Friday, January 17, 2014

Paying the Price for Appeasement to Bigotry

Guest writer, TPQ regular Marty Flynn with his take on the trail of devastation Ian Paisley has left behind him in pursuit of his political ambitions.

Very many of us would have watched Eamonn Mallie’s interview with Papa Doc Paisley the other evening. That bastard with the help of a few other bigoted bastards created the firestorm which today finds nationalists/republicans paying the price for. By his own admission democracy did not know the name of Norn Iron.

Those who followed him on his hateful campaign of sectarianism (which as we now know was just his strategy to get his hands on the illusory helm of power) from the Glenanne gang to the Third Force and Ulster Resistance should now know that this bastard has been like all politicians - more than happy to lay down people’s lives for the love of his country.

Loyalists in large numbers must now regret having ever heard the name of Paisley. As has been pointed out by Dee Fennell we are to witness people dragged before the courts because they have the temerity to ask or demand to be allowed to live and go about their business without having to endure those bigoted displays of triumphalism. If it had not been for Paisley this sort of event would have been just a distant memory by now.

But, no, the architect of the "troubles " was feted and honoured like a statesman by the two governments. Both he and his equally bigoted wife were rewarded with peerages, and Quisling $inn £ein grovelled at his and his successor’s knees without any sign of growing any balls and demanding that these unnecessary hateful displays be restricted only to areas where they are acceptable. Their feeble cries for equality go unheeded and their inaction makes them look all the more ridiculous.

I am old enough to remember the Divis Street riots, again instigated by Paisley, and where Nationalists had to endure the blunt end of his bigotry, being beaten off their own street by thugs in uniform. I know a lad who was handed down six months for giving the cops a two finger salute.

The issue over hate-filled demonstrations will never be resolved by merely beating those opposed to such things off the streets or locking them up. Like the root cause of “the troubles” here it needs to be addressed in an open and honest manner.

As for Paisley - as that bigoted bastard stares into the abyss in a remorseful kind of way, maybe hoping that some greater being will forgive him, I hope, as an atheist, that all he finds is a hole full of maggots. The lives he has destroyed will never be fully counted and we still witness his legacy today with nationalists paying the price for appeasement to bigotry.

26 comments:

Bang on the money as always Marty

Marty


Has just said what I suspect the majority of us may have be thinking.

Great piece!

you haven't lost your rapier Marty!! Fine piece

If ever a Devil Was Born. Great Piece Marty.

There's not one thing i don't remember about that Bastard.

At Burntollet, A bible in one hand and a thumping fist shouting, "Kill the Fenian Bastards", Man of the cloth?, a hypocrite.

Yes Marty
With the blessings of a failed Provisional 'leadership' Paisley got the top job!
And republican activists had to settle for 'parity of esteem' with the likes of Michael Stone and Johnny Adair!

Marty,

With Ian and his imaginary papist conspiracy he certainly should shoulder the weight of the conflict but antagonists with a bible never have a problem with the death and ruined family’s lives being wasted in their holy wars.

That lot on the hill will always be full of praise as they brought us to ruin and now are convinced that they are the saviours as they fondly remind us daily.

Who knows when both communities will wake up and bulldoze that lot out of power as they are content with the mess and refuse to do anything to change it?

In 1998 I spent six weeks in and around Paisley's church and had the chance to interview the Big Man on a number of occasions. I was struck by the fact that his sermons always focused on Old Testament passages about vengeance and retribution so I asked him why he never seemed to reference Jesus and the New Testament. He told me that most of the New Testament wasn't relevant to the situation in Ulster. I asked if he shouldn't be working to make it relevant and he told me Americans always take the republican side.

When James Callaghan came to Belfast he said "Aren't we all children of God, Reverend Paisley?" Paisley famously responded "No we are all children of wrath." It didn't have to be that way and no one worked harder or profited more from keeping the wrath alive than him. I know you folks in Belfast don't have the same forbearance that I have since my family wasn't targeted by his wrath but I almost felt sorry for him watching the BBC interview. He's soon to meet his maker and I'm pretty sure it's not going to turn out like he hoped.

From Michaelhenry

As one of your Quislings Marty i have to tell you that i am more than happy about the way things are going-peter robinson has called martin mcguinness a dictator now because Sinn Fein can win elections whilst robinson lost the people of east belfast-paisley lost his party and his church and his big mouth

Jack,

a reflective comment. The Old Testament offers more opportunity for hate I guess. I always found the following a witty comment: you know god is on your side when he hates the same people you do.

