Happiness is not to be found in good public policy, but rather in the eternal love of Jesus…

Over in the Minnesota House of Representatives, Republican Abigail Whelan had an imaginative response to a question. As reported by Think Progressive.

Pressed about her lack of support for an amendment that would close loopholes for offshore tax havens, a Minnesota Republican dodged the question in favor of talking about her religious beliefs.

Minnesota Rep. Abigail Whelan, a second-term House legislator from suburban Ramsey, was responding to a question from Democratic Rep. Paul Thissen early Wednesday morning about whether she thinks “benefiting people who are hiding money in Liberia is worth raising taxes on your own constituents.”

Whelan ignored the question and instead sounded off about her religion.

“It might be because it’s late and I’m really tired, but I’m going to take this opportunity to share with the body something I have been grappling with over the past several months, and that is, the games that we play here,” she began, leaving the tax haven discussion in the dust. “I just want you to know, Representative Thissen and the [Democratic] caucus — I forgive you, it is okay, because I have an eternal perspective about this.”

Whelan went on to make a case that happiness is not to be found in good public policy, but rather in the eternal love of Jesus.

“I have an eternal perspective and I want to share that with you and the people listening at home that at the end of the day, when we try to reach an agreement with divided government we win some, we lose some, nobody is really happy, but you know what, happiness and circumstances — not what it’s about,” she continued. “There is actual joy to be found in Jesus Christ, Jesus loves you all. If you would like to get to know him, you’re listening at home, here in this room, please email, call me, would love to talk to you about Jesus, he is the hope of this state and this country.”

She later voted against the amendment to close offshore tax loopholes. It’s what Jesus would have wanted.

Surprised none of our local politicians use the Jesus card more. “Let’s not talk about RHI, let’s talk about how the love of Jesus Christ keeps me warm…”

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  • mickfealty

    She was tired, probably shouldn’t have spoken. But in fact it sounds like she might be going through a personal crisis to me. Newsworthy of course, but probably worthy of some basic human understanding too.

  • Warm in my heart??!

  • Brian O’Neill

    Yeah I kinda rushed that bit. I had a rather nice burrito waiting on me. Fixed it now.

  • Nordie Northsider

    I’m not sure, Mick. It’s actually a fairly common theme on right-wing Christian sites – how liberals are deluding themselves in seeking earthly justice. The irony lies in how all this validates the old left-wing accusation against all religions: ‘You’ll get pie in the sky, in the sweet by-and-by / You’ll get pie in the sky when you die.’

  • mickfealty

    It is actually bonkers though, and she does say that she’s had a difficult time recently. Reminds me of Patrick Kennedy a few years ago.

  • Nevin

    Mick, I think you’re misrepresenting her conservative Christian stance: https://twitter.com/AbigailWhelan/status/822884207735296001

  • Nevin
  • cj

    She would do well as a politician in ni

  • Brian O’Neill

    Great song that and still true over 100 years later.
    https://youtu.be/aIQpuKHHI-E

  • james

    “Happiness is not to be found in good public policy, but rather in the eternal love of Gerry…”??

  • Eh?

  • mickfealty

    She does this a lot?

  • Nevin

    About Abigail – in her own words:

    “I believe we need to get back to the basics, to the morals that founded our nation. I believe we can return to and remain one nation, under God.”

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Interesting point Nev. Was an opposition to usury one of the moral stances of the founding fathers?
    If so I wonder would they let that particular sleeping dog lie?

  • mickfealty
  • Nevin

    Freemasonry seems to have played quite an important role in this multi-sect society.

  • Granni Trixie

    Was it Blair or one of his advisors who said (of New Labour) “we don’t do God”) ?
    Sound policy.

  • mickfealty

    What is this? Diss a Christian faith week? Get a grip Nev?

  • Nevin

    It would appear that the mainstream isn’t sufficiently conservative for Abigail.

