We may face a choice: Be true to Christ or to the cult of the Union

Bibles in east Belfast's Bannside library, including Rev Ian Paisley's personal blue-bound annotated copy
Bibles in east Belfast's Bannside library, including Rev Ian Paisley's personal blue-bound annotated copy
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Although Alex Kane continues to inform us he is an atheist, he has moulded “the Union” into an alternative religion and pursues it with all the zeal of a new convert.

(Alex Kane: DUP seems to be preparing to face down the Free Presbyterians)

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

If you worship at this shrine, as Alex rightly points out, your morals and your theology, are not issues. You are all disciples of the same denomination – “the Union.”

You are free to worship any god you like as long as you acknowledge that supreme god.

It reminds me of the Roman attitude to religion. They didn’t care what god you worshipped, or none, as long as you supported the cult of the Emperor. This of course presents Christians with a dilemma, it did then, and does now. If they continue to vote for the DUP they are buying into the cult of the Union and the compromises that have to be made to promote this “faith”.

Then, most took the easy way out, squared it with their conscience and promoted both.

There has always been a tension within our community between traditional Protestants and liberal Unionists but for some considerable time there was an uneasy truce and out of mutual convenience one flowed relatively smoothly to the other – we tolerated one another.

However as N Ireland has become an increasingly secular society we may have reached a parting of the ways.

To maintain “the Union” compromises have to be made and it all depends how easily this sits with your conscience. Then, as now, most Christians will square this; there is no room for heroics, especially if it hits your pocket. And you

could be thrown to “the lions” who have elevated this cult.

Alex is quite right when he says if you buy into the Union, in order to maintain it you should be prepared to be subsumed into a wider and more secular British culture.

The DUP has been edging towards this position for some considerable time, and they used a gay candidate as a stalking horse to test the ground for a shift in their position on same sex marriage.

Christians now have a choice – do they continue to follow the cult of “the Union” and adjust their conscience accordingly, or do they reject “Emperor Worship” and suffer the consequences.

Either way it comes with a health warning, we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. It may well be we have reached a watershed in Ulster politics that could define the wider protestant community for at least a generation. We need to be careful that in choosing “the Union” we are not selling our soul for it.

As for Christians they have been “missing” for far too long. If this generates a debate it may yet prove their mettle and could turn out to be their salvation; they have had it too easy for too long.

Alex Kane is quite right when he says N Ireland is now a secular society no longer shaped by Christian values. That is no challenge for him because he is an atheist. Like it or not we are citizens of this new world, we’re part of it. The real decision for Christians is do we want to buy into it. If we do then we can join Alex’s crusade to promote the Union. Speaking for myself I’m not one of his converts.

He has elevated the Union into a cult and I reject it.

By the way, is this the same Alex who in a fit of pique once told us he wasn’t voting? Now he wants us to join his crusade. How fickle.

Clive Maxwell, Bleary