No Free Presbyterian protest lodged against Belfast Pride Parade this year

belfast pride logoNow in its 21st year after its first “run through the city centre” Belfast Pride has a week of activities (and a growing set of events on the fringe) surrounding the Saturday afternoon parade through Belfast city centre.

This year only one group has registered a protest with the Parades Commission. So unless the normal protest from Sandown Free Presbyterian has merged in with the Stop the Parade Coalition, they must be staying at home on the afternoon of Saturday 30 July this year. (Or else planning to protest illegally!)

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  • between the bridges

    [Mod – removing comment as it’s not an excuse for jokey comments in poor taste]

  • jayser

    I think you mean Hymns, and past! Hmmm, I also think If you knew parades commission guidelines the rule about Hymns applies to Bands. The Belfast Pride Parade has no bands in attendance!

  • JR

    And we all know that Paslm 23 can be sung to any 70’s dance track. Even while it appears to everyone listening that you are actualy just singing the normal lyrics of the 70’s dance track.

  • Never understood the purpose of a “Gay Pride” march except to offend anyone who isn’t homosexual. Carrying placards with heretical views and rude comments against Christ is deeply offensive and shouting insults as Christian protesters is shocking

    If homosexuality was a choice then I suppose I could understand them celebrating their choice to be gay, but for a sect to celebrate what they claim isn’t a choice is akin to someone holding a “white pride” march to celebrate not being another colour. Pointless and offensive.

  • between the bridges

    jayers and jr (sounds like a 70’s pop group!!) the homographic point is both offend the already offended…

  • Rory Carr

    I think, Youngpolitico, that the purpose which you fail to understand is an attempt to reclaim the sense of dignity that was denied to gay people during the long centuries of repression when the driving force behind such repression in the Western world was the Christian churches acting, not unusually, in a most unchristian manner towards their fellow man.

    While you claim that you “could understand them celebrating their choice to be gay” I must say that I rather doubt your willingness to allow people to exercise such a choice any more than you seem prepared to be tolerant of those whose sexuality has been determined in the womb (or, as some might argue, by Almighty God).

  • socaire

    Hermaphrodites Rule OK! At least they can fulfil some purpose as opposed to carnal gratification.

  • Rory Carr

    What on earth are you wittering on about, Socaire? Your second sentence is just meaningless jibberish and makes no sense whatsoever.

    Who can fulfill what purpose? And why is that purpose opposed to carnal gratification?

    Indeed how the hell can a purpose be opposed to anything and if it could why should it be opposed to carnal gratification? Do you mean that you are opposed to carnal gratification? Does that include eating I wonder?

  • I sometimes wonder how people who are anti-homosexual handle it when their son or daughter “comes out”.

  • youngpolitico

    I am not homosexual and I am not in the least offended by Pride parades. Would you consider a parade by Polish or Chinese people offensive because they celebrate something you (presumably) aren’t?

  • Rory Carr I am tolerant of Homosexuals, I however do not feel that carrying placards mocking Christ or making out that he was sinful is acceptable. Just because I do not agree with people marching through the streets of Belfast demeaning my Lord and Saviour or the Church does not mean that I have a problem with those who are homosexual… nor with their right to march (though that seems to be the inference you are making). I just feel they should be able to march without setting out to offend. It is one thing to celebrate one’s position and quite another to march past shouting and spitting on those who disagree with you.

    Mark Dowling, I am not homosexual and I am not in the least bit offended by “Pride” marches. I am however offended by offensive comments made about Christ and the Christian churches during them.

    One has to wonder that if next 12th of July I put on my sash and march past a chapel, spit on a few Roman Catholics, call them names and hold up a placard denouncing their church how many of us would say…

    “it’s okay, he’s just reclaiming his sense of dignity which was taken from protestants by the Roman Catholic church during the reformation and Inquisition period”

  • youngpolitico

    “if next 12th of July I put on my sash and march past a chapel, spit on a few Roman Catholics…”

    well, that would be assault, for starters.

    As for the offensive comments about Christ/christian churches, I’m pretty sure we all know who started that paradigm – and it wasn’t the homosexuals.

  • Dec

    ‘One has to wonder that if next 12th of July I put on my sash and march past a chapel, spit on a few Roman Catholics, call them names and hold up a placard denouncing their church…’

    Personally, I don’t associate any of those things with the 12th of July.

