In his weekly column in the News Letter today, N R Greer commented on the recent attacks by Sinn Fein on some of my personal religious beliefs. He wrote:
Republicans have done Nelson a disservice
Attending an occasional mass, or sitting in the odd mosque during prayers, does not worry me in the slightest but I also absolutely respect the position of DUP MLA and Culture Minister Nelson McCausland not to attend a Roman Catholic service. To me this is the essence of civil and religious liberty. If that is what Nelson believes, then fine. So what?
He is not seeking to deliberately offend Roman Catholics nor their church; he is not stopping anyone from attending the church they want to go to.
Had Sinn Fein not made an issue about the minister's sincerely held religious beliefs no one would have known and no one would have been offended. By stirring the pot the republicans have ensured lots of people have been offended and the executive has faced yet another petty squabble.
Nelson McCauslad's stance seems to me less offensive than would-be SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie's public remarks regarding Protestant loyal orders.