  • Nevin

    I’m just illustrating what I understand to be Abigail’s stance.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    On that note Nevin, I’d heard that some of the Easter Rebels were Freemasons, have you come across anything that supports this?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s…

  • grumpy oul man

    I know unionists give Gerrys utterances the power of gospel, but your the first to honor him with godly attributes!
    But seriously is there any post you dont feel compelled to mention him in.

  • grumpy oul man

    With slavery and land grabs from he natives, would they be cluded in the Christain morals or was the not wanting pay taxs to the king the founding Christian moral.

  • Nevin

    I haven’t, AG.

  • David

    Looking forward to Abigail and her fundamentalist friends putting into practice this fundamental, yet generally ignored message of Christ:

    Matthew 19:21: ”If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    Not holding my breath.

  • BonaparteOCoonassa

    ‘God’ help us! Poor old God – I hope he has a good social secretary.

  • Patrick Mac

    I’m no grammar pedant, but your diction is atrocious.

  • Zorin001

    But but but… that’s Socialism!

  • Robin Keogh

    Is she a member of the DUP?

  • Robin Keogh

    God has to listen to Snarlene seven days a week. No wonder he has foresaken us.

  • Robin Keogh

    Who are you and what have you done with Mick?

  • Robin Keogh

    I hope you do not seriously expect us to believe that you kneel before the tabernacle with even a hint of integrity?

  • Croiteir

    I am looking forward to you explaining the context

  • Croiteir

    Well said that woman

  • AndyB

    Such a pity for the right-wingers that the Bible is full of demands for humans to grant justice to others.

    It really grates. The conservative “evangelicals” are no less selective with their Bibles than the liberals they deride. Luke 12:48 always comes to mind – with great power comes great responsibility.

  • Theelk11

    Setting up Jesus as a straw man in reverse to avoid hard questions is hardly a new tactic. Plenty of boys round here continue to make a fortune out of it.

  • AndyB

    Mr Speaker, on a point of order, I would refer Representative Whelan to the book of James chapter 2, together with most of the rest of the Bible. Will she not agree with me that in view of the incessant demands of Scripture to grant justice for the poor and the condemnation of those rich people who exploit the poor for their own gain, we are obliged to use the power we have been granted in this House to improve their lives; rather than to say “follow Jesus, keep warm and well fed” to do something practical to meet those physical needs – for faith not lived out in deeds is dead.

  • David

    Of course you are pet.

  • Croiteir

    I will take that as a “I don’t know” snowflake

  • Abucs

    Well it was the Christian (love of Jesus if you like) culture which built the school, university, charity, legal and health systems that is the basis of what some call now Western civilization. I think she is right in the sense that many people believe they can remake this culture by putting man at the centre. And by man we mean the Left leaning Progressive ideology based on taking other peoples money.

    Good on her.

  • David

    Bless I’m sure you’ll figure it out. Have a great day.

  • Croiteir

    I see – cannot explain it and then supercilious avoidance. Playing the man was supposed to be disallowed to ensure proper dialogue instead we get insult and avoidance.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Croiteir, the point is that she uses her religious convictions as a smokescreen to escape valid questions.

    If all people of faith automatically stand behind people who declare their faith in order to avoid tough questions then what hope is there for getting things done?

    Surely it’s possible to adopt the position of “that’s great, but what about the question?” ?

  • mickfealty

    David, please read the rules of the site? (I’m currently on the rampage over this sort of thing).

  • Croiteir

    I know what she was doing. My reply was not so much to address her speech in context of the discussion/debate she was engaged in but in reply to the tone of the piece.

    Now if the poster had picked any number of politicians, at home or abroad, that obfuscates, avoids and distracts from answering a question or replying to appoint then this blog would be filled by them.

    So I ask myself why does this poster choose this obscure, (to me anyway), American talking about something that is remote and of little consequence to the patrons of this blog?

    Is it, perhaps, not to make a point about the issue they are debating nor the politician in particular, but is it a bash religion post?

    Is it to set up, not the politician to ridicule, but her faith?

    Would it been perhaps better to ask is this not a blasphemy? Would it be better perhaps to ask if she is taking her Lord’s name in vain? Would it perhaps be to query the motivation of her speech in the context of her faith?

