to form a Bible-bashing group among Stormont MLAs
have been thumped on the head because of differences
over the 8 May power-sharing Executive, liberal
Unionist sources were claiming last night.
Again' or 'Saved' MLAs could make up a so-called
Christian Coalition in the Assembly, comprising
at least a dozen to 15 Assembly members, mainly
from the DUP, but some from the Ulster Unionists.
or Born Again MLAs would base their Christian
faith on the Salvationist position as outlined
in the Biblical text from the New Testament, St
John Chapter 3, verse 16: "For God so loved
the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life."
a well-placed liberal Unionist source last night
said internal disagreements within the DUP over
the pace of power-sharing had put the brakes on
plans to set up the Coalition.
source said: Even before the Assembly election,
some DUP and UUP activists were estimating a significant
number of these fundamentalist Bible thumpers
would be returned.
wanted to form a Christian Coalition similar to
the so-called moral majority in the United States'
Republican Party which backs President Bush.
the Coalition became a reality at Stormont, among
the agenda was to ensure the study of Creation
the view that God created the world
would be firmly integrated in school science lessons,
and not just in religious education as an alternative
to evolution studies.
the Coalition would push a strong agenda opposing
homosexuality, divorce, and abortion. The real
irony is that while the Coalition would have been
initiated by the religious fundamentalist wing
in the DUP, there were issues which conservative
Catholic MLAs could have supported.
Coalition would also have attempted to overturn
the Sexual Orientation Act and civil partnerships
between same sex couples, although the latter
would have put the Assembly on a head to head
collision course with the European Parliament
and the European Court of Human Rights.
of us who don't subscribe to this 'born again'
religious agenda have branded the so-called Christian
Coalition as the BBC the Bible Bashers
Club, said the liberal Unionist source.
if such a Coalition got off the ground, the favourite
to lead it would be First Minister designate and
DUP boss Ian Paisley senior, who is also Moderator
of the staunchly fundamentalist Free Presbyterian
Church of Ulster.
'born again' or fundamentalist DUP MLAs who could
be recruited by the Christian Coalition are: