Northern Ireland

10 Nov

A weekend has past since our recent trip to Northern Ireland, and I still can’t get some of the images out of my mind. I knew in my head what I would see there, but did not know the impact it would have on me. Not to say that the North was a rural and devastated place, but it did have a very unique feel that I’m not so sure I liked. If I could describe the “vibe” of the country, it felt like a third world society in a first world country. The walls that still separate people of different religions in Belfast was sobering to see. As we learned, there has definitely been progress towards peace and restoration, but that time will not fully come until those walls are torn down; and right now, tearing down the walls could endanger the people in the community.
To me, the saddest truth of it all, is that all the fighting and distrust is in the name of Christianity. Although it is about much more than that now, the core of it roots from that place. Being a Christian myself, I hate that in a religion where we are told to love our neighbors and pray for those who persecute us, there are so many who don’t adhere to these fundamental truths. Take the crusades, for example. They slaughtered thousands of people, all in the name of God. As for the case in Northern Ireland, although both sides are Christian, the simple label of Catholic and Protestant has torn apart an entire society and led to deaths that could have been avoided. Where is the love in that?
Although I am so glad we went to Northern Ireland and there were so lovely and breathtaking, the societal, political, and religious strife there made it a place I probably would not go back to.

Sydney Findley

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