In my January 21 post I stated "when will N. Ireland reignite". Well, it just happened. The AP reports that "Leaders of Northern Ireland's Catholic-Protestant government pledged to keep the peace Sunday after suspected IRA dissidents fatally shot two off-duty British soldiers meeting pizza deliverymen at a barracks entrance". The article went on to say "Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said Irish Republican Army dissidents were trying to rekindle sectarian bloodshed and force Britain to resume sterner security policies."
Rekindle, reignite...it's all the same thing. My prediction on this one was that when the tide lowers, it's easy to pick a fight with an old foe. It usually takes a small spark. The killing of the young boy in Greece that I wrote about a few weeks back sparked riots for weeks across the country. Remember, the Rodney King riots weren't really about Rodney King. They were about some festering long term issues that found a spark to ignite them. Sparks are flying worldwide and fires are igniting. The Ireland squabble presents Christians killing Christians which has always amazed me. Another snippet from the AP article, "First Minister Peter Robinson, the Protestant leader of the coalition, urged Protestant extremists not to retaliate against the Catholic community." I was in Edinburgh Scotland a few years ago and my client was telling me about the upcoming football (soccer) match between the Celtics and the Hibs. She was elaborating about how strong the rivalry was. When I asked her "why do they have so much violence at those matches?", she replied "it's over 300 year old religious differences."
From the AP, "We don't want those years of the past. They were horrible years for everyone," a Catholic priest, the Rev. Tony Devlin, told the crowd of several hundred. "In our churches today many people were crying because of the experiences they remembered from the past. They do not want it to come back again."
The bright spot for Ireland this week is that that little Irish quartet just released another great CD called No Line On The Horizon.
They sounded great on their live show from Fordham University on GMA last week.
The NY Times reports: "After the band played two rousing short sets of music, Fordham’s president, the Rev. Joseph M. McShane, took the stage and addressed the cheering students. “You may wonder why U2 chose us,” he said. “They chose us because we’re in New York, because we are Fordham, because of the warmth of the campus.” He drew a parallel between the campus principles of Fordham and those of U2’s members, mentioning “social justice, service of the poor and advocacy.” Father McShane said he was pleased to see so many students show up for the concert so early — students began lining up at 3 a.m. — and joked that the university would add extra-early classes to the curriculum. “So, ladies and gentleman, there will be class,” he said, “but you’ve had the experience of a lifetime.”
May Ireland rediscover peace and the Christian community rediscover the true meaning of Christianity.