Looks like the ghost of hellfire Scottish preacher Pastor Jack Glass has come back
to haunt Northern Unionists as his way cry, 'be proud of being a bigot', has reared
its head again.
The Bible-thumping, extremist cleric died in 2004, but not before expressing the
view: "Bigot is a badge of honour not of shame."
As hardline Protestant fundamentalists go, Glass was in a league of his own and
even slammed the North's own firebrand preacher Ian Paisley Senior for being too
soft in his views.
Had Glass lived, you could imagine his rants at the sight of Paisley senior
sitting as Stormont First Minister with former leading Derry IRA man Martin
McGuinness as his Assembly deputy.
Most right-thinking Protestants, Unionists and Loyalists hoped that Glass's
mentality had been confined to his Glasgow bolt-hole and had died with him.
Evidence that his unique views of religious history can even be found today on
the website of the Glasgow-based Orange lodge, Calton Protestant Defenders LOL
But Glass's dangerous guff has now found ins way from Bonnie Scotland to the
Emerald Isle in the form of a handout from the so-called Belfast-based Open Bible
Glass had a really weird view of the history of the word 'bigot', which he
claimed dated from the reign of the Catholic monarch, Bloody Mary. Hardliners
like Glass alleged she was responsible for the deaths of 300 Protestants, who
were burned alive at the stake.
According to Glass, when urged to give up their Reformed Protestant Faith, these
martyrs replied: "By God's grace we will stand for Jesus, contend for the faith
and never give in to the Pope of Rome!"
Then Glass dropped his historical 'bombshell'. He claimed Catholics mocking the
dying Protestants called them 'bi-godites', which over the years became shortened
Glass is dead and Paisley senior is no longer Moderator of the Free Presbyterian
Church he founded 60 years ago in 1951, but room may be starting to emerge for a
new hellfire cleric in Unionism.
Rioting in working class loyalist areas across the North in recent weeks
demonstrates there is a growing frustration among a significant section of
The Catholic Church, because of the clerical abuse scandals, is taking its
biggest battering in Ireland since King Billy set up the Protestant Ascendancy in
the 1690s. The ground is dangerously ripe for a new fundamentalist firebrand to
And this danger should not be underestimated. The Open Bible Ministries leaflet
stated: "When your enemies call you faithful Protestants 'bigots' today, do not
be embarrassed or shamed into silence. Bigot is a badge of honour not of shame."
A very warped view of Christian teaching this may be, but if these seeds are
being sown today, what could they reap tomorrow?
Just remember, Paisley senior started his Free P Church with only a handful of
followers, yet built it over the years into the most vocally influential of the
Protestant fundamentalist denominations.
But Big Ian built his religious and political movements without the help of the
internet or social networking.
Is it possible that a preacher in waiting could convince some Protestants that
being a bigot is fashionable? Jack Glass was proof it can happen; and it could