Church to blame for breakdown of families?

When I met Eammon McCann for the first time at Leviathan last week I discovered, much to mine and the audience’s surprise, that he retains a deep and abiding interest in Ancient Greek and the Cannon Law of the Catholic Church – even if there’s little affection for the latter. This week he argues that the Catholic church has had a more corrosive effect on family life than the current target of the Christian right in the US, the sex researcher Alfred Kinsey.

  • Peter Reavy

    There is no reason that Alfred Kinsey and the Catholic church cannot both be criticised for their evasion of the reality of child abuse.

    There is no reason to suppose that the Christian Right has not also attacked the Roman Catholic church over this very issue many times in the past.

    But how kind of Mr McCann to defend Liam Neeson, who I hope will not forget to thank him in person on his next visit home.

  • Christopher Daigle

    In typical fashion McCann seeks to scapegoat the Catholic Church for the ills of society. His obsessive anti-Catholicism is little different than that of the typical Paisleyite.

    But then, much like the Paisleyites he is a fundamentalist, albeit of the Leninist rather than Christian variety. Same disease different manifestation.

    How can someone so rigidly sectarian in his politics be taken seriously as an advocate of anti-sectarianism?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I thought Eamonn was critical of all forms of organised religion. That’s not sectarian, that’s equal opportunity atheism.

  • Davros

    God help anybody who dares criticise the (RC)church … it leads to a knee-jerk accusation of sectarianism.

  • willowfield

    Critics of the RC Church are sectarian …. Zzzzzzzzzzzz

  • joc

    Critics of the RC Church are sectarian …. Zzzzzzzzzzzz

    Most Rice Crispies in the South are pretty critical of the RC church. Does that make them sectarian ?

  • joc

    I thought Eamonn was critical of all forms of organised religion. That’s not sectarian, that’s equal opportunity atheism.

    Correct – generally Eamonn puts all the ills of society thru the ages at the hands of religion (conveniently forgetting of course that some of the worst purges took place at the hands of committed atheists).

    Personally, I think the problems are to do with people…..

  • Davros

    I would suggest that in respect of Ireland History supports Eamonn.

  • willowfield

    Most Rice Crispies in the South are pretty critical of the RC church. Does that make them sectarian ?

    Who/what are Rice Crispies?

    Whoever they are, you’d better ask Christopher Daigle if they are sectarian.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    “generally Eamonn puts all the ills of society thru the ages at the hands of religion”

    I would have said he puts the ills of various societies down to the inherent iniquities of human power structures. Of which organised religion has been and continues to be one very salient example, though by no means the only one.

    As for Leninist, have you ever heard or read any of Eamonn’s thoughts on Soviet Russia? Clearly not. A typically broad brush approach to the left, so characteristic of those who know nothing about it.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Incidentally, it is not good enough to compare Paisley with McCann on the grounds that they are the two great public speakers Northern Ireland has produced in the last half century or so.

    Paisley’s demagogic technique has been to appeal to the worst instincts and prejudices of his audience, substituting noise for substance and ultimately leading his flock nowhere.

    McCann is the opposite: he has consistently attempted to appeal to the finest and noblest instincts in his audience, and still does to this day, despite his long tenancy as the voice in the wilderness. His arguments are as substantial as they are powerfully delivered. Sadly his audience has not deserved him. He has no flock to lead, which is a great tragedy.

    That McCann should be the outsider and Paisley the strongman of NI politics is as stark an indictment of the NI electorate – both those who choose Paisley and those across the fence without whom a Paisley would not be possible – as you’ll find.

  • maca

    “Rice Crispies” joc? The latest disparaging term?
    Like calling Jehovah Witnesses “Bon Jovis”? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Rice Crispies – as in RCs, right?

    Trouble is, aren’t Rice Krispies spelt with a K?

  • Davros

    My girlfriend from Bandit Country (S Armagh) used to refer to Rice Crispies ๐Ÿ™‚ But you are right , they do have a K Billy.

    Just watched a Brillian show on BBC based on super 8’s – old home movies- Short Strand and Strabane in the 50’s and 60’s , an Irish band called the Carpet baggers, the old club and dance scene . Brilliant!

    McCann is a good lad ! He got my votes at the last election.

  • Davros

    This is an excellent article in Todays Sunday Times, by Lynne Kelleher, that helps answer Mick’s original post

    O’Casey was agony aunt too

    “While Americans wrote to O

  • maca

    “Shivaun” what a way to completely bastardise a name, I hope i’m actually wrong and it’s an original name, not a screwed up Siobh

  • Davros

    I’ll send you the whole thing ๐Ÿ™‚

    Shivaun seems to be an acceptable variant of Siobh

  • willowfield

    Davros

    McCann is a good lad ! He got my votes at the last election.

