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Saint Patricks Day, White Stripes, and True Colors March 5, 2014

Posted by michaelnjohns in Uncategorized.
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I hate Saint Patrick’s Day.  It’s a monument to ignorant conformity and violent stupidity.  It was supposed to be a celebration of a legacy, a one-man campaign to lead others to God’s truth.  But instead, it is an annual excuse to drink too much, to revel, and to pollute the Chicago River, or whatever other waterway you live by.   When I was growing up, it was the bullies’ way to drag me, an unwilling participant, into a fight I didn’t care about.  As I’ve aged, Saint Patrick’s Day Parades have become less and less about Saint Anyone, and more and more a celebration of the Great American Pagan.
I grew up in a school where most of the kids wore green, without a clue as to what it meant.  And many of us were Protestant.  If I wore green no one would pinch me, if I didn’t wear green everyone would pinch me, and some of them really hurt.  It was war on the kids dumb enough not to wear green.  And then my mom ruined it for me, by teaching me about different religions.  She said Saint Patrick was a Catholic church saint, and Protestant people and Catholic people didn’t get along in some places.  She said pinching was nicer than killing, though, and there has been lots of killing in Ireland where the fight was between Protestants and Catholics.
I never wanted to be a martyr, but I was a Protestant, so I asked who Protestant people celebrated in Ireland.  She told me about her grandpa, who always wore a bright orange tie on Saint Patrick’s day.  He celebrated his Irish ancestry and the legacy of Sir William of  Orange.  She made green and orange crochetted shamrock pins we could wear. I could choose, a pinching shamrock or a non-pinching shamrock.  I tried to be proud of my Protestant, Irish heritage for a year or two.  I tried covering it up a year or two.  I didn’t like being pinched, and I didn’t like proclaiming I was something I wasn’t, even if the ignorant kids had no idea why they pinched the kids who weren’t wearing green.  They pinched even if a kid had merely forgotten what day it was.
Those kids.  I wish I could call them idiots for their lack of historical knowledge and their hypocrisy at acting Catholic when they went to the Protestant church.  Some of my schoolmates weren’t Irish, either.  Saint Patrick was just a Christ follower whose name and symbolism and message were hijacked by Catholics after he was dead.  Catholics claimed him, not the other way around.  But those green wearers were smart, for going along and wearing green camouflage to avoid being bullied. 
Certain people who encourage diverse lifestyle choices have also hijacked St. Patrick’s Day, and march in parades to celebrate their behavior choices and habits.  They also hijacked Noah’s covenant symbol of God’s promise to not destroy the earth by flood again.  They say everyone’s behavior choices should be celebrated and no one should be persecuted.  They say that people of any stripe or color or choice should be celebrated.  But if I don’t wear green, I still get pinched, so that’s a lie– they clearly don’t mean that.  I WISH it were true though, because we should all enjoy each other and get along. 
I don’t want to fight.  I don’t care what your habits or choices are.  Do whatever you want.  But call it what it is.  And please, if I don’t want to conform to what you think ought to be normal, don’t force me to conform, or bully me when I don’t.  Many people celebrate conformity, even if conforming takes on the hypocrisy of accepting something one doesn’t like, if everyone else is accepting it.  Bullying becomes the norm against whoever doesn’t think like the majority, or the powerful few, want us to think.
Saint Patrick is supposed to have used a shamrock to show people how God could exist as a trinity.  Modern people want to make their own God in their own image so they can decide right and wrong for themselves, so they hijacked that symbol and then told people that 3 in 1 wasn’t enough.  Now they say good luck comes in the form of a 4 leaf clover.  Subtle, but I take it to say that if you find one, the 4th leaf means you’re a god too. 
I want to celebrate.  I want to enjoy life, parties included.  I want to be invited.  But I don’t want to lie about what I am and what I stand for, and I don’t want to be persecuted or pinched or shot or blown up for what I believe in.  The Protestants and Catholics say they have been at war in Northern Ireland since King James II, allegedly a Catholic, was defeated by King William III (aforementioned as William of Orange), allegedly a Protestant, in 1690.  In the modern era, Northern Ireland has been split by civil war, more about land ownership and power than about religion.  Periodically parts of Ireland are laid waste by murderous bombings from one side or another, neither one of them doing a good job of proving how Christ-Like they are.  But each claim to do it for their church.  It doesn’t matter to me why one says they kill or bully.  It’s still evil.  
I think I’ll wear black and purple on March 17.  The black is because I’m in mourning for all of the hatred, violence including pinching, and hypocritical bloodshed between different people who claim to be Christ followers, who really should live in peace.  The Irish flag has a green stripe for Catholics, an orange stripe for Protestants, and a white stripe between them for peace.  The purple is because I like purple and I have a purple shirt that has a dreadlock wearing smiley face on it and the caption “Smile, Mon.”  I’m going to stay home and avoid all of the revelry and green-dyed waterways and beer.  I may even drink something without any artificial color added.  Water is good.  Or, keeping with a Jamaican motif, maybe I can avoid the rainbows and oranges and greens, and find something with a Red Stripe.  Either way, whether we like orange or green, whether we choose water or coffee or hot tea or beer, as I try not to judge your choices, please try not to be my judge.  There’s a higher authority, a higher standard we can all reach for.  I need the margin of the white stripe of peace between us.

If you’re celebrating, be safe.  Whether we wear green, orange, purple, black, white, or rainbows, if you think of me in my purple shirt, “smile, mon.”  And look into the truth St. Patrick stood for.  It’s simplified pretty well in First John 4:7-12.  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+John+4%3A7-12&version=NIV


1. suzannepurewal - March 17, 2014

Reblogged this on Pursuing My Passion and commented:
Did you know that Saint Patrick was supposed to have used a shamrock to show people how God could exist as a trinity? I’m thinking that message got lost somewhere along the way.

Michael’s post is educational and witty. I highly suggest reading it. Hey, I liked it enough to repost it.

Hope you enjoy the article as much as I did.

Have a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day!

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