Tag Archives | Religion

Commemorating a pioneering humanitarian, five centuries on

Woodcut by Theodor de Bry, taken from a 1580s printing of Las Casas's "Short Account"

Commenting on Roger Casement’s campaigning work on behalf of the indigenous peoples of the Peruvian Amazon, the author Joseph Conrad said in a letter to the Scottish politician R B Cunninghame-Graham: ‘I have always thought that some particle of Las Casas’s soul had found refuge in [Casement’s] indefatigable body.‘ Casement himself, in his pre-1916 work more…

Cartoon – Spencer on Monday

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This is the start of something new. The plan is a regular slot, every Monday morning, with a cartoon taking a look at the main headlines. As some of you know well, for me it all began with Rowel Friers and Ian Knox; But these guys set a legacy hard to match. And so a lot more…

Secularist Ireland (and the broader west) has no time for persecution of Christians or other religions

It’s worth recapping on Tom Kelly’s column from the Irish News on Monday, asking if anyone cares about the fate of Christians and other religious minorities in the middle east… …for all our pretence to be a Christian country (not that our Christian practices always gives witness to that profession) we seem uninterested in the more…

McGregor, an ancestor of John Kerry is labelled the Irish Moses, as US monitors persecution of Christians

  It’s amazing what the Economist picks up… the half forgotten and much missed tradition of Presbyterian liberalism, forced to emigrate to the States and often confused there with the Irish Catholic variety. Could they have possibly read Turgon? DOES the Obama administration care about religious liberty round the world? In some ways, it has more…

Bishop John McAreavey: “Political representatives must answer for their own position on abortion…”

As the BBC reports, Sinn Féin’s Paul Maskey, MP for west Belfast, has apologised to the Catholic Bishop of Dromore, John McAreavey, for the misrepresentation of his views on abortion in “a letter written by local party members and distributed in west Belfast”.  Here’s the quoted apology in the BBC report – not yet available on the Sinn Féin more…

The prevailing wisdom of A Love Divided

20140404 A Love Divided

Based on a true story, “A Love Divided” chronicles the aftermath of a mixed marriage in Co. Wexford, Ireland, where Protestant-raised Sheila refuses to send her children to a local Catholic school. She flees with her two young girls, leaving her husband Sean confused and frustrated. “A Love Divided” was shown at Culturlann, as part more…

Paisley’s religious legacy

Watching the two hours of the BBC’s documentary on Dr. Paisley brought to mind my blog from six years ago of Paisley and Prospero where at the end of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Prospero turns to the audience and says “Now my charms are all o’erthrown And what strength I have’s mine own.” At times it more…

A manifesto for enlightened Catholicism

From the always inspiring Hans Kung, one of two surviving theologians of Vatican 2, the other being Joseph Ratzinger. True ecumenism.  One shouldn’t be misled by the media hype of grandly staged papal mass events or by the wild applause of conservative Catholic youth groups. Behind the facade, the whole house is crumbling. In this dramatic more…

#GiantsCauseway: Fenians lose out to Bible.

*sigh* According to UTV, the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre now includes exhibits that acknowlegde the young-earth Creationist view of how the world-famous stones are formed. Pete has detailed the backstory to this before and others have picked up the creationist lobbying trail around the Ulster Museum. UTV report that The National Trust said it wanted to “reflect more…

Democracy and the Church of Ireland…

In the wake of last week’s controversial proceedings at Synod, Archbishop Harper explains how and why things are done in the Anglican Church of Ireland: I think it is important, therefore, to understand the extent to which the Church of Ireland recognises and embraces the status and role of the laity in the life of more…

A few thoughts on St. Patrick’s Day

Today is then St. Patrick’s Day. There will be a variety of events, by far the most prominent will be cultural and sporting. I had intended writing a blog on what I view as the way in which the sanitisation of the entirely legitimate nationalist culture of St. Patrick’s Day has actually become a cause more…

Artless protest? Or a disappointing protest that hasn’t yet occupied the agenda of the public or the church?

Occupy Belfast Protest 2

Despite being critical of Occupy Belfast’s media strategy over the past few months, I’m still disappointed when they respond to Peter Robinson’s jibe about their “artless protest” with a press release. Occupy Belfast would like to take this opportunity to say that we will not be going away and will be relentless in our campaign more…

$cientology loses appeal against fraud ruling

The Irish Times reports from France, where the inheritors of L Ron Hubbard’s greedy and manipulative anti-science cult of scientology have lost their appeal against a 2009 ruling that “two French branches of the US-based organisation were guilty of “organised fraud” and gave four of its leaders suspended jail sentences of up to two years.”  A more…

Ian Paisley to retire as Free Presbyterian minister

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Rev. Dr. Ian Paisley is to step down from active church ministry. The 85 year old former moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster has announced that he will be preaching one more sermon in the Martyrs’ Memorial at Christmas but is going to devote his time to writing his memoirs. Dr. Paisley has more…

“Reconfiguring the relationship between the church and wider society”

Norman Hamilton going down the stairs

Speaking on Friday afternoon, Dr Norman Hamilton – the outgoing moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland – called for “the reconfiguring of the proper relationship between the church and wider society”, while the moderator designate Dr Ivan Patterson said he “would welcome” the invitation of Cardinal Brady to the opening night of the General more…

Thoughts on the saga of Hazel Stewart

The saga of the murders of Trevor Buchannan and Lesley Howell has all the ingredients of a horrible human interest story or a perfect opportunity for voyeurism depending on one’s views. It has had a perfect; practically Shakespearian villain who finally seized with remorse has told all for the benefit of his soul and for more…