    Has the property franchise come back?

  • Davros

    Nope ๐Ÿ™‚ I cast two perfectly proper and legal votes.

  • maca

    “Shivaun seems to be an acceptable variant of Siobh

  • Davros

    God forgive us savages, but when I was at Dungannon we had a kid who was born in Canada whose Ulster Ma named him “Shaun” … he was known as “seen the lepre’heen”

  • Davros

    Oh, before I go to watch little Britain…

    Knock Knock

  • maca

    “we had a kid who was born in Canada whose Ulster Ma named him “Shaun” … he was known as “seen the lepre’heen””

    Actually I don’t get it. How do ye pronounce “Shaun”

    Who’s there?

  • Davros

    T’was pronounced seen as in “where have you been” ?

    Siobh

  • maca

    Siobh

  • Davros

    Siobh

  • maca

    Good one ;))

  • Davros

    I’ll e mail you a couple of other cultural ones, slightly ruder … I don’t think Mick would appreciate it if I posted them ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Davros

    whoops , I did send you them already !

  • maca

    I’m sure Mick has a good sense of humour ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Davros

    Question…is “blurt” slang for weeping ?

    Liam O’Flaherty, ‘Patsa’ –

    “She was noted by the peculiar capacity she had for blurting at will. Indeed, small boys used to call after her: ‘Blurt for us , Nuala.’ “

  • maca

    I wouldn’t say it’s the primary definition but I guess it could be used that way.

    brainy dict. | freesearch

  • Christopher Daigle

    “I thought Eamonn was critical of all forms of organised religion. That’s not sectarian, that’s equal opportunity atheism.”
    Posted by: Belfast Gonzo at September 30, 2004 08:23 PM

    He’s critical of all forms of institutional religion except his own. Marxism/Leninism can be, and often is, a secular religion. For example:
    1. It has a founding prophetic figure (Marx).
    2. An extensive canon of scripture including Marx, Lenin, and depending on the sectarian allegiance Stalin, Trotsky, and so on. Including a wide body of “scriptural exegesis” including figures like Adorno, Gramsci, Marcuse etc.
    3. Heretics, for example “the traitor” Kautsky,or Stalin and/or Trotsky depending on the sectarian allegiance (Maoist, Stalinist, Trotskyist etc.)
    4. an apocolyptic end-times (M/L refer to this as the international worker’s revolution which paralells the messianism found in many traditional religions)
    5. An idealized vision of a future society called the “worker’s republic”, paralelling the Christian Kingdom of Heaven.
    6. “holy martyrs” (Trotsky and the other Bolsheviks murdered by Stalin.
    7. In the case of one Trotskyist sect in the Latin America there is/was even an example of the veneration of relics. In this case Trotsky’s death mask.
    8. Trotskyists can be strongly evangelical. For example selling newspapers regularly in an attempt to win new members (converts).
    9. The party (the church) as a hierarchically controlled body of like minded cadre (the faith community)with a system of branches (the parish) all the way us to the central committee (the curia).
    10. There is the same splits found in traditional religion between the purists (Leninist/Trotskyists) and syncretists (Social Democracy).

    McCann can condemn religion all he likes, but whether he can see it or not, he is an intensely religious man himself.

  • Christopher Daigle

    As for Leninist, have you ever heard or read any of Eamonn’s thoughts on Soviet Russia? Clearly not. A typically broad brush approach to the left, so characteristic of those who know nothing about it.
    ———————

    I’m sorry but there is far more to the left than Eamonn McCann or is he also infallible?
    I am very much aware of McCann’s views on the Soviet Union and more pertinently how dependent he is on Tony Cliff for his analysis.
    Be that as it may the question of the nature of the Soviet Union as deformed workers state, socialist, bureaucratic collectivist, or bureaucratic state capitalist is irrelevant to this discussion.

    I personally think that there is a great deal of value in Lenin’s and Trotsky’s theoretical analysis.
    My biggest criticism of most Leninists though, is certainly not that they are Leninists, but rather the very rigid and dogmatic approach that they bring to Lenin (and Trotsky).
    The IST are a little better in that their founding figure had enough sense and ability for critical thinking to recognize that Trotsky’s theoretical analysis of the Soviet Union was seriously lacking.
    But the fact remains that even the most sensible tendency within Leninism (the IST)by their dogmatic rigidity probably alienate dozens if not hundreds of people from Leninism for every one person they attract to it.