Ian Paisley

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Doctor the Reverend Ian Paisley MP

Dr Rev Ian Richard Kyle Paisley MP MLA (born April 6, 1926) is a Northern Irish conservative politician and religious leader. Paisley uses the title "Doctor" on the basis of an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree awarded by Bob Jones University.

He is the founder and head of the fundamentalist Free Presbyterian Church and the head of the Democratic Unionist Party. He is a lifelong teetotaller who refers to alcohol as "the Devil's buttermilk", a creationist, pro-life, and a supporter of the criminalisation of homosexuality, once opposing reform of laws relating to homosexuality with a campaign that he called "Save Ulster from Sodomy".[1] Paisley always denied that Northern Irish Catholics were poor because of religious discrimination. He said that they were poor because "they breed like rabbits and multiply like vermin".

In 1988, during a speech by Pope John Paul II to the European Parliament, Paisley, who was a Member of the European Parliament, held up a poster reading "Pope John Paul II Antichrist" and called, "I renounce you as the Antichrist".[2][3][4] In 1963 he held a rally to object to the lowering of the national flag at Belfast City Hall to mark the passing of Pope John XXIII.[5]

In 2007 Paisley became First Minister of the devolved Northern Ireland government, with Martin McGuiness, a senior Sinn Fein leader and former IRA commander in Londonderry, as his Deputy First Minister. Dr Paisley has announced his intention to step down as First Minister and DUP leader in May 2008.


References

  1. McKittrick, David (24 May 2007). Ian Paisley: Can the Big Man say 'Yes'? The Independent.
  2. MacDonald, Susan (10 February 1988). Paisley ejected for insulting Pope. The Times.
  3. Chrisafis, Angelique (16 September, 2004). The return of Dr. No. The Guardian.
  4. The Pope is the Antichrist
  5. McKittrick, David (24 May 2007). Ian Paisley: Can the Big Man say 'Yes'? The Independent.
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