  • hugodecat

    Alan In Belfast, Just because a protest hasn’t been logged on the Parades commission website doesn’t mean it hasn’t been lodged a fly on the wall during the determination interviews told me that the regular Sandown church protest is still on

    Young politico
    As someone who has been stood between the city hall protesters and the paraders for the last few years I can assure you out of the12 to 15 thousand people who have walked past me in those two years (combined totals of the two), not one has been carrying a banner taunting anyone or mocking anyone’s faith, most of the paraders have been unable to see or hear the protesters and I seriously doubt any of the protesters saw or heard any of the actions from the paradersyou have alleged.

    There have been sporadic incidents in the past where one or two people have expressed their civil right to be offensive, the same civil right that David McIlveen used to defend his right to take out full page press adverts to be offensive in response to being offended by a picture he saw the year previously in the papers of a teenage boy being offensive (i’m sure that needs a comma or two)

    He could not have seen it on the day as a) it wasn’t written on the placard until after the parade passed him and b) his group turns its back on the parade and therefore cannot see anything,
    If the parade organisers could spend less time looking after those who travel to Belfast to be offended they could probably have dealt with the aforementioned stupid teenager much earlier.

    The parade is about the right to be yourself and not be ashamed because others want you to be, and to walk through town behaving as straight people do without threat or abuse – that people want to protest against this is what makes Norn Iron the unique and special place it is

  • Rory Carr


    If you say that you are not intolerant of homosexuals then I accept that you are not and apologise for inferring that you you might be. I am also somewhat sympathetic to the offence you take at those who go out of their way to portray the Christ figure with grossly crude imagery and it is no excuse as Mark Dowling suggests that Christians “satrted the paradigm”. Two wrongs and all that…

    I’m afraid that your attempt to shoehorn the experience of the Reformation and the Inquisition into my earlier example of Christian repression of homosexuals is much too inelegant for effect.I should try something else.

  • Billy Pilgrim


    Can you give us a flavour of some of the banners and placards you have seen that make “rude comments against Christ,” that “mock Christ (and) make out that he was sinful,” and that “demean (your) Lord and Saviour?”

    I’ve attended Pride on a couple of occasions and never seen anything like that.

    And is it really true that participants in Pride have ever, literally, spat at protesters? If you claim that this did, literally happen, have you any evidence?

    I’m not suggesting that this means no such things existed, it’s just that you’ve been a little vague. Can you provide more detail?

  • I expect they don’t want the spectre of Iris coming back to haunt them. At least she’s served some purpose after all if she’s embarassed the Free P’s out of this carry on.

  • hugodecat – I only posted after asking the Parades Commission about the number (if any) of protests … and they (twice) confirmed only one protest was registered. I know Pride were in before the PC on Tuesday afternoon – unless the PSNI were slow passing on the paperwork.

  • Nunoftheabove


    – wives are supposed to be submissive to their husbands (I Peter 3:1).

    – all women are forbidden to teach men (I Timothy 2:12)

    – women are forbidden to wear gold or pearls (I Timothy 2:9)

    – women are forbidden to dress in clothing that ‘pertains to a man’ (Deuteronomy 22:5).

    – shellfish and pork are forbidden (Leviticus 11:7, 10)

    – usury is forbidden (Deuteronomy 23:19)

    – shaving’s out (Leviticus 19:27)

    – clothing made of more than one fabric is a no-no(Leviticus 19:19).

    – Adultery – death for both the man and the woman (sic) (Deuteronomy 22:22).

    I’ll grant you any mount of biblical warrant for condemning homosexuality you want – it’s the biblical anti-gay deniers that are estranged from the truth of that falsehood (if you see what I mean) in my view. We’ll always be enemies if that’s your belief – fair enough. But assuming you disbelieve all or any of the above, on what grounds do you do so and why should I take anything you say about homosexuality (of anything else you believe solely because it’s biblically ordained) remotely seriously ? And why should anyone care about offending you by having an understandable belly laugh about your belief in the childish rubbish such as that above ? You can believe whatever you like, you do not – and I very much hope never shall – have any entitlement not to have those beliefs questioned, mocked and ridiculed.

