Paisley’s non political porridge

Dr. Paisley has been writing his column in the Newsletters on Fridays for a while now. I have found it both informative and surprising. Paisley’s Newsletter articles have been largely religious in nature: political comments especially as relating to current Northern Ireland politics have been very limited.

At one level this is unsurprising: Dr. Paisley, whatever his detractors may think is a fundamentalist theologian of very considerable note: His exposition on Romans is highly regarded and his purely religious and theological works probably entitle him to a Doctorate of Divinity to a much greater extent than the moderators of the Presbyterian Church who are always given one. Remembering, however, that this man is not merely a well respected fundamentalist theologian and founder of a church but also a leading politician, and until very recently the leader of unionism; his almost complete silence on Northern Irish politics is surprising and maybe not what Darwin Templeton had envisaged (or hoped for?) when he – for I presume it was he who- offered Paisley a column.

Clearly, however, Paisley; no matter that he is damaged goods now amongst rejectionist (or even sceptical pro agreement unionists) could do Robinson considerable damage should he denounce his current strategy. John Coulter in the Irish Daily Star (via Newshound) has tried to suggest Dr. Paisley is involved in a plot to end Stormont. However, I have not seen or heard any similar comments about Paisley and he seems to be willing to play Blair to Brown rather than Thatcher to Major, by cultivating his interests outside politics. In the absence of much NI political comment in public or in the pages of the Newsletter, some will no doubt try to suggest that Paisley is plotting. Whilst that may be possible I suspect it is highly likely that Dr. Paisley is quite happy doing what he is doing. Many in journalism and politics forget that Paisley always was a serious church minister and theologian as well as a politician. He is also now an old man and as such religious activities as well as his own constituency are probably enough to keep him busy, and away from any critical comments even if he is opposed to Robinson’s current stance: at least Peter Robinson must hope that is the case.

  • dub

    Turgy,

    I see that it is not just fenian prose from Chirs Donnelly that you seem unable to understand. Coulter makes it CRYSTAL clear in his piece that the same hard right faction within unionism that got rid of Paisley for making Stormont work is now plotting for Stormont to go down the tubes. Maybe you need to go back to school?

  • Turgon

    dub,
    I agree but there is a comment in his piece which says “Maybe that realisation is fuelling gossip a new power block is being mooted on the Hill headed by Big Paisley himself is being mooted to get the Executive running again. “

    His article does not seem to make much sense on that score. I suppose maybe having thrown out Dr. Paisley, they may now be uniting behind behind him to get rid of Stormont but I would be surprised.

  • smcgiff

    ‘respected fundamentalist’

    Not two words I’d consider compatible.

    ‘Word on the Hill is that a Shinner-hating faction within hard-right unionism would be quite happy to see the Assembly fold with powers returned to Westminster.’

    Well, they’re playing a very dangerous game in that case. I don’t envisage power exclusively returning to Westminster as any long term solution again.

  • Bunter

    Anybody who takes seriously a word that John Coulter writes needs their head looking at.

  • dub

    Turgon,

    Yeah, but that sentence is ungrammatical. Also it still appears to mean that Paisley is behind moves to get the Assembly working again.

  • Turgon

    Don’t forget.

    Ian Paisley fits the bill for second beast of Revelation, says “666 names” author

    He may have been First Minister but could he also be the second beast of Revelation, the one that aids and abets the first beast, or Antichrist, to get his wicked way? Derry author and expert on the Book of Revelation John O’Connell has today stated that DUP leader and Northern Ireland’s First Minister Ian Paisley matches the description of the second beast of the Book of Revelation and his subservient stance vis-à-vis Gerry Adams’ casting his shadow over proceedings while remaining outside the executive means that Ian Paisley may be the first unionist leader to tread the Dublin road.

    O’Connell, who had a mystical experience in Spring 1986 when he was inspired to calculate the number of the names of Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley at 666, and is therefore credited with “insight” and “wisdom” (Rev 13:18), made the following comments on Ian Paisley:-

    Ian Paisley

    O’Connell said: “I cannot mention Gerry Adams without mentioning the fact that the second beast is Ian Paisley who, as a religious preacher, represents religious extremism. The second beast is coincidentally called ‘the false prophet’ (Rev 19:20), making him a flawed part of the Old Testament tradition of prophets. Would anyone deny me the right to define a man who has been for many simply a loudmouth bully who has regularly threatened violence if he doesn’t get his way as not being like Christ? Who actually believes that Christ is a loudmouth bully who threatens violence? Why then should any Paisleyite object to their leader being regarded as an opponent of Christ like Gerry Adams?

    “‘He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon,’ (Rev 13:11). Paisley is a religious preacher like the Lamb, or Jesus, but he has a roaring voice (akin to what the mythical creature, the dragon, would sound like, some would say). This is a significant coincidence.

