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Kiss Me I’m Irish

by John on 03/14/2013

 

You’ve seen the Kiss Me I’m Irish pins.  It looks like a campaign button.  And maybe it should be a campaign.

Because after reading this book – How The Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe by Thomas Cahill – you should kiss someone who is Irish and tank them.  (Yes, I purposely wrote “tank” instead of “thank” to be more Irish.  Aye, I am wee bit prejudice here.)

This is a fun read for St. Patrick’s Day while you snuggle up to a shot of Jamieson’s and some Shepherd’s Pie.

Sure it is a gallop through the Dark Ages of European History.  But Cahill makes it interesting and fun.

Can some scholars refute his claims?  Sure.

  • For instance, he claims that Irish monks founded the works of the early Roman Catholic Church, along with the literature of ancient Greece and Rome, and transcribed them as Rome fell.  These works were not spread again until the Middle Ages centuries later.
  • Irish monks, starting with St. Patrick, were the ones who actually spread the word of the Gospel of Jesus to England.  Yes, the Irish made England Christian and Catholic.  Couldn’t someone have told Cromwell that?  I better Mary Queen of Scots would have loved that info.
  • Early Irish Catholicism allowed for people to have 1-year trial marriages.  It was like a matrimonial test-drive.  In other words, you could get out of the marriage after one year.  It stopped when Roman scholars in later years denounced it.  In fact, a lot of what the Irish believed was abandoned when the Roman scholars came back and purified the religion.  Still, some scholars refute this marriage-testing claim of Cahill’s.  I see some great advantages to this law today, but I know plenty of guys who would abuse it.
  • The same is true for priests marrying.  There is enough evidence that priests were ordered to celibacy centuries after Jesus walked the earth.  In Ireland monks had wives at some point.  My friend, Acharya S, has written a great book I highly recommend as well, “The Greatest Story Ever Sold” which brilliantly explains the economic reasons of why celibacy was enacted and its effect on the Church today.
  • And it seems that early Irish traditions were more conciliatory to women.  Irish society was still patriarchal, but Irish women were queens and even St. Brigid ran her own monastery.  And Cahill points out that Irish literature had women as witty, sharp-tongue, and not backing down from their male counterparts.  So when that sweet Irish lass tells you, “to bugger off” realize it is in her genes.

Now just imagine if the Irish had prevailed over the Church of Rome how delightful things would be.

I am all puckered up and ready.  Lay a big wet one on me.

Happy St. Patty’s Day.

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