  • sonofstrongbow

    I think all special interest minority groups should have their ‘Pride’ march. Obese Pride, Mugger Pride, Neo-Nazi Pride, Trainspotter Pride, all should have their day dandering through the streets.

    The ‘new’ Northern Ireland should be welcoming to all, even Fundamentalist Christian Pride, hell why not Slugger Posters Pride coming to a street near you?

    As to Gay Pride; has the ‘host’ heterosexual community been asked to agree the march?

  • grandimarkey

    “As to Gay Pride; has the ‘host’ heterosexual community been asked to agree the march?”

    Assuming you are part of the heterosexual community, would you agree to the march?

  • Did someone mention fat pride ?

  • sonofstrongbow

    Most certainly they can come out to my bit of the sticks. Can’t really speak for the folks in Belfast though. Suppose I could be cheeky and claim to be part of a Greater Belfast Community Group even though I am fifty miles away and in that case I say the city is open to all marchers.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Oh dear just read MPs link. Seems fatsophobia is still a subject for derision. Come on all you liberals Fight the Flabhaters!

  • Alias

    The Fat Pride group can’t afford to march this year. The committee spent their grant on donuts.

  • socaire

    You all were very careful not to ‘joke’ about Paedophile Pride. Aren’t they too born like that or is that a ‘life choice’? Surely if we can tolerate one abnormality we can tolerate all abnormalities?

  • Don’t be childish socaire

    I’ll just get me coat

  • socaire

    childish? Deal with the argument, a ghriangrafadóir.

  • Er it was a joke socaire (think about it)
    To deal with the issue i have no problem with anyone expressing themselves peacefully and i care not a jot for any religious interference (there’s been enough of that)

  • socaire,

    If we follow your line of reasoning, nobody is “normal” and there should not be any laws.
    BTW, I find your deeming of homosexuality as offensive, even though I an not so inclined. Sexuality between consenting adults is “normal” as long as it is consensual.

  • Golfie


    I am sure you are aware that paedophilia is illegal as it involves force, abuse and minors and homosexuality is not illegal because it does not.

    Now if you want to discuss the abuse of children by brainwashing them into belief of fictional gods I am all ears.

  • socaire

    Being a wise man,Joe, you will know that only males and females can breed. You also know that our most atavistic and basic need is to continue the race. Ergo to ‘avoid’ this urge is, generally, not normal. I don’t hate, despise or demean homosexuals. Some of my best friend etc etc. But no need for it in your face. I do not find the march uplifting I find it embarassing. Maybe the latency in me is so strong that I only think I am hetero. Quien sabe? Moochin, sorry I missed your witticism. I will try harder.

  • – mentions the carrying of an offensive placard

    Bible ripping etc can be found here –

    Such things are quite simply offensive. If homosexuals want to march then that is up to them and I fully accept and support their right to march, however if they only want to engage in triumphalism and coat trailing exercises by marching past churches carrying rude comments about those Churches beliefs and offending Christians then I do not support that.

    Surely Homosexuals should be able to walk without having to offend?

    Nunoftheabove… what does my personal religious convictions have to do with believing that all people (including Christians) should be able to go out and enjoy their day without being offended?

    What disappoints me is that people are trying to portray my opposition to offensive anti Christian placards, and lawbreaking as being anti gay.

    Gay Pride march? Yea go on ahead, enjoy yourselves…

    Anti Christian Placards, Bible ripping, spitting etc? Nah, sorry I don’t support that and never will.

  • socaire

    Golfie, the commission of paedophilic? acts is illegal but it’s not illegal to be a paedophile. Forty years ago homosexual acts were illegal, so when does the law stop being an ass?

  • Golfie


    the law will stop being an ass when it stops listening to asses who have no understanding about being human, your point is nonsense. In Iran it is illegal to practice christianty do you believe that is a just law and christians should obey it or should they be compared to paedophiles.

    Youngpolitico – there is no indication as to whether your saviour was homosexual or heterosexual so there is at least a statistical chance that he was homosexual so I fail to see how a placard suggesting he was homosexual could either be offensive or disproved. However, as has already been pointed out, Mr. McIveen has already established in court that we do not have the right to not be offended so your points are spurious.

    Unlike the Stop the Parade Coalition, pride seems to go out of it’s way not to offend people but some people will always find offence.

