Putting Christ Back Into Republicanism

Former Blanket columnist and Unionist commentator Dr John Coulter gives us the latest chapter from his forthcoming e-book, An Saise Glas (The Green Sash) The Road to National Republicanism. This chapter is entitled ‘Putting Christ Back Into Republicanism’ and is exclusive to The Pensive Quill. 

National Republicanism needs to spark a revival of the concept of Holy Mother Ireland instead of becoming swamped in a secular sea of atheism, agnosticism, pluralism, humanism and especially Marxism.

Old-style republicanism has always enjoyed some sort of partnership with the Irish Catholic Church. This Church/State bond was at its most influential when Eamon de Valera was President of Ireland.
However, while the republicanism which led to the Treaty in the 1920s, and the republicans who ran the old Irish Free State, even the republicans who secured full status for the 26 Counties as a full-blown republic developed the concept of Holy Mother Ireland, the republican movements which emerged after the defeat of the IRA in the 1956-62 Border campaign seemed to want to permanently scrap the ethos of Church and State.

During the conflict known as the Troubles, the Official republican movement of the Official IRA and Workers’ Party, the Provisional republican movement, and the various factions of the republican socialist movement (such as the IRSP and INLA) had an exceptionally fractious relationship with the Irish Catholic Church and leadership.

The republican movements which evolved in the late Sixties onwards developed at a time when Left-wing revolutionary politics was becoming a world phenomenon.

The modern republican movements wanted to see themselves as part of a global revolutionary organization, rather than a sectarian anti-Protestant movement on a tiny island on the fringe of the European continent.

The root cause of how republicanism has got itself bogged down with the secular movement goes back to the failed Easter Rising of 1916. In the immediate aftermath, Britain had the high ground. The Irish Volunteers had been defeated, and even spat upon by some Dublin Catholics as they were marched into captivity.

If Britain had boxed clever in 1916, it would have given the leaders a jail term and told them to grow up politically. Instead, it allowed General ‘Bloody’ Maxwell to take charge of ‘mopping up’ the aftermath of the failed Rising.

It was Maxwell who insisted that the Rising leaders be executed. At that time, because Britain was bogged down in the an equally bloody trench campaign of the Great War, the British political leadership agreed to Maxwell’s assertion that the Rising leaders should be executed by firing squad.

By giving the leaders a soldier’s death, he immediately and substantially raised their status from troublesome rebels to international anti-colonial martyrs. James Connolly’s death was particularly gruesome. Although wounded in the Rising, he was strapped into a chair for his execution as he was unable to stand.

Until those British bullets dispatched him into eternity, Connolly was not a republican hero, but a largely insignificant Scottish communist dabbling in Irish politics. Connolly was first and foremost a Marxist, not a Catholic nationalist.

But his execution elevated his writings, beliefs and actions to a new level in Irish nationalism. Connolly’s communism became a significant factor in the rapidly emerging Irish Republican Army which fought the War of Independence a few years after the doomed Rising.

The fallout from the Treaty meant that the Irish Catholic hierarchy largely supported the Free State forces rather than the anti-Treaty IRA. The images as portrayed in the hit 2006 film, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, of the priest hearing IRA confessions and blessing the terrorists before they left to attack the British in the War of Independence, had long since faded into mythology and folklore. 

It should not be forgotten that more IRA prisoners were executed by the Free State forces during the Irish Civil War than killed by the Black and Tans during the War of Independence. When republican goes to war against republican, the ensuing bloodshed can be even more sadistic than republican terror campaigns against the British state.

The Free State victors and subsequent Dails for generations to come guaranteed the Irish Catholic hierarchy a central role in the political life of the 26 Counties. Clerical sex abuse, whether by individuals or by institutions, went unchecked and unpunished. 

Connolly’s atheistic Marxism within republicanism became a viable alternative to the sexual crimes of Irish Catholicism’s institutionalized religion. For many Catholics in Ireland, the Catholic Church came to symbolize Christianity.

Connolly’s atheistic Marxism became a vehicle to challenge the previously unquestionable power of the Catholic priests. This naturally led to friction between republicans loyal to the Connolly tradition and the Catholic hierarchy, especially during the Eamon de Valera years. It was he who maximized the concept of Church and State.
It has become a matter of some debate that Connolly recanted from his atheistic Marxism in the hours before his brutal execution.

