The Bastardization of the Feast of St. Patrick

Over the past few Feasts of St. Patrick, I’ve been keeping a mental log of the peculiar (and often insulting) American traditions that have virtually nothing to do with the good bishop, or even the Emerald Isle. (This article summarizes several.) But this new wrinkle takes the cake: three notable beer brands and big-time St. Paddy’s Day Parade sponsors — Guinness (Ireland’s long-time biggest and best known brewery), Boston Beer Company (brewer of Sam Adams ales in an notably Irish-American city), and Heineken (uh, green bottles?) — have pulled their sponsorships because parade organizers wouldn’t allow certain pro-homosexual groups to march openly in the parade. Organizers cite the Catholic origins of St. Patrick’s Day as the rationale for excluding these groups. While I admit I don’t understand the apparent affinity between the wearing o’ the rainbow and the wearing o’ the green, I think we’ve long ago lost the right (and hopefully, the desire) to pretend our current drunken debauchery has anything to do with Catholicism. What’s left but to celebrate this feast day at home with family, and think twice the next time I buy a six-pack?


  1. Didymus says:

    If we just want nationalistic pretenses to get drunk, we can as easily go with Cinco de Mayo, or the October Revolution for that matter. Alas, St. Patrick’s day has almost lost its last vestige of Christianity, hot on the heels of Mardi Gras. My main memory of St. Patrick’s day is from ordering a draft in the month of May at a dive bar many years ago and getting – you guessed it – a green beer.

  2. […] colors, and creeds will dress in green and ignore our nation’s anti-Catholic tendencies in order to get drunk and celebrate all things Irish-ish. What better way to get in the leprechaun-loving spirit of things than to highlight a couple of […]

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