I used to work beside the City Hall in Belfast. Opening a window around Friday lunchtime made it possible to listen unhindered to Northern Ireland’s current First Minister haranguing his future citizens with threats of eternal damnation.
For those of us who identified in the DUP a fundamentalist arm to rival the Taliban, its is with resignation and a sense of inevitability that we read about efforts from their Free Presbyterian wing to encourage the teaching of creationism in science classes.
William Crawley’s Will and Testament blog yesterday noted the questions raised by one such regressive, David Simpson, and addressed to the awe-inspiringly ineffectual Education Minister, Catriona Ruane. True to form Miss Ruane was extremely vague and evasive. This is understandable given that the entirety of her time and attention must be devoted to the single most crucial issue of our age – Irish Medium education. The details of what children should be taught in whichever medium naturally hasn’t been engaging her to the same extent.
It makes me ashamed to be a unionist to read in today’s Belfast Telegraph, that all 13 unionist councillors in Lisburn have backed a DUP motion to encourage schools to teach so-called “intelligent design” (that’s looper- speak for the universe being created in 7 days for the uninitiated).
Given that more moderate Christians have long since contended that their faith is not incompatible with evolution, this is stark evidence of the pervasive influence of regressively fundamental Christianity in Northern Ireland.