A useful Sam Harris observation:

Scripture itself remains a perpetual engine of extremism: because, while He may be many things, the God of the Bible and the Qur’an is not a moderate. Reading scripture more closely, one does find reasons to be a proper religious lunatic – to fear the fires of hell, to despise non-believers, to persecute homosexuals etc. Of course, anyone can cherry pick scripture and find reasons to love his neighbor and to turn the other cheek. But the more fully a person grants credence to these books, the more he will be convinced that infidels, heretics, and apostates deserve to be smashed to atoms in God’s loving machinery of justice.

Sam Harris is mistaken in his claims about the Bible. It is not cherry-picking to see that the New Covenant era (the dispensation set up by Christ)has no place for a theocracy. Punishment of the wicked is to be left to the State and to God.

Christians are to love their enemies. The State is to punish the wicked.

Harris is right to observe that Christians hold that 'infidels, heretics, and apostates deserve to be smashed to atoms in God’s loving machinery of justice'. All sinners deserve God's wrath. However, the great message we have been sent with is that God offers forgiveness for all sinners who turn to him in repentance and faith. We were once as they are now. We long for their conversion.

If it is extremism and lunacy to hold that theft, murder, sexual perversion, etc. is a sin; and to seek the voluntary conversion of sinners, then we plead guilty.

Most people agree that some sins should be punished, murder for example, but many differ on the role of the State in punishing other sins. Fornication and homosexual practice are certainly sins in the Christian view, but most of the Christians I know hold that it is a personal rather than State matter.

Personally, I hold to Putin's view - gays should be left to their private practises, but not allowed to promote their sin in public.

No doubt that rankles with those who think no sexual practise is wrong. But many non-religious folk do have problems with some sexual practises like incest. So it is not a matter of having no public morality on sexual matters, just where we draw the line.



An interesting piece by Marty.

Paisley has indeed a lot of responsibility for the confrontation between our two peoples in Ulster. Instead of working for an honourable compromise - an Ulster respecting both identities and strengthening our common Ulster identity - Paisley took the easy course of demonizing all Nationalist/Republicans and resisting all their demands, justified and not.

The rest of us Unionists - or many of us at least - looked on in fear of the determination to force us into a United Ireland and swallowed Paisley & Cos assessment and prescription.

Had we not allowed fear to determine our response to the Civil Rights and Nationalist campaign we could have come up with a good solution. At least one that could have worked if good-will existed on both sides.

I'm not saying the Troubles would have been avoided - perhaps Republicanism would still have insisted on forcing us into a United Ireland. But at least we would have tried; and would not have forced the Nationalist/republican people to think we were not interested in their rights.

Was Paisley's campaign misguided patriotism, or even plain bigotry? I doubt it. We can't know any man's heart, but the evidence on the outside has long suggested to me that Paisley's motive was SOLELY to be No.1 in the land. He was prepared to adopt almost any policy to achieve that:to be leader of the largest party, in a Federal Ireland; or Total Integrated U.K.; or Stormont of 21stC.

An approach that was very sad, very political, and not Christian at all.

Wolfsbane,

people like me would take that view of religion - alright in private but not something to be waved about in public!

I disagree that Paisley's career wasn't based on plain bigotry. It certainly began that way. In 1959, when the Union wasn't really in doubt, he stood on the corner of the Shankill Road with a loudhailer shouting out the addresses of Catholics, urging mobs to do something about it. I think the Divis riots in '64 taught him the potential political value of his anti-Catholic ideology. He always craved attention but he deeply believed in the Protestant Reformation and that Catholicism was a fallen religion led by a fraudulent Pope. That he wore a collar and created a church where he was the infallible leader was an irony that was totally lost to him.

I was working on a project where I photographed the political content on the walls of Belfast during the peace referendum. I went to Paisley's church because I wanted to photograph the interior walls of Martyrs Memorial. He put me through six weeks of Bible study and proselytizing before he would let me do it. But it was worth the wait. Upstairs he has a series of stained glass portraits that trace the evolution of his life. The first one has an image of a lamb and the word 'Conversion' to mark his experience of being born again at age 5 after hearing his mother preach a sermon. Another has the first church he ever preached in.

But the one that really caught my eye was a portrait of Crumlin Road jail that immortalizes the times he suffered martyrdom for his faith (which consisted of three month sentences for causing public disturbances against Catholics). That was when I realized that the name 'Martyrs Memorial' is self-referential. It aligns him with busts of Knox and Calvin and others that line the walls on the first floor. He truly believes his life has been lived as a martyred victim of Catholic rage and that he has suffered as much or more than anyone else.

