The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #55980   Message #874866
Posted By: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
25-Jan-03 - 06:21 PM
Thread Name: Irish Music and Religion
Subject: RE: Irish Music and Religion
Hi McGrath

A Catholic Mass is not just another communal celebration. It is a religious observance.

No Doubt, here are my responses.

"Frank Hamilton, I think you are not understanding that Comhaltas is:

1)an Irish organization with branches around the world, and is NOT US founded or headquartered;"

I never said that it was.

"2) that it is more than just a music organization. It clearly states in it's constitution that is also an organization that promotes the Irish language and Irishy culture;

That's fine if it represents all of Ireland.

"3) that the Catholic ethos of Comhaltas is deeply rooted in the Irish Gaelic speaking community's cultural traditions, which includes teh Catholic faith;"

This may well be true.

"4) not one jot of this has anything to do with whether the US is officially a Christian nation (it is not), or Ireland being an officially Catholic nation (it is, just like Poland is)."

I disagree. It has something to do with forcing a religion on those who don't espouse it.

"In Ireland, where Comhaltas is based, the cultural and language aspects of the organization are every bit as important to it's membership as the music. Also, it is a very common practice in Ireland, for many organizations, local governments, etc. to offer a mass in conjunction with community events and festivals that take place over the weekend."

Yes, I am aware of this.

"Now then, Comhaltas has nothing whatsoever to do with the US government, or vice versa. It is not a US organization, it is an Irish organization, with branches in the US, in Canada, and around the world in the Irish diasporan community. Perhaps Frank, you didn't read my post above where I took great pains to cite from the source--the organization's constitution."

I never said that is was a US organization. It has however, branches in the US. It has something to do with the issue of "separation of church and state" which you are informing me does not take place in Ireland. If that's the case, I accept that.

"So I am wondering Frank, why you keep insisting that this organization should be cleansed of it's religious roots? "

You are obviously angry and have completely misinterpreted my intentions. I have never insisted anything of the kind. I would never use those words.

"The constitution being discussed here is not the US constitution, but Comhaltas' constitution, which I quoted extensively from in my post above."

I have not confused the two constitutions.

"You say: "We do have organizations that are non-profit with a particular leaning but they do not represent our county as governmental or necessarilly American cultural bodies."

Yes, I do say that. I am talking strictly about what goes on in the US, not in Ireland. I'm sorry that this point is not clear to you.

"Again, I think you are misunderstanding what we are discussing. Comhaltas is not an American organization, it is an Irish organization with branches here. It is headquartered in Dublin. Comhaltas doesn't "represent" the United States in any way, shape or form."

I am fully aware of this since I have visited it in Dublin. I never suggested in any way, shape or form that it did represent the US.

"It is no different than many other immigrant community organizations that exist in the US, with ties to the immigrant community's home country."

This may or may not be true. I believe that each immigrant community is unique.

"Why on earth would a member of any religious faith NOT be able to attend another religion's services with a clear conscience? What does that have to do with anything? That is just such a bizarre suggestion."

Actually, there was no suggestion intended but questions asked. And there is a feeling that if you were not Catholic and attended a Catholic Mass, there would be an area of discomfort about it. That's what I meant.

"You then state: "A religious ethos promulgated in an organization doesn't make me feel wholly comfortable with it."
Well Frank, with respect, it looks to me like you just plain don't like religion, and aren't interested in participating in organizations with a religious ethos."

Well, with respect, it may look like that to you but this isn't true.
If Comhaltas were a religious organization, I would have no trouble with it's religious ethos. But you can't have it both ways.
Either Comhaltas is a religious organization or it's not.

" That is fine and dandy, and you are fully within your rights and reason to be and think that way. But it does NOT give you a right to dictate to others that they adopt your way of thinking and being on religion, and organizations with a religious ethos."

I do not do this. This is your idea exclusively. If anything you are attempting to define the Comhaltas as a religious organization.
And the idea that I am dictating to anyone to adopt my line of thinking is spurious and specious. I am asking questions here for the sake of a legitimate discussion and am not interested in engaging in a religious diatribe.

"Don't like Comhaltas' Catholic ethos? Then you don't have to have a thing to do with it. That is your choice.

I never said anything of the kind. This is your interpretation of what I said.

But to suggest that Comhaltas should cleanse itself of it's Irish cultural ethos, which does include the Catholic faith, is pretty bigoted, in my opinion. "

That's because you have completely distorted my views to your liking. I'm not sure what kind of argument you are intent on winning but you have missed the point of the entire discussion in my view. I never have and never would ask Comhaltas to cleanse itself of it's Irish cultural ethos. You say that the Irish cultural ethos is only and exclusively Catholic. Now that smacks of bigotry in my opinion.


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