“cast out the beam of thine own eye (before) the mote of thy brother’s eye”.

Gerry Adams has responded to the Orange Order’s refusal to meet with Sinn Fein at a leadership level with an open letter to the Order carried in the Belfast Telegraph (though currently access only to the related story.) In the letter, he quotes from the King James Version of the New Testament whilst making the obvious hypocrisy charge regarding the Order’s stance on refusing to talk to republicans ahead of an apology for Order members killed during the conflict. As Adams points out, Orange Order members were killed by other armed groups, as well as doing a share of the killing through membership of other organisations, with numerous ‘Orange loyalists’ celebrated by many Lodges in banners and through the contracting of paramilitary-aligned bands for their parades.

  • John O’Connell

    It’s a wonder either of them can see anything with the amount of wood that must be in their eyes.

    It makes the saying that they can’t see the trees for the forest take on whole new meaning. Splinter and plank should be replaced with wood and forest in the world of the dodgy dealers Sinn Fein and the Orange Order.

    The New Testament doesn’t contain sufficient latitude in doing wrong that would make either party seem reasonable. The sheer hypocrisy of these neanderthals.

  • Rory Carr

    I listened to a report on this statement on Talk Back earlier and I must confess that I winced when I heard this resort to the Gospel of Matthew that Adams called upon to bolster his position on the high moral ground.

    Having already gained the ground of moderacy and reconciliation in his initial approach to the Orange Order I fear he has thrown it away with this intemperate response to the Order’s rebuff.

    It would be reasonable to conclude that in making his initial approach he anticipated a rebuff – indeed expected no less – and a seasoned politico would then have simply sighed in sadness and responded with a “Never mind. Perhaps not this year but my door is always open” comeback thus consolidating his position as the reasonable moderate.

    Instead he has given reasonable ground for suspicion that his initial approach was not made from the best of motives but rather in order to embarrass the Orange Order further in world opinion. If he intends by this statement to further embarrass the Order I think he has failed but rather, by using the gospel reference while pointing out the other party’s defects, the whole statement rather rebounds on him.

    A closer attention might have been paid to the spirit of the Gospel text he employed.

  • Brenno

    “The New Testament doesn’t contain sufficent latitude..”

    You said it brother. And there’s one of the major problems right there – the fact that outside of the Outer Hebrides, Norn Iron is the most religiously hidebound place in the UK, if not Europe.

    This is the problem with basing your identity, politics and levels of tolerance toward others on a 1,800 – 1,500 year-old collection of patriarchal texts: sooner or later, your ideological boundaries will collide with the realities of the modern-world.

    I’ll be up-front: I’m an atheist (I’m not starting a thread about God’s existence or not) and I despair of the attitudes back home. On women’s rights, workers’ rights, abortion, multi-culturalism, gay rights, the environment, ad infinitum, we have a province which is retarded by its own religious straitjacket.

  • kensei

    Rory

    For an organisation that is apparently so focused on the Bible, it seems a reasonable challenge to them.

  • northantrimer

    I see local residents in North Antrim are starting to collate video evidence on loyalist parades and put it on Youtube. 18 videos up so far at: http://www.youtube.com/user/BallymenaSF.

    Theres one clip of Pride of The Bann (UDA) Coleraine in Ballymena threatening Sinn Féin members and calling local Councillor Monica Digney a ‘Fenian bastard’:

  • I would expect that few orangemen, moats/beams aside, will agree with the equation of a small number of banners/ flags and the pre-mediated murder of 1500+ people.

    On the specific issues of these flags and banners (and remember there are over 1000 lodges and 650 bands-how many of these are offensive under Gerrys terms? Id suggest its in single figures), well the Orange may well echo the words of Tyrone GAA Board chairman Pat Darcy when commenting on the upcoming Memorial event to an IRA member in Pomeroy GAA ground:-

    “They are independent units and each club makes its own decisions. They come from the community and they respond to the community.”

    Yes a minute percentage of members of the order were involved in incidents but never acting at the behest of any Orange Lodge. There is no way you can make an organisation responsibile for the actions of every member. That position would bring to an end the argument that the Catholic Church isnt directly responsible for peadophilia in its ranks for example.

