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The 12th July in England

THE Twelfth of July is without doubt Europeís largest indigenous folk and cultural festival.  Historically and culturally the Twelfth celebrations are linked with Ulster & Scotland.  To the majority of people living in England the celebrations are of little or no significance and are seen as having no relevance to their way of life.  This is probably due to the fact that the Twelfth of July celebrations are often portrayed by the media as a sectarian carnival of Protestant tribalism which takes great delight in taunting Catholics in an act of deliberate provocation in remembrance of events that happened over 300 years ago. 

The truth of the matter is that the Twelfth really is a time for celebration.  It marks one of the most important dates in European history when William Prince of Orange defeated his father-in-law King James ΙΙ at the battle of the Boyne.  The subsequent accession of William to the throne put an end to the tyrannical arbitrary power of the Stuarts and established the Constitutional Monarchy and parliamentary government. But most of all it gave the people of Europe their civil and religious liberty and freedom from tyranny that had been previously imposed on them.

That same freedom is enjoyed today by everyone because of the sacrifices made by our forefathers, and as such, we as Protestants serve to defend and preserve our civil and religious liberty.  The Twelfth celebrations are part of our heritage, culture and history but to some they are seen as a threat against their own beliefs.  In recent years Orange parades in Ulster and Scotland celebrating the Twelfth have been opposed and in some cases parades have been stopped all together to appease Catholics.  Fortunately in England there has been less opposition to parades organised by the Loyal Orange Institution of England. 

In reality followers of the Church of Rome are void of any tolerance towards the Protestant faith.  They cleverly manipulate people's perception of the true meaning of Protestantism by making us out to be the oppressors.  Their aim is to erode our culture and heritage by any means possible.  Our beliefs teach us to be tolerant towards those with whom we disagree, so it is quite ironic that there is a total intolerance of the celebration of our Protestant culture by those who oppose us and refer to us as sectarian and bigots.

My intention is not to offend anyone as I respect those who do not share my views.  It is with hope that they can learn to show respect for me as an individual and have a better understanding of what my Protestant culture means to me, and the reason why I choose to celebrate the 12th July here in England.


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