Legislate in haste, repent, REPENT! at leisure…

THE DUP has been taking quite an interest in the new Anti-Terrorism Bill. Jeffrey Donaldson wants phone tap evidence to be made admissible as evidence in court. But Jim Shannon has other concerns. He believes that “laws to be rushed through by the Government in the wake of the London bombings could effectively outlaw open-air evangelism“. Could anti-terror laws really mean the end for the manic street preachers that do our heads in? God only knows how many lost souls they’ve saved from the fiery pit of damnation. But is it not slightly odd that street preaching is perceived (by someone defending it) as something that could be seen to incite hatred or terrorist acts?

  • joe

    Laws banning the preaching of intolerance, will there be an Orange man or Unionist left standing?

  • Les Hale

    Mr Shannon said he fears that “the liberty to preach the Gospel on the streets of Northern Ireland” would be impinged by the moves.

    “Unfortunately, this seems to be a fait accompli,” he said. “We had made contact with the Government to make our views known but it came to nothing.

    “Once these laws are enacted someone can say they take exception to Joe Bloggs preaching in Newtownabbey town centre, to use an example.

    Hang about, number 1 where exactly is ‘Newtownabbey town centre’ and number 2 I thought the DUP promised that now that they had come to the fore everyone would be dancing to their tune? In the last 3 months we have had a Troops Out Secretary of State, Monica Haughey, and an ex RTE boss imposed in the top 3 public positions in NI, and now this- the potential banning of public evangelising. How could this have possibly happened under Ian’s watch???
    God save Ulster

  • Jo

    What about hate-websites?

  • Fobo

    “Laws banning the preaching of intolerance, will there be an Orange man or Unionist left standing?”

    I think there is more bigotry in suggesting that most of the population is sectarian than in being a Unionist. It’s nice to know that the spirit of McCarthyism lives on in Nationalist circles.

  • The Beach Tree

    Fobo

    The numbers of people holding a view makes no impression on the objective case of whether that view is either bigotted or sectarian.

    Indeed, if you were in less defensive mode, you would no doubt agree that quite often such bigotted sentiments actually spring more freely from the populous angry mob, than the lone debater.

    Equally to the point it is almost certain that ‘most’ of the population is not made up of orangemen or unionists, so the point raised is technically moot.

    The basis of your argument appears to be “we are the majority, so what we say must be right”. It’s a fairly dangerous and inequitous argument to make. Much better to argue the actual point on its own merits – the bigotry or otherwise of the Orange and/or Unionist position.

  • Fobo

    “The numbers of people holding a view makes no impression on the objective case of whether that view is either bigotted or sectarian.”

    No it doesn’t, but his implication was being a Unionist makes one intolerant and bigoted. It’s no different than claiming all Muslims support stoning women to death or all Catholics are IRA supporters. If anyone were to make those claims then you would point out they were sectarian, so why is joe’s bigotry in negatively labelling Unionists acceptable?

    “Equally to the point it is almost certain that ‘most’ of the population is not made up of orangemen or unionists, so the point raised is technically moot.”

    I think you will find most people in NI are Unionists, if that wasn’t the case then Northern Ireland would cease to remain part of the United Kingdom.

    “The basis of your argument appears to be “we are the majority, so what we say must be right”. It’s a fairly dangerous and inequitous argument to make. Much better to argue the actual point on its own merits – the bigotry or otherwise of the Orange and/or Unionist position.”

    I made no such argument, I was simply pointing out Joe was the prejudiced one when he claimed that being a Unionist makes one intolerant. It’s ridiculous.

  • Biffo

    Les Hale

    “..number 1 where exactly is ‘Newtownabbey town centre'”

    Officially it’s supposed to be the Diamond in Rathcoole.

  • joe

    Fobo, a chara,

    The nature of unionism in the north of Ireland is,in my opinion, at its fundamental core, sectarian and triumphalist. Centuries of dominance over their catholic neighbours have ingrained this very premise into their psyche. Now if you can give me an example of Unionists or the Orange Order reaching out, bridge building with their catholic neighbours I will be more than happy to accept that. But let us examine the case of Lisburn City Council,where we have a Unionist majority , were they have a clear opportuntiy to lead by example. Unfortunately good will is something catholics are unfamiliar with when they exist in such an area. Is the Orange Order any different?

  • Fobo

    “The nature of unionism in the north of Ireland is,in my opinion, at its fundamental core, sectarian and triumphalist.”

    No, it is sectarian to label around a million people as intolerant and bigots simply because they believe in the Union.

    “Now if you can give me an example of Unionists or the Orange Order reaching out, bridge building with their catholic neighbours I will be more than happy to accept that.”

    Solidarity with Catholics during the disgusting Harryville protest. Unionist parties and the Orange Order opposed it.

    Or we can take a look at this website, do you see any Unionists claiming being a Nationalist makes you a bigot?

  • bertie

    So to not be accused of being a bigot, you have to have “reached out” and be involved in “bridge building”. I don’t require any Roman Catholic to reach out to me or to to build a bridge to me. Why the hell should they.

    God forbid that we trun into a simpering mass of individuals continously upping the anti in out efforts to outdo each other in our gestures.

    I’m not saying that some gestures arn’t genuine appropriate and appreciated but lets not make them compulsory for God’s sake.

  • The Beach Tree

    Fobo

    You’re at it again. “It’s sectarian to name a million…bigots”. Why? Because they are a million?

    “… but his implication was being a Unionist makes one intolerant and bigoted.”

    If so, explain to him why not. Don’t simply say “there’s a million of us, so we can’t be bigotted” – there’s no logic in that proposal, it’s simply an invocation of popularity.

