Queen And Sinn Fein Deputy Advance Uk-irish Reconciliation

 This is Sinn Fein candidate Sam Simpson's review of The Cowshed Revolution from the Irish Republic:
'I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It sounded to the deep within my own soul regarding the message of Christ as it applies to Christian community in our time and place.
My interpretation of history and politics would obviously differ at times.
From my very limited knowledge of church history, I believe the Protestant traditions have committed and created as many errors and stumbling blocks as the Orthodox and Catholic traditions, although often far more subtle.
The sacred and central theme of Grace has often been tragically distorted and
lost just as much in' Protestantism' I think, perhaps because the Mystery of
God has been lost in the profusion of prescriptive doctrine.
Among these, an undue emphasis on thrift, cleanliness, the work ethic and the rise of a 'Romanesque Anglo-commerce' have largely been responsible for the rise of our modern materialistic, industrialised, technology-addicted and atomised society - This is, I believe, the elephant in the room of our Judaeo-christian heritage.
I think your book accurately and (sufficiently) radically addresses this issue,
with an excellent theological, good historical and very good intellectual proposa for re-alignmentl - of course, I have always shared your belief that the Celtic model offers a prophetic blueprint for our time.
However, I do not share your sentimental attachment to the 'Union Jack' flag.
There never was a legitimate and consensual 'union' - rather a rape of the weak by the strong.The 'union flag' is an outdated, imperialistic remnant of a racist and violent assault on weaker nations - like the nazi emblem, it should be consigned to the dustbin!!'
Today the UK's constitutional monarch meets Northern Ireland's Sin Fein Deputy First Minister as part of the historic  reconciliation process. Some Sinn Fein supporters say he should never shake the Queen's hand, for reasons similar to those expressed in Sam Simpson's review.  Is this an argument about what to bin and what to redeem?  And about whether, even if the other side is 99% wrong, one's own side is just 1% wrong, we should take the first step?

Posted at 04:59am on 27th June 2012
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