Ian Paisley

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Jar Jar Binks' abrasive cousin.
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God Save the Queen?
Let me smell yurr breath!
—Ian Paisley[1]

Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, Baron Bannside PC (1926—2014[2]) was the founder of the Democratic Unionist Party, a closeted homosexual, and for many years the face of Protestant bigotry and wingnuttery in Northern Ireland, and one of the IRA's best recruiters. His father wore a sash.Wikipedia's W.svg Bizarrely, in the 21st century something (perhaps a British threat to leave Northern Ireland to the mercy of the Catholics)[3] hit him on the head and he became conciliatory and moderate. Never can tell, eh?

His doctorate was the honorary variety, received from that eminent institute of higher learning, Bob Jones University.[4]

Acting Christian[edit]

In the 1950s, Paisley was involved in a dispute with a local presbytery in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, which had barred him from speaking in a church hall. Supporters of Paisley initiated a schism, creating a fundamentalist denomination (one of the few actually to describe itself as such) called the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. Paisley was elected as the new denomination's Moderator of the General Assembly in 1951 and remained in that office for the next 57 years.

Gay-bashing[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Homophobia

In the 1970s, he launched a campaign against legalising male homosexuality named "Save Ulster from Sodomy" and was thereafter an outspoken opponent of gay rights and equality.[5][6]

Anti-Catholicism[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Anti-Catholicism

In 1988, Paisley caused quite a stir when he heckled Pope John Paul II in the European Parliament, describing him as being the Antichrist.[7] He was evicted from the chamber for this.[8]

Anti-semitism[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Anti-semitism

In 1998, filmmaker Jon Ronson met up with Paisley to make a documentary on Africa. Allegedly, Paisley made a variety of antisemitic remarks towards the filmmaker: "He had three nicknames for me — one was 'the Jew', another one was 'my Jewish friend' and the third one was 'my circumcised friend'," claimed Ronson.[9] "Still, I guess it could have been worse."[9]

U.S. revokes Paisley's visa[edit]

Over 100 members of the U.S. Congress protested to the State Department when Paisley was scheduled to tour the U.S. in early 1982 to promote the Unionist cause. State responded by revoking Paisley's visa, citing his "divisive" views and adding, "Mr. Paisley's presence in the United States is prejudicial to U.S. public interests." Paisely denounced this as an attack on his free speech and bizarrely claimed the revocation happened because of a "conspiracy between the Thatcher Government and the U.S.A. Government to sell out Ulster." (As opposed to a ton of Irish-Catholics like those named Kennedy living in the United States and holding just a bit of power.)[10]

In politics[edit]

He was regularly elected to Parliament, which didn't want him, and to the European Parliament, where he ended up sitting next to the fascists because none of the sensible parties wanted to be associated with him. He was surprisingly popular in his local constituency among Catholics, due to his hard work for individual constituents.

In 2007, breaking with his old routine of saying "No" to everything, he became First Minister of Northern Ireland in a power-sharing government with Sinn Féin. This appalling act of heresy led him to be forced out of his longtime leadership position in the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster and, later, forced to retire from his pastor's post.[11]

He decided to retire in 2011,[12] three years prior to him meeting Jesus.[2]

Ian Paisley jnr[edit]

His (younger) son and namesake is a chip off the old block.

External links[edit]

References[edit]