Letters to the Editor. Irish News. Belfast. Published. Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Fr. Sean McManus, President Irish National Caucus, Washington DC
Regarding proposals on how best to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the creation of the state of the six counties of Northern Ireland, the initiative of the Irish National Caucus has already been endorsed by thousands of Irish-Americans, Irish in Ireland, and Irish worldwide. And it keeps on growing in support. As of this writing, it has been endorsed by almost 15,000 people who are committed to international human rights, national self-determination, justice, solidarity, non-discrimination, equality, reconciliation, unity and peace.
The initiative is the Caucus internet Petition: “Ireland, too, has the right to be One Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice from all.” – www.change.org/IrelandOneNation.
Our petition – although inspired by, and based on, the famed American Pledge of Allegiance – is universal in its appeal and intention, evoking what is best in the human heart regarding the fundamental issue of justice and peace.The Petition is ecumenical, inclusive, all-embracing – for Protestants, Catholics and Dissenters. That is the implication of The Beloved Community.
The new mini-state of the six counties came into existence in 1921 but the imperial, racist/sectarian Act (Government of Ireland Act, ‘Partition Act’) was enacted December 23 1920, in England’s parliament. So, the buck stops there and nowhere else. It was not the unionists who created Northern Ireland. No amount of fudging or abuse of language can deny or cover-up this reality. England’s ridiculous border in Ireland is not ‘just a line on the map’. It is a construct of discredited empire thinking and hubris. Far from being ‘just a line’ it had the power to cause death and destruction for almost 100 years. And, it has currently the power to pull the north out of the European Union – some ‘line’, eh?
I use the term ‘England’s empire’ rather than the British empire because we can hardly blame Wales or Scotland – especially since Scotland now seems to be heading towards independence. It was always England that was the major culprit; it just dragged Wales and Scotland along in its evil empire that spread and institutionalized racism/sectarianism across about one-quarter of the earth – ‘just lines on the map,’ of course, that’s all, eh?
And while we must always be committed to reconciliation, with God and with all God’s children, we must never be reconciled to injustice, inequality, racism and sectarianism – on the island of Ireland or anywhere in the world, because, “the doing of justice is the primary expectation of God”. And – as we are talking about ‘lines’ – God says: “I will make justice the line and righteousness the plummet.” (Is.28: 17-18).
Now that’s the ‘line’ this Kinawley man can live with.