Do you, like me, grow sick and tired of the parades issue? Or issues, since they never seem to end? I, for the life of me, personally, couldn’t care less if a lodge or band march or don’t march, nor if any residents anywhere manage to stop a parade, or not!

I remember one of the years we managed to escape the silly season and went camping on the west coast, but cut it short due to a gale force 8 Atlantic storm. On the way home, we turned on the radio to hear the news before we crossed the border. It was the height of the Drumcree fiasco, and we heard how tensions had escalated to the point that somebody had set fire to a house in which some Roman Catholics lived, resulting in the deaths of two young boys. NOTHING, NO ARGUMENT, NO ‘DEFENDING OF RIGHTS’ is worth a human life. For me, the issue of Drumcree was beyond arguing, by either side then.

Though I do take issue with believers who are caught up in this. There are some members of the Orange Order who declare their evangelical stance openly, as they should. In ‘standing up for their rights’, what does our Lord have to say to them?

“But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”

– Matthew 5:39-41

 Excuse me? What was that again? Did He really say that? If we are facing an enemy who wants us to go a mile down a road, any road, we are not only to go that way, but to double it and go further!? Is this not clear enough? I can already hear the voices saying, “so we’ve to let these Republicans win? We’ve to just give in to them, surrender? After all the years of hard work we’ve done?” Emm, it seems that way, doesn’t it? Don’t start arguing with me, take it up with Jesus Himself, please.

‘Not my will, but yours, Lord, be done’ – is that not what we pray? Do we mean it?

Grace be with you.

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