Northern Ireland/Born Again doc.

The religious conflict in Northern Ireland between Protestants and Roman Catholics is one regarded as much more political than I expected. McGuire writes that “between 1970 and 1998, the sectarian strife claimed between 3,000 and 4,000 lives (or about one in 500 citizens), more than half of whom were civilian noncombatants”, it is sad to see the repercussions this rivalry has on the innocent civilians of Northern Ireland (McGuire 220). Other than the obvious tragedies that result from this religious conflict, what stood out to me most was the similarities between the two groups. As McGuire describes, “the opposing sides in Northern Ireland appear to share the same racial stock, language, and social class”, this is quite unlike the conflicts seen in America which usually revolve around issues of race and segregation, which do revolve around both social and physical dissimilarities. After watching the documentary Born Again in class, I saw an “us versus them” mentality as described in the reading. Though there are no outward distinctions between the members of the fundamentalist Baptist church and most other Americans, once pastor John starts describing the practices and intensity of the church, it is clear as to why this particular organization is referred to as sectarian. Though I do not identify with any specific religion, I have somewhat assumed that other Christians and Baptists who have watched this documentary probably do not see eye to eye with the way this church and its members conduct themselves. There are many conflicts and differences within particular religions that I had never taken notice to before, both the reading and the documentary have helped highlight those.