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Religion in Northern Ireland


Drogheda445

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Feb 13, 2012
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It's often said that nationalists are predominantly Catholic and unionists are predominantly Protestant. Indeed sometimes they become interchangeable and Protestant/Catholic are used to mean unionist/nationalist. Sometimes they are even combined into their own labels, such as the acronyms PUL (Protestant Unionist Loyalist) and CNR (Catholic Nationalist Republican).

I think the use of these terms, whilst obviously excluding "opposing" religions from holding the "opposite" view; Catholic Unionist and Protestant Nationalist, I think in a Northern Ireland that is becoming more secular and even more irreligious, these terms can be misleading and assume that a political allegiance is inevitably tied to a religion.

Since we have seen a gradual trend towards non-religion in Northern Ireland, and more people of both religions holding both political allegiances, I think the political terms Unionists and Nationalists should simply be used on its own when describing the communities, not because I am offended but because I think it would be more applicable. NR and UL maybe?

Out of interest as an agnostic, how many people on this forum would describe themselves as truly Protestant/Catholic/other religion and how many are religiously speaking non-religious?
 

InsideImDancing

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Apr 3, 2011
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I think it's pretty plain at this stage that NI's problems are not really about religion and haven't really been for a long time. It's about National identity/sovereignty. It just so happens that the vast majority of Nationalist/Unionists are Catholics/Protestants and we all know the historical reasons for that.

I'd probably turn Prod if I thought I was getting a UI out of it tbh.:) Does anybody really believe that, if there is a God, he would identify as a Prod or a Catholic?:)
 

belfast1981

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Aug 23, 2012
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I don't consider myself to be protestant because I don't have anything to do with the Christian religion. I believe that Catholic/Protestant are nothing but varients of a larger religion (Christian) And since I am not christian I can not call myself protestant or catholic.
 

Galloper Thompson

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Jul 2, 2011
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It's often said that nationalists are predominantly Catholic and unionists are predominantly Protestant. Indeed sometimes they become interchangeable and Protestant/Catholic are used to mean unionist/nationalist. Sometimes they are even combined into their own labels, such as the acronyms PUL (Protestant Unionist Loyalist) and CNR (Catholic Nationalist Republican).

I think the use of these terms, whilst obviously excluding "opposing" religions from holding the "opposite" view; Catholic Unionist and Protestant Nationalist, I think in a Northern Ireland that is becoming more secular and even more irreligious, these terms can be misleading and assume that a political allegiance is inevitably tied to a religion.

Since we have seen a gradual trend towards non-religion in Northern Ireland, and more people of both religions holding both political allegiances, I think the political terms Unionists and Nationalists should simply be used on its own when describing the communities, not because I am offended but because I think it would be more applicable. NR and UL maybe?

Out of interest as an agnostic, how many people on this forum would describe themselves as truly Protestant/Catholic/other religion and how many are religiously speaking non-religious?
I'm a short strand fenian (translates to..worlds worst fenian :))...so there you have it
 

Legolas

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Mar 7, 2011
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In my view the conflict is simply about Nationality/Identity. Religion is a no go area, and as times go on Christianity will dwindle in the western world.
 
C

Castle Ray

Organised religion is not for me. I have never been a member of any religion and cannot envisage me being a member of any. I'm fascinated by religions, faiths and beliefs and am open to learning about them, but the more disciplined and therefor controlling it is, the more a religion makes me recoil from it.

I don't care what church someone goes to and how much they're into it, I just think whoever it is should not attempt to organise and dictate anyone else's life. That's the point where I oppose their viewpoint regardless if whether I understand where they're coming from or not.

That said, Northern Ireland and Northern Irish people are better off in a union of these isles and the inclusive British community of these isles and their regions with regional identities respected throughout in the UK.

Make of that what you want Drogheda, hopefully I've addressed your OP?
 

O'Sullivan Bere

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Nov 14, 2005
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. . . Out of interest as an agnostic, how many people on this forum would describe themselves as truly Protestant/Catholic/other religion and how many are religiously speaking non-religious?
With my background and experiences, the faster mixing religion with politics gets shown the door the better. :lol: It's been a disaster for Ireland, the Muslim world, Continental Europe in the past, etc. I don't even like to see it in the US now and they started off with constitutional admonitions against it...always trouble.

 

Ren84

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Jan 14, 2011
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Nationalism has moved firmly past religion and appeals to all demographics. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the mono cultural dinosaur that is unionism and their constant need to appeal exclusively to the "Protestant people", as we're currently seeing with the flag riots.
 

O'Sullivan Bere

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Nov 14, 2005
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Nationalism has moved firmly past religion and appeals to all demographics. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the mono cultural dinosaur that is unionism and their constant need to appeal exclusively to the "Protestant people", as we're currently seeing with the flag riots.
Modern liberal nationalism has long divorced itself from formal linkage with religion, viewing it as divisive and destructive to the cause. Let's go right back to where modern Irish liberal nationalism got its roots, the United Irishmen. The third fundamental plank was, to wit: "That no reform is just which does not include Irishmen of every religious persuasion." If only they had won that argument then it would have saved Ireland more additional pain. They were well ahead of the curve on that one. Religious divisiveness amongst the less noble and less enlightened was one amongst many factors that doomed them.

