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Richard Gilpin

Sounds great Steve, wish I could be there to hear it.
I was listening to Ian Paisley discuss the Ulster Covenant on 'The View' on Thursday night as he held one of the rifles of the UVF.
It was certainly a powerful political and religious movement that led over 400,000 protestants to sign the covenant and led to the birth of N. Ireland. I also think it was a blasphemous and profoundly anti-christian idea. Did not Jesus forbid the use of oaths? The fundamentals of Jesus' teaching are love God and love your neighbour, can you do this while at the same time support and encourage the use of violence against them?
The Ulster covenant in my opinion is something that true religious protestants should repent for, after all it was our forefathers who so mis read the message of Jesus and replaced it with the message of Carson.


Aside from the almost routine enlisting of God in a cause - and I'm not sure we're any better today at avoiding that kind of nonsense - what stuck me most about the actual wording of the covenant was that they pledged themselves to one another. Albeit in a political cause, but nonetheless it was a striking act of communion, and one sadly lacking in today's culture of self-absorbtion.

Richard Gilpin

Yea Steve I think you're right people are hungry for a greater sense of community, and a cause to believe in. My problem with the whole issue of the Ulster Covenant is not that people joined together in a common political cause, or even that the threat of violence was implied; the problem is that this was all done in the name of Jesus Christ with the support of the leaders of the main protestant churches and the vast majority of their clergy. It gave, and still continues to give legitimacy to the slogan 'For God and for Ulster'. It has made a mockery of the words of Jesus and has distorted his message in our country for the past 100 years. Our conflict is a religious conflict and in that sense requires a religious solution. I am glad to see that the Methodist church has attempted to seriously address these issues. I don't mean to judge or disrespect anyone; the past is past; but it's legacy lives on, and, until the church owns up to its role in the conflict here it cannot really have any credibility.

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