God and the Gun: The Church and Irish Terrorism by Martin Dillon. Hardcover book published by Orion 1997.
I’m constantly amazed at what people have done and still do in the name of religion. Whether it’s smashing planes into buildings, blowing up hotels or the blessing of Nazi soldiers by the Pope*, religion often seems to be doing the nastiest of things supposedly in the name of god. Northern Ireland as we are all aware was/is no exception with both sides of the conflict advocating and doing nasty things. I’m sure there are lots of representatives from both sides who don’t do nasty things, but enough do that a book could be written about it.
It was published in 1997, a few years before the current terrorist mayhem that seems to have affected us all to varying degrees. Even this humble bookseller has been affected by tightened security on international mail after some idiot in Yemen tried to send a bomb filled photocopier toner cartridge to the US (increased security means increased pricing on postage… which means less overseas sales). In 1997 Irish terrorism was mainly confined to Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom and I’m not aware of The Troubles causing us any problems here in Australia. But times have changed and contemporary terrorism, wherever it is, seems to cause us all lots of problems.
I don’t want to get too political or get bogged down in religious issues that I know very little about, but it is important to remember that terrorism is often often used in the name of religions. Not just one religion. This book whilst a few years old is a good reminder of this… that is, if we need reminding.
*There are many other bad things done in the name of religions and by their representatives… I probably didn’t need to write that, but if this does shock you, you probably shouldn’t read this blog entry.