Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Thanking the God of the Irish

Today, Northern Ireland instituted a united, independent government. I cannot express how happy and hopeful this makes me.

It's been nearly four hundred years since the British colonized Ulster in the north, seizing Irish land.

It's been over two hundred years since the Kingdom of Ireland was overtaken by Great Britain, and brought entirely under British rule.

It's been nearly a hundred years since the Irish Protestant minority rejected home rule -- the rule of Ireland by Irish -- and 93 years since the country was cut into two, with 26 counties in the Republic, and 6 counties under British rule.

It's been 91 years since the uprising on Easter Monday, when rebels in the southern Republic fought for reunification under Irish home rule.

It's been nearly forty years since the worst of the Troubles began. And it's been 26 years since Bobby Sands was elected to Parliament, and died in a hunger strike in the Maze prison.

Over the years, the Irish Republican Army has earned and born the brunt of the blame for violence, the media ignoring the Ulster Volunteer Force and other terrorists of British-Irish descent. Over the years, Christian religion has born the brunt of the blame for the troubles, the hatred, and the separation, though religion was just the tangible marker of the results of colonialism and discrimination.

I give great thanks today that, after hundreds of years of pain and sorrow, there is hope in Northern Ireland. And I give great thanks that there is hope for other post-colonial countries, including my own, and for all those we continue to colonize and fight in name of the modern nation-state.

26+6 might not ever equal 1. But it might finally = 2.