SOFT SANDS: The acquittal of Pastor James McConnell is not the first case of alleged offence to hit to soft sands after a long bout of social media outrage and the deliberation of the DDP’s office, which at the very least suggests there is a substantial difference between public understanding and the law itself.
The three great monotheistic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, have many things in common, and perhaps the most significant is that they all claim exclusive truth. That is to say, there are elements in each faith, belief in which is mutually exclusive, such as the differing views of Jesus between the three faiths – he cannot be solely a prophet, a false Messiah and the Saviour of the world all at the same time. The three faiths thus stand in opposition … Read more
UPDATED Much was said of Belfast ‘Pastor’ James McConnell’s recent anti-Islamic comments: The story was picked up around the world and McConnell was subsequently questioned by the PSNI. First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson was drawn into the row when he gave his backing to the Pastor’s remarks and said he would not trust Muslims involved in violence or those devoted to Sharia law but would “trust them to go to the shops” for him. Both Mr. Robinson and … Read more
Of all the ink and wind spilt over Pastorgate, surely Alex Kane has it best (The View, BBC, 29.5.14): “[Peter] Robinson is the leader of unionism in Northern Ireland. His primary job in that role alone is simply to promote the values of a multi-cultural, multi-national state. He makes people living here feel like they’re not quite part of the country and that’s very dangerous.” Brigid Brophy wrote in the Spectator in 1981: “The Northern Irish have indeed made … Read more
As the DUP have now entered the fray over the publicity around the anti-Islam sermon preached by Pastor McConnell, here’s a transcript of the extract that is under discussion: I know the time will come in this land, in this land, Protestant Ulster, so-called Protestant Ulster, so-called evangelical Ulster, even Billy Graham said that Northern Ireland was the last bastion of the Gospel … but … I know the time will come in this land and in this nation, to … Read more