    An upcoming study has actually established that the OO had a calming effect on many young men who otherwise would have been drawn into violence. The Orange gave them focus and instilled discipline and respect for the rule of law. Only for the influece of the Orange Order in the early 70’s there may well have been the oft predicted bloodshed of a level we never encountered.

  • chicken oriental

    [i]The sheer hypocrisy of these neanderthals. [/i]

    That’s not very Christian of you, Christ. Why do you feel the need to dehumanise the Shinners (i.e. those that pay my wages)? That’s a very dangerous path to go down. Furthermore, you are in grave danger of harassing us. I’m putting you under review, you Man of God.

  • Rory Carr

    Kensei,

    re: Adam’s response as “a reasonable challenge to them.”

    It is the image created that bothers me, Kensei, not the reasonableness (or accuracy) of Adams’s response.

    It might be “a reasonable challenge” in a head-to-head debate (although I think that throwing that quote from Matthew at a third party while pointing out their defects rather ruins it) but this was not such.

    The initial approach by Adams was intended to be seen as one of open-handed goodwill. Instead it now appears that it was nothing more than an exercise in further embarrassing the Orange Order over their admittedly ridiculous intrangiscence towards any negotiation intended to lead to a lessening of tension over contentious parades.

    The world already knows that Orangeism is a lumbering anti-social neanderthal. By allowing himself to engage in this tit-for-tat slanging match with the Order he comes down to their level.

    As a said before, he would have been better advised to walk away with a resigned shrug and a “maybe next year, boys.”

  • DC

    While I can see the value of and appreciate adams’ gesture is it not beyond the grasp of those in sinn fein to realise that Adams trying to engage the OO is like Thatcher trying to win over Scotland’s heart.

    There’s just too much other painful historical stuff caught up there that surely precludes any (much needed) forward thinking on marches.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Seo ceist duitse, John o’ God. Are there any convicted criminals in the Stoops? If you knew of any, would you disown the ‘party’?

  • Rory Carr

    You need to go back to christian teachings on the Sabbath to fathom the Holy One’s thinking here, Mr Horse.

    It was forbidden to engage in servile work on the Sabbath. Servile work was that formerly done by slaves – drawing of water, hewing of wood, tillage, cooking etc. and was interpreted to mean manual labour (our good old Mexican standby) in the modern post-slavery world. Non-servile work which was permitted was interpreted to mean that which is not done by the working classes but rather by the professional classes (lumped in together with the clerics of old).

    So it is that John and his SDLP mates of the middle classes while being very down on armed insurrection for example would be less anxious to condemn the quite legal exploitation of one’s fellow man through wage slavery or economic serfdom.

    The rule really is: any independent act of the lower classes for their own emancipation is sinful.

    Any action sanctioned by law to enrich the already well-off at the expense of the less-well-off is holy.

    But guys like John have ever been with us. Indeed John himself might well have been incarnate in a previous existence as this Mexican hacienda manager who wrote of the supporters of the revolution led by Francico Madero against the Diaz dictactorship in 1910:

    “We Catholics know that certain spiritist phenomena such as relations with spirits are only an expression of contact with the devil. I believed since the beginning of the revolution that Madero and his supporters were agents of the devil, and the events we have seen cannot be explained rationally, but have to be seen as the results of a superhuman influence of a higher intelligence, that of the devil….”

    He goes on however to praise the miltary coup that brought Porfirio Diaz and the olgigarchs into desptic lordship thus:

    The last conflict in which the ex-president and the ex-vice-president lost their lives, [they were in fact murdered] whether in a real or a simulated attack to save them, though it may appear inhuman, was a wonderful event for the peace of our nation” (The Life & Times of Pancho Villa by Friedrich Katz. Stanford University Press. Pbk. 985pp.)

    It turned out of course to be the precursor of a quarter century of anything but peace for the vast majority of those who actually constituted “our nation” apart from the dubious pleasures of the peace of the grave or the dank dungeons of Vera Cruz for any who dared question the power of the oligarchs.

