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(Inspired by watching a couple of evangelists in Beverley town centre)


He prowls the city’s precincts calling out into the void

His heart is filled with righteous wrath, demeanour underjoyed

Damning passers-by to Hell, his heart and soul employed

By the Church of the Hectoring Zealot.


In Ulster’s Ian Paisley you had thought you’d seen it all

For genuflecting he’d have put you up against a wall

But this one sees that no-one from His Grace escapes the Fall

Except the Church of the Hectoring Zealot.


“Thy eyes and tongue shall be cut out and fruitless be thy plea;

For ye shall walk on burning coals in timeless purgatory

The Hounds of Hell shall chew thy innards all eternity

All but the Church of the Hectoring Zealot.”


Thy vitals they shall bubble in the brimstone pots of Hell;

Repent before the Lord doth ring his summoning death knell

There is still time for thy contrition ere the sounding bell

With us the Church of the Hectoring Zealot.”


His congregation’s deaf to him for it could not care less

About their chance of afterlife compared with M & S

With Tesco or The Blacksmiths’ Arms, yet still with bile he’ll press

The cause of the Church of the Hectoring Zealot.




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John Coopey

Sat 24th Feb 2024 23:03

A sobering experience, John.

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John Svatins

Sat 24th Feb 2024 13:02

A few years after the Good Friday agreement I randomly met Ian Paisley in the toilets of a Little Chef near Southampton. I was zipping up and as I turned I came face to face with him. Easily the most unsettling thing to have ever happened to me in a public toilet.

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John Coopey

Wed 21st Feb 2024 15:19

MC - Gerry Fitt was the last of the SDLP which got squeezed out of the middle ground by Sinn Fein. He famously refused to support the Callaghan government on a vote which ultimately brought it down and ushered in the Thatcher government of 1979.

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M.C. Newberry

Wed 21st Feb 2024 12:50

Powerful stuff, JC. I'm reminded of an old Irish colleague, who
was a Special Branch "minder" for Gerry Fitt. He did a great
impression of a ranting Ian Paisley back in the day;
"There'll be a wailing
And a gnashing of teeth...
(And teeth will be provided!). etc. 😆

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John Coopey

Wed 21st Feb 2024 11:40

Thankfully, Uilleam, Christianity is one of the world’s more benign religions these days. Their zealots aren’t, for instance, stoning or beheading in their name or crucifying their own.
My own view is that all the various gods in the world probably get along fine with one another.

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Wed 21st Feb 2024 10:09

Thank you, John.
Thus speaks the alleged “God of Love”!
One might be forgiven for thinking we lived in the 19th century; but even today, I see and hear such bigotry, displayed by some clergy of the Roman Catholic church, an organisation under whose “guidance” I spent many of my formative years.

Having been moved to tears when watching Jeanette Winterson’s “Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit” on TV, it strikes me that some people’s priorites are somewhat perverted. What consenting adults get up to under the duvet, is apparently, of more concern to our spiritual sheep-herders than the UK’s state-sponsored murder of babies in far-away places.

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John Coopey

Tue 20th Feb 2024 20:40

Thanks for your thoughts, Stephen. And for the Likes, Carlton, RG, Stephen A and Holden.

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Stephen Gospage

Tue 20th Feb 2024 18:54

Thanks, John. There's something to be said for soft centrist views after seeing people like this.

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