    You see it in the terms of her using her faith as a smokescreen. I would say that is possibly correct but I would be loathe to judge that as I cannot see her heart, but I see the real discussion on the motivation of the poster in presenting this case.

    I see the abuse of religion as the only hate speech that is permitted on, not only this blog, but in this society. That is also worth debate. Not a politician doing what every politician in the world does.

  • Croiteir

    I would doubt it, perhaps that comes from the secret society aspect. The Ribbonmen also were open to that accusation. I do know that the Fianna were seen as a counter to the scouts and freemasons.

  • David

    Apologies Mick. Given previous and current interactions with this poster, I’ve now employed the ‘block’ facility.

  • grumpy oul man

    Niether are you a historian or have a working knowledge of politics.
    And i would rather have bad diction than see the world in a series of sterotypes.
    But thanks for the grammer police thing, i suppose when you have no point to argue pedantry will have to do.

  • grumpy oul man

    Christain love, theft, slavery and murder.
    Yep great foundation for a system.
    Must ask the descendents of the slave rade and the native americians how loved they feel in the system

  • grumpy oul man

    The context is very obvious.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    It was Alistair Campbell in reply to a journalist’s enquiry about Blair’s alleged Christianity.

  • Croiteir

    What is it then?

  • mickfealty

    If that that’s what you need to keep us all square, then good.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Righto, I misunderstood your post and had interpreted it as you (uncharacteristically) blindly falling-in behind a believer.

    I am somewhat relieved at your answer.

  • The worm!

    Some of the biggest scoundrels I’ve ever had the displeasure of dealing with have hid their true persona behind a bible.

    Does it seem to be a common trend here in Northern Ireland?………yes it does.

    Do I decry and mock Christianity because of it?……….no I don’t.

    Why?……..because being a Christian is not a self-declaration. Just because someone claims to be a “Christian” it doesn’t mean they are, nor should be used as a yardstick to assess the concept of Christianity. You can only worship one god, if that god is money in some shape or form then they are plainly not a follower of Christ.

    As for the lady in question, could equally be either but not for us to judge from afar totally unaware of her exact position and circumstances

  • Casper

    I think it’s some kind of anti-fetish. It borders on obsession. I’m referring to unionism in general, not any one person. The previous DUP election leaflet was exactly from the same mould. After all, what’s the point in talking/writing if you can’t have a swipe at Gerry and/or SF?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Croiteir, perhaps check the records at Molesworth Street?

    Unlike the LOI, Freemasonry does not restrict membership on grounds of religion, so other than the Papal Ban there is no earthly reason why the any of the men of 1916 might not have been Masons (or women for that matter, as the Countess M herself had many Theosophical friends who were active in Co-masonry).

    I’m assured by those that know that the two Belfast Masonic Lodges founded by Amayas Griffith in the 1780s had sizeable Catholic membership. This is far from surprising, as even in Enlightenment Belfast this may have been the only social setting where Catholic and Protestant left religion formally at the door in a social setting. I doubt that the revolutionaries of a century later were in any way less interested in engaging with their fellow Irishmen in a atmosphere of fraternal amity. I know that Bulmer Hobson was rather suspicious of Freemasonry (despite FJ Bigger’s enthusiastic endorsements of the order) which is perhaps why the Fianna may have had some anti-Masonic flavour. But I cannot remember of any actual critiques of Freemasonry by those who fought in 1916? Perhaps you know of some.

  • grumpy oul man

    What i find most interesting about it is that unionists seem to believe that GA is some sort of Oracle, whose every word has the power of prophecy.

  • grumpy oul man

    Quite simple really, according to the gospels jesus instructs his followers th share their material wealth with the poor.
    The Christain right regard this concept as abhorrent.
    You dont have to be a genius to figure out how they wpuld react to a bearded hippy type telling them to empty their bank accounts and share it all with the poor.
    Libtard and snowflake would just be some of the words thrown around.
    But maybe you read something different when you read those passages in the bible? Or do you just ignore the whole Jesus part of the bible and focus on the old testament.