The main ethos of my National Republicanism is to re-introduce true Biblical Christianity, especially the teachings of Jesus Christ Himself, back into republican ideology.

A major stereotype which National Republicanism will seek to eradicate is the false perception that Biblical Christianity is the institutionalized litany of the Catholic Church and bishops under another name.
Biblical Christianity is not the priests trying to shake off the stigma of the clerical abuse scandals. Biblical Christianity is precisely what its title states – the true Christian beliefs as stated by Jesus in the Bible.

National Republicanism will dismantle the structures of the Irish Catholic Church in Ireland and establish a Biblically-based Christian Church which is free of Vatican control. This new Church will be based on Biblical principals.

A perfect example of this type of new Church sweeping the 26 Counties is the Pentecostal denomination, which was founded in Co Monaghan in the early 1900s. In spite of a fall in attendances at mainstream Christian denominations throughout Ireland north and south, the Pentecostal movement is bucking the trend and is increasing in numbers, especially in the Dublin area.
This is not a case of Catholics converting to Protestantism, but a case of Catholics – disillusioned with their Church and the sexual abuse scandals – looking to a new expression of their Christian faith.

National Republicanism will revise the concept of Church and State in Ireland – north and south. Instead of the bond of Church and State, National Republicanism seeks a rebirth of the concept of Holy Mother Ireland through the strategy of Christ and State. National Republicanism wants to see a revival of Biblical Christianity – which our patron Saint, Patrick, introduced to the Emerald Isle – as our national personal faith.
I emphasise the term ‘personal faith in Christ’ as opposed to ‘institutionalized religion’, which the Catholic Church represented.

The modern republican movement, especially those who see themselves as republican socialists, want to see the development and expansion of a pluralist and secular society in Ireland under the supposed banner of a democratic socialist 32-county republic.

In reality, many modern republicans despise the Catholic Church hierarchy, seeing many clerics and nuns as the modern-day equivalents of the Biblical Pharisees.
National Republicanism seeks to restore republican confidence in the Biblical Christian faith. Ironically, the same crisis is facing modern loyalism. One of its most famous slogans is ‘For God And Ulster.’

Yet many loyalists were influenced in prison by the writing and words of the late Gusty Spence and David Ervine, who followed a progressive socialist path. Many loyalist prisoners found themselves in jail because they followed the ‘blood and thunder’ sermons of Protestant fundamentalism, a fundamentalism which largely deserted them once those loyalists found themselves on the wrong side of the law.
Just as loyalism abandoned the Christian God in ‘For God And Ulster’ so too, many republicans turned their back on the Catholic concept of Holy Mother Ireland.
Modern loyalism and republicanism are – ironically – both trying to cut religion out of their respective ideologies. Both seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet that Marxism and extreme socialism hold the keys to the future development of the respective communities.
This is a huge error of judgment, especially for republicanism. Having read Karl Marx’s ‘Das Capital’ from start to finish, I can only conclude there is a startling similarity between the type of ideal society which Marx is trying to create, and the Biblical Christian society which Jesus wished to create.

National Republicanism is seeking a return of Biblical Christianity as a central core of republican thinking by getting republicans to focus on the New Testament account of the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus Christ as told in St Matthew’s Gospel Chapter Five.
In this aspect, Christ outlines a series of attributes, commonly known as The Beatitudes. There is a school of ideological thinking – to which I personally belong – which maintains that Marx based ‘Das Capital’ on The Beatitudes and his overt criticism of religion was merely a tactic ploy to disguise the fact that he had pinched his ideas from the Bible, and the words of Jesus Himself.
In reality, Jesus Christ was the first real communist – not Karl Marx. National Republicanism’s Christ and State ideology is, therefore, based on St Matthew’s Gospel chapter 5, verses 1 to 12. Many of the Beatitudes begin (using the Authorized King James translation) “Blessed are …”

However, when the words of Jesus are taken in a modern context, they make the basis for a realistic political agenda for National Republicanism. Here are the key points which the Beatitudes highlight:

