Reading the papers…

On the day that Rev Stephen Johnston has had a letter published in the News Letter calling out the Finaghy True Blues Band for breaking the third commandment, David McNarry had another letter published.

I rewrote some of it in my own way.

Orange Walks should be lawful and thugs should say sorry

Orangemen are reporting alleged persecution by the Parades Commission in a fashion suggesting that they have no knowledge of the Bible they purport to follow.

They are aided and abetted in this by bands who display the emblems of loyalist terrorists and who refuse to obey the law of the land, all in the name of tradition and cultural expression. To those who cannot see further than the end of their bigoted noses, I say it is time to say, ‘read your Bibles on the subject of obedience to the lawful authorities.’

No matter how you express it, it is important that they get the message – as in Romans 13:1-7, 1 Peter 2:20, Matthew 22:21, and Matthew 5:38-48.

It is now time for the Orange Institution to move positively in one clear direction – that is the way of Christ and reconciliation. We must put an end to the ridicule which our unChristlikeness causes from others. 

We must start afresh to be peacemakers during the whole of the year and not just on great annual occasions.

We must abandon attempts to get the Drumcree walk completed, because there is a perfectly reasonable alternative. We must engage with communities to ensure that walks such as Ligoniel can be completed peacefully, as there isn’t a reasonable alternative route. This is an absolute prerequisite for improved community relations.

We may have a right to walk anywhere, both civil and moral, but our religious obligation is to give a good account of Christ. Our only religious right is to witness to Christ at all times and in all places, and we should not damage our witness by association with lawbreaking.
Finally, I say to those behind the thuggery and violence who today should be feeling very sorry for their unacceptable behaviour – go now this week and apologise to the chief constable, the Orange Order, and your local communities. Stop using decent law-abiding Orangemen as an excuse for criminality.
No PSNI officer should have to stand fast and face down a barrage of bricks and bottles. 

No police chief should have to ask his officers to risk serious injury in the line of duty. 

The PSNI demonstrated outstanding courage in having to defend themselves from people who are allegedly ‘loyal.’ This must end now.

What is wrong in politics is the same as what is wrong on the streets – a lack of leadership.

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