  • Croiteir

    that is not the context of the conversation that Christ was having in the quote.

  • Nevin

    Perhaps some commenters have skipped over what Abigail actually said:

    “.. something I have been grappling with over the past several months and that is the games that we play here ..”

    In other words, she’s suggesting that some politicians lack sincerity in the questions they ask or the answers they give and they get a kick out of tripping up or mocking an opponent. It couldn’t possibly happen on Slugger!

    Folk tap into a wide range of political and religious beliefs and derive pleasure from a wide range of stimuli. It would be pretty boring if we were all aficionados of the same cult and dissenters were mere objects of ridicule. Some might think I get my kicks from being a dissenter!

  • Croiteir

    You just triggered something there, the links with some of the Anglo-Irish and the theosophical societies, WB Yeats and the Golden Dawn, Madam Blavatsky and Crowley and that ilk. So there could have been linkages there, but that would have been on the personal rather than the organisation level.
    I have no doubt that some would have joined the mason in the 1780’s as some do now, especially if it was seen as a method of social and/or economic advancement. Matthew 19:21 in reverse. The put aside their God for the desire of earthly riches.
    The ribbonmen did adopt the masonic oath type of swearing in but that was different in context and in time however if we consider the continuity of history we see that the United Irishmen and the Ribbonmen did share membership and custom, the likes of Roddy McCorley leading the march to Antrim under the yellow and white, for example, which in turn lead to the fenians, leading to the IRB and so on. So you could push a tenuous point saying that their were masonic influences as the United Irishmen had followed on from the murderous masonic French and American revolutionaries.
    The only person I know who really pushed that line was the British fake news distributor Pollard, perhaps this is were AG has his memory formed from?
    By the way Pollard was an interesting character, ran MI5 or 6 in Madrid for the British in support of Franco.

  • Croiteir

    I much prefer it couched in the language of the Doctrine of The Two Swords

  • npbinni

    Jesus, of course, would not have been a communist or socialist (both of which, we all know, only works at the point of a gun). Taking something which does not belong to you is stealing, that’s why the exchange of goods and services for an agreed price (ie capitalism) is a more moral system. It’s a fact that capitalist conservatives are way more generous than selfish socialist progressives who are only concerned about themselves.

  • grumpy oul man

    Really. Suppose you enlighten us.
    It seems very plain and direct to me but i would love to see your reasoning.

  • Croiteir

    The conversation was directly to a rich man, a man on the make, a mover and shaker, an entrepreneur in todays unfortunate phraseology. He was devoted to his riches. Christ merely tested his love for the money or love of God. The same question was not put to the rich Joseph of Arimathea or Zaccheus.

  • grumpy oul man

    Norway, sweden socailist, no gun pointing! and where does giving away your material goods to the poor fit in with capitalism.
    And i would love to see your proof that capatilists are more generous than socialists.
    And good old capitalism is very fond f its death squads round the world once the workers want unreasonable things like decent liviblng standards.
    Oh and if capitalism is so generous and morally superior then how do explain the child labour in the very capatilist fashion industry.

  • grumpy oul man

    So Jesus didnt mean what said butt what you said.
    And course you can show us the proof that he was just testing the dude.
    And e bit where he campares a rich mans chances of getting into heaven to a camels getting through the eye of needle (a very norrow gate in the walls of Jerusalem i believe) seems pretty clear.
    And the mover and shaker bit were does it say or imply that.

