By Gavin Lambe-Murphy • 03 April 2020 • 11:12
In a time of deep sadness and despair globally, it seems that even at these times, certain people just can’t keep opinions, no matter how bizarre, to themselves. Northern Ireland DUP Councillor John Carson took to Facebook to tell the world his views on the current Covid-19 pandemic, blaming its arrival in Northern Ireland on those who voted for same sex marriage and abortion to be legalised. To those who dared mock him, he warned that their laughter “will turn to screams.”
Legalisation of abortion laws came into place this week, and in reaction Carson took to Facebook: “I said when abortion was legalised that our nation would be judged by GOD because of its departure from his word and the legalisation of the murder of the unborn child as well as same sex marriage.” The DUP said that his views on the world crisis are his own.
His went on to say: “I was laughed at and mocked by some but as l said at the time they laughed at NOAH until the rain started. You reap what you sow and our nation is now reaping the judgement of GOD because of an immoral and corrupt government. It is time to repent and turn again to the GOD of our Fathers.”
Same-sex marriage became legal in Northern Ireland at the beginning of the year, following six years after it was legally recognised in Britain, and five years after the Republic of Ireland. Just two days ago changes to abortion rights came into place, allowing terminations in all cases up to 12 weeks.
No stranger to speaking his mind, no matter who he upsets, Carson took issue with the DUP when it stood Alison Bennington, an openly gay woman, for Newtownabbey Council, claiming said she stood “not in my name” and called on people to pray that “this person will not be elected.”
It’s far from the first time that some in the party have caused hurt by their statements on others. Over the years the DUP, founded by the late Free Presbyterian firebrand Ian Paisley, has seen many party members make statements and claims against the LGBTQ community as well as a fundamentalist take on local and global events.
Councillor Maurice Mills said in 2005, that Hurricane Katrina, which killed 1,300 people in the US, was God’s ‘revenge’ for a Gay Pride event in New Orleans.
While In 2015 former Belfast councillor Guy Spence branded a pop routine by singer Katy Perry ‘Satanic.’
In 2010 party leader Peter Robinson’s wife, Iris, claimed gay people could be ‘cured’ and denounced homosexuality as an ‘abomination.’ Shortly afterwards it emerged that the then 58-year-old had been having an affair with a 19-year-old man.
In reaction to John Carson’s opinions, The DUP said he had been expressing a personal opinion and not that of the party. “This is a global pandemic, our focus is on protecting lives in Northern Ireland.”
Gavin Boyd of gay advocacy group Rainbow Project has called upon DUP leader Arlene Foster to denounce Mr Carson.
On Carson’s statements he said it was: “disgraceful but not at all surprising that a DUP elected member would try to blame LGBT people and our partners in the women’s movement for the Coronavirus outbreak. It is very telling where the priorities of some DUP elected members lie when they seek to blame marginalised people for a global pandemic.”
He went on to say: “We look forward to hearing, from Arlene Foster, a strong denunciation of this disgusting slur from her councillor John Carson and we expect disciplinary proceedings to be commenced against him immediately.”
In a further twist, Carson then issued an apology: On Thursday, Mr Carson wrote: “Folks yesterday afternoon l put a post on Facebook which was taken by some and totally misinterpreted, anyone who knows me will know that l would not intentionally set out to cause hurt or offence to anyone and if l did then for that l humbly apologise. However l will never apologise for my Christian faith and will not be silenced by those that are opposed to the truth of God’s word.”
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