to care for the poor has evolved a bit since the 1940s.
    Catholic teaching on non consensual sex between priests and altar boys has also evolved - we are told.

    Similarly, from the Fifties, Irish economic policies started under Sean Lemass to move away from the ludicrous limitations of its previous Church approved policies. Sadly, in a neoliberal / free market direction, but there has been less actual starvation since then. Social policies, censorship and other things also began to get less authoritarian.

    Labelling me a "virulent anti-Catholic" is a bit tiresome as it implies a less considered and less serious minded attitude than is the case. A growing MAJORITY of Irish people, including practising Catholics, have been questioning and challenging the role played by the Church in Ireland and when you appreciate the scale of the problems listed, for example, by Finton O'Toole in the piece I posted earlier, then you will see that labelling us "virulent" is not appropriate. Angry, by all means. Demanding to be heard - yes, that.

    Are you a virulent anti-Trump? Probably, but arguably not a fair use of language for the situation.

    'Strident' would seem more appropriate in any respectful exchange.

    The real problem here is your utter rage when your eternal verities are questioned.
  8. Standard member finnegan
    02 Jun '18 21:06
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    Good for her, but I've previously referenced definitive surveys that show that few Northern Protestants think of themselves as "Irish". I can produce them AGAIN if necessary.
    Quite so - ethnicity is a choice.

    That is why the nativist line of argument you wanted to adopt fails to match reality.
  9. Standard member finnegan
    02 Jun '18 20:58 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    From page one of this thread:

    no1: no, he [you] did not merely assert "that the Catholic Church has exerted a disproportionately powerful influence on the Republic of Ireland's social and political life" during its existence ([b]a fact few would deny
    ) - he claimed a few years ago that the Republic was run by priests. That was an absurd statement ...[text shortened]... pinion that Ireland was "run by priests" a few years ago is a "mainstream" one - where exactly?[/b]
    Ah: what we see here is the Jesuitical streak in play. [Sighs]

    The phrase "Ireland was run by priests" is obviously a [perfectly transparent and often used] colloquialism, which refers to the enormous influence of the Catholic Church, albeit the Church has a hierarchy of Bishops, Cardinals and Popes, a sprawl of religious orders like say the Christian Brothers [bullies and abusers all] or the Sisters of Mercy [merciless to young mothers] , as well as the numberless active Catholics among the laity, from which enormous diversity of roles only a minority are, technically, to be defined as "PRIESTS."

    So when, for example, in 1931, the Irish BISHOPS issue a condemnation of the IRA's officially approved political "strategy" and the IRA, as dutiful Catholics, throw that out of the window and produce a more acceptable political strategy, that would in my opinion be reasonably well described as the IRA being subservient to the authority of the priests, while you would demand that I point to a single priest in the scenario described, insisting there is none. Indeed, when IRA meetings to discuss ongoing bombing campaigns pause for a decade of the rosary, you would tell me there is no priest present.

    Similarly, when political parties in Ireland feel a need to adhere closely and explicitly to Catholic social teaching and papal encyclicals in framing their policies, and want to reassure the world that this is the case, you would not accept that they are governed by priests. No wonder the country was in ruins by the end of the Forties with the harm caused by those Catholic approved policies. Irish people literally died of starvation in Dublin because of the Catholic rejection of anything "socialist" to relief their poverty.

    Well, as I say, if the best you can do to sustain your impossible position is to rely on such infantile word play, then it is not terribly good, really.

    I suppose I could rely on the valid enough demand that you back up your claim with a direct quote, telling us where I said this thing and in what context. I know you would not succeed - and it would be tiresome to try so please don't trouble yourself. More to the point, I see no reason to object to your account. Yes indeed, I hold the opinion that Ireland has been "run bhy priests" for too long and I hold to that opinion with immense reserves of supporting evidence, an opinion demonstrably shared by all sorts of respected sources.