  • Nunoftheabove


    People holding views as silly as those I listed, and as loathesome and immoral as some of their opinions and beliefs are, as bible believers would and do, can expect to be mocked and ridiculed, as the alleged Nazerene himself is reported as saying. Get used to it and suck it up.

  • lamhdearg

    “In Iran it is illegal to practice christianty” no it is not.

  • curiousbystander

    I’ve noticed a lot of criticism based on one placard, I’m assuming it’s the “Jesus is a…” placard. In terms of the organisation Belfast Pride itself, they had no control over that. As far as I’ve been told by friends of the person who had that placard, he wrote his slogan on the back of another placard mid-parade; it wouldn’t have been allowed into the parade otherwise. Also, the official line on marching past churches is respectful silence. It’s mostly followed; again, it’s the few that yell insults that are focused on.

  • Billy Pilgrim


    Thanks for making an effort to answer my question. I must admit, however, that I’m none the wiser, for all your efforts.

    What do these offensive banners actually say?

    Have Pride participants ever literally spat at protesters?

    Have you any evidence of any of the nasty-sounding things to which you allude?

    (A link to an evangelical website which recounts gossip and second-hand allegations just won’t do.)

  • pauluk


    You’re right, Christianity is not illegal in Iran (maybe they’re thinking of Saudi Arabia). But they hang homosexuals.

    Now, that’s what you call intolerance!

  • pauluk

    Sorry, nunoftheabove, that should have been lamhdearg

  • The article written on behalf of the Evangelical Protestant Society – which is the largest evangelical protestant society in Northern Ireland next to Caleb (who also refer to the placards etc) explains what was said and what illegal acts took place at the Pride Parade.

    Loughbrickland Reformed Presbyterian Church was speaking on behalf of the Social committee of the Reformed Presbyterian Church.

    Not exactly the gossips you portray them to be, but then what about the Newsletter?

    Or what about the PSNI who under a freedom of Information request revealed that a complaint was made about someone exposing themselves and carrying an offensive placard?

    What about the world renowned blog on political and religious matters “Archbishop Cranmer” winner of numerous awards? He even includes what I presume to be a photo of it.

    What about the Belfast Telegraph which spoke to Nigel Dodds about the offensive placards?

    What about the Hansard report of a question to the then Secretary of State Paul Goggins in the House of Commons concerning the carrying of “offensive and blasphemous placards”

    What about Civil liberty who mention the placards which caused (as they say) “grave offence”.

    What about Courts Service NI where even the judge makes reference to the FACT that Homosexuals carried offensive placards?

    That’s me done with this thread, because let’s be honest no amount of evidence or press coverage is ever going to be enough to show some of you that one should be allowed to walk down a street and not be offended because they have different religious beliefs or a different sexual orientation from someone else.

  • Golfie


    Not sure if the placard could be judged as illegal or as a hate crime – it could just be a statement of belief at odds with yours. You would have to prove that this Jesus chap was indeed not homosexual or even existed for it to become more than a difference of opinion..

    Mr McIveen is responsible for the adjudication which stated

    “But Article 10 (of the European Convention on Human Rights) protects expressive rights which offend, shock or disturb.

    “Moreover, Article 10 protects not only the content and substance of information but also the means of dissemination since any restriction on the means necessarily interferes with the right to receive and impart information.”

    If you want the right to walk down the street and not be offended I urge you to take it up with him.

    Mr McIveen has protected the placard holder.

    Mind you all this fuss from you over one placard and one mooning several years ago – what about all the weeing in public at orangefest if you want to play whataboutery.

  • pauluk

    I personally have no experience with same-sex attraction, but I thought that maybe some Slugger readers may be interested in how former practising homosexuals have found a new and more fulfilling life. Cynics may mock and condemn all they wish, but these are real stories from real people.

  • @ pauluk,

    Is that you, Iris?

  • Golfie


    It’s not cynics who mock and condemn it is the professional psychoanalysts, psychiatrists and psychologists who condemn it as useless at best and harmful at worst. No need for cynics.

  • I wonder what we should do with people who wilfully refuse to take the cure? Start putting them back in Reading jail?

  • carl marks

    “As to Gay Pride; has the ‘host’ heterosexual community been asked to agree the march?”