  • Croiteir

    This episode is also recorded in Mark, and as for the bit were he says about the rich not getting into Heaven you can have this quote. which shows that it may be harder but no worse than that. “[21] And Jesus looking on him, loved him, and said to him: One thing is wanting unto thee: go, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me. [22] Who being struck sad at that saying, went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. [23] And Jesus looking round about, saith to his disciples: How hardly shall they that have riches, enter into the kingdom of God! [24] And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus again answering, saith to them: Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches, to enter into the kingdom of God? [25] It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
    [26] Who wondered the more, saying among themselves: Who then can be saved? [27] And Jesus looking on them, saith: With men it is impossible; but not with God: for all things are possible with God”

  • grumpy oul man

    And that seems to agree with what i have been saying, thanks for that now could you show us some proof of this “testing ” you claimed was happening.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The IRB appear to have employed quasi-Masonic strictures:

    http://www.stichtingargus.nl/vrijmetselarij/r/fenian_r.html

    If you check other rituals on the “Stichingargus” site you’ll ess just how this, in common with the LOI rituals and oaths were clearly derived from Freemasonry, both being a form of politically motivated “hedge” masonry. Captain Bertie Pollard of course is a conspiracy theorist, but as what AG actually said was ” I’d heard that some of the Easter Rebels were Freemasons” and I’d answered this by the suggestion that sugh individual membership was not at all unlikely as both Freemasonry and Irish Republicanism espoused Human fraternity and equality, I’d see the mention of Pollard as something of areas herring. No-one is suggesting some Great conspiracy to subvert order of the Church, certainly no affiliation such as the LOI had with Political Unionism, simply the occasional quite separate membership of people in both bodies. There could of course be no such affiliation, as Freemasonry can have no organisational affiliation with either a religious or political group.

    And Pollard was, of course, not the only Catholic born supporter of Franco! Many of the Catholic Priests I’ve been friendly with over fifty years used to look on the older Spain most favourably for varying reasons, and one elderly Polish Priest in exile in England whom I used to know often waxed lyrical about Spain being the last Catholic country in Europe. No Freemasonry, of course……

  • Croiteir

    If you feel that agrees with what you are saying then I cannot help you further, Jesus was testing his love of riches over his love of God, that is plain, but then as was also said,there are none so blend as those who do not wish to see.

  • grumpy oul man

    Just point out the testing bit, it obviously states that there is a issue with being rich and being a christain.
    That is simply what it says you seem to have put your own interpretation on it in which you have read into it that some test ( maybe you think it was Jesus,s little joke and he didn’t mean it) was involved.
    The only test was . take your pick follow me or keep your money! And the mover and shaker bit. any proof on that?
    Sorry C old chap it appears Christ was a snowflake and you are putting your own spin on very plain speaking.

  • Croiteir

    I am not sure of whether that is authentic or not, but that aside, as I said, the IRB is a descendant of the Ribbonmen who had adopted masonic style initiation. So that would not surprise m in the slightest.

    Pollard was mentioned as I recall reading somewhere at sometime, perhaps in his fake news newspaper he claimed that there were members of the Easter Rising leaders were masonic in an attempt to alienate the Catholic population from them.

    I agree that it is likely that individual people were masons, but I do not think that would be the norm.

    On an aside the Great Liberator was a mason

  • Croiteir

    See the bit about trust in riches? That’s the test, trust in God or riches. The same question was not put to Joseph or Zaccheus, both rich men. And Christ had no issue with them. The problem is when you put the wealth before God, when you make it your God.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh I know about Daniel O’Connell, but in certain Catholic circles membership of Masonry would have been the norm up until Pope Pius IX’s reiteration of “In eminent apostolatus” in 1821 and Pope Leo XII’s “Quo graviora” of 1825. The earlier Papal bans seem to have been ignored pretty much in Ireland. Its something of a truism that Irish Masonry would have been predominantly Catholic in its early years, and as I’ve said before on Slugger, it was the distaste of some at this mixing of Catholics and Protestants within Freemasonry which ensured that a predominantly form of exclusivist Protestant Masonry would develop in the 1790s. Why do you think there was so much open fighting between the new Orange institution and Masonry in the first decades of the nineteenth century?

    One of my lines of current research has been to compare early twentieth century Masonic membership of the UUC with the IPP (which of course had fielded both Protestant and Catholic candidates) and with a number of prominent Irish Liberals. Pollard was perhaps more accurate than you’d think, but of course he was clearly using this to stoke up anti-Masonic feeling just as much add anti-Republican feeling by twisting facts. As Goebbels said once, the nearer to the truth you can keep, the more effective your lie will be to those who are are reasonably well informed.

