Ian Paisley Jnr has spoken out against those who claim to be “defenders of ‘liberty'” yet “can’t tolerate Christianity”, particularly in the public square.
Mr Paisley, a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, was commenting in light of US President Obama’s controversial nomination of a professing Christian to a senior health post.
In an article for the Belfast News Letter, Mr Paisley said Francis Collins was facing growing opposition because “he dared to defend belief in God as being ‘reasonable'”.
Mr Paisley continued: “Really it may be an exaggeration but at times I feel we are getting to the point where anyone seeking public office or who seeks to play a role in modern society and who happens to have a shred of Christianity about them will be required to sign a recantation of their beliefs.”
Mr Paisley, whose father was formerly the First Minister of Northern Ireland, cited several recent cases where Christian public sector employees have been in trouble for expressing their beliefs.
He said: “It offends me that expressions of Christianity are so muzzled by some for fear of offending others yet those very same defenders of ‘liberty’ would not raise a single word of objection to those who insult Christian values or beliefs.”
He also raised concerns over the way in which Christian terms are frequently used as “curse-words” on television and radio without any opposition.
“Could you imagine the outrage if Christians or non-Christian contributors on radio or television actively and regularly used the name of Allah or Buddha in such a profane or irreverent manner as a general and abusive curse-word”, Mr Paisley asked.
“It would certainly not be allowed and if broadcast would provoke an outcry of national proportions. Why the hypocrisy?
“Well the answer is quite simple. This is now a country either so familiar with Christianity that it now holds those very values and the name of Christ in utter contempt, or else it is so fickle it feels you must go out of your way to appeal to those of a non-Christian view and abandon all sense of your own belief.”