And whether he was motivated purely by bigotry or not, he clearly inspired others to vent their hatred and intolerance. I met a woman on the Shankill Road who told me "I never followed Paisley. Never voted for him. Don't like him. But he's been right about THEM every time. They are what he says they are." To my way of thinking if he used bigotry to achieve his ends that makes him a bigot.

In the interview Paisley came across as a damn liar, and again a bigot. Sickening to hear him say that he believed it was wrong to deny 'one man one vote', yet he led counter demostrations against the civil rights movement. His thoughts on the Dublin Monaghan bombings were also galling, but not surprising.

I sure as hell won't be giving him any time in my thoughts, joyous or otherwise, when he is in the ground. It would be a waste of valuable time to spend it on such a bigot.

Though i'm likely to give The Dubliners "Hand Me Down My Bible" one last blast

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoCagUKAhik

Jack, all you said still points, in my opinion, to egoism as the driver of Paisley's life, not bigotry. If it was bigotry, he would not have weaved and ducked as he did - nor set up a rival papacy!

I share his detestation of the Papacy, as do all true evangelicals, but that does not lead us to detest Roman Catholics. I assume you and others may have a loathing for certain religions/ideologies but can at the same time have good-will toward those deceived by that system.

It is the cynical manipulation of ordinary folk, playing on their fears to advance one's own career that is the crime. I'm pretty sure Paisley hoped he could get his ends without deaths, and his role as the 'grand old duke' supports this analysis. He never would have chosen actual war.

As a personal insight into this, I remember approaching him around 1970 as to what he thought about the UVF: he said they were a bunch of drunks with guns. Paisley's folly was thinking he could play with fire and no one would be burned.

But no, I don't agree with you that using bigotry to achieve one's ends makes one a bigot. It makes one worse than a bigot - a hypocrite. And if it wasn't intentional, it makes one a fool. I think the choice will rest there, not in being a bigot.

Wolfsbane -

I don't think we really disagree, it's just a matter of where you put the emphasis. My sense of Paisley's bigotry is based more on his endless repertoire of insults and demeaning rhetoric. There is no doubt that egoism is critical in understanding him but I doubt he could be so consistently hateful towards Catholics in his speech and actions without a deeply prejudiced foundation.

Maybe I'm biased because he got his 'doctorate' from Bob Jones University here in the States and that place has done as much to fuel racism in America as any other institution. One of Bob Jones' sons helped dedicate Martyrs Memorial at its grand opening. I do get the distinction you're making between hating the Church versus hating its adherents and yet "detesting" an institution that is central to peoples' lives implies some lack of respect for them.

I wish I could remember the exact citation but about ten years ago a poll in an American political magazine tagged Paisley as "the most famous bigot in the English speaking world." I bet most people who read this discussion either agree with that statement or at least understand how someone could reach that conclusion.

Jack - yes, we are pretty close on this.

My quibble with most folks on 'bigotry' is that they are just as bigoted on any issue that really matters to them. So many Democrats are bigoted about Bush Republicanism; so many Republicans are bigoted about Obama Democratism. But no one gets uptight about things indifferent to them - and they fail to see how those things might be very important to others.

And it's always the other guy who is the bigot.

Richard Dawkins is a bigot - but perfectly entitled to be so if he feels religion is so big a curse. I do not expect him to conform to any calm academic model of a philosopher assessing a belief system. Same for Paisley and other bigots. All I criticise folk for is misrepresenting their opponents or denying them their free-speech.

We can respect folk who are deluded/mistaken without having to respect their delusions/mistakes.



Wolfsbane - As someone who pays attention to what Paisley is up to, what sense did you make of his BBC interviews? Seamus Mallon castigated republicans when he said the GFA was'Sunningdale for slow learners (even though it wasn't republicans who scuttled it) but listening to Paisley, Mallon could have been talking about him. Do you think he's just doing revisionist history or has he totally lost it?

Wolfebane,

“I share his detestation of the Papacy, as do all true evangelicals, but that does not lead us to detest Roman Catholics. I assume you and others may have a loathing for certain religions/ideologies but can at the same time have good-will toward those deceived by that system.”

I was born into an RC family though by no means a strict one my parents didn’t care if their children didn’t adhere to any faith doctrine so in that sense I escaped the allegiance to religion.

I don’t have a problem with religious folk and I do believe religion does fill a void in people’s lives.
I do despise extremists in any form and Paisley was a master extremist regardless of how we view him as a religious figure he certainly inspired sectarianism and did nothing to combat it.

