DUP MLA who liked the post says he’s ‘not getting into a brickbat with media on this’

Jonathan Bell BELFAST TELEGRAPH April 02 2020

The DUP councillor who sparked outrage by suggesting the coronavirus outbreak was God’s punishment for the introduction of same-sex marriage and abortion law reform in Northern Ireland has apologised.

Ballymena representative John Carson said his comments made on social media had been “misinterpreted” by some.

“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,” he said.

“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.”
Northern Ireland’s First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster was urged to denounce the remarks and the party open disciplinary proceedings.

The DUP distanced itself from the comments, telling the BBC’s Nolan Show that MrCarson was expressing a personal opinion and not that of the party.

“This is a global pandemic and our focus is on protecting lives in Northern Ireland,” the party said.

Asked at the daily Executive press conference about the issue the party’s Diane Dodds said the views were “certainly not the views of the DUP”.

She said they were a “distraction” from the serious challenges faced in fighting Covid-19 and disciplinary matters were for the party officers.
LGBT advocacy group, the Rainbow Project, slammed the comments as “disgraceful but not surprising”.

Earlier Mr Carson told the BBC he stood by his comments but refused to discuss the matter on the airwaves. He also did not return calls from the Belfast Telegraph.

Taking to Facebook to comment on abortion becoming available in Northern Ireland on Tuesday evening, he wrote: “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.

“I was laughed at and mocked by some but as l said at the time they laughed at NOAH until the rain started.

It is time to repent and turn again to the GOD of our Fathers.

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.”
The post was ‘liked’ by scores of people, among them the DUP MLA Trevor Clarke.

He told the Belfast Telegraph he interacted with the public post from his private account, which he admitted he used for political comment.

He said he would not be commenting on what he said was a personal matter. Pressed on what his view was, he added: “I am not getting into a brickbat with the media on this.”

Mr Carson is a member of the Royal British Legion and a strong supporter of veterans, according to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s website. He is also part of the Orange Order.

The councillor works to help the elderly, build sustainable communities and sits on policing scrutiny and military reservist organisations.

Responding to criticism under his original post, Councillor Carson said he was entitled to an opinion.

He added: “They laughed and mocked my Saviour too, but some day soon their laughs will turn to screams.”

There were many posts supportive of the politician’s comments under the post.

Very patient of God to wait for Northern Ireland …. before sending judgment.

Gavin Boyd of the Rainbow Project described the comments as “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 just as they have blamed us for Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters in the past.

“The Rainbow Project and our partners in the LGBT sector and women’s sector are still supporting our communities at this difficult time.

“We are still providing counselling services and social support to very isolated people. It is very telling where the priorities of some DUP elected members lie when they seek to blame marginalised people for a global pandemic.

“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.”

SDLP MLA Matthew O’Toole added: “Very patient of God to wait for Northern Ireland – virtually the last part of the western world to get either equal marriage and abortion rights – before sending judgment.”

Same-sex marriage was legalised in Northern Ireland at the beginning of the year. It was introduced when MPs voted through an amendment to a Northern Ireland bill in parliament forcing the government to legislate in the absence of power sharing.

Abortion was decriminalised in Northern Ireland last October in a similar manner. New laws allowing terminations in all circumstances in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy came into force this week.

Before the change abortion was only allowed if a woman’s life was at risk or there was a danger of permanent and serious damage to her physical or mental health.

Nearly a million people around the world have contracted coronavirus, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, and more than 47,000 people have died as a result of the pandemic.

The real figures are believed to be much higher because of testing shortages, differences in counting the dead and large numbers of mild cases that have gone unreported.

Previously the DUP Ballymena councillor Maurice Mills said the devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005 was God’s punishment of the city’s gay community. Katrina killed over 1,300 people.

He refused to apologise for the offence caused.

In 2015 he was made a Member of the British Empire in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for services to local government. At that time he told the Belfast Telegraph he stood by the comments.

The DUP was approached for further comment.


On this blog we normally talk about the RC fundamentalists – the Cathbots.

But its good to remember there are also Prodbots, Jewbots, Islamabots, Jehovahbots, Mormobots, etc, etc

This Prodbot Carson really takes the biscuit.

