“should take cognisance of and reflect the traditions and beliefs..”

In yesterday’s NewsLetter DUP MLA Iris Robinson clarified her view of god and government.

The United Kingdom is a country that has been shaped by our long and proud tradition of Christianity. It may no longer be fashionable to say such things and some people for their own petty reasons may attack me for saying so, but I believe that legislation passed in this country should take cognisance of and reflect the traditions and beliefs which made us the society which we are today.

That position may be closer to meeting the “challenge of navigating between theocracy on the one hand and a privatized faith in a secular society on the other”, as advocated by think tank Theos, but it’s not quite what she had stated.

“The government has a responsibility to uphold God’s laws morally.”

Adds Will Crawley notes that Cardinal Sean Brady is in general agreement with Iris Robinson’s unclarified view of god and government..

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  • TAFKABO

    It would seeem that the moral of the story is that Iris always sounds a lot better when someone else is writing her scripts.
    She’s probably no different from most politicians in this regard.

  • cynic

    Yes…that’s all motherhood and apple pie and most definately not what she said initially so commonsense has prevailed….or perhaps she listened to Peter.

    Anyway perhaps there’s hope yet for common ground in Northern Ireland. It’s nice to see that Iris and the Catholic Chuch share a number of views in common

  • wild turkey

    Taf

    Do you really think someone ghosted this for her?

    The arrogance and intolerance of the statement ‘and some people for their own PETTY reasons may attack me for saying so’. Sounds like classic Iris to me.

    Funnily enuf I thought humility was a fundamental christain virtue. I must be reading the wrong Bible.

  • TAFKABO

    I don’t know if it was ghosted, but I’d wager a bet it was at least tweaked and tidied up by an advisor.
    Nothing worng with that by the way, it’s par for the course in the politics business.
    We might even go so far as to say that Iris is a case in point of why this is par for the course.

  • Peat Blog

    I find it ironic how on the one hand she states that the UK wouldn’t be what it is today without Christianity (undoubtedly a statement of fact)whilst, on the other hand, being so concerned with the way the UK is today.

    That’s not to mention the crucial role of despots such as Henry VIII, and others, in shaping the country. I presume if he were around today he would not be a darling of the Christian fundamentalists and King Billy would probably also be a Guardian reader.

  • DC

    It’s pretty pathetic that she can use Nolan’s show for a blistering rant to polarize opinion, then have the opportunity to try and ameliorate the situation in the News Letter. Talk about trying to harness the media for political purposes!

    No one will believe what she means anyway and see through the nonsense for what she is, and that is an agitator of old DUP style. Done to try and consolidate the old guard, collatoral for the relative centrist manoeuvres the DUP leadership is trying to pull up into.

    I think people will see it as polarizing propaganda and recognise it as such in an attempt to stop the DUP vote base from fracturing when entering deeper into politics with republicans.

  • DC

    “The United Kingdom is a country that has been shaped by our long and proud tradition of Christianity.”

    And just to prove it is propaganda to suit her own political agenda the fact of this is borne out that in the UK there is no dispute about getting an abortion via the NHS.

    Perhaps she should swallow her own medicine and bring into effect the very Act that the Christian UK allows for.

    News Letter aka DUP propaganda sheet, idiots. Darwin is obviously not Darwinist.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Still, good to have yet another thread on this issue, eh?

  • Damian O’Loan

    I very much doubt that Iris Robinson wrote this: it betrays too complex a rationale for one who has repeatedly displayed such simplistic thinking. I very much doubt she is even aware that it differs substantially from what she said, twice, on Nolan. I am glad, though, that the DUP are not (openly) in favour of theocracy after all, even if one of their members is clearly an anti-democratic homophobe.

  • Mr Observant

    I think it was an open secret that Iris Robinson’s former column for the News Letter was written by DUP staffer Philip Weir.

    Maybe he tried to bring some sanity to her latest outburst.

    Mr. Observant

  • … legislation passed in this country should take cognisance of and reflect the traditions and beliefs which made us the society which we are today.

    Clearly, since the UK is largely a democratic country, its legislation will by definition reflect the ethos of the country as it currently is. I think that Iris is calling for the legislation to reflect what the ethos used to be.

    Militarism, colonialism, imperialism, racism, slavery, bigotry, prejudice, ignorance and intolerance were also part of the package of traditions that ‘made the UK what it is today’. But today’s people no longer accept those traditions – they have realised that they were immoral and unjustifiable, even though they provided, along the way, all those pretty horseguard uniforms and imposing buildings in Whitehall. Yes, tourists come to gape at the products of unacceptable traditions, just as we visit cathedrals in France knowing that they were scenes of brutality and intolerance.

    The point I would make to Iris is that traditions change. Yesterday’s accepted belief or tradition is todays unacceptable practice. When you realise that that is true for Britain as well as the rest of the world, you may be finally able to let go of some of your sacred cows and move on with the rest of us.

  • 6countyprod

    Billie-Joe Remarkable,

    Yeah, it seems pete baker likes to beat a dead horse.

    Iris’s views on ‘God and government’ may not necessarily reflect the practice and policy of her party, but she appears to have a lot of support from the common man.

    Quoting from a separate article in the Newsletter: …Her opinions were blasted again yesterday by the SDLP, Sinn Fein, Alliance and UUP on the same show. But in her absence Stephen Nolan noted that “the overwhelming majority” of calls were in her favour.

    As a long-time observer of the DUP, it seems to me that they backed off from really pushing ‘God’s law’ when they, for example, abandoned their Sabbath observation policy, and followed the more pragmatic ‘local option’ strategy.