    “Again, Ian Paisley’s name coincidentally comes out at 666 on my numeric alphabet (see Appendix 1) which makes the alphabet all the more credible in that there are coincidentally two beasts in the Book of Revelation and the number of the beast is 666; that is, the number of both beasts is 666.

    “Another prophecy was fulfilled at the reconvening of Stormont on May 8th 2007 with Ian Paisley being elected First Minister and Gerry Adams decided not to be part of the government: “[The second beast, i.e. Paisley] exercised all the authority of the first beast [i.e. Adams] on his behalf [i.e. because Adams remained outside government], and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed [Adams was shot and seriously wounded in 1984]” (Rev 13:12).

    “By remaining outside government, Adams has shrewdly ensured that his spirit remains to dominate proceedings. Paisley will govern with one eye on keeping Adams happy under government by the lowest common denominator (i.e. he exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf): the authority of the first beast depends on him appealing to the lowest common denominator in the population.

    “Paisley’s often-heard oratory has contained considerable elements of bigotry, even hate, against his opponents, rather than forgiveness and love. He regularly called for an eye for an eye, in dealing with those who ‘sin’ against his community.

    “Much of the value system of the Bible-reading Unionists comes from the Old Testament. For example, their beliefs in a (divinely-ordained) nation state, in a God of severe Judgements, and in Hell, Fire and Brimstone have their origins in the Old Testament. When a unionist quotes the Bible, he almost always is referring to the Old Testament.

    “The emphasis of Ulster Protestants on the message of the Old Testament is well documented, and their contribution to capitalism is widely accepted. Ian Paisley may then be said to come from an Old Testament background. But, on the whole, he has not been a good prophet leading his people to the light but, on the contrary, he has led them away from it and deeper into darkness. In recent years his fire has dimmed and he has taken a more positive line such that he may in fact be the first unionist leader to lead his people on the Dublin road.

    “Therefore, one must ask the question: is Ian Paisley a false prophet? The answer can only be “yes”, contrary to what Ian Paisley has made his reputation on – saying “No”. We must further ask the question, is Ian Paisley “the false prophet” (Rev 16:13), or the second beast, as prophesied to come in the Book of Revelation? Given what I’ve said above, it is undoubtedly so.”

  • Greenflag

    Turgon

    ‘not merely a well respected fundamentalist theologian ‘

    So is Ayatollah Khomeini the Iranian Supreme Leader .

    How many angels on the head of a pin is not a line of reasoning that will help resolve the political or ethno/cultural problems of Northern Ireland .

    I’m sure there is a hard right faction within the DUP who would exult over a collapse of Stormont . The fact we haven’t heard from them is due to two reasons . One they would prefer if SF did the business this time around and two they know they would have even less political influence under DR although some may see a ‘gleam of silver lining’ in a possible future Tory administration .

  • qubol

    can someone red card john o’connel for spam? He just copy and pasted that shite above.

  • jone

    To say that Darwin didn’t get what he hoped for is an understatement…Paisley’s Porridge has been pretty bleedin dull. But no worse than the legendary Iris Robinson column which seems to consist of slightly rewritten DUP PR screeds.

  • Chris Donnelly

    “…his purely religious and theological works probably entitle him to a Doctorate of Divinity…”

    Surely the good ‘Doctor’ is content with his doctorate from Bob Jones???

    I’d suggest that Paisley’s non-political platform says a lot in its own right.

    Clearly he’s still smarting from the unedifying manner in which the Young(er) Turks ousted him from ‘his’ own party and so humiliatingly demoted his son within the party. He may also be unwilling to put a spotlight on his time in the OFN/DFM for fear that ‘unwritten’ agreements with republicans which may damage the party come out into the open.

    No wonder Templeton’s courting Gregory to provide the political hard-line for the Newsletter masses.

  • fair_deal

    Turgon

    A few words of advice never ever rely on a column by John Coulter to try and sustain an argument. he is the Alex Jones of Unionist comment.

  • EWI

    Dr. Paisley, whatever his detractors may think is a fundamentalist theologian of very considerable note: His exposition on Romans is highly regarded and his purely religious and theological works probably entitle him to a Doctorate of Divinity to a much greater extent than the moderators of the Presbyterian Church who are always given one.

    The fact-free ‘Turgon’ strikes again:

    Doctor Paisley

    Paisley’s use of the title ‘Dr’ derived initially from a 1954 qualification from the (outlawed [5]) American Pioneer Theological Seminary in Rockville, Illinois. Later this was somewhat legitimised by an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree awarded by Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist Christian college in Greenville, South Carolina that was unaccredited at the time. Bob Jones, Jr. was a close personal friend and, with Paisley, a leader in evangelical Christianity. Paisley continues to maintain a friendly relationship with the institution and has often spoken at the University’s annual Bible Conference.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Paisley

  • False Advertising

    BJ University isn’t as fun as it sounds.