    Against my belief, all you offer is some jesuitical wordplay - and no serious rebuttal. Really, you should appreciate for example that Finton O'Toole in the Irish Times is a voice to reckon with and you really should be more seriously impressed with the material I copied for your benefit above (for which I have paid good English coins to become an Irish Times subscriber, as I like his work so much, and my wife also enjoys the writing of Marian Keyes behind the same paywall - great value). What he has to say is shocking and brutal in its directness and you need to know that every line can be supported and justified to the hilt. With evidence, not Jesuitical word tricks.
  10. Standard member finnegan
    02 Jun '18 16:47 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    Does anyone else find it odd or inappropriate for the American No1Marauder (who never
    has lived in Ireland and is not an Irish voter) to put down Bruce Arnold (who has lived by
    choice in the Republic of Ireland for more than 60 years) as supposedly less qualified to
    comment about Ireland because he's 'British-born' ?
    Seán Mac Stíofáin (17 February 1928 – 18 May 2001), born John Stephenson, was an English-born chief of staff of the Provisional IRA, a position he held between 1969 and 1972.

    Although he used the Gaelicised version of his name in later life, Mac Stíofáin was born John Edward Drayton Stephenson in Leytonstone, London, in 1928. An only child, his father was an English solicitor's clerk and his mother an Ulster Protestant from east Belfast.[1] He stated his mother had left an impression on him at the age of seven with her instruction: "I'm Irish, therefore you're Irish… Don't forget it".
  11. Standard member finnegan
    02 Jun '18 16:07 / 3 edits
    You talk too often as though I make this stuff up, and when I support my views with authoritative sources, you complain about my prolixity. In fact, my opinions are pretty mainstream and you are out on a limb.

    You may like to hear that I have found more mountains of verbiage confirming my comments about the Catholic Church’s dominant role in Irish politics within a history of your pals and boyhood heroes, the IRA, by Henry Patterson, called with good reason ‘The Politics of Illusion’. I pick out 1931 for my illustration, though I could work through the entire history to similar effect. Remember, this is just one from lots of sources that I can dig into to support my opinions.

    In April 1931, the IRA’s General Army Convention adopted a strongly left wing political programme in the hope of improving its very limited relevance at that time. The Irish Bishops issued a proclamation on 18 October 1931 condemning this, and in response the IRA Convention proceeded to abandon it entirely and shift to more conventional political terrain, with a new policy formally approved in March 1933 - entitled ‘The Constitution and Governmental Programme of the Republic of Ireland’.

    Turning to direct quotes:
    Republicans were long used to withstanding attacks from the Church – they had been excommunicated during the Civil War. But such anathemas had concerned their role as an ‘armed conspiracy’ and had not questioned their Catholicism. The new assault provoked a headlong retreat from a public leftism which had never been securely grounded anyway. The organization now joined the broad opposition front including Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein and the Labour Party, which denounced the increased repression and the government’s conservative incapacity to deal with the economic crisis, but from a safely Catholic position.
    Sinn Fein’s Ard Fheis dissociated the ‘movement’ from ‘Anti-Christian principles’. For people like MacSwiney and the leading IRA man ...Michael Price, this meant the principles set out in papal encyclicals. Price quoted Aquinas, Pius V and Leo XIII to back up his ideas for social reform... The pressure to conform was irresistible, as one organization after another proclaimed its fidelity to social reform according to Catholic social principles. As a leader of the Labour Party put it: ‘they already had the framework of an equitable social system specially suited to the people in the encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII and his illustrious successor, the present Holy Father.’

    Even the fkg IRA had to and did bend the knee to the Catholic Church hierarchy and its social teaching.
  12. Standard member finnegan
    02 Jun '18 15:01
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    Hard to see how any of this mountain of verbiage supports your assertion that a few years ago the Republic was "ran by priests".
    What you wish to see or admit seeing or not is incidental.

    I was just passing by as it were, after many months absence, and found you referring to me by name, which seemed very curious, so I thought I'd leave my calling card.
  13. Standard member finnegan
    02 Jun '18 10:56
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    The voters in the Republic overwhelmingly pass a referendum repealing a constitutional ban on abortion.

    Maybe the priests don't run the place like Finnegan once said.

    ...Here, in summary, is the history of modern Irish Catholicism – the long endurance of a popular religious identity that, very unusually in Europe, defied the rule that subjects should follow the faith of their rulers; the gradual emergence of a supremely well-organised and increasingly self-confident church; the triumph of an institution that came to tower over Irish society.

    The church’s power had some very particular foundations. Oppression had made it the locus of endurance and defiance. Irish nationalism, in spite of its republican and non-sectarian rhetoric, effectively fused Catholic and patriotic forms of self-assertion.

    Mass emigration made the universality of Catholic ritual – you could go to the same Mass in Brooklyn as in Ballina – a guarantor of personal and communal continuity in a broken society.