    ” It’s no different than claiming all Muslims support stoning women to death or all Catholics are IRA supporters. If anyone were to make those claims then you would point out they were sectarian, so why is joe’s bigotry in negatively labelling Unionists acceptable?”

    No one said it was acceptable, I certainly didn’t, what I said was argue against it logically and reasonably – the “we’re the majority” line does not do that. Argue on the basisi of what Unionism and Unionists believe, not on their numerical strength.

    “I think you will find most people in NI are Unionists, if that wasn’t the case then Northern Ireland would cease to remain part of the United Kingdom.”

    I think you will find that there are aproximately 1.7 million people in NI. Of which little over 370,000 actually voted for unionist parties at the last election (that’s an actual minority of adults, never mind a minority of children. I doubt there are many 2 yo unionists!

    And northern ireland will cease to be part of the UK then the majority of voters in a border poll vote for it to so cease. And if that happens, it will happen regardless of how much of the population is unionist – all that will matter is how many voted (less than 60% at recent leections btw).

    Why is Jo wrong? Base your argument on principles, not invocations of popularity. Challenge him to explain himself if necessary.

    bertie

    “So to not be accused of being a bigot, you have to have “reached out” and be involved in “bridge building”. I don’t require any Roman Catholic to reach out to me or to to build a bridge to me. Why the hell should they?”

    There’s an old saying.

    If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Quit being part of the problem.

    “God forbid that we trun into a simpering mass of individuals continously upping the anti in out efforts to outdo each other in our gestures.”

    Why, would we rather up the anti in our gestures of mutual hate and defiance? Is that productive?
    A few well time and well placed gestures are long overdue frankly.

    And no-one is suggesting making them compulsory; only that a refusal to do so leads both to inevitable conclusions, and thereafter inevitable consequences.

  • Fobo

    “You’re at it again. “It’s sectarian to name a million…bigots”. Why? Because they are a million?”

    Yes I am saying that it is an incredibly sweeping and arrogant statement to label one million people as bigots simply because they are pro-Union.

    “No one said it was acceptable, I certainly didn’t, what I said was argue against it logically and reasonably – the “we’re the majority” line does not do that. Argue on the basisi of what Unionism and Unionists believe, not on their numerical strength.”

    I think it is reasonable and logical to argue that you cannot claim one million people are all bigots simply because they are pro-Union.

    As I said it is as ridiculous as claiming that all Muslims believe in stoning women for adultery or all Catholics in NI support the IRA. You cannot ascribe prejudices to people simply because of what community they come from as you will find that communities tend to have a wide range of views. Generally you find people that do are racists (for example all ‘all black people are lazy) or sectarian (for example our friend Joe’s view that all Unionists are bigots).

    “I think you will find that there are aproximately 1.7 million people in NI. Of which little over 370,000 actually voted for unionist parties at the last election (that’s an actual minority of adults, never mind a minority of children. I doubt there are many 2 yo unionists!”

    That is true but you’ll find plenty of non-voters that are not neutral on the border question. The vast majority of people identify themselves as being either Unionist or Nationalist.

    “And northern ireland will cease to be part of the UK then the majority of voters in a border poll vote for it to so cease. And if that happens, it will happen regardless of how much of the population is unionist – all that will matter is how many voted (less than 60% at recent leections btw).”

    I would be willing to bet a substantial amount of money that if a border poll were held tommorow that:

    1. Turnout would be higher than the general election.

    2. People would vote in favour of the Union.

    Somehow I don’t think the Union is in danger.

  • Jo

    “Why is Jo wrong? Base your argument on principles, not invocations of popularity. “

    JO is neverrrrrrrr wrong. Joe more often is. 😉

  • Jo

    “God forbid that we trun into a simpering mass of individuals continously upping the anti in out efforts to outdo each other in our gestures.”

    …but what a better world it would be, eh?

  • Brian Boru

    “I would be willing to bet a substantial amount of money that if a border poll were held tommorow that:

    1. Turnout would be higher than the general election.

    2. People would vote in favour of the Union.

    Somehow I don’t think the Union is in danger.

    Fobo, if a majority did at some point vote for a United Ireland, would you accept the result? I doubt very much that the British people or Government would countenance using military force to force NI to stay in the UK against its will in that situation, and the mainland British people can’t wait to get shot of a place that costs them £10 billion – almost 10 times the UK’s EU net-contribution.

    I am not that surprised that some in the DUP are opposed to the banning of incitement to hatred. A glance through the history books can unearth many a bigoted remark by the DUP about Catholics, such as the infamous and outrageous remark about the reason Catholic homes were on fire was because ‘there were petrol bombs in them’. What would the DUP have left to campaign on at election time if this law is passed?

  • 6countyprod

    Some of the blinkered comments on this thread have been very enlightening. Sounds like long years of brainwashing to me, but let’s get back on topic and get it straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak:

    …many police in this country—I have experienced this myself—have recently decided that certain religious statements are not acceptable. Street preachers have been harassed, as have people who adhere to theologies with which I do not agree. They are entitled, however, to express their beliefs. Voltaire said that he might not agree with someone, but he would fight for his right to express himself. If an atheist can say that, so can I. We have a right to declare what we believe to be right. Paisley June 05 – Hansard and Paisley July 05 – Hansard

  • Ginfizz

    “We have a right to declare what we believe to be right.”

    What a tremendous quote. It confirms my view that Ian Paisley is one of the greatest orators left in the House of Commons today.

  • bertie

    Jo

    “God forbid that we trun into a simpering mass of individuals continously upping the anti in out efforts to outdo each other in our gestures.”

    …but what a better world it would be, eh?

    Yes I suppose I would prefer people to fawn self conciously over me than to try and murder me but I’d prefer not to have either. That would be a much better world.