On the Perpetuation of Anger: 323 Years and Counting

Yesterday was July 12, the day in which Loyalists in Northern Ireland celebrate the victory of King William of Orange against King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. The fight was for control of at least a part of Ireland either by British Protestants or Irish Catholics. The island has been politically divided in various ways since that time.


Each July 12 there are parades which commemorate this event in Belfast, Northern Ireland and other communities. Some of the Loyalists (British) this year wanted to march through a Catholic neighborhood in north Belfast. They were denied. The result? Anger and rioting with more than 30 police officers hurt as reported by the BBC.


I am doing the math here. That is 323 years ago. And there seems to be a replay of animosity that likely took place near the River Boyne at the time of the battle.

Anger has a way of living on. It is like a virus, continually jumping to new hosts to stay alive.


Yet, viruses can be stopped by good hygiene and proper care of those infected. How do we stop toxic anger?Anger-Rage-etc-Forgiveness

Through forgiveness. Forgiveness stops the spread of anger and puts compassion, patience, and mercy into the situation where there was hatred, dissension, and violence before.


Let us reflect on that one number for a while—–1690.

With good forgiveness education and a will to stop the virus, where will Belfast be in 2090?


6 thoughts on “On the Perpetuation of Anger: 323 Years and Counting

  1. J Alexander July 13, 2013 / 1:21 pm

    Amen to this perspective. I wonder how many of the youth who were rioting even know what “1690′ means. I wonder if they even know how they inherited the anger. It is astonishing to see anger jump from host to host like this. Great analogy with viruses.


  2. Samantha July 13, 2013 / 1:43 pm

    It is time for a sleepy world to awaken to this truth that anger lives on across the generations. This one example is only one among many. Look at the animosities in the Middle East, for example. Some historians will take a short view on this and say the aggressions increased in the mid 1940’s, but a longer view can bring that perspective back to about 700AD. This is a long life for this kind of anger. I agree with you that forgiveness education is one strong antidote to this. Sleepy world, are you paying attention?


  3. Chris July 13, 2013 / 5:41 pm

    This is eye-opening. I’l bet many of us think of The Troubles in Northern Ireland as starting with Bloody Sunday in 1972. It goes back a lot farther than that! I can see how Bloody Sunday was the inheritance of anger from generations past. I agree that forgiveness is a central figure in this struggle to end inappropriate anger.


  4. Arthur B July 13, 2013 / 7:46 pm

    Anger eats away at a society and brings people to poverty if that anger spills over to violence as happened in Belfast. It is such a shame because the people there are so beautiful. Their soul seem to be scarred by what they have done and what their ancestors have done in that community. Only forgiveness and the grace of God can restore them now.


  5. Neva July 14, 2013 / 3:11 pm

    In reflecting on it now, having just read the essay, you are right. We take anger for granted as it goes through families and generations. We never stop to think of stopping it and we never think about keeping love going through the generations. It is time to change our thinking and you are doing that by your posts.


  6. josh July 24, 2013 / 2:28 pm

    Anger not only is a waste, it is a destruction of the good of human life. People have to find a way to be aware of this destruction and take the time to defeat it. Forgiveness is a strong weapon in this war to defeat the kind of anger that destroys.


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