    And, as Tom Inglis has pointed out, whereas in other countries it was factory life that “civilised” people, teaching them how to turn up on time and control their bodies, in Ireland this process was largely managed by church attendance.

    Brutally enforced
    These factors gave the institutional church extraordinary power over public discourse, collective identity and sexuality, especially the sexuality of women. With the formation of a partitioned State in which Catholics were an overwhelming majority, that power was fully institutionalised.

    What we have to consider, though, is not that it was often brutally enforced but that this brutality was deemed necessary. You don’t have to enforce something if you’re fully confident of its strength.

    Ostensibly, the Irish church in its pomp had every reason for confidence. It enjoyed the genuine allegiance of much of the population: in 1891, 89 per cent of the population of the 26 counties was Catholic; by 1991, this had actually risen to 92 per cent. Its strictures were deeply embedded in a culture of conformity and respectability. It controlled education and healthcare. It set firm limits of what politicians and governments could say and do.

    Yet none of this was enough. Rigid censorship had to be imposed to keep forbidden images and unorthodox thoughts out of the minds of the populace. The laws of the State had to be made into force fields to protect Catholic teaching on divorce, contraception and health.

    And most brutally, a reign of terror had to be imposed by incarcerating an astonishing 1 per cent of the entire population in a huge archipelago of industrial schools, Magdalene laundries, mother-and-baby homes and mental hospitals.

    In 1950, when this kind of Catholic Ireland was at its height, the church ran a scarcely believable 51 industrial schools in which 6,000 children were held in conditions that can reasonably be compared to slavery.

    Sheer overkill
    Some of this vast abuse of power can be explained by sheer overkill: tyrants, after all, tend towards paranoia. But some of it may have come from a justified suspicion that, if they were let off the leash, the Irish faithful might be inclined to stray.

    The spectre of emigrants “falling away from the faith” in the fleshpots of England and America haunted the church because it had some substance. John McGahern, who lived in Mohill, Co Leitrim, reported with glee the reaction of a neighbour to whom he explained that he did not go to Mass because, as an unbeliever, he would feel a hypocrite: “But, sure, none of us believe . . . We go to see all the other hypocrites!”

    Hypocrites is probably too strong a word. Hypocrisy involves saying one thing and doing another. In the real, underlying Irish Catholicism, the gap between saying and doing was not so wide. It was wriggle room. Devotion was generally sincere.

    The church’s practices, as McGahern pointed out, provided colour in an often dreary world. The Stations of the Cross and the Corpus Christi processions were the theatre of the countryside. The Redemptorist priests, with their blood-curdling sermons, were “evaluated as performers and appreciated like horror novels”. The larger-than-life parish clergy – “from a line of swaggering, confident men who dominated field and market and whose only culture was cunning, money and brute force” – were compelling characters in the local drama.

    Clergy and bishops were looked up to. Families were very proud to have a priest or a nun in the family: the Catholic theologian Donal Dorr has written of the emergence of a “privileged clerical caste” and this was indeed a caste system.

    The “foreign missions”, with their exotic tales and assumptions of cultural superiority, created the illusion of a “spiritual empire” that belied the obvious failures of the State at home. Even the sprayed-on odour of sanctity, the desire to be holier-than-thou (and especially holier than England) that culminated in the Eighth Amendment, functioned as a kind of compensation culture: God may have made Ireland uninhabitable for so many of its citizens but he blessed the remnants with divine self-righteousness.

    If it had not been for the child abuse scandals, and the church’s catastrophic reaction to them, it is possible that this Catholic Ireland would have lasted much longer.

    As it is, this long goodbye has now finished, and it is hard to foresee a resurrection of the authoritarian, clericalist and patriarchal church.

    But Irish paganism was vanquished 1,500 years ago – and we are still tying rags to holy trees, drinking from holy wells and climbing sacred mountains. And where else would a community stunned by shock and grief go to light a candle against the darkness except to the place it has been going for centuries?

    Religious rust belt
    We are left, certainly, with a religious rust belt: hulking half-empty churches, too cavernous to be heated in the winter, that were once literal powerhouses, factories that churned out dominance and consolation, shame and beauty, terror and pride, for the Irish and global markets.

