I have been greatly disturbed in recent months by a small but significant number of loyalists attempting to fundamentally alter the founding elements of traditional loyalism in the name of ‘evolving’ or ‘modernising’. This has ranged from a subtle but significant separation between God and our cause with many taking the view that Bible believing Protestantism should be kept separate from the cause of loyalism.
There has also been a rise in extreme socialist and liberal politics which is anathema to the reformed faith of Protestantism and even at times there have been attempts to use elements of traditional loyalism to justify this sharp shift to the extreme left of the political spectrum.
The notion that left wing politics are the only kind that is acceptable and/or beneficial to the working class is a carefully constructed mis-truth.
Loyalisms natural home is within Bible based Protestantism, it is this faith that has provided the moral and spiritual backbone to our cause for generations. It is from this reformed faith that sprang the motto ‘For God And Ulster’ that is proudly carried on our standards and engraved upon our murals and headstones all over this Country.
Attempts to pursue political or social aims that quite clearly undermine the word of God subsequently cast a dark shadow over the religious element of our cause.
It is a indisputable fact that the majority of those within loyalism would not be practising Protestants however it is important to keep in focus the moral and social stability that is provided from a continued reliance on Biblical principles.
Aside from the religious side of things, the attempts to dilute loyalism to become a ‘please everyone all of time’ modern liberal identity is the very thing that will sow the seeds of the ultimate destruction of the loyalist identity.
The attempts to re-brand loyalism into some kind of ultra accepting, liberal identity of appeasement and compromise with a strong reliance on extreme left wing politics will perhaps attract some young ‘hug the world’ type of voters, it will however more tellingly alienate the core base of traditional loyalists, many of whom whilst being a long way from practising Protestants, would still draw strongly on moral Biblical principles and would still argue fiercely for the merits of Protestantism and faith in God underpinning our cause.
This section of loyalism would be described as ‘intransigent, dinosaurs, bigots, sectarian, homophobic’ to name but a few tags that would be thrown towards us.
These words play to one of the fundamental truths of communication, words matter.
The use of these words has an automatic stigma, an automatic turn off affect in the minds of the majority of the population.
The truth of the matter is that it is very easy to throw these labels towards people who refuse to compromise their core beliefs. It is an easy way to discredit political arguments that do not embrace the ‘hug the world’ attitude. It is a favourite tactic of liberals and socialists.
There is no shame in refusing to compromise your core beliefs and there is no merit in diluting or changing your cultural or religious identity so as to ensure you offend no one or to appease those that wish to force change upon you.
Many men fought and died ‘For God And Ulster’ and it is proudly carried on many of our modern and traditional standards. A political move away from the social principles of Gods word towards a liberal and socialist doctrine of removing all traces of God from politics and society in general is a move that will provide for nothing but disaster.
Loyalism springs from the well of Biblical Protestantism, to try and dilute this to create some new brand of loyalism that is all embracing progresses so far from our traditional identity one could argue it is no longer even loyalism.
This new brand of loyalism that some are promoting has little that separates it from extreme socialism and given that I would contend that Sinn Fein and the SDLP are both Nationalist Socialists, when you take away the constitutional issue and cultural issues (which most of the tree huggers will readily compromise if they are forced to in the name of ‘equality’) then there is very little that will separate the new brand of ‘loyalist’ from those who seek to destroy our Country.
They will find common cause in extreme left wing politics which will remove every trace of Godly principles from society, schools and Government and eventually provide the destruction of the stable communities and society that have served the United Kingdom so well for Centuries in exchange for a atheist ‘anything goes’ society without parameters or boundaries and where everything that anybody says makes them happy is accepted in the perverse name of ‘equality’.
This type of ‘Unionism’ has already been seen in all it’s glory with John McCallister, Basil McCrea and their NI21 party. This is the trajectory of attempts to liberalise loyalism and shift it sharply to the left of the political spectrum.
The traditional ‘loyalism’ and ‘Unionism’ was strong and uncompromising.
It was based and relied heavily upon biblical and Godly principles.
The Solemn League and Covenant which has been often described as the Birth certificate of Northern Ireland placed strong emphasis on many principles of the reformed Protestant faith.
Contrary to recent assertions the majority of the signatories of the Ulster Covenant would not have been left wing socialists but instead working class centre right Bible believing Protestants.
The attempts to turn a Solemn promise to strive for ‘Civil and Religious liberty’ into a weapon to be used in campaigns to undermine God’s word under the cloak of equality is a perverse and gross mis-interpretation of the original meaning.
Does anyone seriously contend that those who framed the Covenant would have in any way supported undermining Gods word in the name of ‘equality’. This Covenant was drawn up by those steadfast and resolute in their commitment to the reformed faith and therefore the Civil and Religious liberty they spoke of was not to be taken as ‘anything goes as long as it makes people happy’. It has to be taken in the context of the Christian context in which it was written.
The anchor of loyalism has always been the ‘For God’ element based within Bible believing Protestantism which has provided a stable backbone to the Loyalist cause.
This is not to say that every loyalist even believes in God, but the majority would have some resemblance of Protestant faith, especially older generations.
The argument I make is that if loyalism abandons the word of God it abandons everything it stands for and it abandons the fundamental principles that our forefathers fought and died for.
In one recent example a loyalist said to me ‘Yes but when you are saying For God And Ulster you just mean your God, what about all the other Gods?’
This is an example of how the liberalising of loyalism could lead to a frightening dilution of our identity.
Entwined within Loyalism is Protestantism, to crystallise the point I am making, the attempts to create a liberal socialist Loyalism will seek to separate loyalism from Protestantism. This would depart from everything that our forefathers fought and died to maintain.
To stay true to our founding principles we must stay true to the genuine principles of the Ulster Covenant and robustly challenge any attempts to dilute them or ‘evolve’ them to suit modern whims.
Loyalism does not need to move forward any further, we need to go back to what loyalism really is and what it always has been. It is based in the Protestant faith and it carries the motto For God And Ulster.
Stay true to who we really are.
FOR GOD AND ULSTER