I am a little perplexed as to how you can follow his logic of pure hatred towards the papacy but are more lenient or tolerable of Roman Catholics considering they are one of the same.
Is it not the teachings of the RC Church that as you put all true evangelicals vehemently oppose it seems a little on the absurd side that the hatred of the higher echelons of Roman Catholicism would not extend to the lowest follower of the RC doctrine.

As I said I despise extremists from the head to the lowest follower without exception.

Even if I did acknowledge that his outrageous hate was just a platform for him to become number one in his political aspirations would that then make him a liar as his faith was only a tool for personal gain and those he deceived would be his fellow evangelical brethren.

I am unsure how one can despise the head but accept the body.

The man is evil and using the good book to further his own image is an insult to those who abide by the laws of monotheism and in that belief it will be his own god that will judge him.

Personally I believe he was is and always will be a figurehead for extremist sectarian bigotry he fully understood his sectarian ranting would incite trouble a conflict that would leave many Protestants dead this didn’t seem to bother him but only furthered his hatred and in his twisted mind justified his Protestant Ulster for a Protestant people.

In today’s world he would not have had the free reign to spew antic Catholic hatred and in my opinion his true interests were not for the betterment of the Protestant people but his own self-centered extremist religious and then that lethal combination of extremist religious politics.

I don’t see how you can defend Paisley as it was the deaths that give him more power and if he was not inciting war what exactly was he calling on Protestants to do when the imaginary papists were planning to overthrow Ulster?

As I said I am opposed to extremists and since by circumstance I was born into a Catholic family but have no interest in Catholicism or religion I would be more judgmental against Catholic extremists.

The man was/is a religious fanatic and like all fanatics a danger to common sense.

Jack said:
'As someone who pays attention to what Paisley is up to, what sense did you make of his BBC interviews? Seamus Mallon castigated republicans when he said the GFA was'Sunningdale for slow learners (even though it wasn't republicans who scuttled it) but listening to Paisley, Mallon could have been talking about him. Do you think he's just doing revisionist history or has he totally lost it?'

I think he is doing revisionist history. I think he probably believes his own account, and believed this docu would vindicate himself. Instead, I feel it has exposed how self-deluded he and Eileen are.

As I said before, we cannot know a man's heart, but going on the outward evidence it seems to me he only had one driving force - to become top dog. The others dogs had to be brought down, even if they were doing the right thing - and the thing Paisley would himself do when he got to be top dog.

Poetic justice - Trimble was brought down by Paisley for supposedly being soft on SF; Paisley was brought down for wholeheartedly pursuing Trimble's policy. And in the FP Church, Paisley was brought down by those he had taught to reject any engagement with SF.

He has only himself to blame for his rejection - his former supporters had believed him when he said SF were evil and we should never compromise with them. Both in the DUP and in the FP Church there were many who honestly held to that view - and they would not change their minds just because it suited Paisley.

Such is the consequence of hypocrisy. Paisley ended up doing the right thing in politics, but his dishonest means of getting that leadership position was his downfall.

Tain Bo said:
'I am a little perplexed as to how you can follow his logic of pure hatred towards the papacy but are more lenient or tolerable of Roman Catholics considering they are one of the same.
Is it not the teachings of the RC Church that as you put all true evangelicals vehemently oppose it seems a little on the absurd side that the hatred of the higher echelons of Roman Catholicism would not extend to the lowest follower of the RC doctrine.'

I despise certain doctrines of the RCC - those that give man a part in our justification rather than it all being of Christ, for example. I detest the governing elite of that system, for they bear the major guilt for preaching a false gospel and for spiritually enslaving their flock. I have only good-will toward the flock. And I'm not saying every priest, bishop or pope are wicked - just the system as a whole.

I suspect many secularists have the same attitude as me toward the papacy, and the same concern for the people under it.

'As I said I despise extremists from the head to the lowest follower without exception.'

I share that for any extremist who seeks to harm others. I don't have a problem with those who hold their extreme views but do not seek to impose them on others.

'Even if I did acknowledge that his outrageous hate was just a platform for him to become number one in his political aspirations would that then make him a liar as his faith was only a tool for personal gain and those he deceived would be his fellow evangelical brethren.'

Yes, I'm afraid it seems that way.

'I am unsure how one can despise the head but accept the body.'

The RCC is composed of pastors and the flock. Evil shepherds do not necessitate an evil flock.

'The man is evil and using the good book to further his own image is an insult to those who abide by the laws of monotheism and in that belief it will be his own god that will judge him.'

He is certainly either a hypocrite or a fool. One is more evil than the other. Yes,God indeed will judge us all.

