Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Hatred between Catholics and Protestants (Part 1)

Hatred between Catholics and Protestants
(Part 1)

Over the years, many people have asked me, why is there so much trouble at football games? Why do Protestants and Catholics hate each other, especially in Northern Ireland? Sadly, it's just as prevalent in Scotland as it is in Northern Ireland. I am going to give you insight during the time that I lived in Scotland. Also, if you will click on the links on each section, you will get a historical review on what it had been like at various times in the past and how the hatred continues to this day.

I just want to make it known that this post is not meaning in any way, to put down or disrespect the Catholics or Protestants. It’s also not meant to slander the Pope or The Virgin Mary if that is what you believe and worship. I just want to describe the events and actual words that were and probably still are used today to defame the Catholic faith and those who are part of it. In addition, the slander and bigotry from the Catholics which was directed toward the Protestant faith. What I am going to describe, is my own personal experience while living in Scotland.

A personal thought.

Last night I had a strange dream, prior to this dream though, as I have many times, I woke up in the middle of the night, and prayed and said, “God, please speak to me”. Then I fell asleep and had this dream.
As I was dreaming I went to look at a car for sale, a Station Wagon, (or an estate car in Britain). I drove up the driveway to the home and parked in front of their deck. The deck was elevated about ten feet. A person came out and welcomed me with a strong Irish accent. I said to him, “so you’re from Ireland?”
I recognized the accent because my dad had been Irish, that is, from Northern Ireland.
He said, “Yes I am” and he mentioned the name of the town. I said, “That’s in Southern Ireland, you must be Catholic?”, “That I am”, he said. I then responded and told him that I was a Protestant. At that he started looking at my arms; I said to the person who was with me, “you know why he’s looking at my arms? He’s looking for Protestant tattoos.”
Just at that the phone rang, he answered the phone, and I said to his wife, I’d better not tell him that my dad and Grandad came from Enniskillen, which is about 99% Protestant. He heard me, and when he came off the phone he said, “I guess we won’t be having any business dealings”, I said, “why, because I’m a Protestant?” At that, I woke up.
I thought about it for a long time, trying to understand why I would have such a dream. Then I thought about my prayer, does God want me to write about the hatred between Catholics and Protestants?
Approximately six years ago, I always had it on my mind to do just this, and then I thought of all my friends in Scotland and England, the resentment that they would feel toward me, exposing Scotland and Ireland as countries of hatred and bigotry.
I would probably lose a lot of my friends and they wouldn’t think too highly of me, you know, like a turncoat, letting the old side down.
I thought and I thought, the old cogs going around in my head, does the world need to hear this? Does the world want to hear this? Then I decided, yes, people need to hear how people live or lived in this part of the world where I grew up as a child.

Moving to Scotland

First of all though, let me tell you just a little about my family and me.
In the 1950’s, my mum, dad and my two older brothers had moved from Scotland to a small town in England called Luton. The town is approximately forty miles north of London. Then in 1954 I was born there and my younger brother also in 1959.
I remembered a lot in those seven years while living there (as told in my autobiography called “Life is….but a memory”).
Then in 1961 my parents moved back to Scotland. They moved to a small town called Gourock, where I would be raised and lived there until 1979 before moving to Canada.
The town where I lived was classified as a holiday resort. The adjacent towns though of Greenock and Port Glasgow were very much industrial and provided much needed employment in the many shipyards and factories within the area.
As I started primary school, I quickly found out, that the schools were split up into Catholic Schools and Protestant Schools. When I was young, I didn’t really know the difference. We (The Protestants) were children and they (The Catholics) were children.
My mum and dad grew up in the Salvation Army and in somewhat Christian homes, eventually; they were even married in the Salvation Army. As it turned out, they left and started their own mission and eventually pastored another church.
This church link (above) will take you to Google Maps please rotate to see picture of church. This was my mum and dad's church in Greenock Scotland.
Over the years I grew up with my friends and as it turned out, they were all from Protestant families and we all went to the same schools. Again, I didn’t think too much about it.
Then while in my home, I would ask my dad certain questions about things I had heard outside, at school and by my friends. All related to the Orange Lodge, the special handshake of The Masons etc.
I remember my dad telling me years before, that he had been in the Orange lodge and the Masons. Needless to say, my dad never ever did show me the secret handshake. Now, as a kid, curiosity sets in and I just have to know. When I became an adult, I never did join the Orange Lodge or Masons, so here I am after all those years and I still don’t know the handshake. Ah well! I guess it wasn’t meant to be.
Primary school wasn’t too bad, but the football (soccer) teams were quite different. I quickly realized that there was extreme hatred between the two, that is, Catholics and Protestants.  Especially the two rival teams of GlasgowRangers (Protestant) and Glasgow Celtic (Catholic).

