Like Black Church, St. Patrick’s Day Parades Are Anti-Gay

saint patrick's day parade

And like my ancestors of the African diaspora, the Irish were once slaves a.k.a. “Indentured Servants”, and bound for the Americas by the British. King James II and Charles I enslaved them by selling 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves, making Ireland, as was done with Africa, a huge source of human livestock. The forced interbreeding of Irish females with African males was widespread on British plantations in the Caribbean and U.S. until it was outlawed in 1681, giving birth to anti-miscegenation laws.

As a matter of fact, the Irish didn’t become “white” in America until they fully participated in the wave of anti-black violence that swept the country in the 1830s and 1840s, where unskilled Irish men competed with free African Americans for jobs.

So I ask, what would St. Patrick do in this situation?

He would unquestionably welcome Irish LGBTQ, especially in a parade named after him.

St. Patrick was a man who used his experience of struggle to effect change.

As a 5th century English missionary to Ireland, St. Patrick was born in 387 and died on March 17, 461 AD. He was taken prisoner by a group of raiders attacking his family’s estate that transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity.

Rev. Irene MonroeAfter six years as a prisoner, St. Patrick escaped, but returned to Ireland as a missionary to convert them to Christianity. As a priest, he incorporated traditional Irish rituals rather than eradicating their native beliefs. St. Patrick used bonfires to celebrate Easter since they honored their gods with fire, and he superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what we now know as the Celtic cross.

While many parade officials may think they are honoring the St. Patrick’s Day tradition by excluding its LGBTQ communities, like the Black Church, they will only be dishonoring themselves.

And, truth be told, no one knows how to throw a party or put on a parade like the LGBTQ community.

Rev. Irene Monroe

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Comments

  1. Annette says

    The reason why minority churches continue to hurt LGBT citizens is because fear and hatred are enormously profitable for the churches. Preaching about how god hates gays makes church members pony up the donations. Scaring people by saying the gays will teach homosexuality in the schools makes people vote for anti-gay politicians. And telling people that you’ll “fight for marriage” by keeping gays and lesbians out of it makes millions of people donate money to political groups that hurt same-sex couples.

    The anti-gay money-maker is nothing new. Gays were tortured and murdered by the Catholic church for millennia, and the church became very, very rich by stealing the property of those they murdered, many of whom were gay or lesbian. Today, anti-gay political initiatives are a huge fundraiser and Get Out The Vote strategy for the right wing. Homophobia is a classic tool the GOPs uses to rile up their base.

    Maryland’s black churches just squelched and attempt to give civil unions to same-sex couples. The Baptist Press said that the opposition was from predominantly black churches, as well as from the Maryland Catholic Conference: “Democrats hold a 98-43 advantage over Republicans in the House, but a third (34) of the Democrats belong to the legislative black caucus.”

    It’s not just the black churches that strike out against equal rights. The Hispanic Pastoral Association of Rhode Island brought 5,500 signatures on a petition asking legislators to vote no on gay marriage there.

    Chris Plante said, “What really turned the tide for us in the Senate hearings was the Hispanic church.”

    Most people across the nation accept their LGBT neighbors, friends and relatives. The problem is, not enough straight people are motivated enough to demand change. You often hear progressives and liberals say they have lots of gay friends and associates and they think same sex couples should be allowed to marry. But how many of those enlightened people actually work for equal rights for their LGBT friends and relatives? Homophobes against gay marriage are actively blocking equality, while those who accept and respect same-sex relationships stand by and do nothing to further the cause of equality, not even to try to stop the hateful attacks on LGBT people. Because the left wing hasn’t moved forward to secure equal rights for gays, we’ve let the right wing use it as a fundraiser and Get Out The Vote strategy for electing anti-progressive politicians. If we simply demand that the federal government abide by the constitutional guarantees of privacy, liberty and equal protection, we could solve this issue once and for all. By doing nothing, liberals are leaving the issue of gay rights to those who prevent equality. We ignore it at our own peril.

    C’mon heterosexuals, stand up for equality! Join the Straight But Not Narrow club. It took white people to end slavery in this country, and it’s going to take straight people to ensure equal rights for lesbian and gay families.

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