  14. Standard member finnegan
    01 Jun '18 00:33
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    Of course, I did no such thing. Arnold did use the term "we" however, so It's legitimate to question whether he's part of the "we" that "voted God out of the Constitution" in his words.
    In a biography of Seamus Heaney by Helen Vendler I encountered this comment, relating to a particular Heaney poem, but pointedly relevant to No1Marauder's post:

    Not all the Irish are in Ireland always, and not all those inhabiting Ireland were born there or will die there. These facts are inconvenient to the unitary view of both nationalist propaganda and single-minded mythology, but they are the very stuff of cultural interest for an ethnographer or anthropologist. [p64]

    In other words, the facts fail to match his fantasy.
  15. Standard member finnegan
    01 Jun '18 00:20
    Originally posted by @duchess64
    Does anyone else find it odd or inappropriate for the American No1Marauder (who never
    has lived in Ireland and is not an Irish voter) to put down Bruce Arnold (who has lived by
    choice in the Republic of Ireland for more than 60 years) as supposedly less qualified to
    comment about Ireland because he's 'British-born' ?
    To understand No1Marauder's attitudes, you need to know about post-colonial theory. One good but challenging ( and long) source is Declan Kiberd, in his book "Inventing Ireland."

    Under colonial rule, identity is something imposed by the colonial power: in this case the "Irishman" is a caricature imposed by the English, and sure enough we see people acting the part - the "stage Irishman." Against this, others seek to identify with the colonial power- to be "more English than the English." Actually, Oscar Wilde famously invented an identity for himself through which he achieved the freedom to make pointed remarks about the English to their faces.

    A new stage [far from the final one] requires the production of as many distinctive features as possible that mark the Irish as being not-English. Here's how Kiberd describes this stage; it is of course dysfunctional and it fits our American correspondent very aptly: You will notice his beloved term of abuse "West Briton" features.

    "Some leaguers projected an ideal self-image of the Gael as a descendent of ancient chieftains and kings. Irish Ireland countered the petty “seoinin” or West Briton, who asserted his superiority by imitating English manners, with its own form of invented Gaelic snobbery. Ireland became not-England ... Anything English was ipso facto not for the Irish, ... but any valued cultural possessions of the English were shown to have their Gaelic equivalents. Thus was born what Sean de Freine has acutely called an ingenious device of national parallelism:
    • English language – Irish language
    • English law -- Brehon Law
    • Parliament – Dail
    • Prime minister – Taoiseach
    • Soccer – Gaelic football
    • Hockey – Hurling
    • Trousers – Kilt
    It mattered little whether these devices had a secure basis in Irish history, for if they had not previously existed they could be invented, Gaelic football being a classic case of instant archaeology but definitely not a game known to Cuchulain... The kilt ... never was Irish; and subsequent historians have shown that the Irish wore hip-hugging trousers long before the English (and were reviled for the barbarous fashion by the new invaders). The kilt wasn’t properly Scottish either, having been devised by an English Quaker, seeking an outlet for unused tartan after the highland clearances... [p151]"

    "When Cuchulain is used to underwrite a welfare state, or Christ to validate the process of decolonization, then the donning of historical garb may not be quite as conservative as O’Casey thought. Nietzsche had argued that even modern man “needs history because it is the storage closet in which all the costumes are kept”: such a one notices that none really fits him ... “because no social role in modern times can ever be a perfect fit”. [p230]

    From this distance in time, the myths surrounding 1916 and the Somme seem almost identical. In Ireland it was put about that the most creative and promising intellects had been lost in the Rising by a small country that could ill afford such a reckless expenditure of young talent. “Easter 1916” was a primary sponsor of this myth... That was the Irish version of the English tale of a lost generation of brilliant officers cut down in their prime at the Somme. Both narratives had equally little basis in fact. ... James Connolly’s sad prediction came true: the worship of the past really was a way of reconciling people to the mediocrity of the present... [p247]

    Ireland produced more than its fair share of conservative rebels, and very few revolutionaries imbued with a vision of an alternative society. After independence, a fear of the bleakness of freedom had so gripped the people that autocracy and censorship were the order of the day... [p391]

    ... In Ireland, following a limited form of independence in 1922, the shutters came down on the liberationist project and the emigrant ships were filled not just with intellectuals but with thousands of young men and women. People began to emigrate not only from poverty or the hated law, but also because the life facing them was tedious and mediocre. The revivalists had won: the fathers with their heroes and ghosts from the past. [p393]

Search Site Content