Bagpipes and drums. River dancers. And plenty of green, from shamrocks and clothing to beer and the Chicago River.
These are all associated with the day of the year when almost everyone, regardless of race, heritage or religion wants to be Irish.
And apparently every orientation also wants in on the Irish thing, though one group is insisting on adding a big dab of pink to the Irish green, white and orange tricolor.
St. Patrick’s Day in America has turned (or rather devolved) into a beer-soaked national quasi-Mardi Gras.
Louisiana and southern Alabama are probably the only parts of the country where March 17th isn’t the biggest party day on the calendar, relegating its status is that of a Lenten after-party.
But leave it to the left and their corporate confederates to inject politics into the fun time.
Citing its self-proclaimed longstanding support for “diversity and being an advocate for equality for all,” Guinness, the beer brand most closely associated with the Emerald Isle, yanked its involvement with the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade due to the organizer’s “policy of exclusion.”
And what was the parade coordinator Ancient Order of the Hibernians’ anti-gay policy?
Was it, as the Huffington Post implied in their “headlie,” “an anti-gay New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade?” Were people questioned about their sexuality and gays stopped from participating?
Homosexuals were welcome to take part however they were prohibited from carrying signs or paraphernalia that identified themselves as gay.
The Ancient Order of the Hibernians chose to make their parade about “Irishness,” as Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny contended, and not sexuality.
In other words they didn’t want their St. Patrick’s Day Parade being turned into a “Pride Parade”. Hardly an unreasonable request. Unless of course one does not respect freedom of association and Christianity.
Heineken, a Dutch beer, also pulled out of their parade sponsorship in New York City while local brewer Sam Adams bailed out of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade because the organizers there have a similar policy about marchers calling attention to being gay.
It should surprise nobody that New York’s leading political activist/mayor Bill de Blasio decided to boycott one of his city’s signature events because of the parade’s refusal to transform itself into a celebration of a lifestyle that runs counter to the teachings of Roman Catholicism, the predominant faith of Ireland.
Why must every social act, including one with a strong Roman Catholic connection, make a visible demonstration celebrating homosexuality?
Will communities now have to make room for “a gay elves marching group” in Christmas parades?
Prior to the Guinness withdrawal, gay activists were planning on dumping the beer brand from the shelves of the Stonewell Inn, an iconic establishment in the American gay community. But now that the gay activists have been appeased, their attention can be focused on the Ford Motor Company, which stood by their sponsorship of the New York parade.
Regardless of one’s religious or moral view of homosexuality, it’s a civically unhealthy trend for another segment of the American population to define themselves as separate and apart from the general public. With the distinction inevitably follows embracing the “victim status” that is a trait of every group that opts to secede from the society at large.
Though three major beer companies tried to pressure the respective parade organizers with the threat of withdrawals, the parades rolled forward. The “celebrate homosexuality or else” crowd can crow that they bent the beer barons to their will though the end result was a triumph for the parade organizers and for the freedoms of conscience and association. Some things can’t be bought.
The Ancient Order of the Hibernians proved that their values are not for sale, or in this case, leased for a day.
And to be frank, it’s not a bad thing that the alcohol content of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been lowered, even if by external and coercive forces.
There’s more to the rich Irish culture than generous consumption of beer and the negative (albeit popular) stereotype of the Irish as a drunken people. Also March 17th is a religious feast day that celebrates the life of a Briton (St. Patrick was not Irish) who spread the Christian faith across the land where he once toiled as a slave.
Heaven forbid a parade named for a Roman Catholic missionary attempts to conform to the faith he introduced thousands of Irish to via baptisms and spread through the ordination of priests.
I hope the pro-gay agenda corporatists at Sam Adams, Heinekin and Guinness are aware that boycotts go both ways and that their profit margins get whacked with a shillelagh for their values bullying.