not a member? click here to sign up
He’s the son of a preacher man
His father, the Rev. Ian Paisley, has been one of the dominant figures in Irish politics over the past 40 years. Now Ian Paisley Jnr is a Junior Minister in the new Northern Ireland administration. So how different is he from his father? And how does he feel about cross border co-operation, education, abortion and homosexuality?
Jason O'Toole, 11 Jun 2007
So is hell the type of place where suicide bombers go?
No, I think hell is the place where sinners go. You know, a sinner can be a pious person, just as much as a sinner can be an evil person. Hell is a place where people go when they have not asked Jesus Christ into their heart. And I think we will be surprised by who is in heaven and equally surprised by who is in hell.
So can a sinner be redeemed? There are people sitting at the opposite side of you in the Assembly who – in these terms – have obviously ‘sinned’.
I don’t believe anyone can redeem themselves. I believe there is only one redemption and it’s Christ. It is not for me to judge whether or not they have accepted Christ. It is for them to make that choice.
How do you feel about same sex marriages being introduced to the UK last year?
I am, unsurprisingly, a straight person. I am pretty repulsed by gay (sic) and lesbianism. I think it is wrong. I think that those people harm themselves and – without care about it – harm society. That doesn’t mean to say that I hate them. That doesn’t mean to say that (pauses)…. I mean, I hate what they do. But I think that what we should do is to try and build a society which is founded on a strong group of principles. I think it is going to be almost impossible – and this is the problem that parliament has to deal with – to start down this road of legislating for people’s gender and people’s identity. I think that you probably create more problems than were originally there. I think a lot of it too is about almost trying to insult people who come from a very strong Christian background. I got a lot of that in the hate mail or whatever I received at that time (I spoke out against homosexuality).
A few years ago you attacked David Trimble’s aid, Steven King for marrying his partner.
The objection was this: the Ulster Unionist Party were leading a campaign in the House of Commons, through their leader at that time, David Trimble, against the sexual orientation legislation, which allows for gay marriage. The chief advisor to the First Minister through this period was giving advice that the Ulster Unionist Party should oppose gay marriage and should oppose it very, very strongly. And should actually go out on that right-wing card. The person who was giving the advice then became a subject of a gay marriage! That was my issue – that this was blatant hypocrisy that the person giving the advice had indulged himself in a gay marriage.