<<And always remember: Christianity IS NOT the only valid system of
morality. It is one of many, and we have no way to know which is the
hard though it is to hold by this, I must put my nose in here and risk
eternal damnation... by supporting this to the hilt. There has been
more distress caused around the world by attempts to enforce one set of
rules on people who don't hold to them than by any other cause.
I am a Buddhist, for better or worse, and I sincerely believe in one
statement, the one that tipped the scales for me and opened the joy of
Buddhist thoughts to me - 'we cannot know if there is a deity, so until
someone can come up with some proof lets just get on with searching for
enlightenment' [v. rough paraphrase]
maybe that doesn't seem like much, but at the time Ireland was in the
throes of bitter dispute leading up to a referendum on abortion. I have
my own views on that subject which may or may not match those put
forward by the Catholic Church (which I left behind that day). What
upset me was the enthusiasm of so much of the Catholic clergy in my
country to use their position on the pulpit to effectively dictate how
the Irish Catholic should vote - based on church law. This want along
the lines of 'vote for this amendment and you'll be damned to eternal
hellfire'. I will NOT discuss this now past and irrelevant matter via
e-mail with anyone (so don't try).
What this (the Buddhist stuff) taught me was that you will get nowhere
by trying to impose any views on anyone (and doesn't the Northern
Ireland situation prove this so well?). We all in Ireland have had
enough dictated to us by the high and mighty 'lawgivers' of whatever
persuasion. Let us rest.
As regards the Great Hunger what can we say? Many many people died.
Ireland was never the same again. I have no time to care who made what
evil decisions (or not) - can we see if we can heal the hurt that still
tears at the Irish psyche? The pain of an Gorta Mo/r is still with us,
and surely that more than anything is what we should be addressing, not
the pointless details of who did what to whom and for what supposed
I have plenty of what I hope are informed views on this subject -
plenty of ideas as to who is responsible for what and why... but I
won't get into this here for fear of landing in the middle of a little
war I have no interest in.
who, be he mad, wild, or living in a wood just wants peace.