  • grumpy oul man

    Pushing a bit there. Still no actual sign of testing.
    Interesting how people put interpretation on things to suit their politics.
    The eye of a needle thing as well. More or less impossible to get a adult camel through it.
    Interesting that dispite what he says you put more trust in what he doesnt say, do you them believe that he was ok with homosexuality since he never mentioned it.
    After all he is bound to have known some and said nothing.
    So by your logic he was ok with it.

  • Croiteir

    Still rejecting what was clearly there – even when parsed down to the line. Interesting how people refuse to accept what challenges their prejudice, except of course the lines that are clearly used metaphorically which they use literally.

    It is interesting that despite what he says you put more trust in what Jesus doesn’t say by not accepting that he did not abolish but fulfilled the law, including the ones on homosexuality.

  • Croiteir

    I was of the opinion that the opposition was more due to the opposition to the Purple and the Black, although I do know that the Orange was opposed to “ritualism” up to the 1900’s and thus claimed to be anti- masonic. I do not know how true they were to that claim as Orangeism has changed so much in the past century.

    I would be interested in the study that you are engaged in, and also why precisely the masons were given a special clause in the legislation establishing the north.

  • grumpy oul man

    Im sorry but you are the one ignoring what he says and claiming what he didnt say as what he meant.
    But you are not unusal in this.
    As a athiest i see so many different ways people do this.
    It has been a constant throughout history with each section having many different interpretations to suit the views or phobias as their are groups trying to justify their beliefs with it.
    And could you point out to me where Jesus even mentioned homosexuality never mind approved any law.
    Again you chose to pay more attention to what he didnt say.
    Interesting but as i say not unusual.
    After all look at how many different opinions and views of what the bible means among christains, they cant be all right but each different sect or religion believes it is the one with the right interpretation.
    It how all those holy wars against heritics got started.

  • Croiteir

    As we are the only ones commenting so it is easy to say that I am the only one saying what I am saying, but even if there were a multitude agreeing with me or you that would not mean anything more than they also were correct or incorrect. Numbers, like might, do not make right.
    I fail to see why you being an atheist gives you any greater insight into the meaning or interpretation of the Bible than anyone else, in fact I would hazard the opposite would perhaps be more plausible.
    I can easily point out to you, ad I have already, that Jesus approved the law. The Gospels mention the areas that Jesus gave us a different rule to that of the Mosaic Law in His fulfilment as that was noteworthy whereas the areas were compliance and continuation was not. This argument from silence is a fraud, I cannot recollect Jesus preaching on other sexual issues, say bestiality or rape. By using the argument from silence someone could say, if Jesus was silent about these issues he condoned or permitted them. a great portion of Jesus’ ministry related to Israel and those familiar with the Law of Moses. They were living in an age under the Mosaic Covenant, which explicitly condemned homosexuality (Lev 18:22; 20:13). Unless there was some precipitating issue that would force Jesus to comment on homosexuality, the only reasonable conclusion — especially in light of the fact that Jesus viewed the Old Testament as the very Word of God (e.g., Matt 22:43) which was infallible (John 10:35) — is that His view of homosexuality was the Old Testament’s view (i.e., God’s view) of homosexuality.
    As an aside I often notice that this false argument is often employed by atheists, this objection rests upon a premise that the objectors reject—namely, that the Bible is God’s infallible Word. What I mean is: the only source of knowledge for the claim that Jesus never said something about a particular topic is the Bible itself.
    The argument is: “Jesus never said anything [implied: as we see recorded in the Bible] about homosexuality.” Yet it is the authority of this very Bible that these folks deny when they refuse to accept Paul’s teaching on homosexuality. So the argument itself is a case of special pleading. Those who employ it appeal to an authority that they elsewhere explicitly reject—namely, the Bible as God’s Word.

