Some more thoughts on Jesus-based government…

In keeping with our recent religious theme, and Iris Robinson’s stated belief that it’s the job of government to enforce the will of God, I couldn’t resist this column from Newton Emerson in the Irish News. Brilliant stuff. Preach on, brother:

Why is nobody playing Iris Robinson at her own game? Consider the alleged Word of God from Genesis 11:7 “Let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

This could easily be portrayed as biblical support for an Irish language act. A west Belfast Gaeltacht is also strongly suggested by Psalms 55:9 “Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.”

A requirement for public sector bodies to communicate in Irish is even set out specifically in Esther 1:22 “For he sent letters into all the king’s provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that it should be published according to the language of every people.”

Mrs Robinson might reply that these passages require equal funding for Ulster-Scots but that is certainly not the case according to Proverbs 20:23 “Divers weights are an abomination unto the Lord; and a false balance is not good.”

Would Mrs Robinson really defend an abomination? The following verse from Judges 16:25 is also worth quoting in full.

“And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they placed him between the pillars.”

This obviously commands Stormont to build the Maze stadium, complete with its associated conflict transformation centre at the prison hospital. The reference to “Samson” could be misinterpreted to mean locating the stadium at the old Harland and Wolff Welders ground instead but a closer reading of the text (“they called for Samson out of the prison house”, “he made them sport” and “between the pillars”) reveals that God just wants the steelwork for the stadium to be fabricated in east Belfast. The scriptural parallel is so uncanny that you can almost see why some people believe this stuff, even if you cannot see why they then generally ignore it. Perhaps Mrs Robinson could enlighten us all on this question after she cuts the ribbon on that restored H-block.

For the faithful, the message of Isaiah 9:7 is similarly unambiguous “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.”

There could hardly be a plainer instruction to devolve policing and justice powers, except perhaps Exodus 18:26 “And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.”

Mrs Robinson might find it equally difficult to support her party’s line on rural planning policy, unless she is prepared to dismiss Second Chronicles 2:9 “Prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderful great.”

Jeremiah 29:5 is even more direct. “Build ye houses, and dwell in them.”

DUP opposition to an environmental protection agency could bring divine wrath down upon God’s chosen people, according to the warning in Exodus 7:18 “And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river.” Is this what Mrs Robinson really wants for Ulster’s own lost tribe of Israel?

Worse still for the Strangford MP, academic selection appears to be damned by Deuteronomy 1:39 “Your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it.”

Mrs Robinson could face spiritual problems over her luxurious Castlereagh home, second London home and £86,000 Stormont and Westminster salary, as according to First Timothy 6:10 “The love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

In a recent Sunday newspaper interview, Mrs Robinson revealed that she has a chandelier in every room, calling to mind Matthew 25:3 “They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them.”

However, it is First Timothy 2:12 which might give the first minister’s wife most pause for thought. “I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” Amen.

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