[Written before the shambles of today.]
This is St. Patrick's month, during which the hearts and minds of many readers of The Pilot will center in "the land of the lost tribe of Israel." There she stands!---the Catholic part of it---as the foremost Catholic nation in the world, said we, after re-reading her Constitution adopted a dozen years ago. She is a living answer to the Oxnamic Klu-Kluxers of our day, who insist that Catholics aim, through their growing numbers, to finally to institute a union of Church and State, that would deprive Protestants of the public exercise of their right of conscience.
The Constitution of Catholic Ireland, that will some day be the Constitution of the whole of this Isle of Saints, is inspiring reading. This is especially so during these days of Communist affliction, when religious leaders are imprisoned and put to death, for insisting that god is the Creator of man; the Maker of the moral law man is obligated to obey; and that union with God is the ultimate end for which man was created. This is especially so during these secularistic times when God is deliberately kept out of the Constitution of the United Nations, and out of its Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that purports to teach democracy minus God.
The Constitution of this sovereign, independent democratic State expresses the principles, related to civil government, that St. Patrick instilled into Irish hearts. It begins with God, the primary source of authority and of natural, inalienable rights; and ends with "Dochum gloire De agus onora na Heirann" (to the glory of God and the honor of Ireland). Here is the Preamble of this glorious Constitution, that embodies the principles that alone will bring peace into the domestic, civic, economic and social spheres of man's activity: "In the name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom as our final end all actions both of men and of states must be referred, we, the people of Eire, humbly acknowledge all our obligations to our Divine Lord Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial, gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain the rightful independence of our nation and seeking to promote the common good with due observance of prudence, justice, and charity, so that the dignity and freedom of the individual may be assured, true social order attained, the unity of our country restored and concord established with other nations, enact and give ourselves this Constitution."
The Family part of this Irish Constitution is of the highest religious order. It "recognizes the family as the natural, primary and fundamental unit group of society, and as a moral institution, possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights antecedent and superior to all positive law."
Hence it recognizes the fact that it is not properly within the province of the State to dissolve marital unions. It is the one and only Constitution that recognizes the part that women play within the home, without which the common good cannot be achieved, It therefore announces the endeavor of the Government "to insure that mothers shall not be obligated by economic necessity to engage in labor to the neglect of their duties in the home."
This Constitution, acknowledging the homage due Almighty God in public worship, calls for the honoring of religion. Special recognition is given the Catholic religion; as special recognition is given to Anglicanism in the United Kingdom, but with striking differences. Catholicity is the "faith professed (in Eire) by the great majority of the citizens," says the Constitution, there being 2,773,920 of its population of 2,972,000 affiliated with the Catholic Church; whereas only 3,692,723 of the United Kingdom's population of 50,015,000 are affiliated with the Anglican Church. There are only 114,833 more Anglicans than Catholics affiliated with churches in the United Kingdom. The Anglican Church, with a membership of a little over one in thirteen of the population in the United Kingdom, is given the exclusive privilege of representation in the House of Lords in which two of its Archbishops and twenty-four Bishops are life members.
Respecting the Right of Conscience of all citizens, this Irish State proclaims its opposition to the imposition of "any disabilities or discriminations on the ground of religious profession, belief or status." Its Constitution goes further, it "recognizes the Church of Ireland, the Presbyterian Church of Ireland, the Methodist Church of Ireland, the Society of Friends in Ireland, as well as the Jewish congregations and other religious denominations," Rev. F. W. S. O'Neil, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland, paid tribute of the highest to the Irish Government in a broadcast from Belfast, saying: "When we consider that Protestants of all denominations number only five per cent of the population, we cannot but be impressed by the unbiased fairness with which that small minority is treated. The adoption of its Constitution was an event of lasting importance. It is remarkable document that is unusual in modern times, being based upon a definitely Christian attitude of life." And Dr. Theodore Lewis, a Dublin Rabbi, is reported in the Jewish Advocate to have said last month, while in Boston, that "there is no anti-Semitism in Ireland." As examples of this Rabbi Lewis pointed to "the election of Dail Eirean (for over 17 years) of Robert Briscoe, a Jew, from the part of Dublin that is 99.9 per cent Catholic." Also that the Irish Government donated a million pounds of kosher (ritually slaughtered) meat to the European displaced Jews. This evidences the fact that the work St. Patrick did fifteen centuries ago, still abides in the land he converted to Christianity.
