One Orangeman in Derry told me last week that the crunch for the Orange Order in the coming years would deciding whether they are an essentially religious organisation, or one dedicated entirely to politics. The Order he argued had got itself caught in all manner of impossible tangles because it had tried to carry forward two agendas at once.
Malachy O’Doherty reports on some strange anomalies that defy many suppositions about the nature of loyalism. It has long been a phenomenon of the troubles that mixed marriages have produced some unexpectedly extreme reactions in their offspring. But the revelation that the current head of the virulently anti-Catholic LVF was actually raised as a Catholic will give many of us pause for thought.
Is this a case of the separation of politics and religion or, more likely, a lethal conflation of the two?
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