Whitewashing History by the Boyne

Discuss church-state separation issues that are relevant in Ireland.
FXR
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Whitewashing History by the Boyne

Post by FXR » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:31 am

Last Saturday driving on the N2 I passed a sign for "Battle of the Boyne, Oldenbridge Estate. Well I just had to check that out. When I arrived a woman, who turned out to be the tour guide came over and we had a nice little chat. I mentioned about the fact King Billy has since been discoered to have been backed by the Pope which she was aware of. Anyway she suggested I waited till 2.30 when a bus load of English tourists arrived.

She gave a very interesting talk about the battle. They have weapons and cannons set up and she demonstrated the difference between the flintlock and the matchlock musketes, the type of saddels etc. etc. She took questions from the group and even let everybody hold a cannonball.

Really interesting. I'm not sure how many millions the whole show is costing us but when its finished I'm sure it will be a big attraction.

But....theres always a but......believe it or not at no time during the hour and a half was there any mention, like none whatsoever of RELIGION!

She went into the backround of the conflict, politics in Europe at the time but left out completley the words: Pope, Catholic and Protestant.....

Its a bit like doing an hour long report on the Manchester United v Roma match and managing to leave out the names of the two teams.....
Last edited by FXR on Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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munsterdevil
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Post by munsterdevil » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:19 am

FXR said:
But....theres always a but......believe it or not at no time during the hour and a half was there any mention, like none whatsoever of RELIGION!

She went into the backround of the conflict, politics in Europe at the time but left out completley the words: Pope, Catholic and Protestant.....

Its a bit like doing an hour long report on the Manchester United v Roma match and managing to leave out the names of the two teams.....
Hmm strange alright it's probably all to do with this building bridges crack in the north, and being politically correct.

'politically correct'...sometimes I hate that term...
Ygern
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Post by Ygern » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:00 pm

Politically correct is only ok if you're avoiding derogatory language.

Otherwise it is mealy-mouthed cowardly obfuscation.
sharon
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Post by sharon » Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:25 pm

It is silly that the lecture didn't include the impact of religion on the conflict. It is part of the story of that event, and so many other events leading up to and from it. It would be possible to discuss what is known about religion and the battle in an historically accurate and even rather dispassionate way.

I agree with Ygern's point on political correctness.
FXR
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Post by FXR » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:15 pm

munsterdevil wrote:
Hmm strange alright it's probably all to do with this building bridges crack in the north, and being politically correct.

'politically correct'...sometimes I hate that term...
Maybe it is being "politically correct" but I'm not sure that covers it. This is not something I've run into on this occasion alone. I've noticed this over a number of years. The first time was in Kilmainham Jail where in the breakers yard they go through the details of all the executions without mentioning "British Army" once.

But it's not just here: In Avignon I did the tour of the Popes Palace.

Although the Papacy set up camp in Avignon for the best part of a hundred years the tour omits all the most important details. There is no mention of the torture chambers of the Inquisition although they are still under your feet. Neither is there any mention of the huge brothels that sprung up to service the clerics. The Pope's fifteen year old mistresses and the popes who suffered from syphilis are all deleted from the history books.
Go to Newgrange and there is a similar sanitised version of events. No mention of Dagda or MorRiogan or the fact that the shaft of light was supposed to signify Dagda's penis fertilising MorRiogan's womb. The word Pagan never comes up when the guides are waxing lyrical about the wonderful achievement it was to build the thing without modern tools. It makes you wonder is there more to the M3 controversy than meets the eye.

No wonder the human race is not getting any smarter by learning from its mistakes.
Human communication is a very rickety rope bridge between minds. Its too narrow to allow but a few thoughts to cross at a time. Many are lost in the chasms of noise, suspicion, misinterpretation and shooting the message through dislike of the messenger.
FXR
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Post by FXR » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:30 pm

sharon wrote:It is silly that the lecture didn't include the impact of religion on the conflict. It is part of the story of that event, and so many other events leading up to and from it. It would be possible to discuss what is known about religion and the battle in an historically accurate and even rather dispassionate way.

I agree with Ygern's point on political correctness.
The thing is also anyone with even a modicum of historical knowledge knows James was hounded off the throne precisely because of his religion.

I can see where a tour guide has to take into account that the lecture should be neutral. If your'e in the tour guide busisness you don't want to give any subjective opinons. I mean the idea is to have a pleasant afternoon not have one group of tourists bashing the shite out of each other by the end of the lecture. Of course the very nice woman who was giving the lecture did not write the script. That's why I kept stum and did'nt bring up some of the more salient facts when she took questions at the end.

