Letters to the Editor

Had Luther adhered to Church's core teaching history would be different

Rev McIntyre’s letter (June 11) surprisingly begins with the statement that the history of beautiful Geneva bet turns up the conflicts of the Reformation.

The reality is very different. Calvin turned Geneva into a virtual open air prison in pursuit of his now abandoned theology, predestination and salvation of the elect only.

He describes before the Reformation as the dark ages, a time of oppression and ignorance when a bloated Church was more concerned with power and possessions than the souls of the  people.

This is diametrically at variance with the facts. For more than 1,400 years before Reformation the Church had brought Christianity to every corner of Europe and brought with it Greek and Roman culture civilising barbarian tribes that overran Europe at the beginning of the fifth century.  

He mentions spiritual neglect of the peasants. Little did Luther care about the peasants whose living conditions at the time were wretched.
He told them the pope was not a solution to their problems but the cause and encouraged them to rebel. With Church lands now in the hands of the new Protestant princes it could no longer help. Realising they had been duped in 1524 they rebelled.

Diarmaid MacCulloch, professor of Church history at Oxford, in his book Reformation Europe’s House Divided 14901700  he says Luther realising without his Reformation rebellion would never have happened admonished rulers and peasants in 1525 to seek peace.

A month later Luther changed his mind and called for the destruction of peasants. More than 100,000 were slaughtered. MacCulloch says Luther, champion of the ordinary Christian, had become an apologist for official savagery.

Rev McIntyre quotes from Luther’s notorious treatise of 1520, Babylonian Captivity of the Church, in which he made a virulent attack on Church and priesthood. Many similar diatribes were to follow.

In 1543 Luther turned his venom on the Jews. In retribution for their killing of Christ he called for their destruction in Germany.  Luther sowed the seeds of German nationalism and anti-semitism which brought catastrophe and the loss of millions of lives in 20th century Europe.
MacCulloch states that Luther’s writing in 1543 was a blueprint for Kristallnacht 1938.

Had Luther, when he broke with the Church, taken with him those virtues which are at the very core of Catholic teaching, namely love God love neighbour, forgiveness of our enemies and never to judge others we might have had a ‘softer’ Reformation and the history of the last 500 years very different.

Newcastle, Co Down 


‘Glorious Twelfth’ leaves streets and community relations in tatters

One of the reasons for unionism rejecting an Irish language act was that it would be perceived to be culturally dominant and an imposition. One wonders then if there has been ‘an Orange Order act’, given the fact that a public holiday is given to watch this spectacle. Factories and offices are forced to take their holidays in the ‘Twelfth Fortnight’ and we have to witness a reduction in bus and transport services and have difficulty in travelling anywhere. All this before the fact that the Orange Order seek to march wherever they are not wanted. Roads are blocked and police overtime is increased and all without cost to this loyal order. The same treatment is not visited on community or street events or police wages paid for by the order as in other parts of UK.
Here we have  unionist politicians walking behind paramilitary bands and banners glorifying their deeds. Last year we were treated to the face of Wesley Somerville, arch-UVF terrorist, on one large drum at “the biggest Orange parade in the world” in Co Armagh.
Then we have the pre-Twelfth carnage of damage paid for by the taxpayer, while drunken loyalists burn emblems, posters, flags and religious images.
Of course we have the wonderful Twelfth of July parades where followers chase after bands, street drinking and leaving litter and garbage to be collected at taxpayers’ expense. It is all about claiming superiority over their Catholic neighbours and believing they can do as they want.
Their banners celebrate the Boyne as religious liberty while the Penal Laws came within a decade of it.
They boast of Dolly’s Brae as a victory where a  disabled child and an old woman were murdered, glorify the B-Specials and its history of sectarian rampage from 1920 and 50 years after. They carry banners saluting the Empire and all its evils and then travel home  leaving the streets and community relations in tatters.

Belfast BT11


Fluoridation is old technology

I read the article ‘Ask your dentist:  It’s time we added fluoride to drinking water in Northern Ireland.’ (July 4).

The biggest fall in tooth decay is in non-fluoridated Scandinavia. Medication should be prescribed individually, not given to whole communities with no control over dosage received.  The chemical used in water fluoridation is fluorosilicic acid. It’s contaminated with arsenic, mercury and lead etc. It isn’t pharmaceutical grade – unlike that used in toothpaste. Leading paediatrician, Philip J Landrigan, and Professor Philippe Grandjean at Harvard School of Public Health, reported in The Lancet medical journal that after looking at 27 studies, they’ve classified fluoride as a “developmental neurotoxin” (nerve poison) which can harm children’s IQ. Scotland has greatly cut tooth decay with its ‘ChildSmile’ scheme where young children clean their teeth properly each day in school. Simple, effective, safe and cheap. Fluoridation is old technology, as only 1 per cent of tap water is drunk – most of the water supply is used for washing and by industry, so is mainly public money down the drain.   

Ruislip, Middlesex


Lacking  leadership

Did political leadership die with Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness’s death? Martin brought about revolutionary change in this society because he was a man of action that republicans would follow, and did. He was a thinker, a doer and an achiever as history reveals and even his enemies would admit to that, which is some accomplishment in his life time.

If Martin had been alive, he would have united the politicians and the communities and got the medical cannabis for Billy Caldwell. Billy’s mother was fighting to save her son’s life by getting him a drug that she knew worked. Every legal drug you take has the potential to harm you. Billy was taking the drug and his mother knew it was doing him more good than harm.

Draperstown, Co Derry


Expression of gratitude

I was recently in Culmore Manor in Derry for seven weeks and I wanted to express my gratitude to all the staff who work there. I could not fault the care I received. I want to let people know that what happened in Dunmurry Manor is not common place in the nursing home sector. People who need to go into a nursing home should not be afraid. The care that I received was the best.

I also want to thank the staff of Culmore Manor for all the care they gave me during my stay.

Derry City

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