GRACEful Paisley

Over on Truth Seeking Graduates, Camille has been working on Bible Conference speakers. They are all bad, of course. She has singled out one, though, with some very interesting slams.

His name is David McIlveen. He’s from Northern Ireland, and he’s more-or-less the successor to Ian Paisley, the firebrand asshole Irish Protestant who Bob Junior thought was a great guy. I just thought he had a cool Irish accent.

The only thing I could find that was “bad” about David McIlveen is that he’s anti-gay, which is not surprising since he’s also very, very right-wing and very, very fundamentalist – and that is all “bad” from my point of view.

I suspect that this lack of scandal left Camille a bit frustrated, so she did her usual stretching exercises.

She does admit that McIlveen is “not Paisley” – but “he’s close.” Well, if you mean that he is a male Irish human being who knew Paisley and who adheres to Paisley’s fundamentalism, yeah, he’s “close.” But then, I bet there are a whole lot of other human males who would meet that requirement as well.

Here, I’ll go one better than Camille, and give you a photo of the two men together, shaking hands.

This is just astonishing, finding something so damning. They were only associated with the same church for years.

Her problem is that the “doozy” thing she has “found” with all her serious “research” is about Paisley, not McIlveen. And Ian Paisley is very, very dead.

The article from Wikipedia that Camille cites is about a boys home (basically a sort of shelter for badly-treated teenage boys) run by the local authorities which closed down in 1980 amid discoveries that the boys were being abused there. Three men were convicted of abuse and given short prison sentences.

The controversy is about Paisley and whether or not he knew that one of the convicted men was gay.

Please note something here and pay attention: Being gay does not make a person a sexual abuser. The Irish authorities got really into all this and decided to ban all gay people from working in “any caring roles” – as though that solved the problem.

Gay does not equal abuser. The Irish authorities were simply wrong.

Repeat: Gay does not equal abuser.

I can’t find anything that definitively says that Paisley knew about abuse. What seems to have happened is that he was told that one of the men was gay and he didn’t do anything about it. I’m not sure what he was supposed to have done, frankly. At any rate, he was accused of this, but nothing ever came of it. Paisley died just a few years ago.

Nor is there any indication that David McIlveen knew anything at all about any of this.

Of all the things that Ian Paisley was accused of doing in his life, this ranks, well, way down the list. He was a controversial man who infuriated nearly everyone except maybe Bob Jones Junior. But this is Camille’s “doozy” thing that she has found through her intensive research on Wikipedia.

The political situation in Northern Ireland has been ongoing for years, as I think most everyone knows, and Ian Paisley was right in the middle of it.

This is the reason that Steve Bright, by 1992, would have heard people referring to Paisley as a “terrorist.”

Camille goes on to post this (which, by the way, generated Steve’s comment above).

This article doesn’t mention Ian Paisley at all. It alleges that a coverup existed because the home was being used by the British authorities, specifically the MI5 – which is sort of like a cross between the FBI and the CIA – to blackmail people.

Paisley was an MP (member of parliament) during the period, but that doesn’t mean that he was tightly wound up with the inner workings of the MI5.

And this is Camille telling us that Valerie Shaw told Paisley that McGrath was “sexually molesting” boys at Kincora.

Only that is apparently not true.

The link she gives is to Paisley’s publication where he addresses the issue. It’s pretty weasel-worded, yes, but there’s nothing here that says she told him that sexual abuse was occurring.

Searching a little, I found one opinion piece in an Irish publication where the writer simply states, without presenting any evidence, that Valerie Shaw had told Paisley that “sexual abuse” was occurring. However, there are also other sources, including one with old video of Shaw testifying, that state very clearly that she told Paisley that McGrath was gay and nothing more.

All of these sources tend to adhere to the idea that gay equals sexual abuse, and I repeat: it doesn’t.

Was McGrath guilty as charged? Probably. Was there a cover-up of some sort? Probably. Was Paisley involved in the cover-up? Who the hell knows.

But – this is about David McIlveen, not Ian Paisley.

Camille would argue that McIlveen was a close friend of Paisley – she doesn’t tell us how she knows this. But they were undoubtedly associates.

So let’s talk a little bit about associates.

Let’s talk about Mathew Staver.

Mathew Staver is the former dean of the law school at Liberty University. He resigned that position in the fall of 2014, with great praise heaped upon him by one and all.

