2007 - 2021

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  1. john mellon says:

    Then why are members barred from attending a funeral in a catholic church even if that person is related to them?

  2. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    The simple response is, “Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?

    And, that might be correct. But, is there another possible reason?

    Perhaps he actually believes it. I knew several members of the Orange Order, when I was growing up during the 1940s/50s/60s. Our next door neighbour was theGrandmaster of the local lodge. Of the 9 flats in the close four had residents who were RCs. I would not say their were no acts of ‘religious’ abuse, but, there were more acts of neighbourliness. The Grandmaster, despite urging from lodge members, steadfastly refused to have the parades walk past the local RC church, and the band was instructed to stop playing when they passed the end of the street where the church was.

    It was clear from conversations with neighbours who were lodge members that they believed that the Reformation had been a good thing and that the Roman Catholic Church had been and continued to be corrupt and had murdered and persecuted dissenters. Most, did not have any antipathy towards. neighbours and workmates who were RCs, but, often. they would add, “other RCs are not like that”.

    Many would say that they were not bigoted, and, by many of their actions, were not. However, they believed that Protestantism was a good thing and ought to be defended. They were sincere in that view. From that perspective, what is quoted above is true …. for the speakers and a fair number of his fellow members.

    For the avoidance of doubt, I think he is wrong and that his organisation is an anachronism and is a vehicle for the harassment of Catholics and people of Irish descent. I think the ‘right’ to parade should be severely curtailed and that the spurious claim of free speech should be rejected.

    I agree with Tom Devine that sectarianism is in substantial decline in Scotland, and will, probably decline further. We still have to be wary of it, but, condemnation alone is not enough. In trying to understand the motivations, we also have to look at the political, economic and social dimensions, including power relationships and attitudes relating to maleness.

  3. Martin Coffield says:

    If it wasn’t for the Lodge and the Walks, the bigotry in Scotland might well be limited to something near 90 minutes a week.

  4. Margaret says:

    I am from Northern Ireland and brought up Catholic. We would go to the bonfires and watch the walk. We where never made unwelcome. We had a street party for the Queens silver jubilee run by a Catholic family. I have seen more hatred in Scotland most of it anti English. The hypocrisy in Scotland is rife. If you are offended by other religious organisations that makes you a bigot, not the Orange Order.

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