SOME "LONG THOUGHTS" ON THE IRISH
St. Patrick's Day is near at hand, hence something in this column about the "Lost Tribe of Israel" is in order. The first thought that came to mind, while facing a typewriter (machine, not woman), was regarding the origin of the name of the land St. Patrick Christianized.
We found the designation, Ireland, attributed to the Isle in which the people lived being submerged almost every seventh year. During the seasons when the land appeared above the water's surface, it looked so attractively green and enticing, that many persons built their homes upon it. This was only for short periods, as the sea swallowed it up again.
An apparition is said to have appeared in which the people were told that an end would come to the flooding calamity, if a shaft of iron were planted into the heart of the Isle the next time the water started to overflow the land. At that time, iron was considered to be a luck-bringing metal. The flood came! A daring adventurer proceeded to bury a sword into the heart of the Isle. The spell was broken, the sea never again swallowed up the island. To this myth is attributed the name Iron-Land, or Ireland. ...
Socialism and the Irish:---There was a time when the Reds were cocksure that the Pope's influence among the Irish, in his campaign against Socialism, had waned, especially in the United States. This notion caused William Morris, the English Socialist author, inventor of the Morris Chair, to say editorially in his Socialist weekly, The Commonweal, "The Pope is laying a heavy charge on the bishops in America to do their best to put down Socialism, which is spreading among the Irish Roman Catholics there. This is good news ... The Pope is right. Catholicism died with the Middle Ages; modern Catholicism is but a survival of it, kept alive on the one hand by its alliance with absolute bureaucracy (against Socialism), and on the other hand by an alliance with Puritanism ... It is good to know our enemy."
The many attempts to inveigle the Irish in the Marxian ranks has had very little success. This offended Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, one of the 13 Communists found guilty recently of conspiring to overthrow our Government by force and violence. We clashed with this New York daughter of an Irish atheist father, while in Pottstown, Penna. Having failed to Marxianize the Irish, this Red Lady screeched, "The trouble with the Irish is this: they are strong in the back, and weak in the head." This offensive remark became the text of an address in the auditorium that night. The people were informed of the wisdom of the Irish, who having St. Patrick, instead of Karl Marx, in their heads and hearts, have kept from affiliation with irreligious, immoral, unpatriotic, slavish Gurley Flynn Red-Redism. ...
A Communist soapboxer, who was being heckled on Boston Common, shouted, "Aw go'n Mike, yer a lobster!"
Mike---"Ye flatter me. Sure, a lobster's a wise animal, for green is his color as long as he lives, and he'll die before he turns red."
"The Irish Catholic" told a story, some time ago, about a new Bishop in Australia, an ardent Irishman, who was rather dismayed to find that the Irish immigrants had named all their churches after St. Patrick. His Lordship decided to do something that would counteract the impression that all Catholic churches were under the patronage of Ireland's patron Saint. He called a meeting, and announced therein the foundation of a new church. Then he added, by way of tactful afterthought, "It will be dedicated to St. Athanasius."
There was a tense, echoing stillness, that lasted for some minutes. His Lordship was beginning to look embarrassed. Then a voice was heard, saying: "Yerra, My Lord, can I ask a question?"
"Certainly, that's what you are here for," said the Bishop. "Well, my Lord, meanin' no disrespect, me and the lads down here would like to know what St. Athanasius ever did for Ireland."
Anti-Semitism:---"Alas, poor Erin! thou art thyself an eternal badge of sufferance, the blood of my people rest not on thy head," says Bernard Shillman, barrister, official of the Dublin Hebrew Congregation, in his "Short History of the Jews in Ireland." Therein he enforces the historic fact that anti-Semitism is as rare as snakes in the land of St. Patrick.