    Gay people are a very important part of the community why should it be necessary for them to ask the heterosexual part of the community for approval, they are parading through the town centre not past or down populated areas so if you want to be offended you got to travel to be offended.
    Tell me sonofstrongbow does your belief that host community’s should be consulted before people march through them or past the extend to Ardoyne the Short Strand or Garvaghy Rd

  • Rory Carr

    “I personally have no experience with same-sex attraction…”– Paul UK

    If you say so, Paul. Never mind, you are still a young man I take it, so there is plenty of time. No need to rush things.

  • pauluk


    There are probably not too many professional psychoanalysts, psychiatrists and psychologists who frequent Slugger. But if there are any, maybe they could analyse some of the stories that I referred to above and give an opinion.

    In fact, why don’t you read them and let us know what you think? Go ahead. You might learn something you didn’t know before.

  • Billy Pilgrim


    I honestly didn’t know what you were referring to, when you talked about the offensive placard, so I appreciate the fact that you have taken time to answer my request for further information, and indeed evidence.

    I hope you weren’t offended by my use of the word ‘gossip,’ no disrespect was intended. The link to the News Letter, and the photographs, are exactly the sort of evidence I was hoping for. I’m sorry you believe that ‘no amount of evidence or press coverage is ever going to be enough’. It’s enough for me. I asked for evidence and detail, and you provided it. I acknowledge your efforts. Thank you.

    Clearly the ‘Jesus was a fag’ placard would be offensive to certain sections of the community. Presumably the person carrying the placard knew that. They must also have known there would be religious protesters there, so presumably the placard was intended as a two-fingered salute to those protesters, and to anyone who would quote scripture to damn gay people.

    Two questions arise: does a person at Pride have the right, and are they right, to give such a two fingered salute?

    The first one is easy to answer. Yes, they have the right. We’re talking about a city centre parade here. The city centre belongs to the gay people of NI as much as anyone else. And it’s an obvious point that in Northern Ireland, far wider parading rights of organisations far more malevolent than Pride are upheld.

    The second one is trickier. Was he right to exercise his right in such a provocative manner? I can understand the desire to meet fire with fire, so to speak, I can’t but feel that the guy in question was acting the wanker. And generally, it’s a decent rule of thumb not to act the wanker, even towards those who, arguably, deserve it.

  • Rory Carr

    “…generally, it’s a decent rule of thumb not to act the wanker, even towards those who, arguably, deserve it.” – Billy Pilgrim

    …which about sums it up as neatly and decisively as anyone could ask for (if you ask me).

  • sonofstrongbow

    carl marks,

    The city centre has indeed a ‘host’ community. I own a couple of apartments there and my renters certainly live close to the event.

    Should they be consulted? Of course not. No one owns the public roadway. There are plenty of laws to manage access to streets and others to ensure that those using it do so in a lawful way. That’ll do for me.

  • pauluk

    Should they be consulted? Of course not. No one owns the public roadway.

    The same logic could be applied to the Garvaghy Road in Portadown, right S of S?

  • sonofstrongbow

    Yes paul, anywhere and everywhere as far as I’m concerned.

  • Billy Pilgrim


    ‘No one owns the public roadway.’

    Not true. Everyone owns the public roadway. If someone wishes to deprive someone else of use of the road, there is an onus on them to explain why.

    In the case of Garvaghy Road, there is an onus on the Orangemen to explain why they should, for a limited time, be given exclusive access to the public road. No-one, not even members of Portadown District Lodge, are denied the right to use the Garvaghy Road on the same basis as everyone else. The Orangemen have only been denied a privileged use of the road.

    As previously stated, there is an onus on them to explain why they should be granted this privilege, but they have always refused, as a point of principle, to explain anything. The issue with Drumcree has always been whether the Portadown Orangemen should have complete impunity.

    They lost, and they deserved to lose. They will never march the Garvaghy Road again, and there is justice in that.

  • Thats a Pity. Not being there. and

    I suppose they are too embarrassed to protest this year, The Christian Lifestyle having been exposed as covertly sinful with the recent memory of our Christian Murderers duo,the Dentist Preacher and the Sunday school teacher Christians living the Christian lifestyle.

    Especially Now in the wake of Norway, the Mass Murderer a Christian living the Christian Lifestyle,

    How dare they!