Look at his pic – says it all.

The lights are on but there’s no one home 😊


There are no such thing. Pat encourages people to think for themselves and in this case it’s a meeting of like minded people not robotic slavery.


Lol his position is one only taken by those who have never been faced with a natural disaster.
What a plonker.


Your comment +Pat about different fundamentalists reminds me of how pertinent and appropriate just now in respect of religion is that now much used term: “It’s a virus”.

I view religion similar to a virus infected in childhood. Like all viruses, it seeks to replicate itself by all means possible. There is some research showing religious females tend to produce more children than non religious, so perhaps some might argue that the virus of religion serves an evolutionary reproductive purpose.
Fortunately many survive the infection and have developed immunity to its pervasive effects.


Hello MMM. I take it from your post that you”ve rejected all religions.
Just for clarification.
Have you also rejected the whole idea that there is a God?
And what is your opinion, please, on the set of moral values and style of thinking that’s promoted in the Books of the Bible.


Hi Joseph: Sensible straightforward enquiry like yours invites a response more than the idiotic ranting ones I ignore.

Yes I’ve rejected all forms of religion by which I mean the following of practices involving any belief in or worship of any supernatural being, beings, gods or creator entities.

I believe the moral values of the Christ person as described in the gospels espouse cumulative moral values evolutionary derived as useful for humankind’s peaceful harmonious living. As such I subscribe to them as intrinsically useful and morally good.
Their “good” moral stance is not particularly original, and simply repeats what some earlier civilisations writers had advocated. By “good” I refer to the consensus value beliefs of the majority of reasonable thoughtful people.
I make no comment on the mish-mash of the Old Testament: I don’t know where to start on that one!
As I’ve said on +Pat’s blog several times before, we can be “good without God.”
Best regards. You post some very interesting comments.


MMM, did it ever cross your mind the version of Catholicism or Christianity you contracted in childhood was/is a toxic version rather than a more enlightened version containing sufficient antibodies to ward off religious toxicity?


Anon @1:37: Sorry, Can’t understand the question. Will try to respond to something more explicit.
I avoid unclear propositions so not to be drawn into arguments at ‘cross purposes.’


@1:37 A very pertinent question for which thank you. I’m not MMM by the way.
I think people come to a tipping point where their toxic experience outweighs any good experiences and from then on it is impossible not to see the toxic as almost cancelling out any good.
This is a situation underlying many an exchange on this blog, for example when people say other people are unnessarily negative. The reality is that both sides of this will always find it difficult or impossible to reconcile these views.
There are a number of different lenses through which to see this tipping point, including personal development, mental health/trauma and even possibly divine revelation but I merely intend to comment on the existence of this.


Sorry to say but the Bishop who tried to make a link between Covid-19 novel and the abortion seems to live with his narrow mind…
Sometimes it is better to accept as it is a virus that it should happen for many reasons, but none of those has any related so far with God’s punishment for the Law of Abortion!!!
Since when God hired him ???


So many retired RC clergy in England, Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland so distressed after hearing today about reports on your blog yesterday that their bishops are about to abandon them after life long service to fend for themselves. This is scary and frightening.


Bp Pat, should you not ask your contacts if the “letter” mentioned several times in the comments exists. Is Elsie trying to offload all the old Westminster rancid-flowers on to the council?


Hold it a second! ; -are we supposed to believe the Rcc is, let’s say, strapped for cash?
Killaloe seemingly broke, while retired priests in Britain apparently, possibly left high and dry on social protection, possibly homeless.
It stinks of bull shit!
Maybe it’s simply an excuse for practical inaction and leadership re the global pandemic.


Frankly if these priests have kidded themselves for decades of service that the church had any concern for them at all, I am amazed at how they could have ignored reality for so long.
When will you faithful minions get the message that your holy mother church is a medieval city state and that nothing matters to its princes except themselves?
The only time life is of concern to the church is in the womb, and that is only so that potential servants and donors don’t get aborted.
And don’t claim you didn’t know, because all of you priests have turned a blind eye to people being abused by your colleagues and turned away with nothing, for decades.
I have no sympathy for any of you.