On the other hand I can't imagine many people being so dumb on either side (or none) that they would not know the basic cause of the battle.

Imagine being from the North and not once hearing the words "Protestant or Catholic" in reference to the Battle of the Boyne.
Human communication is a very rickety rope bridge between minds. Its too narrow to allow but a few thoughts to cross at a time. Many are lost in the chasms of noise, suspicion, misinterpretation and shooting the message through dislike of the messenger.
cormac
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Post by cormac » Sun May 25, 2008 3:19 pm

FXR wrote:
sharon wrote:It is silly that the lecture didn't include the impact of religion on the conflict. It is part of the story of that event, and so many other events leading up to and from it. It would be possible to discuss what is known about religion and the battle in an historically accurate and even rather dispassionate way.

I agree with Ygern's point on political correctness.
The thing is also anyone with even a modicum of historical knowledge knows James was hounded off the throne precisely because of his religion.

I can see where a tour guide has to take into account that the lecture should be neutral. If your'e in the tour guide busisness you don't want to give any subjective opinons. I mean the idea is to have a pleasant afternoon not have one group of tourists bashing the shite out of each other by the end of the lecture. Of course the very nice woman who was giving the lecture did not write the script. That's why I kept stum and did'nt bring up some of the more salient facts when she took questions at the end.

On the other hand I can't imagine many people being so dumb on either side (or none) that they would not know the basic cause of the battle.

Imagine being from the North and not once hearing the words "Protestant or Catholic" in reference to the Battle of the Boyne.
Being honest, I think the Euro-political fundamentals underlying the whole conflict is more important.

The thing that annoys me is that NEITHER king would have been or was good for Ireland and Irish people. They were both foreign kings, with no particularly positive intention for Ireland's prosperity beyond their own immediate tactical needs.

The fact that this conflict was later stitched into a nonsense mythology to further a policy of divide and conquer is neither here nor there.

Any Irish patriot that laments James's defeat is an idiot.
egbrennan
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Post by egbrennan » Sun May 25, 2008 10:58 pm

I understand that there were more Catholics in the army of William than in that of James. From a historical perspective I don't think that religion was such a big deal. It was mostly about European machinations. I think I read that the Pope prayed for the sucees of the Williamites.

As for Newgrange, can you imagine the look on the face of the well-connected public servant wives if the tour guide described Dagda's penis going into whatsernames vagina!!! They'd have to have St John ambulance on standby.
FXR
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Post by FXR » Mon May 26, 2008 1:41 pm

egbrennan wrote: I understand that there were more Catholics in the army of William than in that of James. From a historical perspective I don't think that religion was such a big deal. It was mostly about European machinations. I think I read that the Pope prayed for the sucees of the Williamites.
I'm not saying religionism was the only factor at play. But it was one of the major factors to where leaving it is a major ommssion. What understanding of religion as politics would it give people to know that while Irish peasants were dying for the pope the same pope had financed the army they were fighting. Thats hardly an insignificant aspect of the conflict.
egbrennan wrote:As for Newgrange, can you imagine the look on the face of the well-connected public servant wives if the tour guide described Dagda's penis going into whatsernames vagina!!! They'd have to have St John ambulance on standby.
I brought that up during a tour. Ya should have seen the reaction. But that brings me right back to the same thing. Our understanding of how things are today is muffeled and misrepresented by sanitising the history of the past. Removing the hand of the CCL from the Battle of the Boyne or indeed Newgrange allows it to claim today that it's always been something it never was.
Human communication is a very rickety rope bridge between minds. Its too narrow to allow but a few thoughts to cross at a time. Many are lost in the chasms of noise, suspicion, misinterpretation and shooting the message through dislike of the messenger.
egbrennan
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Post by egbrennan » Thu May 29, 2008 12:00 am

FXR - [Quote] I'm not saying religionism was the only factor at play. But it was one of the major factors to where leaving it is a major ommssion. [quote]

I know what you mean. You would be right to expect someone to mention religion seeing as how the Ulster prods have been going on about it for several hundred years. (Maybe Bertie decided to try some agressive secularism and him and Ian decided that no-one should talk about religion in case it caused offence!!)

What I meant was that at a local level, it was a big religious issue, but at European level it was more related to the fight between the League of Augsburg and the French who were the ally of James II. It's a really interesting story if you like history.
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