In response to Mr Paul Shore’s letter of July 25, may I simply note that it is not just his memory that is dim!
It is clear that he knows little about me and, more importantly, even less about Biblical Christianity.
Having chided me for passing judgment on Joe McCann, he is most ready to pass judgment on me.
That seems a very common failure amongst the writers of vitriolic letters to newspapers.
I have no intention of seeking to defend my feelings about the death of Joe McCann. I am happy to await the day spoken of by Paul when: “God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel,” Romans 2:16.
Joe McCann made no secret of his embracing of terrorism. He is lauded still amongst those who rejoice in the exploits of 30-odd years of republican violence and slaughter.
Does Mr Shore believe that those who give themselves over to the cause of murdering their opponents will be granted a place in Heaven?
Can he explain how it could be that a man who lived and died defying the direct command of Christ - “Thou shalt do no murder,” (Matthew 19:18) - will still be welcomed in heaven?
Why does he fault me for upholding the teaching of Christ?
I freely acknowledge that I had links with “Ulster Resistance” in its early days before it was infiltrated and taken over by elements of the UDA and UVF and became involved in criminal activity. It was formed at a time when the Chief of Police acknowledged that he and his force could not guarantee the security of everybody in Northern Ireland.
This was a time when Roman Catholic terrorism was murdering, almost daily, Protestants in my native area in a campaign of genocide. No one can blame Protestants for banding together for mutual protection.
Protection, not terrorism and murder was the purpose of “Ulster Resistance” in its origins.
It had no part in “collaborating with loyalist murder gangs in procuring arms and threatening violence” as is alleged by Mr Shore. We had no desire to become as those we considered an evil plague in our midst.
Mr Shore is happy spouting lies and libellous statements. He reiterates the propaganda which the IRA produced, in order to justify its campaign of terror: the old lie of “the systemic abuses of the northern state against its Catholic minority in jobs, housing and the diminution of its franchise in elections”.
Whatever social deprivations existed some 40-50 years ago, it was felt by Protestants as well as Roman Catholics. Those who sought a rationale for terrorist murder, following the ignominious failure of the 1956-62 IRA terror campaign, sought to do so by exaggerating the circumstances that existed in Ulster a generation ago.
Of course, such lies found a ready audience in a community that for generations had been raised to hate and despise all things Protestant!
It can be argued that privileges were enjoyed by the Roman Catholic community which the Protestant community had no access to. Indeed, that situation still exists today in a Northern Ireland which labours under the rule of a ‘Deputy First Minister’ who unashamedly acknowledges his part in a strategy of murder against his Protestant neighbours.
Doubtless, Mr Shore believes that this is a most fantastic improvement for Northern Ireland. He states his thankfulness for this development. He calls this “a new era of inclusion and integration.”
A Northern Ireland with unrepentant murderers in control has long been the desire of many of our Roman Catholic fellow-country men but it is nothing to give thanks for!
Little wonder Protestants were dubious of their actions and ambitions in the past!
There is no parallel with the present iniquitous Stormont joint-rule, for which Mr. Shore is ever so thankful, in the history of the early years of Northern Ireland, about which Mr Shore and his ilk so piously complain.
When did a self-confessed murdering terrorist, who frequently gloated in his terrorist exploits, ever exercise rule in Stormont’s early years?
Mr McGuinness has no precedent!
The UVF and UDA consistently failed to gain the support of the Protestant people at the polling booth. This was not the case with Sinn Fein/IRA and its ongoing solid support from Roman Catholic voters.
We may see and hear essentially the same deceits and lies, as were used by the IRA to justify its crusade of murder and which Mr Shore again spouts, being promoted today to justify Muslim terrorism.
There is only the tweaking of a term or two here and there. Close your eyes and the Isis spokesman could be a Gerry Adams or a Martin McGuinness!
Of course, that is not surprising, given the close affiliation with Muslim terrorist organisations in the Middle East and Irish republicans over the last 40 years.
To use an old Irish idiom: “They are all pigs of the one sow’s litter!”
Ivan Foster, Co Tyrone