Exactly. My point. There are a number of different lenses to see, dare i say, even reality.
Yes, possibly ‘ divine revelation ‘ in terms of heightened consciousness through contemplative practices. People don’t know, what they don’t know.
Many exchanges on this blog are at cross purposes.
That’s part of the ‘ change process!’ Hopefully, pennies might drop!.


Of course this disease isn’t the result of the sins of Northern Ireland. It’s a punishment for the crimes and depravity of just about the whole world. ” it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’”.


The entire Western World needs to repent, change its lifestyle and its way of thinking.

The present crisis – and if things don’t change there’ll be others worse – reminds me of the Tower of Babel, Genesis chapter 11, “Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated … ”

And it’s not just the depravity of people’s lifestyles. It’s the endless wars of aggression.
It seems to me that the big crime for which the Muslim peoples of Iraq, Syria et al are being everlastingly bombed for is that they are refusing to become pretend-Americans. They don’t drink Coke or watch American movies on Netflix, They refuse to kiss Uncle Sam’s behind and become part of the one-world culture. and very few Christians are speaking out about it. Consider Sodom and Gomorrah. “Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave … ”

Bear in mind the words given by God to Paul. “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians, chapter 6, verse 7)
And by way of the prophet Isaiah ““I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their lifeblood spattered on my garments, and stained all my apparel”. (chapter 63, verse 3)


JL at 6.47am

Was your post tongue in cheek?

God punishes the world?

So in a fit of unrestrained peak God lashes out like ,well, like an earthly dictator (say, Assad of Syria) bombing and slaughtering indiscriminately men, women, and children, including the unborn?

And Sodom and Gommorah? Really? It’s as much history as Noah’s Ark.



2.28: You, Mr. Pussycat Carta are history. You doubted from the beginning and still doubt and deny the full scientific reality of the CORONA VIRUS. Your comments are irrelevant as you deny and lie. Stay away.


Top oth morning all. Quite a few say God is punishing the world But are we blaming God for the outcome of wrong human choices like pollution exploitation profiteering racism religious superiority and lots more. We broke our world With the help of God it can be restored somewhat. The Passover 20 is real



Good morning hi fly.
Begorra fly what kinda loving God sends punishments. That’s a quare god.
Bad choices can bring bad consequences. God permits but not particularly wills.
Hold fast to the good God.
Bye bye fly hi.


Anonymoussays: 4th Apr 2020 at 11:13 am — Begorra fly what kinda loving God sends punishments. That’s a quare god.


SPRING IN HIS STEP……The right response to this sort of comment from the DUP idiot is just to ignore it and not give it the oxygen of publicity. We do not need to be reminded of the bigoted, discriminatory, prejudicial, sectarian, homophobic, transphobic, misogynist, moralistic, hate filled, idiotic, misinformed views of the like of these people. They are best dealt with by ignoring them.

The sadness is that in Northern Ireland particularly these sorts of views seem to abound. The closest mirror image is probably the religious, evangelical right wing still to be found in the USA. Certainly, in the Irish Republic, in the rest of the UK, views such as those espoused by this man, and implicitly supported by the DUP by their inaction and silence, would not be tolerated by a huge majority and would be inundated with saner and more balanced voices. It is strange that in NI communities allow this sort of voice to have a voice. I don’t think it has to do with a desire for democracy and free speech, more to do with the ingrained historical divisions and hatred between communities that still exists in NI and can be found when you scratch the surface, and which erupt so regularly with voices like the DUP guy. This will be especially so in times of crisis when people feel threatened, and revert to old tribal and hate filled attitudes.

Northern Ireland is an anomaly and stands in such start contrast to the UK, which it appears so keen to claim to be a part of, and the Republic which has successfully moved itself in to a modern, democratic, secular, young and socially liberal leaning European nation, sending the damaging domination of the Roman Catholic Church packing. I, for one, most certainly would not wish to live in Northern Ireland, which whilst having a veneer of stability is in reality a deeply divided, hostile, and hate filled society, which is liable to erupt in to sectarian, religious, and moralistic conflict again at any time. Until such time as Northern Irelanders face this fact about themselves, and deal with people like this DUP councillor and confront the sorts of views that he espouses, then it is not a place that will be happy, settled and secure. Why the majority of NI people are prepared to put up with this confounds me.