    You might think that such an expression of conflicting sentiment as the above might illustrate the inconsistency with which the middle classes apply religious precepts but rather I think it also shows their consistency in being able to twist anything to suit their purpose so that it bathes them in moral righteousness and casts their opponents into the outer darkness of moral turpitude.

    Hasta la vista!

  • John O’Connell

    Pancho’s Horse

    Are there any convicted criminals in the Stoops? If you knew of any, would you disown the ‘party’?

    I have already dealt with the question of criminality at length in my book, Let the prisoners go free!!! The Case for a Christian Justice System. It is not a question of criminality, it is a question of empathy that drives a wedge between the SDLP and other parties.

    The Old Testament values of the UUP, DUP, and Sinn Fein that give rise to the hypocrisy mentioned above is a sign of a lack of empathy for other human beings.

  • John O’Connell

    Rory Carr

    a superhuman influence of a higher intelligence, that of the devil….”

    Thanks for the compliment. I’m not sure its warranted. But I am sure that I am on the side of God.

    I think it also shows their consistency in being able to twist anything to suit their purpose so that it bathes them in moral righteousness and casts their opponents into the outer darkness of moral turpitude.

    With intelligence like that it won’t be long before you’re in the middle classes doing as you said they do. I’ve heard so many tell me that they would never sell out, but they always do. I’m glad I’m not middle class.

  • oldruss

    Gerry Adams’ offer to talk is on the table, whether or not one agrees with his New Testament reference.

    Let’s not get lost thrashing about over what is nothing more than a form over substance argument. Adams should have said this or that or not said anything, blah, blah, blah.

    Get a grip boys, the Orange Order stands like George Wallace stood at the school house door.

    Remember that there were 712 Catholic civilians deliberately targeted and murdered by loyalist paramilitaries during the Troubles (July 1969 to 31 December 2001).
    http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/sutton/book/index.html#append

    Are any of their murderers also members of the Orange Orders? Are the loyalist paramilitary organizatons and/or members responsible for the 712 murders glorified by Orange Lodges during the Twelfth parades?

    Perhaps Grand Master Robert Saulters would care to address the families of the 712 murdered Catholics?

  • John O’Connell

    oldruss

    Gerry Adams’ offer to talk is on the table, whether or not one agrees with his New Testament reference.

    You’re still exhibiting tendencies to support Gerry Adams which are consistent with the CIA policy of bolstering the Irish peace process even by supporting immoral political positions which might keep things quiet for a while.

    This remains a position that helps Hilary Clinton sell Northern Ireland as the way forward in other conflict zones, but gives Northern Ireland a hellish future.

    For your information, few believe that Gerry Adams has any understanding of the basis of the New Testament, never mind any right to quote from it.

  • latcheeco

    Old Russ.
    Remember before you read the thoughts of certain commenters on Slugger you must first have a Gregorian chant or the Jesus of Nazereth theme tune playing in the background to get a real feel for what they are saying

  • Belfast Gonzo

    One wonders if Gerry has taken on some kind of adviser from the clerical class in recent months to advance his ‘unionist outreach’. It doesn’t sound like his own idea, or if it is, it doesn’t sound like his thoughts, since he seems willing to alienate Prods on most other things. Perhaps Clonard is trying something new!

    Quincey

    Perhaps you could email me the details of this upcoming study you mention?

  • Billy

    OldRuss

    Precisely. Although I’m not Gerry Adams greatest admirer, he’s shown the OO up on this one.

    It’s like when Trimble went on Channel 4 news at Drumcree 1 and ranted on about the Garvaghy Road Residents and how the OO would never meet them as their leader was a convicted terrorist. Jon Snow then asked him if anyone on the OO side was a convicted “loyalist” terrorist and Trimble (as ever) went mad as he had been exposed.

    Saulters is being exposed as a hypocrite – members of the OO have been convicted as “loyalist” terrorists and not been expelled from the OO – OO lodges commemorate “loyalist” terrorists and arms belonging to “loyalist” terrorists have been found stored in Orange halls.