He is also the head of Liberty Counsel, which is closely affiliated with Liberty University. Ostensibly a right-wing “pro-family” legal organization, Liberty Counsel is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

Mat is also connected with other anti-gay organizations, such as the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and Imago Dei.

For background, it’s worth reading this article from Human Rights Campaign which lists some stuff that Mat Staver has said publicly. Among other things, he supports “pray the gay away” or so-called “conversion therapy,” which rivals Jim Berg’s nouthetic counseling as ineffective and ridiculous, not to mention cruel.

Two things to notice here. First, Staver has been involved in the Lisa Miller kidnapping case, defending the kidnapper. Second, his replacement at Liberty is his close colleague and fellow Liberty Counsel attorney, so there’s no improvement.

In short, Mat Staver is one of the most vitriolic, anti-gay, bigoted people in America.

So, what does that have to do with anything?

It has to do with this guy – Boz Tchividjian – or more affectionately known around here as the Wizard of Boz.

Clearly, Boz isn’t Mat Staver. We have no reason to think that Boz Tchividjian embraces the offensive, homophobic views of his colleague.

It’s interesting to me, and something that I have paid some attention to, that Boz doesn’t seem to ever mention abuse against gay kids in all his activism. Bob Jones University, for example, is just as harsh toward gay students as those who have been abused. And Boz goes to lots of trouble in other publications to explain that abuse comes in several different flavors: emotional, physical, sexual, “spiritual” (whatever that is).

But we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here, and just say that there’s no evidence to indicate that he shares the views of Mat Staver.

But that he is associated with Mat Staver is absolutely beyond question. Google both of their names, together. You will find site after site [PDF] where both men are mentioned. Maybe not in the same article, but in the same publication. They appeal to the same people. It’s obvious.

And it makes sense that they are linked. They work(ed) for the same school, Liberty University. In the same department, the School of Law. Boz remains there, working now for Mat’s replacement who is also a part of Liberty Counsel. Repeat this: Boz Tchividjian works for a person who is a member of an anti-gay hate group, and his former boss founded the damn thing.


Do you see that those two things – damning McIlveen because of something that Ian Paisley might have done, and damning Boz Tchividjian because of something that his boss absolutely has done, are very similar? And that in fact, the criticism of Staver is far more definitive and documented than the criticism of Paisley?

Should this sort of thing – these kinds of associations- raise red flags? They do for me. Wouldn’t you pause a little if you knew that your son’s best friend’s father worked for the Mafia? Or if you knew that your neighbor regularly associated with people who advocated bombing abortion clinics?

I have problems with all four of these men. Two of them (Paisley and Staver) because of what I know they have done or said or the view I know they have – and the other two because they don’t have enough moral integrity or courage or something to speak out against it. Even if I had a reason (I don’t) to have contact with either McIlveen or Tchvidjian, I would be cautious because of who they hang out with. I would be cautious. I wouldn’t necessarily toss either of them in the trash can – but I’m not going to attend Bible Conference, ever. And I’m not going to go hear Boz speak either, ever.

But this isn’t about me, of course. This is about Camille K. Lewis. And make no mistake about it: even if two of these comments were made by “admins,” they reflect the sentiments of Camille K. Lewis.


Camille has added this. Note the highlighted sentence. Then read the article.

You’re not nuts. It doesn’t say what Camille says it says. She actually quotes the only relevant portion of the whole thing: “Having launched a campaign to ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy’, he ignored warnings about a housefather of Kincora Boys’ Home in east Belfast who later was jailed for sexual offences against the children.”

Sounds very slightly damning, doesn’t it? Of course, when you read the whole article, you see that it’s written in the context of the contradictions that were Ian Paisley. Having declared eternal war with Catholics, he then went to Parliament and worked to do good things for them. He banned Masons from his church, and then abruptly changed his mind. He infuriated his own allies when he worked to broker peace after having declared he’d never give in.

And “ignored warning” simply means that Valerie Shaw told him that McGrath was gay. No more. Nothing else.

But Camille assumes (quite rightly) that hardly anyone will actually read the article. They will just accept her pronouncement that this was a nefarious plot on the part of Paisley to cover-up a “sex-trafficking ring.” And it was on “his watch.” He wasn’t in charge of that school. It was a state-owned facility. Yes, he was in Parliament at the time, but it wasn’t his personal responsibility.

This is so disingenuous. And it has nothing at all to do with David McIlveen.



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