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Ending Strife in Ulster

April 16, 1988

In the interests of common sense I have to comment on Michael McDonald's article which asserts that "Power, Not Religion, Is the Ulster Problem" (Op-Ed Page, April 3).

In the past others also have advanced the astonishing proposition that religion is not responsible for what is happening in Northern Ireland. To believe this is to believe that if all the Catholics became Protestant, or vice versa, the battle would continue unabated!

When two strangers meet in Northern Ireland, the dialogue that ensues is directed primarily to establishing, from references to schools, place of residence, and so on, what religion each of them follows. This is a matter of common observation. And once the religion of each is established, the whole, heavy, appalling pattern of prejudice falls into place. You can almost hear the click.

No wonder most of the British (a notably irreligious people) wish that Ireland and all its problems would just sink gently under the waves.

ALAN GRIFFITHS

Los Angeles

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