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Why I’m Wearing Orange on St. Patrick’s Day

| 63 Comments

I’m not Irish yet I’m wearing orange for St. Patrick’s Day. Why?

I’m Protestant.

Orange is symbolic of Irish Protestants while green is symbolic of Irish Catholics. On the Irish flag, there is an orange stripe, a green stripe and a white stripe.

The green is for the Catholics, orange for the Protestants,  and white is for the hope of peace between the two. You can read more about this tradition here.

Now what about St. Patrick? He’s famous for running the snakes out of Ireland, right? Nope. He was an evangelist. (Read about him here.)

My friend Paul Latour, of The Word Street Journal, asked people about St. Patrick at a recent Canadian St. Patrick’s Day Parade. See what they said in this entertaining video below.

Last chance to download your St. Patrick’s Day tracts here.

63 Comments

  1. To taunt the Irish wearing green?

  2. Because you have a second job at Orange Julius and today is YOUR day to dress up in the giant orange costume and stand on a corner and promote Orange Julius?

  3. Hi Steve,

    It’s a nice idea, if you’re a Protestant. It’s not such a good idea though if you want to stir up sectarian hatred. Wearing orange is fine, and no Irish person would object, but have you ever heard of the Orange Order up in the North? They march every year, and proudly show of their “Protestantness”, much to the anger of many Catholics.

    Their has been centuries of violence because of the Protestant/Catholic divide, and sadly it was the “Christian” Protestants in England who treated my forefathers so badly, and basically let them starve during the Great Famine.

    It doesn’t bother me, I know what you mean by the gesture, and I ma no longer a Catholic. Neither am I a Protestant for that matter, but if you want to reach my fellow countrymen, I would suggets something neutral… like white. Which is what the white stands for.

    God bless you Steve as you continue to reach more souls for our Saviour, who the Saviour of all who call upon His name for salvation; whether they be Catholic or Protestant.

  4. The “green” represents Catholics/”orange” represents Protestants is a simplistic & incomplete dichotomy. Being from Ireland myself and knowing the historical struggle fairly well, my understanding is that “green” represents the gaelic/celtic/irish people that inhabited the land of Ireland since about the 2nd century B.C. and “orange” represents the English/Scottish settlers who displaced the irish people from the area known as Northern Ireland.
    Religion — though often emphasized — has little to do with the real stuggle. The reason the Irish are primarily catholic is because the invader/occupation (British) converted to protestantism at the time of the reformation. In other words, the irish (green), did not convert because this would have been seen as becoming culturally British. If the English went left, the Irish went right. Cultural resistance unfortunately let the Irish to cling to their Catholicism as a symbol of they national identity. Thus, Irish became synonymous with catholic and orange synonymous with being loyal to Britain.
    I am Irish (green) and yet I also identify with the Protestant tradition. I do not identify myself as a British loyalist (orange) who happen to be primarily protestant.
    To give you a historical example of how a person can be both “green” and protestant, i cite the Irish Rebellion of 1798. In this particular rebellion against British occupation, a society known as the United Irishmen, led mainly by protestants led the charge. These revolutionaries carried “green” flags to their deaths, side by side, with catholics because they believed in a united, independent Ireland where there could be freedom of religion like in the good ol’ USA.
    Sadly, the Irish Revolution was thwarted and being Irish was once again made synonymous with being Catholic in order to keep protestants loyal to Great Britain.
    I suppose all that is to say that one does not have to be Catholic in order to be Irish (green). Just like one doesn’t have to be a Calvinist in order to be an American. Your nationality is your nationality regardless of your denomination.

    What you said in your post is sort of like saying that you can be a redcoat and an American. Haha. No big deal, bro. Just thought I’d point it out.

  5. Thanks Dave and Karl for some historical perspective from two fine Irishmen!

    By the way, I’m one third British (the other thirds: Spanish and Welsh), so orange will still work for me. No politics involved on this end, bros!

    EDIT: In other words, I’m 1/3 British, 1/3 Spanish, 1/3 Welsh. I have the darnedest time with my fractions!

  6. Yeah, no one cares that much about it here anyway. However, I would advise going to certain parts of Ireland wearing orange on St. Paddy’s Day. 🙂

  7. That’s a great video Paul!!!

  8. Wasn’t St. Patrick English? I thought he was abducted by Irish slavers and kept in Ireland as a slave for 6 years before escaping.

    He eventually returned as evangelist, as you said Steve, but I thought that was his background?

    Perhaps our Irish history buffs could enlighten us?

    Either way – I had an awesome time last night….