  • lamhdearg,

    Your insinuation is offensive.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Mr Pilgrim,

    You can argue that all do own the public highway but they all would have difficulty using the same bits of it at the same time. When I move cattle, sheep or am on horseback along sections of my local roads I sometimes encounter irate motorists who are annoyed at being held up for a few moments. “Do those animals pay road tax” is a common ‘witty’ comment issued from within a car as it unnecessarily speeds off. Should I beg my “privileged” use of the roads from the few who find my use of it offending to the urgency of their day? Of course not they should make space for me as I do for others.

    But in reality this has nothing whatsoever to do with the ‘use’ of a road it is about who is using the road and an agitated minority’s view, be they be Free Ps in Belfast or ‘Residents’ Groups’ wherever.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Strongbow óg

    “You can argue that all do own the public highway…”

    It’s not an argument, it’s not an opinion, it’s a fact.

    “…but they all would have difficulty using the same bits of it at the same time.”

    Indeed. It’s called traffic.

    Roads are not closed for farmers herding cattle.

    All the Portadown Orangemen ever had to do was ask nicely. They never did, because that would have defeated the whole purpose. It would have undone their very raison d’etre.

  • sonofstrongbow,

    Only owner of the road, as the name Queens Highway, is Elizabeth ll. we may have rights to use these but we do not own these. And it amazes me that for instance the Orange Order would not be allowed to march on the M1 or M2 motorways, yet none the one of them complain about this.

    Which brings me to another itching point and a little off-topic, Ardoyne shop fronts, Garvaghy Road to name but 2, The Orange Order insists on walking where they cause ill to the other side, and insist because of a ‘rights’ issue.

    The problem I have with it, is that although ‘Rights’ are something worth taking a stand for, fighting for, The Orangemen have 2 rule books for their conduct. The 1st are the laws of this United Kingdom and the 2nd is the Bible.

    Whether or not offence is intended by the marching to a catholic or nationalist neighbour that fact that they know those catholics/nationalists whatever do feel ill about the presence of the Order puts it outside the law of the Bible, ie sin.

    Romans 13 clearly shows all the laws are summed up in love of God and love of Neighbour, and any commandment we do not know about is summed up in the words love your neighbour as yourself.

    Love worketh no ill to its neighbour, It doesnt say love intendeth no ill, it states categorically love worketh no ill, so once they know offence will be taken and felt, what they are doing is not loving their neighbour.

    Then continuing to do so, and at the same time claiming to be church grounded bible based Christ centred organization is a joke.

    likewise the Christians who in standing to protest at the gay parade, emulating actually the Pharisees in the bible, for neither Christ nor the apostles or disciples did anything of the sort, claiming to do so in love of the gays is rubbished if any of the gays are offended, feel ill etc by them,

  • sonofstrongbow


    You obviously know more about both the Orange Order and the Bible than I do. I bow to your superior knowledge.

    Pilgrim og,

    You’ve surely got to admire the Orange Order for marching for a hundred and whatever years down the Garvaghy Road awaiting its “raison d’être” to be fulfilled. What patience and foresight!

  • carl marks

    “As to Gay Pride; has the ‘host’ heterosexual community been asked to agree the march?”
    I queried this statement from you because it implies that you think that the people celebrating gay pride are somehow not part of the community and I thought that it was a very strange question from someone who in the past has supported the right to march regardless what the rest of the community thinks.


    That was the best description of the moral and theological dilemma facing Christian’s inside the orange order, worthy of a thread by itself

  • Perhaps they have decided that it’s best not to draw attention to themselves in case the skeletons start rattling.

  • carl marks

    I’m a bit disappointed that no one from the orange order has told us what they think of Procrasnow’s post’ perhaps sonofstrongbow, youngpolitico or pauluk could tell us where they he errs.
    Unless of course he has hit it on the nail and they have no counter

  • sonofstrongbow

    I’m not sure what “where they he errs” means and as I am neither a member of the Orange Order or any sort of theology expert I feel ill-equipped to comment.

    However in a spirit of helpfulness let me say that it seems to me that Procrasnow’s points are pretty simplistic. As I understand it the Orange folks wish to continue using what they term ‘traditional routes’. These I suspect are pathways established over many years. I can’t see either motorway mentioned meeting that requirement.

