Monday, September 6, 2010

School Evacuation in Ireland, Original Sin, and Sparks

A boy didn't get hurt when he found what looked like a pipe bomb outside his school. The school was evacuated - out of an abundance of caution, I gather. It was a Catholic school in Northern Ireland.

Assumptions and Preferred Realities

Depending on a person's preferred reality, this 'obviously' is proof that:
  • Catholics are troublemakers
  • Protestants are troublemakers
  • Religion kills people
    • Especially Christianity
My take on today's news from Ireland is that when you've got people, you've got trouble. That's not a particularly original idea:
"For mischief comes not out of the earth, nor does trouble spring out of the ground;

"2But man himself begets mischief, as sparks fly upward."
(Job 5:6-7)
It has to do with original sin: which is another topic. (May 5, 2010)

My guess is that it's not accident that the device was found in a largely-Protestant area, outside a Catholic school.

Which isn't to say that all of Northern Ireland's problems would go away if everybody stopped being Christian.

English Kings, Irish Hearts, Human Nature

I'll admit to a bias here. I'm half-Irish. I don't think that English kings have treated Ireland all that well over the last eight or nine centuries. And I certainly don't think that Henry VIII's shipping Protestant Englishmen to Ireland - at least partly in an effort to force those Irish to abandon their papist ways - was a very good idea.

A few centuries later, we've got one lot of folks in Ireland who think they're Irish because their ancestors have lived there for millennia, and who (in some cases) resent another lot who think they're Irish because their ancestors have lived there for centuries.

To make matters worse, some of the new lot aren't entirely reasonable in their attitude toward the old lot.

My guess is that some of them would be at each others' throats even if both groups had been born-again atheists for all these generations. It's like it says in Job.

But what would I know? I'm a practicing Catholic: and 'everybody knows,' in some circles, what they're like.

As I said, it depends on your preferred reality.

Related posts:More, about Ireland:Excerpts from today's news:
"8-year-old boy finds pipe bomb outside Catholic school in Northern Ireland; 400 kids evacuated"
The Canadian Press, via Google hosted news (September 6, 2010)

"An 8-year-old boy found a pipe bomb Monday outside a Catholic elementary school in Northern Ireland - and said he picked it up to check whether the fuse was burning.

"Police and politicians blamed anti-Catholic extremists in the town of Ballymena for the threat, and said the curious schoolboy, Brendan Shannon, was lucky that the homemade device didn't blow up in his hand.

"Brendan described spotting a gold-colored pipe with wires or rope sticking out of one end as he rode his bicycle through the playground of St. Comgall's Primary School in Ballymena, a predominantly Protestant town northwest of Belfast...."

"...'To target the general public is never acceptable by any means, but to take away the secure feelings of innocent children and to put them at risk like this is beyond despicable,' Walls said...."

"...The Irish Republican Army, which killed nearly 1,800 people in a failed effort to force Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom, called a 1997 cease-fire and formally renounced violence in 2005. But IRA dissidents continue to mount attacks - including five car bombings this year that have caused minor damage and no serious injuries - in hopes of rattling Northern Ireland's joint Catholic-Protestant government, the central achievement of the province's 1998 peace accord.

"The major outlawed groups in British Protestant areas called cease-fires in 1994 and officially disarmed over the past year, although police say individual members continue to procure arms and mount sectarian attacks in Ballymena and other predominantly Protestant parts of Northern Ireland."

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From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.