    Steve,

    Only three grandparents, eh? I knew there was something special about you… 🙂

  9. Steve,

    That would make you one half Spanish, one quarter English, and one quarter Welsh.

  10. Aaaaaand suddenly I’m beginning to understand Steve’s problem with evolution.

  11. So you’re half British, half Spanish.

    Your British half is half Welsh, half English.

    No thirds involved!

    You do know that England and Wales are countries within Britain, right?

    Cheers,

  12. I use to wear orange also. This year as I re-visited this whole “American Love Affair” with St. Patick’s day, I realized I had forgotten there are three colors on the Irish flag, green, orange, and white. White represents the plea for peace between the two. I wore white this year.

  13. Steve wrote:

    Still don’t agree with understand evolution….

    Fixed that for you. Happy to help.

    Steve, given what you’ve described of your understanding of evolution, besides when you finally understood that it doesn’t deal with the origin of life, please understand that it’s difficult to take you seriously when you say that you don’t agree with something that you obviously have never learned about.

    Also, your use of the words “agree with” is… strange. It’s certainly not something I would say or write.

    What I would say or write is, “the math makes me accept it as the best explanation”.

  14. For example, what are three things that you disagree with regarding evolution, that are actual claims by the theory?

    No made-up claims allowed. 🙂

    (Hint: if you plan on using the word “chance”, I would say that’s not a good idea.)

  15. Ugh, I think I came across more negatively than I intended with the second-to-last comment.

    I apologize for the tone of that, Steve.

  16. I was born 100 percent human with a 100 percent sinful nature and wonderfully saved by 100 percent grace.

  17. Nohm, no problem.

    I have an interesting perspective to offer later. Right now though, I’m going to the zoo with my kids. I’m going to try and figure out how I evolved from an elephant!!! (I just read about how evolution can now work in reverse!!!!!!) My, my, my!

  18. Steve,

    When you get back from the zoo, could you please clarify this;

    “I’m going to try and figure out how I evolved from an elephant!!! (I just read about how evolution can now work in reverse!!!!!!) My, my, my!”

    Hyperbole? Joking? Taunting? Let us know, eh?

    Cheers,

  19. Steve, both you, and humans, didn’t evolve from an elephant and, anyways, individuals don’t evolve… populations evolve.

    As I said before:

    what are three things that you disagree with regarding evolution, that are actual claims by the theory?

    No made-up claims allowed.

    “Humans evolved from elephants” is not a claim by the theory.

  20. ExPatMatt says:
    March 19, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Steve,

    When you get back from the zoo, could you please clarify this;

    “I’m going to try and figure out how I evolved from an elephant!!! (I just read about how evolution can now work in reverse!!!!!!) My, my, my!”

    Hyperbole? Joking? Taunting? Let us know, eh?

    Nohm says:
    March 19, 2010 at 10:14 am (Edit)

    Steve, both you, and humans, didn’t evolve from an elephant and, anyways, individuals don’t evolve… populations evolve.

    As I said before:

    “what are three things that you disagree with regarding evolution, that are actual claims by the theory?

    No made-up claims allowed.”

    “Humans evolved from elephants” is not a claim by the theory.

    ME: I’m totally serious. I’m sure you will find some way to discredit this article, nevertheless, I found “Darwinism’s Rubber Ruler” fascinating.

    http://www.icr.org/article/darwinisms-rubber-ruler/

  21. Since Sherwin is arguing against misconceptions of evolution (hint: survival of the fittest doesn’t mean survival of the most aggressive and evolution is not a ladder and has no end goal) it should be rather easy to discredit.

  22. Steve,

    I’m sorry, did that article have anything of value to offer? I must have missed it if it did. Could you point out the pertinent section that deals with humans evolving from elephants?

    And I’ll remind you that you said “I’m totally serious” in regards to your claim that evolution suggests that humans evolved from elephants – so some support for that would be nice.

    Cheers,

  23. EPM: Obviously, I was having a little fun with this part from the article:

    Indeed, it’s thought that even human evolution may have gone backward. Science writer J. N. Wilford reported, “Australopithecus africanus, which lived in southern Africa, had more archaic, apelike arms and legs than the earlier A. afarensis.” Wilford quoted evolutionists Drs. Henry McHenry and Lee Berger as saying, “For Lucy and her kind to evolve into descendants with more apelike limbs…evolution would have to go backward, which rarely happens.”5

    Sorry my feeble attempt at humor fell short. :>(

  24. Sorry Steve, you can’t pretend you were joking this time.

    You said; “I’m totally serious”. So, were you lying when you said you were serious, or was there actually something you were being serious about?

    [see what I mean about you playing loose and fast with the truth?]

