Why am I supposed to care about some ancient British dude converting a bunch of people to a religion I have never and will never follow, again?
Its origins are wonky.
Patrick wasn’t even Irish and he didn’t drive any snakes out of anywhere. He was a Roman British missionary hell-bent on converting pagans to Christianity. As a never-Christian atheist whose freedoms are being threatened by modern iterations of men like him, I fail to see why partying is the appropriate response to what we know of him.
Furthermore, anyone who promoted Christianity to the Irish has a lot of explaining to do. The legacy of the Catholic Church in Ireland includes the institutionalization of the most brutal iteration of every form of abuse known to humankind; horrific and rampant sexual abuse is just one part of it.
For a holiday allegedly celebrating Irishness, it seems pretty offensive to the Irish.
The Onion, as usual, is spot-on with its headline: Irish-Americans Gear Up For ‘The Reinforcin’ O’ The Stereotypes’. People can’t even get the name of the holiday right (it’s either “St. Paddy’s Day” or “St. Patrick’s Day”*). Almost totally unquestioned stereotypes about the Irish rule the day in the form of t-shirts (unless you live near Kevin Westley) and bar specials. How is this a celebration of Irish culture? (It isn’t.)
And as tasty as I find the drink (and the cupcakes) that the name represents, “Irish car bombs”? Seriously? The 1990s weren’t that long ago. I’m not yet 30 and yet I remember when people talked about “the conflict in Ireland” in the same breath as “Apartheid” and “the Middle East.”
The social pressure is completely disproportionate to the holiday’s American significance.
So you’re one of those people who doesn’t think that a holiday’s origins matter to its current iteration. Though I don’t agree with that position, I don’t think it’s the most problematic things in the world.
Where I do take issue is how ridiculously defensive and aggressive people are about a holiday that, origins aside, de facto revolves around a clothing color, copious alcohol consumption, and corned beef. Pinching someone for not wearing a color you think they should be wearing is assault. Ridiculing someone for not wanting to go to a bar to fight with proudly drunk people all for the prize of an overpriced pint of green-colored cheap beer is obnoxious.
As for the corned beef? It’s not my fault my partner is very good at making it.
* Although hell yes I’d celebrate “St. Patty’s Day.” I love burgers. Corned beef patties could be awesome.