I am neither Irish, nor Catholic, nor do I venerate any Saints.  Therefore, I do not observe Saint Patrick’s Day.

          I am not Irish, and I do not care for Irish whiskey, which numbs the senses and kills off brain cells.  Also, I have no use for Irish blarney, since a mixture of senseless blather and deception just proves the damage done by whiskey to brain cells.  And as to the luck of the Irish, I see it as nothing but a delusion that accepts blind Fate and an old superstitious belief in the pagan goddess Fortuna.  So, carrying about a shamrock, a four-leafed clover, rosary beads, or a rabbit’s foot for luck are equally useless activities.  As for leprechauns, or little green men, with or without pots of gold, I know them for what they are, the diminished forms of old Celtic deities inhabiting mounds that were the graves of departed chieftains with their golden ornaments and treasures.

          I am not Catholic, and I feel that Ireland is cursed to be beset with this backward Faith.  It is a religion riddled with superstitions, such as the veneration of idolatrous statues, medallions, relics, and holy water.

          To me the veneration of saints and angels is sacrilege, stealing worship that is due to God alone.  Patrick is not my saint, and he is due no more respect than any other true believer or holy martyr of olden times.  And such respect certainly does not include offering him any of my prayers.

          No, I do not wear the Irish green on Saint Patrick’s Day.  Instead, if I wear any color it is orange.  And why is this?

          It was the color of a Dutch hero, William of Orange, who in 1579 threw off the Spanish Catholic yoke from his homeland.  It was from that date that Holland became a place of refuge for persons fleeing religious persecution all over Europe.  The Pilgrim Fathers lived in Holland before coming to America aboard the Mayflower.  Also, the English Baptist movement first got started in Amsterdam.

          In 1611, there was a general massacre of Protestants all over Ireland.  In retaliation, Oliver Cromwell invaded that country and subjugated it to English rule.  To show his affinity with William of Orange, Cromwell wore an orange sash about his waist.  After the conquest, Cromwell opened the Irish island to settlement by Scotch and English Protestants.

          In 1689, the English forced their Catholic king James II into exile and gave the throne of Great Britain to the son of William of Orange, also named William.  There followed the joint reign of William and Mary, and from that day the threat of Catholic rule was extinguished in England.

          To this day, the color orange has designated Protestant allegiance in Ireland.  So, if I wear any color on Saint Patrick’s Day, it is orange, the color of religious freedom.                                            Richard L. Atkins