How can any God-fearing Catholic now vote for Provisional Sinn Fein after the so-called republican party took a pro-choice stance in the recent abortion referendum in the republic?
Sinn Fein supporters and voters need to take a long hard look at the 1916 Proclamation of Poblacht na hEireann because it has become abundantly clear the modern day republican movement is trying to write God out of republican history.
During the Adams/McGuinness era in Sinn Fein, I always viewed the movement as being pro-life; that in spite of the many lives which its military wing took over the years, that at least the one thread of human decency was that Sinn Fein held the traditional conservative Catholic stance that life begins at conception, not birth.
I was truly shocked to see the latest republican leadership of Mary Lou and Michelle brandishing post referendum placards proclaiming that the North was next for Sinn Fein’s pro-choice bandwagon.
If I was a traditional republican voter, I’d be spitting feathers at that sight; and if I was executed devout Catholic icon Padraig Pearse, I’d be spinning in my grave and posing this question for the rest of eternity - did I and my comrades get executed by the Brits for 21st century republicans to abandon the traditional republican stance of pro-life?
Pro-choice republicans need to wise up and actually read the 1916 Proclamation. Your pro-choice stance is nothing more than treason against the Proclamation’s ideals.
Just as the secular society has changed the true meaning of Christmas by editing Christ out, if republicans go pro-choice, they are guilty of editing God out of the Proclamation and trying to airbrush Pearse’s values out of the pure republican ethos.
This is a mirror image of Unionists who ridicule the Irish language by conveniently forgetting it was devout Irish Presbyterians who kept the Gaelic tongue alive - so stick that in your curry and youghurt next time you try to convince me a rural north Antrim accent and dialect is actually an Ulster Scots ‘language’!
The 1916 Proclamation opens: “In the name of God …” How can republicans go on about returning to the Proclamation’s ideals when they push such a Godless sin as the pro-choice agenda? Indeed, some so-called republicans have wandered so far from their traditional conservative Catholic heritage, they are really nor more than a bunch of Godless Marxists, atheists, agnostics, even lapsed Catholics - but not the true descends of Pearse.
Such was the Christian ethos of the 1916 Proclamation, that while I can fully understand a fundamentalist Catholic such as PH Pearse signing the Proclamation, its ethos was powerful enough that even a hardline communist like James Connolly of the Hard Left Irish Socialist Republican Party put his signature to it.
The moral crisis facing republicans is simple - either they fully embrace the 1916 Proclamation and its clear references to God, or Sinn Fein must echo calls for a new Good Friday Agreement to kickstart devolution and have the courage to write a new secular Proclamation in 2018.
Either Sinn Fein keeps God, or dumps God. You cannot be an atheist Marxist republican and still pledge allegiance to Him! Republicans cannot support the overtly religious Holy Mother Ireland ethos of the Proclamation, yet back an anti-Christian pro-choice policy.
Since the early Seventies, Sinn Fein, the INLA and all the dissident republican factions have been making a mockery out of a core passage of the Proclamation.
The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all its parts …
So much for the Protestants slaughtered by the IRA at Tullyvallen and Kingmill, or butchered at Darkley Mission Hall by an INLA faction, and so much for all the women and children - including unborn twins - at Omagh.
And what about all the Catholics ‘disappeared’ over the years? Guarantees of ‘religious and civil liberty’ are now nothing but empty rhetoric and modern republicans are only making fools of themselves by swearing allegiance to the 1916 Proclamation.
It gets worse for the 21st century descendants of the Proclamation. It goes on: “We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God …” So much for Sinn Fein’s pro-choice stance.
When was the last time these so-called republicans attended a religious service where they genuinely prayed to God for protection?
How can republicans with a Christian faith support a party with a clear pro-choice stance? If a true republican believes in the ethos of the 1916 Proclamation, they must follow a pro-life agenda.
Perhaps forgiveness for the movement for the pain and suffering it has inflicted on the Irish nation would be a better sentiment to pray for?
And embarrassment for republicans just gets deeper with the Proclamation’s wording: “We pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice, inhumanity or rapine.”
Given the number of alleged sex abusers the republican movement has hidden or moved over the generations, the time has come for republicans to face a bitter truth.
Modern republican morals bear no resemblance to the ideals of the original Proclamation.
Either tear it up and start again in 2018, or get back to basics and return God to His proper place in republican thinking. Pearse was clearly pro-life, and wanted to protect the unborn child. His successors have a lot of soul searching to do.
Dr John Coulter has been a journalist working in Northern Ireland since 1978. As well as being a former weekly newspaper editor, he has served as Religious Affairs Correspondent of the News Letter and is a past Director of Operations for Christian Communication Network television. He currently also writes political analysis articles for national newspaper titles. He is author of the ebook, An Saise Glas’: The Road to National Republicanism, available on Amazon Kindle.