A DUP Councillor recently caused controversy by blaming the onset of the Coronavirus on the decriminalisation of abortion and the legalisation of same-sex marriage. Isn’t he simply being consistent? asks Eamonn McCann.
Ballymena DUP councillor John Carson has taken a bit of a battering for saying he believed that the coronavirus pandemic might be God’s way of giving the human race a skelp on the arse for failing to practice proper sexual distancing.
Then, in turn, Arlene Foster gave him a rap on the knuckles for embarrassing the party in front of pagans. But why? Why should a DUP man of faith be silenced for giving tongue to Biblical truth?
All councillor Carson had said was that reckless endorsement of homosexuality and abortion had brought the wrath of the Lord down on our heads.
“I said when abortion was legalised that our nation would be judged by God. I was laughed at and mocked by some. But, as I said at the time, they laughed at Noah, until the rain started.”
One Alliance councillor dismissed Councillor Carson’s view as “antediluvian,” which was interesting. “Antediluvian” means “before the Flood.”
God sent the Flood out of anger at the iniquity of the earth. It’s all there in Genesis 6-11. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was evil. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”
“Sorry I ever thought ye up,” seems to have been His sour farewell to the multitudes as they writhed and gasped and gulped their last amid the tumult of water descending.
So why is John Carson now being held up to obloquy and ignominy when, truly, he was but speaking the word of the Lord?
If God was capable of inflicting such awesome agony on millions back then because He hadn’t been accorded the respect which He believed was His due, why would He balk now at flinging fistfuls of coronavirus across the more impertinent world of today?
Let us move on to Exodus, and plagues.
A succession of 10 plagues was visited on the land of Egypt by Yahweh (God in his Israelite manifestation) in retaliation for the Pharaoh refusing to let His chosen people migrate to and occupy the land He had promised them. These plagues were: the Nile turned into an ooze of blood; the earth covered over in a slither of frogs; fly-swarms so thick as to blot out the sun; billows of locusts; eruptions of boils; a barrage of brimstone; darkness at noon; extinction of livestock; a chastisement of scorpions; slaughter of the first-born.
“That’ll larn ye,” Yahweh might grimly have muttered as he departed the scene of his unprecedented 10-in-a-row.
Yahweh didn’t mess around when He was in a bad mood.
And there’s Sodom and Gomorrah, razed to the ground until there was not a stone left upon a stone nor a living being to suck the scorching air, and all on account of the heinous sin forever associated with Sodom.
Isn’t that more or less what Councillor Carson was saying?
Indeed, isn’t it exactly what he was saying?
If his warning was so risible that Arlene Foster had to issue a public reprimand, will she join the Rebellious sorts when if ever the self-isolation is over in turning Savonarola on his head and making a bonfire of Biblical blather? Probably not.
This will be the undoing of the DUP in the end – ideological inconsistency.
Now it is reported that on Easter Sunday many millions of Catholics joined Pope Francis online in saying a rosary to the Virgin Mary that she might intervene with God and persuade Him to call the pandemic off. He has the power to do it, apparently, but so far, obviously, just hasn’t been bothered. The theological basis for prayer to the BVM in this instance appears to be that a clip on the ear from His mother might help put manners on Him.
And I see that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, delivering his Easter message from his kitchen online, assured us that “Prayer can work as a therapy.” Big burden off the NHS there.
The more I think on these matters the clearer it seems that Councillor Carson is the only consistent Christian among them.
That’s Christianity for you.
Meanwhile, the rest of us who live in the material world (copyright, the sexier Madonna) will do what we can to slow the silent spread of the virus, to cheer on the laser-focused scientists ensconced in their labs through the nights in assiduous search for a vaccine, give thanks to the hundreds of thousands of indomitable heroes in our care-homes and hospitals recently kicked in the teeth for asking for a pay-rise by venal hypocrites like Johnson and Rabb, and wait for the moment we can bring to account the devotees of capitalism whose uncaring greed has blighted the world.
There will have to be a new world, and it’s only the working class which can build it.