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ireland, irish, ulster, ireland, irish, ulster, Sinn Féin, Irish America

Magaluf shame on our island: The Churches must step in

(John Coulter, Irish Daily Star)

The scourge of the Magaluf Madness can only be cured by Ireland's Christian Churches getting off their asses and into the communities they are supposed to serve.

Social media footage of an Irish girl allegedly performing oral sex on up to two dozen males in the sunspot has gone viral.

Hardly a week goes by that social media does not unveil equally shocking images of sex romps at drink and drug-fuelled binges, yet our 'holier than thou' churches remain either silent, or merely 'tut-tut' in the background.

It's all too easy to blame holiday reps or club owners. But the Churches must shoulder much of the blame for the curse of this Magaluf Madness.

Many mainstream churches have become cosy little middle class cliques, more interested in preserving their pious image of 'look at us good wee Christian folk' than actually following Christ's example and tackling the needs of young people.

This has unfortunately spawned a generation of Pharisee churches throughout Ireland. The Pharisees were the notorious Biblical ultra-religious show-offs who liked to boast about their faith, but in reality it was just about image.

The Pharisee plague has contaminated too many churches across the Emerald Isle, where worshippers become obsessed with social activities, but have no time for dealing with the sexual problems or challenges of young people.

Is it any wonder Ireland is steadily becoming a secular society as the influence of the churches constantly wanes? Such Pharisee churches have become the best ever adverts for atheism.

The churches need to return to the days when they provided wholesome entertainment for young people.

In my teens and twenties, checking the local weekly press for details of the 'church parties' was compulsive reading.

These church parties were held in church halls, Orange halls and community halls and were organised by local Christian churches and groups.

They were effectively supervised; there was no booze or dope; a usually woeful country group provided the music, and we played games until nearly midnight.

This sounds boring compared to the mayhem on offer through Magaluf Madness, but hundreds of young people travelled to these packed halls every weekend – and all returned home safely.

The churches must begin working together to establish a return of this network of 'church parties'.

If the churches fail in this Christian duty, it's only a matter of time before our young people return home – not to shocking social media footage going viral – but in coffins.

Maybe the problem actually is that churches lack the skills to deal with such challenges.

If Irish churches continue to ignore the needs of our youth, how long before Africa, India and the other former Empire colonies start sending Christian missionaries to Ireland? That would be some shame!

August 16, 2014
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This article appeared in the August 11, 2014 edition of the Irish Daily Star.

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