    There are two ways forward here – I have no problem with Gerry Adams apologising on behalf of the Republican movement if Saulters apologises on behalf of the OO.

    Conversely, they could meet without any apologies or preconditions.

    However, I’m with Gerry Adams on this one – he has made the offer and the OO have rebuffed it – and yet again been exposed as the hypocrites they are on “loyalist” terrorism.

    One thing I’ll give the OO “leadership” – they’re consistent – they always know how to lose the Public Relations battle.

  • Reader

    Billy: I have no problem with Gerry Adams apologising on behalf of the Republican movement if Saulters apologises on behalf of the OO.
    Based on the sorts of examples you gave to taint the OO with terrorism, shouldn’t we bring the GAA into this too?
    Perhaps a more helpful suggestion might be that both SF and the OO should delegate members with no connection to political violence for any meetings between the two.

  • Big Maggie

    Reader,

    And perhaps an even more helpful suggestion would be to ask the men concerned to stop behaving like little boys and to grow up.

  • Turgon

    Belfast Gonzo makes an interesting point about the use of religion in Adam’s latest comments. In fairness, however, this strand of Orange Order bashing and indeed a strand of very liberal unionism or even anti unionism has long been a part of the broader Protestant religious position in NI. This tendency is found in liberal but also (to a lesser) extent in more fundamentalist groups. Many / most brethren refuse to vote for example and many would be very critical of the OO. As such it would not have been terribly difficult for Adams to find such an argument.

    I would suggest that Adams is here at his best to his own constituency. He has introduced a supposedly conciliatory set of comments and has offered to meet the Order. This is a win win for him. If the order was so foolish as to meet him it would be trumpeted as a further example of “unionist engagement.” More likely, however, was that it would be rejected, as indeed it has been.

    Now Adams moves to claim that such is unChristian: this will no doubt play well with his supporters and might also gain a few plaudits from the ultra liberal “unionists” who claim that one can trust Adams. His refusal to even admit IRA membership demonstrates how seriously one should take Adams’s statements.

    The comments were, however, centrally for Adams’s own constituency. They were a variation on a theme he has been using for years: presenting himself as a liberal and a man interested in understanding his opponents. This delusion may work for his supporters (though I suspect they know and just enjoy the way he attacks their opponents). It may work for Adams himself: he likes to cast himself in this role and he may almost have begun to believe that he is a liberal intellectual; it may work for the most naive or bigoted of Irish Americans; it may work for the odd “guilty Prod.” However, without a repeatedly stated unequivocal apology for the acts of the IRA coupled with genuine attempts to explain what he and his cohorts really did it will be rejected by all sensible unionists of whatever stripe.

    On the topic of OO members who were criminals: Of course there were Orange Order members who were wickedly involved in terrorism and murdered people. However, that was clearly a small minority compared to the very large number of members the OO has: this contrasts with the IRA, large numbers (at a minimum) of whose members were involved in murdering people.

    For Adams to claim that he does not glorify IRA killings is of course so disingenuous that it is a lie. He glorified the Shankill mass murderer Thomas Begley by carrying his coffin. Adams will no doubt try to make the distinction between the man and the actions: however, that is a specious distinction which he would and clearly does not accept in others.

    Incidentally since on his blog Adams has mentioned Orange Order members involved in terrorism let us list Sinn Fein MLAs who were as a minimum either convicted or self confessed terrorists:

    Martin McGuinness: IRA commander by his own admission
    Martina Anderson: convicted IRA bomber
    Paul Butler: convicted IRA murderer
    Gerry Kelly: convicted IRA bomber (bombs which killed one person)
    Conor Murphy: IRA member and possessor of explosives

    There are also a number of others who have been arrested for or accused of terrorist offences.

  • Rory Carr

    “He [Adams] glorified the Shankill mass murderer Thomas Begley by carrying his coffin. – Turgon

    To bury someone, Turgon, does not equate to a glorification of them (or of their actions). Any action taken to bury another can only be taken to signify that the other is dead.

