March 26, 2015

The Calvinist Ulsterman is more of a Catholic Irishman than is commonly realised

Cartoon by Ian Knox
G.K. Chesterton wrote in his book 'Irish Inpressions':
"The Calvinist Ulsterman may be more of a Catholic Irishman than is commonly realised, especially by himself."
Ian Paisley founder and forever-leader of the DUP left the Orange Order in 1962 as an act of protest after the Lord Mayor of Belfast attended Requiem Mass at a funeral. His main opposition was to the Catholic Church and any concessions to that community. Paisley said in the last 1960s:
"If Captain O’Neill continues to sell us out to the forces of Popery and republicanism then we will be prepared to do what our fathers did and resist this with all the determination that we can muster."
He said Catholics "breed like rabbits and multiply like vermin" and implored a seditious protestant mob to out a Catholic family living on the Shankill Road.
"You, the people of the Shankill Road, what’s wrong with you? Number 425 Shankill Road - do you know who lives there? Pope’s men, that’s who!"
He equated the head of the Irish Catholic Church, then Tomas Ó Fiaich, as the spiritual leader of the IRA:
"The IRA's bishop from Crossmaglen."
By equating so loudly a terrorist organisation with the Catholic Church, is there any wonder there was so much ethnic and intercommunal antipathy and animosity? As this young loyalist said in the early 1990s:
"If you are Protestant, you grow up believing that all Catholics support the I.R.A. and want you to come to harm."
He said of Priest Murphy:
"Speak for your own bloodthirsty, persecuting, intolerant, blaspheming, politic-religious papacy."
But these words, speaking of intolerance and authoritarianism, so aptly describes him, his branch of religion and his party.

Protestantism was supposed to be about a revolt against the overbrearing individual and about personal choice, responsibility and liberty. Protestantism was to be liberal and reformist. Yet Paisley erected himself as a Pope and brought all the bells of dogma and intolerant holy smoke with him.

There was in fact little to divide and differentiate conservative and intolerant Ian Paisley Protestantism and conservative and intolerant Catholicism.

Their recent actions have now proved this, the Calvinist Ulsterman is just like a Catholic Irishman.

For years Paisley and his lackey followers denounced and stirred religious panic against Catholicism and ecumenicism, now they have common cause with the Church of Rome.

In 2006 Paisley met with the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, then Cardinal Sean Bradey.

In 2008 Reverend McIlveen told the Belfast Newsletter:
"I think that while we recognise the Pope's position and the sustaining of his Church's position, we would come from a different angle with regard to the emphasis we have on the Scripture. I think it is a natural concern about the continuation of the human race. Biologically we are not created to be homosexual, we are created to be heterosexual. There is a great deal of sensitivity about whenever the word homosexuality is raised and I think it underlines the insecurity that is found within that community."
In 2015, they the DUP stand shoulder to shoulder with leading Catholics, joining forces to stir religious panic against the new threat, the LGBT community.

A related and earlier post on equality law, the Ashers Bakery 'Gay Cake' row, the changing of the DUP and the views of Andrew Sullivan can be read here. My post on the alteration and editorialisation of sincerely held religious beliefs can be read here.

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