the Orange Order has served as the perfect expression
of British policy in Ireland: suppression of Catholics
through sectarian privilege and Protestant supremacy.
British "divide and conquer" policy was
clearly spelt out in the 1790s by a British General's
Report. He had, he wrote, "S arranged to increase
the animosity between the Orangemen and the United
Irish [men]. Upon that animosity depends the safety
of the centre counties of the North.."
British interest in Northern Ireland may have changed
(because they know their old imperial game is up)
the" monster" they created remains: anti-Catholic
is important to understand here that we are not
talking about a difference in faith and theology,
which by definition exist between different religions
(that's why there are different religions). Rather,
anti-Catholicism is a socio-economic-political system
for oppressing Catholics.
is also important to understand that I am not saying
all individual Orangemen are
anti-Catholic. I am speaking here of the Orange
Order as an INSTITUTION. For the British Government,
anti-Catholic bigotry was mainly a "means"
to an end -- divide and conquer. For The Orange
Order, it seems, anti-Catholic bigotry has become
an end in itself.
Orange Order was founded on September 21, 1795 after
a clash between Protestants and Catholics at the
"Battle of the Diamond" Armagh. In
1905, key Orange elements moved to give more political
and structural shape to their supremacist ideology
by forming the Ulster Unionist Council and the Ulster
the seeds were actually sown even earlier:
Orange Order took on a distinctively Unionist flavor
when Home Rule threatened in the 1880s. The effective
beginning of the Ulster Unionist Party was a meeting
of seven Orangemen, elected as M.Ps. at Westminster
in 1886." (From Northern Ireland, A
Political Diary by W.D. Flackes and Sydney Elliott)
the closest American parallel to the Orange Order
is the White Citizens Council -- a racist, anti-Black
organization. It is the "white-collar" version
of the Klu Klux Klan, appealing to the more "respectable
and moderate" people.
Unionist Party, Political Wing of Order
Prime Minister of Northern Ireland during the period
1921-72 was an Orangeman. And today it is estimated
that there are about 120 ex officio Orange seats
on the, approximate, 860 seat Ulster Unionist Council.
American political terms, that would be like The
White Citizens Council (which played a part in the
downfall of Senator Trent Lott, former Republican
leader of the U.S. Senate) having, ex officio, a
key set of seats on the governing body of the Democratic
or Republican Party. Would African-Americans or
any fair-minded American stand for it?
as always, the members of The Orange Order are pledged
to: "strenuously oppose the fatal errors
and doctrines of the Church of Rome, and scrupulously
avoid countenancing (by his presence or otherwise)
any act of ceremony of Popish worship; he should
by all lawful means, resist the ascendancy of that
Church, its encroachments, and the extension of
its powers". (Qualifications of an Orangeman)
in their "Twelfth celebrations" for July
12, 2004, Orange Orders passed -- as they do every
year -- anti-Catholic Resolutions and also Resolutions
against the Pope's proposed visit to Northern Ireland.
What do you think would happen to the career of a
Member of Congress who belonged to an organization
that proposed resolutions opposing the Pope's visit
to the United States?
On July 12, 1996, Robert Saulters, later elected
Grand Master of the Orange Order, told the Orange
Order that British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, "has
already sold his birthright by marrying a Romanist.
He would sell his soul to the devil himself. He
is not loyal to his religion. He is a turncoat."
Stops With British Crown and Government"
in keeping with the point made at the very beginning
of this article, we must not forget where the blame
ultimately lies -- with the British Government and
British Crown. It is ENGLISH LAW ITSELF that is
the root cause of the Orange Order's historic anti-Catholic
Act of Settlement 1701 -- described by British newspaper,
The Guardian, as the foundation stone of
the royal family -- provides the moral and political
justification for all Orange anti-Catholic bigotry
in Northern Ireland. And it is a law to which the
Orangemen are fiercely attached, and to which their
allegiance belongs. This law forbids a Catholic
from being the Monarch and if the Monarch marries
a Catholic or converts to Catholicism, he/she forfeits
the Crown and the people are "absolved of their
allegiance". This is the law TODAY.
would be like having an American law that states
that no Black person can be President of the United
from all this two things follow: The British Government
and British Crown must repeal the inherently anti-Catholic
Act of Settlement 1701; and Unionist politicians must
resign from the Orange Order until the Order renounces
all its anti-Catholic rules and regulations.
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