    Besides which republicans don’t do ‘glorification’, we leave that end of things to monarchists with all their pomp and glory and their loyal followers with their glory, glory flag waving rituals each summer in Northern Ireland.

  • Laughing Laird Laird

    Isn’t it funny when they were 78 000 members in 1948 they were 1 700 traditional parades and now with 35 000 members they are 3 600 traditional parades.

  • Big Maggie

    Rory,

    Well said. At the same time I seem to recall much glorification of dead Irishmen in my childhood: “Glory-o to the Bold Fenian Men” and all that.

    But wasn’t the Shankill Bombing an accident as far as the innocent lives was concerned? I thought Begley and the others were going after Unionist terrorists, including Johnny Adair, and the bomb went off prematurely.

  • Big Maggie

    LOL @ LLL

    That’s traditions for you. There’s a new one born every minute.

  • Alan – Newtownards

    I feel that the O.O. needs to call Adams bluff. I don’t believe that he a very trustworthy person but at the end of the day his party is in goverment here whether we like it or not. Thanks to the dupes. I know quite a few members of the O.O. Some are personal friends and genuine christian people who would offend no one and would go out of their road to help anybody regardless of their religion. They attend lodge meetings monthly unlike a lot of the non christian members. They parade on the 12th and have a good day out with their families. They became members because of their family connections with individual lodges. There are members of this calibre all over Ireland. On the other hand I know quite a number of members who I wouldn’t want my daughter to marry. These are the people who have brought disgrace on the O.O. These are the people who are known to the so called leadership of the order but who haven’t got the guts to remove them. This is where the problem lies with the O.O. The leadership is spineless. In a way the R.C. church and the O.O.are alike. The O.O. has allowed its braindead members (with more than a little help from gerry and his anti unionist mates) to practically ruin the order. Likewise the R.C.church allowed its “perverted” priests to practically ruin the church by allowing the abuse of catholic children for goodness knows how long, without having the guts to put an end to it. Little men with a lot of power but with barely a brain cell between them or should I say a spine.

  • John O’Connell

    Big Maggie

    It might be defined as an accident were it not for the fact that an educationally subnormal man was used to carry the bomb. It has all the hallmarks of blood sacrifice of the weak and usable.

    It was of course in direct response to loyalist killings which is why the Old Testament’s eye for an eye law and its general teaching best describes the Provos and Gerry Adams, not the New Testament teaching or “law” used by Gerry Adams.

  • CW

    Interesting comparisons from Rory C on the Mexican revolution.

    Rory and others with an interest in this subject may want to read a piece by a colleague of mine on the revolution in Mexico as the central theme of Sergio Leone’s film “A Fistful of Dynamite”:

    http://dreamingarm.wordpress.com

  • Ligoniel

    Posted by Alan – Newtownards on Aug 01, 2009 @ 02:34 PM

    Well said Alan, I agree entirely. Time for the order to clean house and oust the dross with disciplinary measures taken that have some teeth. The OO leadership should set a committee to engage anywhere, anytime with anyone and put our case. To sit back silent and cede the field does us no good at all. We must seize any opportunity to advance our interests; to stand still is to lose ground.

  • Harassment Ford

    John, you’re an idiot.

  • oneill

    Well said. At the same time I seem to recall much glorification of dead Irishmen in my childhood

    Big Maggie,

    You don’t have to go that far back:

    http://tinyurl.com/mx6m5u

    But wasn’t the Shankill Bombing an accident as far as the innocent lives was concerned?

    And, in your opinion, did that justify the attempt on a busy shopping street on a Saturday afternoon?

  • ulster scot

    the fools,the fools – they no not what they do

    The Portadown District has already met with SF – they had a lovely chat – what was acheived absolutely nothing!

