Onward Christian Soldiers

Christians awake and organise! That’s the chant from contentious commentator, Dr John Coulter, in his latest Fearless Flying Column today.

Christians need to launch a 21st century Crusade to save their faith before the loonies of the ‘Politically Correct Brigade’ have our churches closed and clerics jailed!

We can start by ensuring that every school, place of work and public place provides either a Christian morning assembly for prayers, or a prayer chapel.

It’s time for the Christian Churches in Ireland to take head on the assorted rag bag of atheists, humanists, pagans, occultists and cults.

For too long, Christians have stood by with their noses in their Bibles and hands in pockets while television drama has mocked our faith and clergy.

The rot started with the portrayal of the camp vicar in the legendary comedy Dad’s Army about the World War 2 Home Guard.

Father Ted seems hilarious on the surface, but surely every priest in Ireland cannot be branded as the drunken, psychotic and lustful Father Jack, or wanting to ‘Kick Bishop Brennan’ up the arse?

Another drama series, Rev, about an inner city Anglican vicar has him as a hard-cursing, chain-smoking, boozing rebel with no talk about the Salvation of Jesus Christ.

Even in society, people seem to be able to break at will the Third Commandment about not cursing using the name of God or Jesus.

Yet if you cursed using the name of Mohammed, Jehovah or one of the gods from the Chinese community, you would be before the courts for racism, or some other crazy charge.

So I am issuing the following warning – Christians awake! The Northern and Southern election ballot boxes await you.

In the South, a Dail General Election looms and the Churches have already lost the same-sex marriage and abortion referenda. In the North, at the last Assembly poll, Unionism became a minority bloc for the first time in the state’s history.

Many fundamentalist and evangelical Christians are convinced man is living in the ‘last days’ and the end of the world is nigh, to quote the old sandwich boards.

So why don’t they get off their ‘holier than thou’ arses and vote in some changes?

Christians should stop tub thumping about the pluralist society when they know fine well they can make a difference by voting in candidates who will defend the Christian way of life which made both Stormont and the Dail so great.

To our shame, what have we Christians done about this? Nothing!

How soon will the situation emerge when the Politically Correct Brigade succeed in appointing so-called ‘Pulpit Police.’

These politically correct fanatics will tour our Christian churches across Ireland, recording services and clerics who preach provocative sermons, or congregations who sing ‘offensive’ hymns.

A time is coming when Bible-believing Christians will be jailed for expressing their faith in Ireland; a proud island which has a tremendous record of sending thousands of Christian missionaries across the globe to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Christian clerics must lead the way. They must face down the PC Brigade by embarking on a pro-active campaign of staunchly evangelical street preaching and summer beach missions.

Christians in every place of work should demand time either for morning prayers, or that a prayer room is set aside for Christian devotion.

Born-again clerics should go into airport prayer rooms and preach the Gospel. Christian parents and teachers should demand that Morning Assembly be a fixed part of the school day.

As a primary school kid, I recall local clerics coming into our classroom for religious education quizzes and lessons.

This crisis could hit the Catholic Church hard especially if the CCMS is disbanded or swallowed up by any proposed new single education authority for the North.

If the LGBTQ+ community can have Pride, and republicans have hunger strike commemorations, when are our churches going to host a series of Christian Pride marches? Or will the PC fascists ban those, too?

And speaking of marching forward, thank goodness the new soccer season has kicked off because as a devoted footie fan, I was suffering withdrawal symptoms from the end of the World Cup!

This will be a soccer season like no other. For me as a lifelong Arsenal fan, it will be my first for over two decades without Big Arsene in charge.

But north of the English border, I’ve a special message for Brendan Rodgers - invade England!

That’s my firm advice to Glasgow Celtic as Rodgers’ Legions take full advantage of the footballing challenges at my beloved Rangers.

The Carnlough’s Bhoys manager has manoeuvred the Pride of Parkhead into prime position to clinch yet another historic Treble, and possibly take a step closer towards a 10-in-a-row Premiership title run.

But if Celtic are to remain the dominant football force in Scotland, they need arch rivals Rangers to survive.

While Rangers can boost home crowds of 40,000-plus at their Ibrox home on a regular basis and a new super star manager in Stevie Gerrard, that loyalty is not enough to guarantee the financial future of one of the globe’s greatest clubs.

What’s the point in watching the Bhoys win Treble after Treble if there’s no significant Rangers to rub it into?

I’ve been a lifelong Rangers follower, but the tears flowed last season when in spite of loyal fans packing Ibrox and Parkhead, the Gers were humiliated time after time.

Even if Rangers survive as a financial business, in footballing terms, with the loss of many good players – especially those from the North – the club will be lucky to remain in the Scottish Premier League (SPL).

If Rangers become no better than clubs like Ross County or Stranraer (my apologies to both clubs for using them as examples), Rodgers should persuade the Celtic board to abandon the SPL and apply for the English Premiership.

Bhoys legend, the late Jock Stein, proved Celtic could hold their own not just with any English club, but with the best in Europe.

Celtic fans should not rejoice at the fate of Rangers. An SPL without Rangers – even a totally weakened Rangers squad – is frankly a boring waste of time for Celtic.

And if Rodgers can add an impressive Champions League run this incoming season to a domestic Treble next year, then he is well poised not just to invade England, but perhaps to even compete successfully in a planned European Super League.

Which would Celtic fans prefer – duffing Hearts and Hibs (again apologies to both these clubs for using them as examples) every week, or going head to head with the big Manchester duo, Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea?

Even playing in a European Super League against Barcelona, Real Madrid, Benfica and Porto on a regular basis would be a real challenge and provide exciting football for the Parkhead faithful.

If Rangers can only afford less than average footballers in the future, it might be beneficial to have Celtic out of Scotland and rampaging across England or Continental Europe for the next decade.

Given Rangers bad luck on and off the pitch, it would not surprise me if my beloved Blues are relegated from the SPL in the coming years.

It was sickening enough watching the Celts take nine league titles in a row. But if Rangers have to sell their top stars to stay financially afloat, it would be virtually unbearable medicine to see Rodgers notch up a decade of SPL titles in a row!

The Scottish economy needs Rangers to remain in business. Look at the amount of cash thousands of Northern Irish-based Rangers fans spend travelling to matches at Ibrox and other grounds across Scotland – including Parkhead.

I’m not a gambling man, but I’d bet my house more Rangers and Celtic fans from the North travel to Scotland than attend Irish League games on an average weekend.

If Rangers are to avoid the devastation of a trophyless cabinet for the next 10 years, then it might be a good move for them if Rodgers took Celtic south of the Scottish border. That way, my current Rangers shares might be worth more than bog roll!

Follow Dr John Coulter on Twitter. @JohnAHCoulter

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

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