    As to Christians “sinning” when they cause offence I’m sure some Biblical scholar could speak to that argument. From my, long past, Sunday school days I recall the story about JC and some vandalism targeted on money-changers. I suspect, though I may be wrong, that those first century bankers might have taken some offence. Was the Nazarene a sinner?

  • carl marks

    where they he errs, should have read where he err’s.
    the orange order claims to be a christain group,
    Indeed they make a great play of this, we are often told by” bible believing christains” that it all very simple you do what the bible says or you re not a christain,
    Procrasnow points out were the bible states that if you do something that you know beforehand will be offensive then you are sinning, the orange not only knows that the desire to walk certain routes is offensive but refuses to talk to the people who live there, This seems to ignore the part of the sermon on the mount that goes “Blessed be the peacemakers”.
    No doubt there are many pick and mix christains out there who will use parts of the bible to justify what they do.
    As to the orange only insisting on traditional routes” as Christians they should put the lessons taught in their holy book before tradition, After all I thought that was the whole point of the reformation.

  • babyface finlayson

    I don,t think Procrasnow’s argument from scripture holds up all that well.
    Jesus and his disciples often acted in ways that would have given offence, by their words and actions. Hanging around with prostitutes, throwing money lenders from the temple, chastizing the pharisees. Giving offence in the course of practising or professing ones faith would not be considered sinful.
    The Orange Order could therefore argue that by parading they are giving witness of their faith, and if the Godless take offence then so be it.
    Carl Marks says “you do what the bible says or you’re not a Christian” .
    Those who are born again, I think, would say they are accepted by Christ having asked forgiveness for their sins. Erring from bible teaching would not mean you cease to be a Christian.
    This is not my own belief by the way I am just being devil’s (or Christian’s ) advocate.

  • sonofstrongbow

    I don’t think even Dawkins would be so fundamentalist as to what Christians believe as you are when advancing that argument. The very existence of religious belief is offensive to fundamentalist atheists. What are Christians to do in that case? Even turning the other cheek would add insult to injury.

    I’ll admit I’m on shaky ground here as it’s some time since I delved between the covers of the ‘Good Book’ but I think it is a bit of a pick-n-mix read. Perhaps the Orange Order sit more on the eye-for-an-eye wing of belief rather than love-is-all-you-need happy-clappers. Even Jesus said something about shaking the sand from his shoe from a town that took offence at his message before moving on. Next time you find yourself howling at passing Orangemen check out if they’re wearing sandals.

  • Carl Marks, above made reference to pick-and-mix Christians, and therein lies the nub of our problem.

    I thought of Pick-and Mix recently on the Monday morning after Rory McIlroy’s US Open victory in an Interview with the fat man on BBC radio, a local Christian politician who gain notoriety being repulsed by gays, could be concerned about the gay sin, yet be enthusiastic about (what from the Christian perspective) is a desecration of the Sabbath Just doesnt make any sense. except where the sin is committed by a ‘straight’ guy, we turn a blind eye.

    But these Christians not only pick and mix about what to take issue with they also pick-and-mix about what to believe in. And in the main chose the easy option. There are 4 Gospels in the Bible, Matthew Mark Luke and John. 75% of these 4 evangelists do not think the matter of being born again is important enough to even mention, they do not even mention the man Nicodemus the man to whom the words were supposed to be spoken. Anyone else not think, this is very strange given that vocal Christians place such a high priority to it. The 3, Matthew ~Mark and Luke do place high regard to what is necessary to obtain eternal life. they each say the same thing, No villas in Florida provided for here, Nor Gothic bathrooms, No BMW’s nor Mercs.

    So the question, was John, the last to be written, toned down to make conversion more appealing? The early chapter of the Book of the Acts of the apostles clearly shows that the disposal of worldly assets was given high priority, though i suspect are not dwelled on too often in Christian Churches, the following taken from Acts2 (KJV)
    41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

    42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

    43And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

    44And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

    45And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

    46And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

    47Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

    what happened to the couple who tried to hold back some of their possessions.

    The majority view of the Biblical evangelists is that to be a Christian is to lead a good life (keeping the commandments) and a simple life (no worldly possessions )

    After all do not the modern Christians sing, This world is not my home, I’m just passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door and And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore. So why the mortgage, the car, the clothes?