Liberal nationalism has sought the best interests of the Irish people as the Irish people. On the flip side, there has also been thuggish, boorish and ignoble 'nationalism' too. The loyalist flag thugs at issue form that kind of crowd. But there's been some who have disgraced the Tricolour too. James Joyce used the boorish 'Patriot' in Ulysses well to illustrate that kind of ignorant nationalism as the 'Patriot' asked of the Jewish Leopold Bloom: "WHAT IS your nation if I may ask," says the citizen. "Ireland," says Bloom. "I was born here. Ireland."

Those who misused and converted the new Free State into 'Holy Catholic Ireland' did just as much a disservice as errant Protestant counterparts. After all, the old 'A Protestant parliament for a Protestant people' quote is usually conveniently and mischievously taken out of context for spin purposes to cover arses and point fingers more than warranted. The actual quote came in an exchange between Craigavon to George Leeke at Stormont as follows:

Craigavon: "Since we took up office we have tried to be absolutely fair towards all the citizens of Northern Ireland. Actually, on an Orange platform, I, myself, laid down the principle, to which I still adhere, that I was Prime Minister not of one section of the community but of all, and that as far as I possibly could I was going to see that fair play was meted out to all classes and creeds without any favour whatever on my part."

George Leeke: "What about your Protestant Parliament?"

Craigavon: "The hon. Member must remember that in the South they boasted of a Catholic State. They still boast of Southern Ireland being a Catholic State. All I boast of is that we are a Protestant Parliament and a Protestant State. It would be rather interesting for historians of the future to compare a Catholic State launched in the South with a Protestant State launched in the North and to see which gets on the better and prospers the more. It is most interesting for me at the moment to watch how they are progressing. I am doing my best always to top the bill and to be ahead of the South."

Craigavon gets a bad rap there IMO with the spin. However, his question was answered: they both flopped. That's because religious sectarians pushed their way into the driver's seats and wrecked the cars. It goes right back to what the United Irishmen aptly said: "That no reform is just which does not include Irishmen of every religious persuasion." That means a secular rights respecting democracy that neither favours, rewards or endorses any particular religious beliefs nor prohibits the free exercise thereof so long as it respects the fundamental human rights of citizens.
 
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between the bridges

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Sep 21, 2011
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Nationalism has moved firmly past religion and appeals to all demographics. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the mono cultural dinosaur that is unionism and their constant need to appeal exclusively to the "Protestant people", as we're currently seeing with the flag riots.
says the non sectarian atheist who copied and pasted the census growth in catholic's 100 times...
 

RedCloud

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Religion diminishes humanity by encouraging belief in the patently absurd..........not unlike our nat/rep chums belief in A Notion Once Again. :)
 

Nordie Northsider

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Religion diminishes humanity by encouraging belief in the patently absurd..........not unlike our nat/rep chums belief in A Notion Once Again. :)
The self-confident, laid back nature of your Unionism is indicated by your Union Jack avatar, giving your location as 'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern ireland' (sic) and Stormont tagline. How I envy those such as you who are so assured of their political position as to have no need of blatant display.
 

vivabrigada

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Nov 17, 2011
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The self-confident, laid back nature of your Unionism is indicated by your Union Jack avatar, giving your location as 'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern ireland' (sic) and Stormont tagline. How I envy those such as you who are so assured of their political position as to have no need of blatant display.
His reference to Stormont is bogus. McGuinness was pointing out that there would be no return to a Unioinst run Stormont and there won't be.
Leave Heinzey/Redcloud to his own wee fantasy world, he's harmless.
 
C

Castle Ray

His reference to Stormont is bogus. McGuinness was pointing out that there would be no return to a Unioinst run Stormont and there won't be.
Leave Heinzey/Redcloud to his own wee fantasy world, he's harmless.
Many nationalists repeat that as some sort of comforting statement or some sort of defiance. It's hard to work out which. The majority of pro-Union people in NI don't support a Unionist run Stormont government like that which ended more than forty years ago. Some people really need to catch up, it's 2013 ffs.
 

Nordie Northsider

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Many nationalists repeat that as some sort of comforting statement or some sort of defiance. It's hard to work out which. The majority of pro-Union people in NI don't support a Unionist run Stormont government like that which ended more than forty years ago. Some people really need to catch up, it's 2013 ffs.
That's quite a statement. I'm not sure how it could be backed up.
 

vivabrigada

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"Some people really need to catch up, it's 2013 ffs."
Explain that to the morons chanting 'We are the people' and complain when kids from Short Strand threw stones at them when they were goading them with 'If you hate the Fenian b*stards clap your hands' last night.
 

Evergreenfinch

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Dec 1, 2010
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"Some people really need to catch up, it's 2013 ffs."
Explain that to the morons chanting 'We are the people' and complain when kids from Short Strand threw stones at them when they were goading them with 'If you hate the Fenian b*stards clap your hands' last night.
Them poor innocent nationalists were 'provoked' again were they?
 
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