Monday, March 25, 2013
26 + 6 = 1
On Saint Patrick's Day I wear ORANGE. Several people have commented about my lack of the "WEARING OF THE GREEN", which gives me the opportunity to tell them that one side of my family came from NORTHERN Ireland and that we are ORANGEMEN! (In a bit of chauvinism, I always choose Syracuse University as my favorite in March Madness because they are the "Orangemen"; just like the devotion of some others to Notre Dame's "The Fighting Irish".)
I beleive in a United Eire! For years I had a bumper sticker on my car reading "26 + 6 = 1" but only one person outside my family "got" its meaning! My brother asked, "When people don't get it, does it diminish your revolutionary fervor?"
A woman of my acquaintence who attends a local Evangelical church said that she was having a St. Patrick's Day party. I asked, "Isn't that against your religion?" She said, "What do you mean?" I didn't even mention the probability that there would be the consumption of alcoholic beverages at such a gathering, but I did comment, "Well, Saint Patrick was obviously CATHOLIC and you are obviously a Protestant." She seemed offended and answered tersely, "I'm not a Protestant, but I'm Irish." I asked, "From which county in Northern Ireland did your family originate?" She said she didn't know. I asked, "But don't you understand that your church, along with all the other sects, stem from the Protestant Reformation?" She seemed stunned. I asked, "Do you know the history of your church? It's an offshoot of another Protestant church." She said she did not know the history of her church and she was surprised that I did. I asked, with some incredulity, "You joined a church without knowing its history?"
On Facebook, on Saint Patrick'sDay, I was amused to see numerous St. Patrick's Day messages and all were from non-Catholics. My brother said, "Everybody's Irish on St. Paddy's Day!" See the message from THE WISE GEEK:
The number of Americans who report having Irish ancestry is seven times larger than the total population of Ireland.
About 11%, or 35 million out of about 310 million, Americans claim Irish ancestry, according to 2011 US Census data. Ireland's total population is about 4.6 million citizens, which means that the US has more than 7 times more people of Irish heritage than Ireland. These numbers were split rather evenly between both men and women and across a fairly wide range of age groups and levels of education. The large number of Irish-Americans may be traced back to the country's wave of Irish immigration experienced in the mid 1800s.