Chinese dragon bad, alcohol/sectarian slogans/ flag burning ?????

Today’s Newsletter carries a report in which Rev. Stephen Dickinson objects to the presence of a chinese dragon as part of the proposed 11th Night parade in Tandragee, labelling it as “offensive” and “insults the name of Jesus Christ.” The story carried over onto the Talkback programme today, when the Rev. Dickinson further elaborated on his objections, arguing that the dragon represented a drift into including ‘pagan’ elements within the Twelfth. Taken at face value, the Rev. Dickinson’s objections could have been understood from the position of a religious figure not wanting what he believes is a celebration of protestantism to be further diminished in the same way that many religious leaders of all faiths object to the materialist ‘hijacking’ of key dates in their religious calendars. At one stage he forcefully stated that “we need to put protestantism back into the Order.” However, his argument fell down badly when he skipped over the objections of a caller about what goes on at 11th Night bonfires. (Discussion about 39 mins into programme.) The incident is also an unfortunate reminder of earlier opposition from within loyalism to the chinese community.