15 January 2017

Ulster in Light of Brexit

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/10/mcguinness-northern-ireland-cash-for-ash


This is one of the recent stories that needs to be followed. For Christians this is actually a much 'bigger' story than the host of issues surrounding Brexit.

If the peace deal in Northern Ireland collapses, the implications could be tremendous. This is true not only in terms of a return to the violence that we remember all too well, but it will also mark a return to radical sectarianism.

The Northern Ireland conflict has always been connected to the United States. American weapons and money have always played a part. From the Catholic communities of the Northeast to some Fundamentalist and Presbyterian circles in the United States, the churches have long taken interest and played a political role.

Within the US government, official arms like the FBI have worked with London to track down Irish Republicans, even while the US Deep State has at times supported Irish radicalism in an apparent attempt to destabilise British politics and drive them to the Right.

At least that's the surmised motive and such an interpretation is certainly in keeping with Deep State activities on the Continent.

Of course the American Evangelical response will be further complicated by the tremendous shift that's taken place over the past 20-25 years with regard to Roman Catholicism. This was picking up just as the Northern Ireland conflict was winding down. The rabid anti-Catholicism that American Protestants embraced during the height of 'The Troubles' no longer exists. I'm not sure if the late Ian Paisley would find much of an American audience anymore outside of Bob Jones University and a handful of churches.

Christianity in Northern Ireland has been poisoned by nationalism. It's had almost twenty years to begin a process of calming down and reflection. A resurgence of tension and trouble will shatter what gains have been made.

Let us pray the peace holds.

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