Some in the DUP are in the closet themselves. Those who shout the loudest often have things to hide. Paul Berry was only one example but they soon got rid.


Yes, indeed 12:22pm. Big full closets in the DUP and among the Free Ps and other so-called “evangelicals” who espouse this sort of horseshit


12.53: MMM: You’re not an icon of the “good without God” philosophy.. you are very intolerant of Christians, of the Catholic Church and its personnel. You invariably support that mad, hate inciting ranter, Mags the slug. That isn’t a good recommendation.



‘…mad,hate-inciting ranter, Mags the slug’? 🤔

Never mind the ‘good without God’ belief, you’re not even good with God, are you ‘Father’? 😂


5.00: Mags the slug . .don’t go all outraged, dearie. Truth hurts you very deeply and you have zero capacity to see your own very flawed nature – a nature that’s dominated by a darkness of thought and horrible nastiness. When others recognise you for what you are, you go apoplyctic with faux outrage.. Say your prayers..


Perhaps @2:06 you could clarify your understanding and use of the word ‘intolerant’. I hope you don’t mean ‘to attack’ Christians as individuals or as a group. I know and respect many, especially my extensive family network. I attack no one per se. It’s the beliefs I do not share. In fact I rarely get into argument or even discussion on religion tho’ most friends and family are non practising other than for rites of passage. The more “traditional ” among them who do practise regularly have in the past queried my views vis a vis my former “clerical past” and those who asked know my opinion on religion, especially the RCC INSTITUTION.
But on this blog: well that’s what it’s here for……to debate the issues.


Pat I see that Elsie has told the Catholic rags including The Tablet that he struggles to find God in the Coronavirus


Elsie has no faith like the rest of them. A cold hearted bitch. Her eyes are devoid of humanity. People don’t know the half of it regarding Elsie.


This is the reason why I continue to hope Elsie makes it to pope. The media going through her life would bring up much of interest to them.


We still haven’t seen any incontrovertible evidence about the withdrawing of diocesan stipends to retired clergy and throwing them back on to the social security system. Can anybody provide this ? Is there any suggestion of this happening in other dioceses ? I know that Westminster did have a couple of years ago an ongoing appeal for sick and retired clergy. What’s happened to that fund ? I know times are hard for lots of people, but it simply is not right that among the first people that the Church targets are those who have given loyal service and might now be required to live out their days in some hardship. Doesn’t seem fair or just. Especially when you know that dioceses do have vast reserves and property. They just don’t want to spend it. And anyhow, why should the state support the retired clergy of a diocese that has money and could support its own if it was so inclined ? If I was a state authority I’d be asking hard questions of any attempt to pass on retired clergy to the state’s responsibility. Any views ?


Elsie has her little gang that she uses. Want to know who they are? Easy! Just look at all the plush parishes.


3.19: What poison pills of hatred are you taking? Is Mags selling them to you? Your comnent is typical of big liars, big mouths and come from those who are all talk but no real acts of concern for anyone to be seen….None.


I am delighted that your comment is about mine although detached. I can tell you exactly what pills of hatred I’M taking, the ones of hard experience of the treatment your church metes out to people. My comments are actually typical of hard-bitten life experience.
Tell me one thing, ‘Father’, how old are you?


7.00pm: Age is irrelevant. I am not a cleric…but follow this hate blog sometimes..and occasionally discover many twisted, bitter cranks.


Well, alleged non priest, tell me how you would feel at suddenly having your pension taken away at an age when you can’t work any more.
Bitter cranks, don’t make me laugh!


+ Pat, any practical response or public statements from the hierarchy in Britain and Ireland offering practical support in the current global crisis?


12:08 am

You obviously don’t know of the many twisted bitter cranks plus corrupt criminal elements in the church.


Pat, is +Vincent so nasty as they are making out? I don’t think he is. Always comes across a decent skin and speaks well.


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