    However, when it comes to matters of life and death, like abortion, and deviant sexual activity, etc. they still endeavour to maintain policies which reflect biblical standards. And a lot of people support them in that stance.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    6countyprod: The mutual appreciation society, repetition and over-long self-indulgent posts on here are wearying. that was my point. That said, I am hardly likely to be swayed by a straw poll of Nolan show listeners. I’m reminded of the Sid Vicious line: “I’ve met the ‘man in the street’ and he’s a cunt.” Harsh but fair.

  • GavBelfast

    Iris strikes me as someone who would have felt right at home in a country where Home Rule = Rome Rule, more than as part of a progressive liberal democracy.

  • Peat Blog

    “deviant sexual activity”?

    Like havin’ it off with the missus with the lights on?

  • Peat Blog

    “Iris strikes me as someone who would have felt right at home in a country where Home Rule = Rome Rule, more than as part of a progressive liberal democracy.”

    Exactly GavBelfast and noted on an earlier thread. The ironies, ambiguities and inconsistencies of life that all too often go unreported in Norn Iron.

  • TAFKABO

    Like havin’ it off with the missus with the lights on?

    I think they mean any sexual activity that you enjoy.

  • Peat Blog

    “I think they mean any sexual activity that you enjoy.”

    So, nothing other than immaculate conception then. It’ll be difficult to enforce.

  • TAFKABO

    So, nothing other than immaculate conception then. It’ll be difficult to enforce.

    Not if your missus looks like Iris Robinson it wont.

  • circles

    Pete Baker links the links to his links, dead horses fear his vicious flogging and this topic has had more wear than Iris’ bible.

    Anyone for a game of table tennis?
    Oh – a dicky bird once told me that Iris was fond of a bit of a frisk from the odd body-guard. Any truth in this bit of scandal?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    You guys are just gonna love the stuff Iris comes out with tomorrow (though it’s from last month, I think).

    If you thought Iris has been extreme so far, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!

  • Comrade Stalin

    I agree with 6countyprod. Slugger is, I think, representative of a cross-section of opinion in NI, but it is not a barometer of which different points of view have the most support on the ground. There are a lot of people who agree with Iris, and Iris is speaking to them, not the rest of us who are somewhat more enlightened.

  • 6countyprod

    My dear enlightened Comrade,

    Nice to hear from you.

    I reckon that most contributors to Slugger are armchair generals who have a genuine interest in current NI affairs, but who do not want to get directly involved (for a variety of reasons) in trying to serve or solve NI issues.

    We are like the folks in the local pub who spend the evening pontificating about the ills and woes of society, come up with all sorts of solutions, and then go home to sleep things off.

    A recent study in the US has shown that bloggers have little or no impact on persuading opponents to their point of view, and that those in power and authority pay little or no attention to the opinions of bloggers.

    So, enlightened or not, the movers and shakers couldn’t care less about what contributors to Slugger think.

  • cynic

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/iris-gays-more-vile-than-child-abusers-13913517.html

    Belfast Gonzo was right. Looks like she got away from the minders again.

    It seems the ‘latest’ comments (gays and lesbians are worse than child abusers) were said in Parliament some days back but her defence as quoted in the BT is robust

    “What I say I base on biblical pronouncements, based on God’s word. … I cannot think of anything more sickening than a child being abused. It is comparable to the act of homosexuality.”

    and later on

    “There will be a judgement day and when I am judged I want to know that I did all I could to spread the word of God.”

    But dont be too critical

    ” Anything I say is out of love. I am not hate-mongering.”

    Of course not.

    Regrettably I am now staring to join the ranks of those who feel there’s no point in pursing this any more. When something is beyond redemption, beyond hope, what more can you really say about it except that those who elected her have themselves to blame.

  • picador

    The lady is bonkers. Pure and simple.

  • cynic

    To break my own last injunction now within moments we change yet again with a “clarification” and the BT changing their website page:-

    “Iris Robinson today made an apparent U-turn over her controversial comments that homosexuality is “viler” than child sex abuse.

    The First Minister’s wife told the House of Commons, during a debate on the assessment and management of sex offenders, that “there can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing innocent children”.

    When contacted by the Belfast Telegraph Mrs Robinson said that homosexuality was “comparable” to child abuse and that she feels “totally repulsed by both.”

    “I cannot think of anything more sickening than a child being abused. It is comparable to the act of homosexuality. I think they are all comparable,” she said.

    Later today however, she issued a fresh comment via the DUP press office stating: “I clearly intended to say that child abuse was worse even than homosexuality and sodomy … at no point have I set out to suggest homosexuality was worse than child sex abuse.”

    Apparently we are compelled to speak out on God’s word as biblical truth but then decide that that truth needs to be subtly clarified yet again.

    Oh to be a fly on the wall in DUP Headquarters – or perhaps not!!!

    Oh Iris, Iris, please just shut up and go away!

  • cynic

    Now Hansard misrepresented her as well.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7517500.stm

    Oh dear, oh dear.

  • joeCanuck

    When something is beyond redemption, beyond hope, what more can you really say about it except that those who elected her have themselves to blame.

    Cynic,

    Totally agree. We should just ignore her current wriggling.
    However, when the Assembly reconvenes, her husband should be put on the spot and asked if he agrees with her reported (in her own voice) views. Perhaps he could do the decent thing and state his government’s position as soon as possible.

  • joeCanuck

    government administration

  • cynic

    One assumes that as a bible based wife she will then submit to his views ………

    although for everyone’s sake he might state them sooner rather than later and one of them might be ‘shut up’