  • ??

    ‘Word on the Hill is that a Shinner-hating faction within hard-right unionism would be quite happy to see the Assembly fold with powers returned to Westminster.’ ……..

    and the problem with that is?? Remmeber sinn Fein is a party that is full of convicted murderers and terrorists. Only a deranged electorate would vote for them

  • flying spaghetti monster

    “Dr. Paisley…is a fundamentalist theologian of very considerable note: His exposition on Romans is highly regarded…”

    Turgon, I didn’t realise that we had a home-grown Luther in our midst. We usually only see mediocrities around these parts.

    BTW, can you provide references for your surprising claims? Who regards Paisley and his learned works highly? Is he mentioned with admiration in academic-level theological journals?

  • Half Pint

    “the legendary Iris Robinson column”
    Don’t you mean the Christopher Stalford column? I don’t think he writes Paisley’s though.

  • turgon for pope

    turgon for pope or moderator who gives a fek really.

  • Turgon

    In all honesty, Ian Paisley knows scripture but little else about Christianity.

    His is a masculine Christianity, clearly a contradiction in terms, which contravenes the general theme of the New Testament which is immensely female and feminine.

    As I suggest in my latest book,God is Woman and the future’s female! Why Our Lady is really God, and Mark Durkan knows it, the unionists deny it, and Gerry Adams just doesn’t get it at all!, the Old Testament God is masculine whereas the New Testament God is female.

    So big Ian is worshipping the extremely voilent satanic God who gets up everybody’s nose, including Richard Dawkins’, when he roars and mouths out hatred.

    That’s as far from Christianity as it gets. That’s why he is the prime candidate for the false prophet of Revelation, as Gerry Adams is the prime candidate for Antichrist.

    I’m not making this up! You couldn’t.

  • pith

    I haven’t read Dr Paisley’s work on Romans but am sure that its value to the development of western European thought must be on a par with his earlier writings in The Protestant Telegraph.

    As for John Coulter….

  • EWI: The American degree system doesn’t have the concept of the “higher doctorate” which the British does. So whatever the status of either of Paisley’s existing doctorates they are not even purporting to be on the level of a British DD.

  • WhiteKnight

    How about a competition for who can track down a piece in which John Coulter was actually right about something?

  • pith

    Start off with something easier. Like a hunt for unicorns.

  • Rory

    John Coulter – the Michael Fish of political forecasting.

  • Rory

    A fellow theologian (and Roman) who somehow bears an uncanny resemblance to a “highly regarded” author of an “exposition on Romans”. Are they by any chance related? ( with acknowledgements to Ena B. Anonymous)

    http://www.artquotes.net/masters/bacon/paint_study.htm

    Funnily enough I have heard the good doctor expounding on “Romans” on a number of occasions. He didn’t seem to care for us much. Indeed if we were as guilty of all that he damned us for I wouldn’t care very much for us either. Fortunately me mummy was very nice and she was a “Roman”, same as me.

  • John Coulter and Declan O’Loan were left high and dry the day Michael McGimpsey set sail for Rathlin. It seems that neither John nor Declan realised there was a ‘scoop‘. Declan tried to assure us that all was hunky-dory 🙂

  • Bigger Picture

    Turgon

    Can I commend you in making a story out of something that isn’t a story at all. The TUV engine room must be running dry on ways to try and attack the DUP when it resorts to a John Coulter column!

    This is all in an effort to be seen to be driving another split in the DUP. The Tories tried to do this to Blair/ Brown and Labour for years and are only popular now for actually being appealing rather than the failings of others. The fact of the matter is that to try and drive wedges in a party shows that their opponents are running out of ways to attack a party that is striking a cord with the electorate’s thinking a la the Enniskillen by election

  • Turgon

    BP,
    In all honesty I was not trying to support Coulter, I was suggesting it was nonsense: sorry if I did not make it clear.

    I find it interesting though in some way unsurprising that Dr. Paisley is sticking to religion at the moment.

    As to TUV vs DUP we can have that row whenever you want but in all honesty it was not really the aim of the blog. I am not quite that one dimensional: almost but not quite.

  • Turgon – “I find it interesting though in some way unsurprising that Dr. Paisley is sticking to religion at the moment.”

    let him be….

    for goodness sake…

    If he was spouting off about Peter Robinson or the direction of the DUP – then you’d be saying – “I find it interesting that Dr. Paisley still thinks he is leader….. but unsurprising blah blah blah”

    He isn’t leader however he IS a Rev. sometimes the obvious is somehow not obvious enough for some…