By Sean Fleming (for the Blanket)
The DUP is now the largest political party in the north of Ireland. It is a party made up of many people who adhere to a particular mode of Protestantism or Protestant fundamentalism. Its leader, the Rev. Ian Paisley, perpetual moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church, is a Protestant fundamentalist preacher whose anti-Catholicism best defines this unique mode of Protestant fundamentalism that permeates all aspects of life in Northern Irish society. The Unionism of his party is inseparable also in its articulation of the sixteenth century Reformation and is totally unlike anything approaching contemporary understandings of British identity. If society here is to move forward this anti-Catholicism must be confronted because it dangerously continues to be the defining feature of the Northern Irish state and is a distortion of the genuine Reformed or Protestant tradition.