    All this is is PR spin – yes have a discussion,make Gerry feel loved and respected but remember absolutely ZERO happened after the last love in and nothing but sound bites will happen after an OO/SF meeting

    In reality Irish Republicans desire an Apartied N Ireland or united Ireland were orangees stay in their ghettos and nationalists can try and convince themselves we are one and united in their Gaelic theme park

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathy C

    what I put on Gerry Adam’s blog about this

    posted by Kathy Collins

    Gerry,

    back in the end of the 90’s and early 2000’s you and sinn fein USED to say the orange order was like the KKK…both hate organizations.
    AN Pholbacht the newspaper of the republican movement has several stories linking the two organiztions as hate groups. One of July 13, 2000 has your ex-vice President of Sinn Fein Pat Doherty talk about the KKK and how the orange order is like it. Theres a story in May 13, 1999 detailing the linkage of the orange order and KKK hate group—
    What I find intersting is that you want to “talk” with the leader of the orange order about just some of the parades….IF they are like the KKK…shouldn’t you be wanting to stop ALL parades?

    August 1, 2009 3:39 AM

  • Rory Carr

    CW,

    I have an abiding interest in the Mexican Revolution(s) of 1910-20 and am indeed a big fan of A Fistful of Dynamite although it contains a central difficulty of plausibility insofar as historical timing goes. Reality demands that the IRA character (played by James Coburn) whose background of miltant republican involvement we are shown in flashback cannot really have participated in the Irish revolution and then turned up in Mexico much before 1922 by which time the revolution in Mexico was two years past. But don’t anyone let that spoil their enjoyment of what is Leone’s most provocovative philosophical film on the nature of love and revolution which at times is deeply moving.

    The high point of the film where a train commandeered by revolutionaries and packed with explosives is sent hurtling into another train carrying Federal forces and armaments is certainly based on an actual incident.

    I love it! Viva Villa!

  • CW

    Yes it may be historically inaccurate, Rory and Coburn’s faux Irish accent is a bit dodgy, but it’s certainly one of Leone’s more powerful works in terms of the moral message it sends out about the ethics of revolutioanry politics and the social class barriers which divide the participants.

  • Tube

    It’s been a few years now since the slugger commenting system broke down.Any chance of you movin on? I mean you Kathy.

  • Luther

    More on this story on the following Orange Order blogsite: http://www.orangestandards.blogspot.com

  • RepublicanStones

    I thought ‘Fistful..’ was worth it just to see Rod Steiger’s manic performance.

  • CW

    A manic performance indeed, but isn’t he a bit on the chubby side for a supposedly poor, malnourished Mexican peasant?

  • RepublicanStones

    Well If Charlton Heston can play a mexican….

  • Rory Carr

    I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Rod Steiger’s chubbiness as being incongrous to playing the role of a Mexican revolutionary, CW, if we can credit this entry from Friedrich Katz’s monumental tome The Life and Times of Pancho Villa on the disparate motivations of men who joined the revolutionary forces:

    ‘Federico Gonzalez Jiménez , a landless peasant…from a poor family…joined…”because of the terrible conditions in the countryside.” ‘

    However:

    ‘Pablo Baray, who join the División del Norte from the old military colony of Bachinva, which had a long history of conflict with the Porfirian authorities, may have had additional reasons. In his eyes, fighting for the revolution was the good life, and he proudly stated that during his army service his weight had increased from 64 to 75 kilos.’

    I must say, however that I really liked this reply by a Villaista soldado to the U.S. socialist and journalist, John Reed:

    ‘When Reed asked him, “What are you fighting for?” Juan Sanchez, a plain soldier in the army, answered: “Why, it is good fighting. You don’t have to work in the mines.”… At this point Juan Sanchez asked Reed, “Is there war in the United States now?” “‘No’ I said untruthfully.”‘No war at all.'” He meditated for a moment. “How do you pass the time then…?”‘

    I suppose if Juan Sanchez could ask the same question to any of us today all we could sheepishly manage to reply would be, “Well there’s television and then there’s always Slugger O’Toole.”

  • CW

    Indeed Rory. And there’s always the Dreaming Arm. I’ve now published part 2:

    http://dreamingarm.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/a-fistful-of-leone-a-fistful-of-dymanite-part-2/

    Who would have thought that a thread about Gerry Adams and the Orange Order would have mutated into a thread on the Mexican revolution! In my view that’s a good thing, as the latter is the more interesting, more worthwhile subject which unlike the former is actually worth discussing!