On Tuesday Dr Paisley submitted an EDM (Early Day Motions) in the House of Commons, Westminster. No 517, National day of Prayer in the Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak stated:
‘That this House notes that it commences its proceedings each day with prayers to the One God of Heaven and Earth in the Trinity of His Sacred Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; further notes that, in days past, especially during the times of crisis of World War II, His Majesty King George VI called the nation to a National Day of Prayer for Repentance and Petition for Deliverance; and in this crisis of the scourge of foot and mouth disease calls on the Prime Minister to advise Her Majesty The Queen to call for such a day in this present catastrophe, because only by doing so can the land be healed.’
The ‘oral answers’ were:
Rev. Dr. Ian Paisley (North Antrim): Would the Prime Minister remind himself that before each sitting of the House, prayer is offered to the God of heaven and earth? Would he also remind himself that, in days of crisis in this nation, the one who held his office advised the monarch from time to time to call a national day of prayer? Does he not feel that, in the present crisis, the nation should express its desire to have our nation healed, and that the way to have it healed is to call upon the sovereign God of heaven?
The Prime Minister: I am sure that the nation will pray in its own way for what the hon. Gentleman says. I do not know whether it is right for Government to impose that, but I am sure that, according to their own consciences and faith, people will pray for the objectives that he has set out.
While the Prime Minister’s cannot decide whether it is right or not that a declaration for a day of prayer be made, he says ‘I am sure’ the nation will pray. For all his pretence of having religion, he doesn’t consider it worth retaining the knowledge of God or the reality of His omnipotence as a force to be reckoned with. While Tony Blair’s, ‘I am sure’ rings hollow, God’s idea of ‘knowing’ comes in the form of omniscience. Also by the use of the word ‘impose’ one can only presume this means that while ever Tony Blair occupies No.10 there never will or rather, never can be a national day of prayer.
Some would say that the Prime Minister’s comments, as usual, do not offend anyone, yet it must offend the Christian – The True Believer of God’s word. For the placing of such over emphasis on the tolerance and inclusivity of world religions, conversely implies a subordinate position and non-toleration of the Christian faith. Truth has been passed over for lies and Tony Blair like the Roman Catholic Church to which he is related by marriage, infers that power is in the hands of man, while God has been sent on a hike. This vainglory has clearly gone beyond haughtiness, so one can only presume that instead of a fall this pride will only bring destruction upon the nation.
Perhaps Christians have been too tolerant! This nation should be managed on Christian principles while, as it has always done, allowing atheists and the religions to do their own thing within the confines of the law of the land. The people constantly promoting that nothing can be done in the name of Christianity or the God of heaven, because this will cause offence to the religious groups, seem to be blinded to the fact that such promoting is inevitably offensive to Christians. Why shouldn’t these groups be offended, for am I not offended as I walk by say the Mosque in Regents Park, London? Christians’ rights are less it seems.
The Prime Minister’s comments mean no glory to God; God is out of the picture. It’s a matter of votes or values. Tony Blair seems to have forgotten that the ‘One God of heaven and earth in His trinity of Persons’ in his omnipotence is in control of both! God, through many examples, has already ably demonstrated who is, Almighty.
To think that having a day of prayer would either prejudice or degrade people of the religions is shear nonsense. If it were, then the prayers said each day in the House of Commons would cause the same offence.
This evidence should be seen as a warning by Christians that for all the spin and rhetoric and apparent concern for religious communities Truth is absent.
There rightly should not be a single reason why a day could not be called for Christian prayer. If other groups or individuals wanted to pray to their gods or not pray at all their freedom of choice remains just as it does as Easter and Christmas. Perhaps Tony Blair will commend ‘Winterval’ for the whole nation.
When altars to others gods have been brought into the Temple of the Lord, God has aptly demonstrated the consequences. The hedges around this island are down, the watchmen sound the alarm but the populace do not have the ears to hear. Looking through the eyes of God the whole thing is simply absurd; and people wonder why the nation is under judgement.
‘Ian Paisley (DUP Antrim North) in Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, asked Tony Blair to call for "a national day of prayer". Mr Blair was wary. The idea might distract from his intention, on June 7th, to call for a national day of Blair.
Nor did the Opposition leader support Mr Paisley [for all his religious talk]. Mr Hague is trying to organise a national day of scare.
Mr Paisley’s question began with: "Would the Prime Minister remind himself that, at each proceedings of this House, prayer is offered to the God of Heaven and earth?"
He went on to bring in Churchill in the Second World War. Would Mr Blair "remind himself that in days of crisis in this nation the one who held his office advised the monarch from time to time to call a national day of prayer?"
Mr Blair’s incentive to do so was unclear, since the polls said he will win the election easily. It was the Tories who should be praying.
But Mr Paisley pressed on: "Does he not feel in the present crisis the nation should express its desire to have our nation healed, and the way to have it healed is to call on the sovereign God of heaven?"
Mr Blair’s normal practice, in a tight corner, is to call not on the sovereign God of heaven, but Peter Mandelson. Mr Paisley must remind Mr Blair of original sin. Mr Mandelson reminds him of original spin.
Though Mr Mandelson is out of the Government again, Mr Blair consulted him on postponing the election. Despite Mr Blair’s sacking him Mr Mandelson offered his advice. He is the spinner that repenteth.
But Mr Blair understandably paused before answering Mr Paisley. As Tories hoped and Labour feared, one phrase biased towards anyone’s god would lose Mr Blair the votes of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs or Rastafarians, as well as agnostic Labour voters whose principal interest is politics rather than religion.
But with an election imminent, he did not wish to offend God. What was the excuse that the lifelong sceptic Voltaire is supposed to have given for refusing, even on his deathbed to renounce Satan? "This is no time for making new enemies."
Mr Blair’s reply when it came was masterly [not really]: "It is not right for the Government to impose this, but I am sure that the nation will pray in its own way for those objectives according to their faith."
Mr Blair thus offended no one [hardly!]: the explanation for his effortlessly successful career.
The Labour benches were relieved, but irritated with Mr Paisley for dragging God into politics, with the more blasphemous being irritated with God [or gods?] for dragging into politics, Mr Paisley.
It was the last Prime Minister’s Questions before the House on Tuesday rises for Easter, or, as Mr Blair would put it, rises for people’s objectives according to their faith [view].’
Recalling the results of a survey that named Tony Blair as Britain’s most powerful religious figure with his devotion to the Church of England[?] being seen as more important than the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Queen one can only wonder what next!
The ‘God list’ was chosen by eight religious experts and will be shown on television this week. Their spurious conclusion further states that, ‘This is the first time since Gladstone that we have had a Prime Minister who is open about his religious convictions’. Other laughable contenders on the list of people whose beliefs are said to have had the most impact on the nation are: Chancellor Gordon Brown (second); Prince Charles (third) and Cherie Blair (fourth).