    Cheers,

  25. From a comment in another thread that I’m thinking belonged here, Steve wrote:

    Since you have read the article by now, I know that you know that I was telling the truth…

    Steve, the article itself wasn’t even telling the truth, so anything that you gleaned from it was not factual, and therefore you were not telling the truth (unintentionally).

    Did you even read the source articles that were linked to by the article? Did you read what Perdita wrote above?

    You quoted the part where they talked about “backwards” (an unfortunate word, there) evolution… did you understand that part?

    I’ll get to explaining all of the problems made by the article (although I think Perdita summed it up quite well), along with the issue about Paul saying that non-believers “suppress the truth”, very soon; it’s just been a very busy few days recently.

    I still see nothing in that article about humans evolving from elephants… where did that idea come from?

    Lastly, you talk about the “wishy-washyness” of evolution. Ok then:

    Say you wake up in the morning and start looking for your car keys. You know you put them on the desk, but they’re not there now. You see that your wife is not around and the car is missing from the driveway. Do you keep looking around the desk, or do you call your wife with the idea that she might have taken the car? If you do the latter, does that make you “wishy-washy”, or does it mean that you follow the evidence where ever it leads, even if that means that your previous understanding (i.e., the keys are on the desk) is wrong?

  26. Steve,

    This is why I made an issue of talking about actual claims made by the theory, and not a list of made-up claims that you find in that ICR article. That article has some very weird views on fitness (e.g., that it’s “weakness” for social animals to help each other, or that complexity means “better”) and, much like Perdita pointed out, it seems to view evolution as a ladder with an end goal, which is incorrect.

    And I hope we agree that “humans evolved from elephants” was never understood by you to be an actual claim, so we can throw that out, right?

    Where are comments about the actual claims made by the theory, instead of these made-up claims that only exist in the imaginations of the ICR (and you, it appears)?

    Lastly, if I was to look for claims made by the Bible, would you suggest that I use anti-Christian websites? If you say “no”, then why would you use anti-evolution websites and books to try to learn about actual claims made by the theory of evolution?

    That doesn’t make any sense to me.

  27. Since you have read the article by now, I know that you know that I was telling the truth, using a bit of exaggeration to make a point about the wishy-washiness of evolutionary theory.

    So yes, I was completely serious.

  28. Now, ExPatMat… I think you understand hyperbole and humor to illustrate a point, therefore, I will not attempt to clarify.

    Other Christian readers are welcome to clarify my point, but I will not. Thanks for your understanding.

  29. If you use humor to make or illustrate a point, then where are the punchlines?

    Also, as I asked earlier, where do you draw the line between “hyperbole” and “flat-out making stuff up”?

    My point is that when you use hyperbole, you do nothing to point out that it’s hyperbole, and therefore we (understandably) think you really believe the things you say, or that you want your audience to think that what you say is true.

    Much like the whole “four questions to make an atheist backslide” issue.

  30. Nohm said: If you use humor to make or illustrate a point, then where are the punchlines?

    Me: C’mon, Nohm. You’ve read this blog long enough to discern what’s humorous.

    Everyone knows that we can’t evolve from an elephant.

    Don’t they?

  31. Steve,

    I asked you, with regards to your original elephant–>human comment;

    EPM: “Hyperbole? Joking? Taunting? Let us know, eh?”

    and you responded;

    Steve: “I’m totally serious.”

    Then when I pointed out that the article you referenced did not support your claim you said;

    Steve:”Obviously, I was having a little fun with this part from the article:

    Sorry my feeble attempt at humor fell short. :>(“

    Then, when I called you on that change in position, you came out with this;

    Steve:”So yes, I was completely serious.”

    Then, immediately after that;

    Steve:”I think you understand hyperbole and humor to illustrate a point,”

    Honestly, Steve. How are we supposed to keep track of what you actually think about things when you can’t even make your own mind up about whether you’re joking or not?!

    Do you often have trouble maintaining a grasp on reality, Steve?

    Regards,

  32. I’m not gonna get into the topic of discussion, but I would like to point something out to Nohm & ExPatMatt.

    It seems obvious to me that Steve is “totally serious” when it comes to the idea that some think “human evolution may have gone backward” but he is using hyperbole/humor when he says, “I’m going to try and figure out how I evolved from an elephant!!!”.

    Therefore, I would recommend that the two of you abandon the straw-man attack at this point.

