Cheehaw, you are telling me that there is no critical difference between a Catholic and a Protestant? Wow, what a great reason to have a Catholic/Protestant divide in Belfast :( Your sticker is green and mine is blue so let's attack each other, LOL. Pitiful!
But you are talking politics, and I am talking faith.
Politics and faith don't really
mix. Expect problems.
It's been a REALLY long time since I looked into the catholic/protestant irish thing. Sin fein, the irish defense groups, all of that. But if I remember correctly.. the protestants pretty much came from England, the native irish populations were heavily discriminated against.. under British rule to force ireland into the empire .. were kept from jobs etc.. ended up up in dire poverty because they were irish and
catholic.. .. we could go to the famines that never really were etc.. This is all so much more about politics and British subjection of the Irish than faith.
I don't know.. faith wise.. from my perspective I don't see all that much difference between the church of england that calls itself protestant and the catholic church under the pope in Ireland. They seem very similar, catechisms, sacraments, etc.. I am sure though I don't know all the details of the anglican church either.. that one I have never visited, just read about here and there. But historically, England has gone back and forth on the issue of catholic/protestant during the past 400-500 years, depending who sat on the throne. Bloody Mary and that aftermath is even the reason a lot of the protestant pilgrims originally came to America.
As a note, many parents who want their children to have religious instruction at school have decided not to send their children as the school could not provide any information about the person providing the instruction nor could they provide a program of instruction for the year.
I can understand that would be a big concern. Considering history, you never know when someone is going to come along and start using religion to assert their political views and agendas.
I have always kind of felt (as an adult, as a child I didn't comprehend the issue) that my Polish family's reverence of the pope is more than just a little bit misguided. I'm pretty sure, but not absolutely certain, that if I had stuck with that mindset I would have never gotten saved.
I've had one issue since I was kid that has made me question things along these lines.. when I was 7 or so.. my mom bought me a children's bible.. this big thick thing.. she didn't want to buy it for me.. I insisted.. it was illustrated real pretty.. catholics don't always read the bible keep that in mind.. (my sister bought my grandmother, at age 75 or so, her first bible, as an example) they learn catechism.. anyway.. shortly after I read that, and I did love it.. it was only NT, not much OT in there.. I had a couple really weird experiences.. I saw this ghost in my bedroom at night, twice, wearing a monks robe, a dark brown.. and when the thing looked at me, under the hood there was no face, just a very black space.. which struck as me as very evil. So I grew up sort of thinking, there must be lots of priests and popes in hell. And you couldn't shake that from me because of that ghost.. But at the same time, I looked for God because I needed answers. Kind of haunted me all my young life, that experience. Today though, I realize, in any church, there are good leaders and bad leaders.
God is real MareGaea, He isn't a figment of anyone's imagination, but many people like to imagine that as truth.. it's a lie though.