  • grumpy oul man

    Yep ended it twice. But was at it for a very long time and of course we should not forget the Christian empires that raped plundered and killed all over the world.
    Nor shoud we forget the Churchs involvement in the slave trade and their opposition to the ending of it.

  • grumpy oul man

    But its not safe to say thst you are the only on saying what your saying, the Christain right seems to share your view up to the point that they have invented the prosperity gospel.
    Many Christains would disagree strongly with your opinion that Jesus was just a continition of the laws of the old testament.
    The beatitudes for example seem very much at odd with the judgmental and bloodthirsty old testament. But perhaps he was only joking at that part as well.

  • grumpy oul man

    So human version better than gods version.
    Got it.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Croiteir, if you read Section 65 of the 1920 Governmet of Ireland Act, the need for such a clause becomes perfectly clear, and entirely free of sinister undertones:

    “Section 65: Special provisions as to Freemasons. –

    (1) It is hereby declared that existing enactments relative to unlawful oaths or unlawful assemblies in Ireland do not apply to the meetings or proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ireland, or of any lodge or society recognised by that Grand Lodge.

    (2) Neither the Parliament of Southern Ireland, nor the, Parliament, of Northern Ireland shall have power to abrogate or affect prejudicially any privilege or exemption of the Grand Lodge of Freemasons in Ireland, or any lodge or society recognised by that Grand Lodge which is enjoyed either by law or custom at the time of the passing of this Act, and any law made in contravention of this provision shall, so far as it is in contravention of this provision, be void.”

    Statues were passed in 1823, 1826 and 1833 and at times thereafter to curtail politically “sinister” activity by both Republicans and Orangemen. The 1823 Unawful Oaths Act in Ireland was only one of the earlier acts which had been enacted to this end but it gives you the flavour of such legislation:

    http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/1823/act/87/enacted/en/print.html

    This particular act necessitated the Orange Institution to be dissolved and reconstituted in terms which conformed to the act. The 1826 Act again required a similar dissolution, and the entire Institution, despite Royal patronage, required a re-issue of Warrants in 1828. Section 65 of the 1920 Act specifically mentions Freemasonry (an entirely non-political oath bound body, whose ) in order to permit maximum freedom to an organisation traditionally recognised as apolitical, something quite rare in Ireland! The second portion of the clause is to recognise the possibility that sectarian legislation could be enacted which discriminated against particular groups, and that the 1920 Act was at first conceived s an all Ireland act. The clause was to strengthen the position for Freemasonry, a group which could all too easily easily attract anti-Masonic legislation in a state which might at some future point enact discriminatory legislation, something the debate around Home Rule was careful to demand for all confessions, particularly to protect against potentially anti-Catholic legislation in the (temporarily excluded) north.

    Regarding the masonic position on politics, Article Five of the “Fundamental Principals of the Order” states:

    “The Grand Lodge has always consistently refused to express any opinion on questions of foreign or domestic state policy either at home or abroad, and it will not allow its name to be associated with any action, however humanitarian it may appear to be, which infringes its unalterable policy of standing aloof from every question affecting the relations between one government and another, or between political parties, or questions as to rival theories of government.”

    I’d be happy to privately share some of my work with you, but not over public forum before publication. An intractable problem! I should perhaps mention also that we are straying dangerously off topic, and at length, so may be trying the patience of our poor moderators. There are times when I wish complex things could be explained briefly, but alas…….

  • Croiteir

    Eh?

  • grumpy oul man

    well you prefer the “two swords version” instead of the biblical version.
    one is supposed to be the unalterable word of god and the other is a interpretation made by man.
    out of interest why do you prefer the tho swords thing.

  • Croiteir

    The doctrine of the two swords is the term for the practical application of render unto Caesar

  • grumpy oul man

    I am aware as to what it is, my question is why does a “Christian” prefer it to the bibical reference what differs from it which is preferrable to the simple and to the point ” render unto Ceaser what is Ceasers.

  • Croiteir

    Because it is the application of it

  • grumpy oul man

    Ok. Ill put you down for no explanation then.
    Got it.