The influence of friends.

Of course growing up and going into high school would prove to be something quite different, something that I had never experienced before. There was the bitter hatred, bigotry, and violence between Catholics and Protestants within our school and the Catholic school of St Columba’s.
When we would see the other Catholic children coming home from their school, we would chant at them. We would shout obscenities at them and call them sectarian names.
I remember when I was with one of my friends, not far from my house. A red-headed girl was going by with her bicycle and she had a little basket attached to the front of her bike. I started shouting obscene Catholic chants at her and then I kicked the basket off of her bike. She ran home with her bike crying.
Not long after, she returned with her mum in hand. They went to my house and spoke with my mum. I knew now I was in big trouble. I believe I got a good licking from my mum.
Anyone that we knew who had red hair was definitely a Catholic. As well as hating Catholics, we hated people with red hair because we just knew that they were Catholic.
It’s amazing, how such a young mind, can be manipulated, tarnished, and brainwashed into thinking and believing all those awful things. Yet, that’s the way it was.

In Scotland we have many football teams, but the most famous teams are Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic. While living in Scotland I supported and was a big fan of Glasgow Rangers.
I used to learn all the songs, as they would come in handy as I became older and starting attending the football matches.
When I left school, I joined the local Rangers SupportersClub in my town. There was a great sense of pride as I entered the club, signed on, and received my membership book. I was now a full member and very proud of it.
I then started attending all the matches in Glasgow and even away games. I learned all the sectarian songs, bashing the Catholic faith, cursing the pope and hating the Catholics in general.
We would sing praises to the Queen as we swayed back and forth with our Union Jack Flag flying high singing “God Save the Queen” along with our Rangers scarves around our necks. What a great feeling, especially when you’re in amongst over forty thousand fans. What a great feeling as we got to the end of a sectarian song as we all shouted in unison Fu@# the Pope.
The atmosphere at a Rangers /Celtic game was electrifying, the hatred and bitterness from both sides was so thick, and you could cut it with a knife. We couldn’t stand each other, we hated each other’s guts, with a passion, and I mean a passion.
We would die for our faith, so to speak. By the way, our faith was devotion to our football team, not God; it was totally Catholics against Protestants. This had nothing to do with religion, even though people keep calling it religious, it had nothing to do with religion at all. It was just pure hatred toward each other.
I was raised in a Christian home, my mum and dad operated a mission and a church, some of my friends were taught to live good decent lives, but once we were out of distance from our home, we were bigots.
It was the red, blue and whites (Rangers) against the green and white (Celtic). It was bigotry at its worst.

We would sing sectarian songs like the ones below. Just for your information so that you know the name,” Fenian” in the songs is referring to a Catholic. The name “Wherry” (song #4) was our local supporter’s pub where we would drink (that is, all Protestants). “Gourock” was my home town mentioned in the songs.

Song #1 “The cry was no surrender, surrender, or you’ll die, with heart in hand and sword and shield, we’ll guard old Derry’s walls”. 

Song #2 “On the green grassy slopes of the Boyne, on the green grassy slopes of the Boyne, it was there where we slew those “Fenian” Bas@#%&*, WHERE! On the green grassy slopes of the Boyne”.

