Monday 23 September 2019

Letters to the Editor: I too refused to wear a poppy as it’s been hijacked for a political agenda

Stoke City’s James McClean is continually attacked for not wearing a poppy
Stoke City’s James McClean is continually attacked for not wearing a poppy
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

I lived and worked in England for a number of years. I had a good job, good friends and a good life, but every November I felt the oppression of an obligation to wear the poppy.

The poppy has become an emblem for more than just remembering the brave men and women of two world wars. Somehow the self-righteous have to exploit it to further their campaign.

Refusal to wear it is seen as bigoted, disrespectful and ungrateful.

I refused to wear it not out of republican belief, or spite; but merely out of respect for freedom of choice. But also with a conscientious mind. I could not, as an Irish woman, support a cause which inexplicably supports the British army, which then patrolled Northern Ireland without cause.

I stood under the famous gates to the concentration camp at Auschwitz, rendering 'Arbeit macht frei', and I still shudder to think of the magnitude of hate and death that is contained there.

So, yes, I do understand the importance of those who gave their lives for us. Without the acts of these brave men and women, I do not know where we would be.

They should be commended, and I, like so many, choose to support them, but in other ways.

My refusal to wear the poppy, like James McClean, is not meant to be vicious, ignorant or immoral, it is merely a choice, the freedom of which was protected by those who fought.

The fact that James McClean is still being attacked for his choice says more about football fans than him.

Where is the respect for his rights in the argument?

The problem with the poppy is that now its identity is no longer just tied to honouring war heroes, but it is also used to further political agendas.

James McClean is not the first nor will he be the last to refuse to wear the poppy.

I know several English citizens who also refuse to wear it.

Julie Bennett

Mountrath, Co Laois

In the blame game, it's better the devil you know

I thank John Williams for his support (Irish Independent, Letters, November 5) for the proposition that abuse by the clergy is not the Devil's work but is the sole responsibility of the abusers and those who cover up for them.

John carries on to postulate that if the Devil indeed is the ruler of the Earth, he is not doing a great job and should be shown the door.

John has my total support, in principle, but I would remind him of the last words of Voltaire when urged by a priest to renounce Satan before he died, to which he replied: "Now is not the time to start making enemies."

Good luck, John, I'm right behind you, in spirit.

Harry Charalambou

Muswell Hill, London

We cannot allow abortion on grounds of disability

We are families of children with disabilities, or people living with a disability, and we are asking Simon Harris to amend the abortion bill to ensure that abortion on disability grounds is outlawed in Ireland.

We are asking that the bill be amended by adding this head to the current proposal: "A procedure to terminate a pregnancy shall be unlawful if carried out solely on the ground that the foetus is diagnosed as having or is apprehended as having a disability."

Speaking at the Citizens' Assembly, Dr Peter McParland, of the National Maternity Hospital, observed that not one baby with Down syndrome had been born in Iceland over a four-year period.

In Germany, the law does not specify that abortion can be carried out on the grounds of a disability, but, just as in the current proposal, neither is it outlawed. More than 90pc of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in Germany are aborted on grounds of a threat to the mental health of the woman, and a similar clause is also included in the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill.

This trend is not confined to babies diagnosed with Down syndrome. Three studies examining abortion after a prognosis of spina bifida showed that between 66pc and 78pc of babies were aborted across Europe, while studies also suggest that 47pc of babies diagnosed with congenital heart disease have their lives ended by abortion.

Surely, as a compassionate, progressive nation, these heart-breaking outcomes should give us pause? We have yet to hear one valid reason as to why the amendment we propose should not be included.

Vicky Wall

Address with editor

Our new 'caring' society is storing up untold trouble

In castigating the atrocious failings of our quite recent past, the champions of 'liberated' New Ireland constantly claim that a more caring and compassionate society has emerged from a darker age.

Yet the culture in which its social mores are sourced is producing constant media reportage of suicides, alcoholism, obesity and serious assaults, often sex-related and increasingly involving adolescents, and in all probability exacerbated by easily accessible pornographic viewing material.

Broken relationships and single-parent families leave young mothers, in particular, and their offspring in vulnerable dependency, and often with unsupported futures. The real extent of the impending introduction of abortion and euthanasia regimes is inevitably obscured in modernistic double-speak.

Do the vociferous proponents of modernism care about the stomach-churning foreboding of the frailer aged, as they fear 'compassionately' insisted demise, as is already in vogue in other 'caring' European countries?

Do they care about the imminent threat to the lives of the unborn - those of their own direct lineage quite possibly included - and the often noted psychological effects to their mothers in an abortion culture similar to those in Europe, the US, Canada, Japan and the UK?

All are portents of a hidden agony engulfing modern Ireland.

Do the promoters of 'caring' and 'compassionate' New Ireland care a whit for these growing segments of Irish people who endure long-term as a direct consequence of a permissiveness, masquerading as liberalism, which pervades and taints the culture of modernistic humanism?

Colm Ó Tórna


Irish Independent

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