End the war against St. Paddy’s Day

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I AM SADDENED to report yet another assault on our traditional American values.

I refer to the War on St. Patrick’s Day.

Just three weeks from now, millions of faithful will engage in wholesome, suds-filled celebrations at authentic Irish-themed bars. They’ll sing “Oh, Danny Boy,” they’ll do shots of Jameson’s, they’ll puke on their shoes.

But I’m here to tell you there are people out there who would deny us our very heritage. They are politically correct abstainers trying to jam their neo-prohibitionist agenda down our throats.

They want to take the beer out of St. Patrick’s Day!

Oh, it began innocently enough. The whole anti-drunk driving effort was aimed at “saving lives. “

It’s clear now that that well-intentioned fight was a ruse, the first step toward something more insidious. And now, we find ourselves facing a full-scale assault on our inalienable right to get loaded on March 17.

Consider some of the more egregious anti-St. Patrick’s Day actions across the nation:

_ O’Reilly’s Bar & Grill in Saginaw, Mich., will not serve green beer this year. Bar manager John Gibson explained, “We’re concerned about offending our non-drinking patrons.”

_ Greeters at Wal-Mart will no longer distribute free holiday six-packs to customers. Instead, this year they’re handing out stuffed cabbage!

_ The annual holiday performance of “One Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall” by the fourth-graders at the Ridgewood Elementary School in Dodgeville, Wis., has been canceled.

_ Right here in Philadelphia, traditional holiday displays of public drunkenness are being threatened by civic do-gooders urging beer-drinkers to enjoy the holiday “responsibly. “

Responsibly? It’s St. Patrick’s Day, the holiest day on the beer-drinking calendar! Chugging beer, commencing immediately at sunrise and not ceasing until you are hugging an empty keg, is a sacred rite.

Forcing true believers to give that up, to act “responsibly,” is nothing less than pure, unadulterated religious discrimination.

It’s all a blatant attempt to remove spirituality – well, at least spirits – from public places.

It’s getting so bad, we’re now starting to hear people say, “Happy Holiday,” instead of “Happy St. Patrick’s Day. ” (Although, to be fair, I do believe that the old guy who hangs out at McGlinchey’s and tells everybody, “Shee-shons Greetings” simply hasn’t been sober since Thanksgiving. )

But you get the point: These nephalists are plotting to deny the traditional beer-soaked roots of the holiday.

That’s right, without beer, there would be no purpose to St. Patrick’s Day. I mean, what other possible reason could there be to celebrate an Irishman?

I blame it on the liberal mainstream media. The holiday is nothing special to newspaper folk. They pretty much drink like every day is St. Paddy’s Day!

One might ask at a time like this, “Where is our nation’s moral leadership? “

Sad to say, our president is part of the problem. The man we elected to uphold traditional family values hasn’t had a drop since his fateful St. Patty’s Bender of 1988. Came home with his BVDs on his head and, well, now the world’s most powerful man is the world’s most whipped.

The void in leadership might be excusable if it weren’t threatening an entire culture.

Without excessive beer-drinking on St. Patrick’s Day, there’d be no reason to eat corned beef and cabbage, there’d be no fistfights in Fishtown, and 90 percent of Irish literature wouldn’t make a damn bit of sense.

As we near St. Patrick’s Day 2006, know this: We are facing nothing less than a culture war. At stake: Whether the USA will maintain its emphasis on traditional Guinness-Harp values or dissolve into a godless non-drinking country that mirrors Iran or, say, Utah.

Believe me, this abstemious cabal will stop at nothing.

Don’t let them take the beer out of St. Patrick’s Day!

Practice for St. Patrick’s

You can do your part in Philadelphia starting this week:

_ Today at McGillin’s Old Ale House (1310 Drury St., Center City) is St. Practice Day. The city’s oldest continuously operating tavern kicks off the beer-drinking holiday with live Irish music and mugs of Beamish Stout. 215-735-5563.

_ On Wednesday and Thursday, Sly Fox Brewery & Restaurant in Phoenixville and Royersford will continue its St. Patrick’s Day Boot Camp. The sessions feature Irish music and O’Reilly’s Stout. 610-935-4540.

_ March 4 marks the first weekend of this year’s Erin Express. Free shuttle buses run from noon to 5:30 p.m. between these 15 Irish bars in Center City and University City: Track & Turf, 42nd and Chester; Kelliann’s, 44th and Spruce; Smokey Joe’s, 40th and Walnut; the Blarney Stone, 3929 Sansom St.; O’Hara’s Fish House, 39th and Chestnut; Cavanaugh’s, 39th and Sansom; Bridgewater Pub, 30th Street Station; Mace’s Crossing, 17th and the Parkway; Green Room, 1940 Green St.; Kelliann’s, 16th and Spring Garden; Westy’s, 1440 Callowhill St.; T.A. Flannery’s, 11 S. 21st St.; Bonner’s Irish Pub, 23rd and Sansom; Callahan’s Grille, 26th and South; and Parkway Bar and Grille, 22nd and Spring Garden.

Joe Sixpack by Don Russell was written this week with a bottle of Saranac Belgian Ale.

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