A Personal View On Religious Differences
Today sees a guest article from SOLKITTS. Read on,and maybe it should be read by some of the high heid yins elsewhere too.
A lot has been said over the years by a lot of people, trying to rationalise how religion has become part of our national game. We are all caught up in this if we are Scottish, especially so if we hail from the west of Scotland, and even more so if we have Irish Catholic roots.
I fit 2 of these criteria.
I am Scottish and from the West of Scotland, I have no Irish or Catholic roots. I attended the local non-denominational Academy, separated from BMCUWP’s Academy by the length of a playing field
There was less than a mile between these 2 schools, but in the 1970s it may as well have been 1000.
I have to say that at that time I was not interested in club football. Sure, I loved the game, but I detested the baggage that went with it. I have vivid recollections of a classmate leading the class of 15 year olds in a chorus of the Billy Boys, and being shocked when a teacher came into the classroom and joined in. There were a few of us who wouldn’t join the hatefest, and this led to a festering resentment from those who did.
Now, anyone who knows me will be aware that I don’t follow the crowd just for an easier life.
Unfortunately, not everyone is able to resist and ends up in the chorus, initially singing the songs just to fit in, then becoming part of the gang and part of the problem.
The Catholic school were largely viewed as the enemy, through fear of the unknown. RE in our school was delivered by a Metalwork teacher (!) and consisted of an hour a week of being told that Catholics were different from “us”, although no explanation of this difference was ever given. Despite the close proximity of the other school, we had no contact with them other than the occasional fight in the playing field between the two.
I reckon somewhere over 90% of kids left my school with a WATP mentality. Kids were taught to follow follow Rangers, anyone who had the temerity to support Celtic were viewed as turncoats, traitors, and treated as such by the mob.
It all changed for me when, in 6th year, a new pupil came to our school, a Catholic lad who for whatever reason was not allowed to attend the local Catholic school. I don’t remember why, I just remember thinking that he seemed like a decent person, not like the monsters our Billy Boys singing morons and some teachers would have us believe inhabited the other place across the field.
In that final year of school, he was one of my best mates.
I’ve been out of the school environment for 42 years, and it saddens me that a supposedly enlightened country like Scotland still has this hatred running through it. I have no idea what happens in Catholic schools, whether the hate is reciprocated. All I can do is make judgement based on personal experience.
My best mate for the last 40 years is Catholic. A number of my family are Catholic (and this from a family where my grandfather refused to attend his son’s wedding because he was marrying a Catholic girl). Maybe my generation of the family rebelled against this attitude and bigotry because we knew it was wrong.
Sadly, this attitude clearly still holds sway in too many families in Scotland.
I moved my family to Essex when my kids were very young, ostensibly for work reasons, but with the additional benefit that they would not be exposed to the hatred I experienced at school, against people who became friends and relatives, by mindless morons.
And then Saturday,wow-yet I saw that there are people blaming Catholic schools for the “sectarian” problems in Scotland. I suggest they need to think back on their own school experience, to the constant bigotry of their classmates, the “join in or suffer the consequences” mantra. Had they shown the moral fortitude to say ENOUGH ALREADY while at school, they maybe wouldn’t be carrying their bigotry into adult life and then passing it onto their offspring.
So, maybe Catholic schools are the problem, but I very much doubt it. From my experience, the non-denominational Protestant schools need to take a long hard look at themselves and find a way of breaking the chain of hatred, bigotry and racism. Frankly, unless something has drastically changed, I don’t believe they’re trying.
Above article from SOLKITTS. Gratefully received,with a number of reasons stated why Scotland as a country has a whole lot of thinking-and growing up-to do.