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The Irish are well-suited for the vilification of religion

The Irish are uniquely suited to disparage and vilify religious institutionalism.

In the Republic, Irish Catholicism was a state religion until just about yesterday. It ruled with a despotic fist — don't even ask....

In the north, legitimate matters of statehood and occupation have been comingled with religious disputes based upon conflicting views of the same religious book — disputes that were conducive to warfare.

• "The Life of Brian," a 1979 film by the English comedy team Monty Python, was illegal in Ireland for 8 years for its irreverence about Christianity.

• When George Carlin, a master of standup comedy, died in 2008, the Irish had not heard of him — and he's one of Ireland's own. He vilified religion in general.

The revelation in 1992 that the great Bishop Casey had fathered a child caused an uproar that seems quaint now. Later, we all found that hundreds of priests and religious teachers had been molesting thousands of kids.

The Irish Catholic church is going tits-up now, and the Irish people with their gentle acerbic wit are well-suited for the disparagement and vilification of religion.