'Personally I believe he was is and always will be a figurehead for extremist sectarian bigotry he fully understood his sectarian ranting would incite trouble a conflict that would leave many Protestants dead this didn’t seem to bother him but only furthered his hatred and in his twisted mind justified his Protestant Ulster for a Protestant people.'

I doubt he really intended the violence that came with the Troubles. I think he was a showman, a bluffer. His grand old duke role indicates that war was never his intention. Nor do I hold that his condemnation of Rome was a major factor in Protestant violence - it was the threat to our national identity that motivated Loyalists to take up arms, not hatred of Catholic theology. Indeed, most Loyalists I knew were rather Godless people. Even those who did have a faith were motivated by national loyalty, not religion.

'In today’s world he would not have had the free reign to spew antic Catholic hatred and in my opinion his true interests were not for the betterment of the Protestant people but his own self-centered extremist religious and then that lethal combination of extremist religious politics.'

He wanted to be top dog in church and state.

Tain Bo said:
'I don’t see how you can defend Paisley as it was the deaths that give him more power and if he was not inciting war what exactly was he calling on Protestants to do when the imaginary papists were planning to overthrow Ulster?'

I don't defend Paisley - I just tell it how I see it. He was calling Protestants to make enough trouble that the N.I. government and its party would fall, and he would take over the leadership. He had at his disposal a trusting populace and an actual Nationalist/Republican political (later military also) campaign to overthrow 'the Six Counties'.

'As I said I am opposed to extremists and since by circumstance I was born into a Catholic family but have no interest in Catholicism or religion I would be more judgmental against Catholic extremists.'

I appreciate that.

'The man was/is a religious fanatic and like all fanatics a danger to common sense.'

His Evangelical religion should not of itself be a danger to common sense. Most Evangelicals I know have as much common sense as anyone else. If one's beliefs necessitate persecution of unbelievers or other harmful practices, then that would be contrary to common sense. Evangelical religion does not necessitate any such behaviour.

Wolfebane,

I appreciate your response it is educational and well paced so rather than throw up a quick reply I will do a bit of head scratching first and try to form a reasonable response.

Wolfsbane,

My apology as I had wolfebane instead of wolfsbane a slight typo but poor eyesight does that.

After listening to too much of Paisley yesterday and the odd bit of reading I couldn’t find anything that would suggest he was only in it for the political gain.
I think his activity with his wee 3rd force army would say exactly what he was in it for.
“If the IRA come knocking at our door then we will be ready and kill them if the British army join forces with the IRA then we will kill them too.”

Roughly his words that show how much of a dedicated extremist he was/is the notion that he was just another prophet doing his gods work is merely ridiculous.

There was no papal conspiracy apart from the one he created and at the time there was no real threat from an in name only IRA.
Do you really believe he would have incited the mobs to war if the IRA had been well armed and ready for a fight?

He was a very valuable asset to the IRA and probably done more for recruiting than any notion of Irish republican duty could.
His intention was to divide the people and reinforce the idea that Protestants were better than their catholic neighbours.

He used the bible to say he had god’s blessing and the Protestant people to him were merely sacrificial lambs in his holy war against Rome.
I doubt sincerely that one of the Popes aides woke up the Pope and said Ian Paisley has declared war on the Papacy.

His holy war was against the Catholics in the north or as he likes the Papists.
He used his bile well and inflicted great misery upon his own people who over the years learnt there was no papal uprising only Paisleys notion of one based in his desire to become the next King Billy.

It must be somewhat confusing for him as the Vatican still stands and the faithful still pray why indeed his god forsake him and did not deliver the same fate of Sodom and Gomorrah.
I suppose the answer would be that Paisleys god doesn’t mind a bit of religious competition and shows favour upon the Vatican.
I did get a laugh at one of his interviews about the reformation big Ian like a wee child answered “they started it” just like the Papists did in 69.
The man is nothing short of an idiot with a bible a dangerous idiot a purveyor of hate I have to wonder why the good Protestant people were laid astray by this man and his maniacal preaching’s

Certainly the Catholic Church has a lot to answer for but for reasons I have no answer to they survive and continue so I am sure that their god has sent a few of them to their hell just as Paisleys god will probably show him the door to hell.
For his sins against his own people and the lesser sin of his hatred of all things catholic this whole religion lark is beyond my comprehension.

All I know for sure is if a priest came to me and said I must fight for the glory of Catholicism I would politely tell him nah you are alright but I will wait to watch on DVD.

I suppose it is the power of the bible much like the power of gold it drives the rational to become irrational and commonsense is lost in the rush to false power.

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