Song #3 “Hello, hello, we are the Billy Boys, hello, hello, you’ll tell us by our noise, we’re up to our knees in “Fenian” blood surrender or you’ll die, we are the Bridgeton Billy Boys”. 

Song #4 Take a walk into The Wherry and you’ll hear the famous call, get out you “Fenian” Bas@#%^&*we’re the “Gourock” Billy Boys”.

Song #5 “We are the “Gourock” Derry Fu@# the Pope and the Virgin Mary”.

Song #6 “Last night I saw my daddy making a bomb, ooo wee, chirpy, chirpy, cheep, cheep. Woke up this morning and the chapel was gone, ooo wee, chirpy, chirpy, cheep, cheep, chirpy, chirpy, cheep, cheep, gone”. 

(The #6 song is to the tune of Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheep, Cheep by a Scottish band called “Middle of the road” released in the pop charts in 1970.)

Song #7 “I was born under a Union Jack; I was born under a Union Jack. Do you know where Hell is, Hell is in the Falls, Heaven’s in the Shankill Road we’ll guard old Derry’s walls. I was born under a Union Jack.

Chorus: Chapels are for burning, Catholics go to hell
Proddies go to Heaven
and it’s just as f#%^ing well, so I was Born under a Union Jack.

Falls is relating to Falls Road (a Catholic area) and Shankill Road (a Protestant area) both areas are in Belfast Northern Ireland. 

News Clip.
Please read the link to this article and read all the comments. It will open your eyes and verify the hatred and bigotry that I’m talking about, I’ve been away from it for forty years and it’s worse than ever.
Excerpts from the Daily Mail Newspaper regarding a Rangers/Celtic match September 12th, 2016.

Return of the shame game: Hanging effigies, sectarian songs and offensive banners mar the first Old Firm league clash in four years between Celtic and Rangers
  • Celtic fans hung blow-up sex dolls, with their mouths taped and hand tied 
  • Offensive banner was unveiled, which read 'Know your place. Hun scum' 
  • Rangers supporters trashed a toilet block in the away section of Parkhead 
  • They were also heard singing the banned Billy Boys song during 5-1 loss 
Here is the link which includes photos of the Celtic supporters effigies and damage done by Rangers supporters.

The return of the Old Firm game saw hanging effigies, sectarian songs, offensive banners, and vandalism to Celtic Park.

Scotland's biggest two football clubs clashed in the league for the first time in four years on Saturday, bringing back the hatred, bigotry and religious intolerance that the Premiership had been without.

Celtic supporters hung blow-up sex dolls from the top tier of the Jock Stein Stand before their 5-1 Glasgow derby win over Rangers.

An offensive banner was also displayed in the stadium's Green Brigade ultras section, which read: 'Know your place. Hun scum.'

Meanwhile, Rangers fans sang the infamous Billy Boys song, which has been banned for its sectarian line 'we're up to our knees in F****n' blood'. 

The away supporters also trashed the toilets in their section, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

The Glasgow derby is one of the fiercest rivalries in sport and had been missing from the calendar following Rangers' liquidation in 2012, which saw them start again in Division Three.

Matches between the two sides run deeper than football because of the volatile mix of religion, politics, and sporting history.

Rangers has a traditionally Protestant and Unionist fan base, while Celtic's supporters are more likely to have a Roman Catholic background and an affinity to Irish Republicanism, the I.R.A. terrorist organization.

The Catholic supporters flaunt and wave the flag of the I.R.A. a terrorist organization in Southern Ireland.

While Celtic was playing a team from Israel, the Celtic fans waved Palestinian flags.
Courtesy of The Daily Mail September 12, 2016 

Please watch for part 2 as the story continues.
Where did all this hatred and bigotry come from?

 I appreciate your thoughts on this subject. Please leave a comment below.

Written by Chris Turner
January 17, 2018