    To answer ExPatMatt’s question about Patrick being “English”, I think it would is important to clarify a few things first.
    1. Patrick was indeed from Britain. From a town know as Banna Venta Berniae in Cumbria (Now N. England).
    2. At that time Britain was inhabited by Romanized Celts. These peoples would have been close ethnic relatives of the Irish Celts. The Angles, Saxons, and Normans (which constitute the ancestry of the modern British peoples) had yet to arrive on the scene.
    3. After returning to Ireland, Patrick affirms in his writing, the “Confessio”, that he never returned to Britain again. His success in winning over the Irish was partly due to the fact that he became one of them.
    4. Interestingly enough, it would be Irish monks who would later return to win many Britons to Christ in the succeeding centuries. (See St Columba)

  33. Karl, that might be obvious to you, but it was in no way obvious to me.

    This is the problem with using humor in a text-only format; without vocal inflections or body language, it’s easy for humor, especially sarcasm, to be completely lost. Due to this, it’s often not clear to me when Steve is trying to be funny, and when he’s trying to be serious, so I usually assume it’s the latter.

    Also, if you look up Poe’s Law, you might get a better understanding as to why people like Matt and myself get confused by Steve. For example, when he talks about humans evolving from elephants, I don’t know if he’s joking or not, because Steve has written about his understanding of evolution in even more bizarre ways than this.

    So, if he’s able to accept ICR’s claim that it’s an evolutionary “weakness” for social animals to help each other, if he believes that the entire universe is only 6,000 years old or so (that is, I’m pretty sure that Steve is a YEC), then “humans evolved from elephants” is not that crazy in comparison.

    Karl, I’m curious where you’ve seen me present a straw man attack, because I avoid using those like the plague.

    (Btw, I still think it’s unfortunate that they used the word “backwards”, due to the confusion it causes in people who don’t understand the theory)

    Lastly, where’s the punchline in “I’m going to try and figure out how I evolved from an elephant!!!”? Because I don’t get the joke.

    So, when Steve writes, “C’mon, Nohm. You’ve read this blog long enough to discern what’s humorous.” I have to respond with, “No, Steve; it’s not usually clear to me when you’re being humorous, due to Poe’s Law and the lack of a recognizable punchline”.

  34. At the point Steve explicitly tells you, “I was having a little fun with this part from the article… a bit of exaggeration… I think you understand hyperbole and humor to illustrate a point… You’ve read this blog long enough to discern what’s humorous.”, you should let it go.

    It is clear from Steve’s own words (which is all we have to go off of in this case) that he does not believe that we evolved from elephants; nor does he think that evolutionary scientists believe that we evolved from elephants. That’s what he said: “Everyone knows that we can’t evolve from an elephant.”

    Continuing to push the point that Steve DOES believe evolution teaches that men came from elephants would be unreasonable. In other words, attacking Steve for a claim he does not hold WOULD seem to me dangerously close to a straw-man argument. It would be more productive to either refute that article, discuss it’s content, or move on to another topic.

    • Whew! Thanks Karl for saving me some time with this. But watch out! The atheists will come back at you with another 1,000 questions ( hyperbole, exaggeration), because evolutionists evolved from a question mark (humor). But that’s because they all believe in punctuation equilibrium (hyperbole w/bad pun).

      Thankfully, Karl, you have the time to answer them because you oversee the evangelism ministry of a tiny, tiny congregation called Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa. (That last one was obvious, and understatement mixed with a little sarcasm.) 🙂 🙂

  35. Karl wrote:

    That’s what he said: “Everyone knows that we can’t evolve from an elephant.”

    You clipped off the sentence that immediately followed.

    Continuing to push the point that Steve DOES believe evolution teaches that men came from elephants would be unreasonable.

    I agree that it would be unreasonable… if that was what we were doing. Read again, and you’ll see that neither Matt nor I ever claimed that Steve believes that.

    We were just trying to clarify whether or not Steve believes that.

    I would be interested, Karl, in knowing exactly what either of us (specifically me, of course) wrote that gave you the idea that we were pushing a point that Steve believes that humans evolved from elephants.

    In other words, attacking Steve for a claim he does not hold WOULD seem to me dangerously close to a straw-man argument.

    As you would be doing now, if you were claiming that either Matt or myself were claiming that Steve believed that.

    Regardless, that would absolutely be a straw man argument, if that was what we were doing.

    Again, we were asking for clarification, and not making a claim, unless you can show otherwise.

    Look, as shown by my many questions to Steve on exactly what he understands to be the claims of the theory of evolution, and the limited response I’ve gotten to them, I have almost no idea what Steve thinks that the theory of evolution claims, besides “chance plus time” and maybe “nothing created everything”.

    Karl, that’s the reason I ask these questions. Not because I’m too dumb to get humor, or that I enjoy pestering Steve (which I don’t); it’s because I don’t understand what his points of view are, but I want to understand.

