Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Twelve Days of Christmas Was an Irish/French Catholic Rebel Song

(Carraig an Aifrinn - Mass Rock in Ireland celebrates Faith under Persecution)

Only Atheists take out billboards to mock the faith of people. Illinois Atheist Bob Sherman bought a bus. Churches do not persecute anyone in this country - that is for the ACLU to decide when a where the facts can be taffy-pulled into a new St. Batholomew's Day Massacre. That usually has to do with a five year old cupping hands in class and thank Jesus, or Yaweh, of Allah, or Vishnu for the peanut butter sandwich in her lunch. What I always found interesting was the fact that the American Congregationalist Evangelical Movement of the 19th Century, rooted in William Wilberforce's Enthusiasm for Abolition in England, was rooted in the religious/civil point of view that created the Anti-Catholic Laws in England. Ironically, William Wilberforce actively fought for Catholic Emancipation and his sons became Roman Catholics. Something left out of the PC version of this Champion of Abolition.

American intellectuals erase Catholic influence in all things. It's as old as the Great Awakening and the Brook Farm Movement, from which Orestes Brownson was cast away when he converted to Roman Catholicism. The ACLU's founders Roger Baldwin et al were the secular preachers of Secular Enthusiasm.

Mother England codified much of the ACLU's "Do-Away With" Pettifoggery from Good Queen Bess, the Cromwellian period and through the Glorious Revolution.

Ireland suffered under Penal Laws* (Na Péindlíthe) that outlawed the practice of religion while Wilberforce fought to end the slave trade around the world.

In Ireland, no catholic could hear Mass and priests were hunted, like wolves. Father Nick Sheehy was the las recorded Outlaw Priest 'murdered by the Crown in 1766. Irish peasants heard Mass.

Christmas is as much under assault as my ancestors were when they attended the Eucharist at Mass Rocks ( Carraig an Aifrinn ) out in the cold and wind and rain. We squeak when Terry McEldowney opens all the windows at Sacred Heart before Mass-
" Wakes You Clowns Up!"

The 12 Days of Christmas is often thought to be a nice Secularist French Seasonal Song - nope, it seems that the tune and the words were ones of resistnace against religious persecution. The numbered items hold religious conotations. "The 12 Days of Christmas." It is said that each gift represents an aspect of the Catholic faith and that the song was used to teach children during a time when Catholicism was banned. Many versions of the story abound, one being written by a Friar who states that he was doing research in some old Latin texts when he came up references to the song in "letters from Irish priests, mostly Jesuits, writing back to the motherhouse at Douai-Rheims, in France." ( click my post title)

2 Turtle Doves = Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity
4 Calling Birds = Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = first Five Books of the Old Testament
6 Geese A-laying = Six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
8 Maids A-milking = Eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = Nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = Ten Commandments
11 Pipers Piping = Eleven faithful Apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = Twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

Ironically enough the Partridge ( that sits in the Pear Tree- Fruit Tree for Wassiling Cider?)symbolizes the Church and has also been used to represent Satan. Both might work in this song.

*Exclusion of Catholics from most public offices (since 1607), Presbyterians were also barred from public office from 1707.
Ban on intermarriage with Protestants; repealed 1778
Presbyterian marriages were not legally recognised by the state
Catholics barred from holding firearms or serving in the armed forces (rescinded by Militia Act of 1793)
Bar from membership in either the Parliament of Ireland or the Parliament of Great Britain from 1652; rescinded 1662-1691; renewed 1691-1829.
Disenfranchising Act 1728, exclusion from voting until 1793;
Exclusion from the legal professions and the judiciary; repealed (respectively) 1793 and 1829.
Education Act 1695 - ban on foreign education; repealed 1782.
Bar to Catholics entering Trinity College Dublin; repealed 1793.
On a death by a Catholic, his legatee could benefit by conversion to the Church of Ireland;
Popery Act - Catholic inheritances of land were to be equally subdivided between all an owner's sons with the exception that if the eldest son and heir converted to Protestantism that he would become the one and only tenant of estate and portions for other children not to exceed one third of the estate. This "Gavelkind" system had previously been abolished by 1600.
Ban on converting from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism on pain of Praemunire: forfeiting all property estates and legacy to the monarch of the time and remaining in prison at the monarch's pleasure. In addition, forfeiting the monarch's protection. No injury however atrocious could have any action brought against it or any reparation for such.
Ban on Catholics buying land under a lease of more than 31 years; repealed 1778.
Ban on custody of orphans being granted to Catholics on pain of 500 pounds that was to be donated to the Blue Coat hospital in Dublin.
Ban on Catholics inheriting Protestant land
Prohibition on Catholics owning a horse valued at over £5 (in order to keep horses suitable for military activity out of the majority's hands)
Roman Catholic lay priests had to register to preach under the Registration Act 1704, but seminary priests and Bishops were not able to do so until 1778
When allowed, new Catholic churches were to be built from wood, not stone, and away from main roads.
'No person of the popish religion shall publicly or in private houses teach school, or instruct youth in learning within this realm' upon pain of twenty pounds fine and three months in prison for every such offence. Repealed in 1782. [2]
Any and all rewards not paid by the crown for alerting authorities of offences to be levied upon the Catholic populace within parish and county.

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