  • The poor in spirit (verse 3) – the need to restore national pride in society;
  • Those who mourn (verse 4) – the need to remember and help the victims of the conflict in Ireland;
  • The meek (verse 5) – the need to help the working class, and for the rich to invest their wealth in helping those less well off in society;
  • They which do hunger (verse 6) – the need to combat growing poverty in society, and also provide a sound educational and health system for all;
  • The merciful (verse 7) – the need for a fair and accountable justice system;
  • Pure in heart (verse 8) – the need to restore the moral fabric of society, to encourage family values and implement the concept of society’s conscience;
  • Peacemakers (verse 9) – the need for compromise and respect of people’s views based on the concept of accommodation, not capitulation;
  • Persecuted (verse 10) – the need for National Republicans to have the courage to stand up for their beliefs;
  • When men shall revile you (verse 11) – the need for a free press with responsible regulation.
National Republicanism is about the creation of the concept of Christian citizenship. Under this concept, compulsory voting – as exists in the Commonwealth nation of Australia – would be introduced to Ireland.

A key emphasis of National Republicanism is Christian pride in the nation under the banner of ‘Ireland for the Irish’. National Republicanism wants to combat the so-called ‘Brain Drain’ where Ireland’s young people feel the need to leave the nation and not return.
National Republicanism would not only seek to keep this generation on the island, but to encourage those who have emigrated to return with their skills to the island.
In this respect, all Irish citizens would complete a two-year compulsory National Service in the nation’s armed forces, during which time they would also learn a vocational trade.
The Christian Churches would have a role in encouraging people of all ages to develop a community service role.
In conclusion, it must again be emphasized that National Republicanism is not seeking to re-establish the rule of the Catholic bishops. Readers of National Republicanism must not confuse having a personal faith with Jesus Christ with those who want to implement a draconian form of institutionalized, ritualistic worship. There is no role for a pope in National Republicanism.   

Note: In chapter three of An Saise Glas, I will be examining how National Republicanism will define its relations with Ireland’s Unionists, Protestants, loyalists and Loyal Orders.


  1. No thanks !!!

    You can keep your teachings of jesus and whatever other drivel you take your lead from - National Republicanism my ass..... republicanism is not based on any religion/faith ...... it is based upon a wish for an Island united which serves ALL it's citizens equally. . . .

    Will be be teaching creationism in the schools and all that unsubstantiated shit too John??

  2. Why are those of no faith often hostile when the topic of faith comes up ?

    It often is an indication of what belies beneath the surface.

    "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

  3. John,

    At the risk of elevating the notorious McIntyre reactor to 'critical mass' at the mention of religion I am surprised at the Billy Graham approach you have adopted. Lets not condemn our Republican brothers back to Papal Romanism. While you have emphazised 'a personal faith in Christ' I feel a much more robust approach could have been adopted. In the round, however, you have earned the radical credentials that often precede your name here. You have provided fertile ground for debate. I trust others will feel encouraged to debate than debase.

  4. Anthony,

    Come out and play my good friend, the debates are much poorer for your absence.

  5. John,s history lesson started well, the went down hill with the biblical christianity crap, the catholic church as an organisation ,like its northern counterpart the protestant church had the run of the place from inception and yet both failed the people of this island ,content in the power and influence they administered in their little fiefdoms ,having control over every aspect of the peoples lives from birth control,abortion, education to what we watched and read, for fuck sake kids were not and still cant play on swings on a Sunday, no John a cara I think the real message is that here in Ireland we do not need another version of the bible, we need to dump the fucking whole lot and have a bit of faith in ourselves. religion has been used as a weapon to divide and conquer the people, all other weapons of resistance have been decommissioned,while the state has maintained its arsenals with the use of the religious divide as one of its big guns,time I think the time is well past we faced the future together free from the ,story tellers, abusers and facilitators,on both sides which religion seems to be a haven for.

  6. With pope Francis 1st and pope Emeritus Benedict XVI both eventually living within the walls of the Vatican city, will that see the opening of st Peters squares first Frankie and Benny,s

  7. After reading the God Delusion By Richard Dawkins,pope Benny has finally realized how silly he has been all these years and has decided to go get some pussy before he dies.