    It would be more productive to either refute that article

    I take it you haven’t been here long. Perdita already did so, with no response. Regardless, I plan to show the problems in the article hopefully later tonight, but tomorrow night by the latest.

    discuss it’s [sic] content

    Heh. Ok, now I really know that you haven’t been here long. 😉 (snark, or hyperbole… your pick [sarcasm])

    Lastly, Steve wrote:

    Thankfully, Karl, you have the time to answer them because you oversee the evangelism ministry of a tiny, tiny congregation called Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa.

    Well, we’re right here, Karl. I would be more than happy to have you evangelize to me, and I think Matt would feel the same way.

    (Yes, I understand that you were being sarcastic there, Steve, but who better to evangelize to than people like Matt and I?)

  36. Steve wrote:

    But watch out! The atheists will come back at you with another 1,000 questions

    Hyperbole, I know I know, but I ask questions because I want to understand you, Steve. If there’s any ulterior motive, it’s that.

    • Nohm, I do believe you. I just don’t have the time to answer all your questions. Sorry. At some point I will try to tell you exactly what I think evolution is and why we will never agree on what we both believe.

  37. Karl,

    Thanks for the clarification about St. Patrick!

    Nohm said everything else that needed saying.

    Cheers,

  38. That was so funny! I love it!

  39. Hi Karl,

    In response to your comment:
    “To answer ExPatMatt’s question about Patrick being “English”, I think it would is important to clarify a few things first.
    1. Patrick was indeed from Britain. From a town know as Banna Venta Berniae in Cumbria (Now N. England).”

    I would have to ask if you can site some primary sources for stating that the town he came from was indeed in N. England? I ask in the spirit of humility, but it is not certain where exactly in Britain Patrick came from. There are strong suggestions that he came from what is now known as Wales, which would be mid-west of the UK. Not a big deal either way.

    God bless you bro.

  40. Oh, if he’s Welsh that changes everything! 🙂

  41. Dave,

    http://sthweb.bu.edu/archives/index.php?option=com_awiki&view=mediawiki&article=Saint_Patrick#cite_note-11

    “De Paor glosses it as “[probably near] Carlisle” and Thomas argues at length for the areas of Birdoswald, twenty miles (32 km) east of Carlisle on Hadrian’s Wall. There is a Roman town called Bannaventa in Northamptonshire, but this is likely too far from the sea. See De Paor, pp. 88 & 96; Thomas, pp. 310–314; Bury, p. 17.”

    P.S. Good to see you back! We should catch up sometime soon.

  42. Ok, let me first start off by saying I admit I don’t know much of evolution other than what I learned in school about 15 years ago. Nevertheless, let me see if I am way off or not.

    Evolution is an organism changing traits (going from a simpler organism to a more complex one) through their descendants, if you will, to adapt to environmental changes.

    Am I way off?

  43. Not way way off. Evolution is the change in a gene pool over time. So,

    Individuals don’t evolve, populations do.

    There is no end goal to evolution – any additional complexity appears to be a by-product.

    Populations don’t adapt to their environment. It’s more that the individuals that are better suited to their environment out-produce individuals that are less suited thereby changing the population.

    (grrr I had computer issues, so this may be a triple post. sorry)

  44. So, given that, Perdita, where did all these different types (people, bugs, birds, etc.) come from?

    Did we all come from a single cell organism?

    Many different celled organisms??

    In other words, in your estimation of things, did everything that exists today come from one thing or many things?

    Thanks.

  45. Steve, I actually came from a couple of single cells.

    However, Bizzle asked an honest question. Since I’ve never seen you honestly try to understand even the most basic principles of evolution, I have no reason to believe your questions aren’t disingenuous.

  46. Is this the same sort of serious that you used with ExPatMatt that was actually a joke?

  47. lol! That is rich. I’m referencing the first part of this thread. Thanks for the laugh, anyway.

  48. Okay. No more talking about my not wanting to understand.

  49. Steve, I’ll help you with your homework, but I won’t do the work for you.

  50. Okay, Steve. I’ll assume you are being honest and sincere and that you really do want to understand. Can we back-track a bit? Do you understand that the rubber ruler article’s claim about evolution going forward and backward is not a valid criticism of evolution?

  51. Steve,

    Yeah, because silencing discussion is the best way to show that you want to understand! LOL.

    perdita is quite right, you have shown no previous indication that you have any real intention of learning about evolution; so why would someone waste their time trying to explain it to you?

    Cheers,

  52. Hi Karl,

    Yeah, I’d like that. How’s life in California these days?

    Dave

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