  8. Marty,

    already questions are being raised by human rights bodies and the Left in Argentina over the new Pope's association with the Dirty War regime in Argentina. I hope to write a short piece tonight about it.

  9. John I think you are sincere You took a punt and fair play to you even if I think alot of it is off the air what you wrote at least you got off your arse and did something. RE: An Saise Glas – I like it that you r using our language.

    RE: ‘...even the republicans who secured full status for the 26 Counties as a full-blown republic developed the concept of Holy Mother Ireland’

    Indigenous Irish always viewed their land as a motherland going right back into ancient history. You will find this knowing on all indigenous peoples re their lands John. Hence Republicans did not create a construct of Holy Mother Ireland as you coin it.

    That expression to me comes across as a direct pisstake on Irish Catholics (Holy Mother of God) The Catholic church more oft betrayed than ever supported the cause is accurate however. The resurgence of cultural pride and rights including landrights in the 19th century connected with republicanism/was woven in naturally.

    The use of native language, songs/literature etc were just outworkings... When the people are ripped off they know it...

    RE: ‘National Republicanism will dismantle the structures of the Irish Catholic Church in Ireland and establish a Biblically-based Christian Church which is free of Vatican control.’

    A Jesuit would raise an eyebrow I suppose but truth is proddy, catholic, ex catholic, atheist, agnostic – NO-ONE wants the Catholic Church on their turf anymore... No thinking person wants their kids exposed to the risk and no thinking person wants to be brainwashed into a cult. It is not just the abuse issue – it is also the controlling, mind destroying doctrines that shape screwed up neurotic individuals with guilt complexes.... The old Irish Catholic dichotomy mentality.

    Sin away – confession – Mass. Prayers to saints and twirl the teapot... Yes Father No Father That grovelling mentality that the priest was God has come to an end I hope for the younger generation... I hope no child ever has to experience what us kids did because it never leaves you alone.

    I am dubious re your offer of a Catholic free Jesus (Is Criostai me/ex Catholic). Does he come with a Union Jack loincloth?

    I think what you are putting on offer is we will never be free from Brit control BUT will be given a big, anglo Jesus number. So what be the dif? Your version or the Catholic version. Both are shackles...Reality check here John - Kincora! Also abuse systemic happens in protestant and other religions. It is entrenched pedophilia and plenty of filth in London in high places r abusing minors... Tis an English elites thing too you know porking wee children. That is your history in religion so no glossing it over pls.

    RE: In chapter three of An Saise Glas, I will be examining how National Republicanism will define its relations with Ireland’s Unionists, Protestants, loyalists and Loyal Orders

    That will be a cracking great read lol. The Masonic bastards and the Vatican are two heads on the one beast. Cage em. Is all you had to write for chap 3!

    RE: ‘National Republicanism is about the creation of the concept of Christian citizenship. Under this concept, compulsory voting – as exists in the Commonwealth nation of Australia – would be introduced to Ireland’

    I strongly suggest you check in with the indigenous ppl of the land Australia and ask them what life has been like for them under this concept and what the Brit version of Jesus did to them. In vid a personal friend his clan also - he be well known activist Aboriginal Christian minister here. I went to Aboriginal church for 2 years and learnt more about truth there in a real way than any other construct of Christianity. I dunno how to do embed in comments so there’s the link If it don’t work google: youtube
    The video title is I Have a Dream" - Ray Minniecon (AUS) 2007

    Am going to reread your ideas at a later date as some of it i find quite fascinating but too busy to focus on some it more intently. Sin-e

  10. John last minute addon I think you should see what some young Aboriginal youth really think of the Commonwealth and the British flag. But more than that if you knew really knew the horrendous losses and suffering/fragmentation inflicted in the name of Jesus and religion you would never have used the analogy of Commonwealth Australia. There are many whose pain is palpable and there r wounds not healed.

    Highest stats of suicide, incarceration and such. But a new generation will fight back well equipped with knowledge of their inherent rights and who they are. Like the young girl shouts as she burns the flag “NO MORE”. You might like to re-edit ur e-book because there is no terra nullius and it is Always was ALWAYS WILL BE!! --- ABORIGINAL LAND... no commonwealth there in that and their Jesus is not British.


    aborigines burn spit on australian flag on australia - Youtube

  11. National Republicanism needs to spark a revival of the concept of Holy Mother Ireland instead of becoming swamped in a secular sea of atheism, agnosticism, pluralism, humanism and especially Marxism.

    John, are you trying to manufacture this consent ideology of national republiciam, is it is easier to deal with than those marxists who believe in equality of life chances and citizenship. From what I have read you seem to want republicanism to strategy in the form of FF, SF agenda. As you know they can be shaped into little mini caricatures of your pro right agenda. Newsbreak, you aint no superior to us, in any shape or form you Little Englander "Definitions
    1.(esp in the 19th century) a person opposed to the extension of the British Empire
    2.(British, informal) a person who perceives most foreign influences on Britain's culture and institutions as damaging or insidious.
    However you maybe right about Jesus being the 1st Socialist,in word and deeds, but if that was the case why do the christians not behave like christ. Leads to Ghandi's famous quote, "I like you Christ, but not your christains".
    For true republicans religion has no part to play, it leads only to institutionised division, whether in gender, religion, class, race or creed. You seem to want to prolong the Tim Pat Coogan republican Provisional image of " a rosary beed brigade" as it maybe a marketing brand for your book. Good luck.


  12. Every morning while walking my faithful friend I bring my other friend the radio who also brings great joy of a beautiful spring morning. When I reach the wide open spaces of the green fields I unleash my friend to do what he does best, I then switch the radio on to get the latest news. For the last few years it’s been all about the banks and the bankers which I honestly cannot by now bear to listen to, I usually change channels to avoid them.
    But this morn it was the banks and the Catholic Church which dominated most channels so I set my radio to scan hoping to find something more mellow to listen to but it was wall to wall banks and religion, both of these institutions have a lot in common.
    Covering up others mistakes a must for both, telling lies, hoarding great vast amounts of wealth, keeping secrets etc, but the key difference is that the bank does exist where as God is a figment of people’s imagination. So I asked myself the question, how could we rid ourselves of one of these immoral institutions, but the realised that they are like Sinn Fein and the IRA they are inextricably linked

  13. AM,
    Did you not say there was a seperate webpage for the likes of this and also some fo the comments that followed it? ANd this is going to be published!?!??!?!

    Look forward to reading your article on Our Fra.....

  14. marty

    'After reading the God Delusion By Richard Dawkins,pope Benny has finally realized how silly he has been all these years and has decided to go get some pussy before he dies.'

    Someone should tell him the reality (priests know fuck-all about life)that what starts out like a good idea usually ends in a 30 yr morgage lol.

  15. Larry welcome back to Anthony,s happy house where it is recommended that you never argue with a fool ,because people might not be able to tell the difference,priests will be allowed to get married sooner rather than later,and it will be paid for by the parishioners as usual, it will be the best recruitment agent that church has since the Romans were feeding the faithful to the lions,who the fuck woundnt want a job like that ,I might apply myself god willing an all that..

  16. Marty

    ',I might apply myself god willing an all that..'

    Just what I was thinking reading your comment. Free big house, maid, and a wife...and likely the odd alter boy for fun. Can't believe it!!!

  17. Did anyone happen to notice Hugo Chavez's conversion to Roman Catholicism before he died?


  18. @stefangillies:

    Hugo Chavez went to Dónall Fínín Ó Laoghaire (Daniel Florence O'Leary) High School, and was an alter boy. could you please upload a link as to when Chavez presumably converted to Catholicism?, because he was a Catholic.

    Chavez as an Alter boy

  19. Ever since he assumed power in 1999, Chavez butted heads continuously with the Catholic Church over statements by the bishops warning of the risks and excesses of his Socialist agenda. In 2002, Chavez accused the Venezuelan bishops of being a “tumor” for his revolutionary goals and demanded that the Vatican not intervene in the internal affairs of the country. In recent years, Chavez occasionally took part in the religious services of distinct denominations, but he surprised the press in April 2012 when he showed up at a Catholic church in his hometown of Barinas to attend Holy Week services. He wore a rosary around his neck and prayed for strength to fight his illness. Last July, Chavez made public his request to meet with the Catholic bishops.