Talk:Ian Paisley

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Belfast Agreement[edit]

In the section entitled "Belfast Agreement" there is a whole chunk of text about Denis Donaldson and allegations of spying. I fail to see what this has got to do with the life of Ian Paisley. I think even the DUP only gets one mention and none at all for its leader. Would this be better placed somewhere else?

Legalisation of Homosexuality[edit]

In reference to Paisley's campaigning for the legalisation of homosexuality at the beginning of the article, I assume this is a joke posted by someone with too much time on their hands. Should be removed, no? I won't do it until someone confirms this.

Big NPOV Problems with "Doctor Paisley" Section[edit]

I don't have editing permission to correct this -- someone ought to do so immediately as it's pretty libelous.

Regarding this current section:

Doctor Paisley

Paisley's use of the title 'Dr' derived initially from a 1954 qualification from the (outlawed)[6] American Pioneer Theological Seminary in Rockville, Illinois. Later this was somewhat legitimised by an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree awarded by Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist Christian college in Greenville, South Carolina that was unaccredited at the time. Bob Jones, Jr. was a close personal friend and, with Paisley, a leader in evangelical Christianity. Paisley continues to maintain a friendly relationship with the institution and has often spoken at the University's annual Bible Conference.


The word "outlawed" is referenced to a highly-partisan Web site that also calls the school "outlawed", with no further reference.

It is essentially impossible for a U.S. religious school to be "outlawed" and operating at the same time. If it did something actually illegal (e.g. selling drugs) it would be shut down. If it was closed due to some malfeasance after granting the degree to Paisley, the article would have to say "the American Pioneer Theological Seminary in Rockville, Illinois, which was later shut down in YEAR due to [explain]".

It may not have been an "accredited" educational institution. But accredation in the U.S. is done by private organizations and doesn't really have any legal status -- it mostly a matter of prestige.

But it's not safe to even say the school was "unaccredited" without proper research, as there are (at least today, if I'm not mistaken) "alternative" accrediting organizations that do accredit low-academic-standard religious schools. You then would have to phrase very carefully that it's not accredited by one of the "leading" accrediting organizations or something.

I can't find any info on the school other than the millions of libelous copies of the Wikipedia statement in this Paisley article : ) It may well be long closed.

I do want the article to describe the school as not being on par with Harvard -- but very carefully and neutrally.


The article then continues "Later this was somewhat legitimised by an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree ..."

I hope I don't need to point out that this is giving the value-judgement of the Wikipedia editor. Needs to be neutral like:

"He did also subsequently receive a second honorary Doctor of Divinity degree awarded by Bob Jones University in YEAR, a fundamentalist Christian college in Greenville, South Carolina which was unaccredited at the time".

But again -- was Bob Jones University actually "unaccredited" or just not accredited by one of the "respectable" accrediting organizations? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:46, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

As I understand it he received his 'doctorate' from a school accredited by a body not empowered/accredited as an accrediting agency. It is sort of like (though obviously this is an exaggeration) if I were to declare myself a school and award you a doctorate and someone said I couldn't legitmately do so because I wasn't accredited so someone else declared themselves an accrediting agency, said I was accredited and you started calling yourself 'Dr'. Obviously accreditation for it to mean anything has to be done by legitimate accrediting bodies for it to 'count', so depending on the meaning of the word it is both false and true to say 'Dr Ian Paisley received his doctorate from an unaccredited school'. The situation is even more complicated by the fact that Bob Jones University is (arguably) a University which though not properly accredited at the time of giving him his honorary doctorate (and thus, arguably, entitlement to use the address 'Dr') probably could have been accredited had its founder not had ideological objections to accreditation and which subsequently became an accredited institution (and one imagines would, in principle, renew the honorary doctorate). DACrowe10 (talk) 19:29, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Are we sure that either degree is "honorary"? As I understand it, persons with mere honorary doctorates are not entitled to call themselves "Dr". I'll have to look it up, but I always understood that Paisley submitted a thesis to get his doctorate (accredited or otherwise). Mooretwin (talk) 10:49, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
The practice varies from region to region. In my province in Canada, it appears that anyone can call themselves "Doctor". In Ontario in Canada, only chiropractors, dentists, medical doctors, optometrists, psychologists, and registered Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and acupuncturists can use the title professionally.Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.
I have no idea what rules apply in Northern Ireland. Mooretwin, do you know?--Kevinkor2 (talk) 12:58, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
It's quite common for Protestant clergy in a lot of countries to call themselves "Dr" on the basis of honorary degrees and/or degrees from unaccredited institutions - other examples in politics include Paisley's DUP colleague William McCrea who has an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Marietta Bible College, or the Australian Gordon Moyes who has a DD from the California Graduate School of Theology. The situation is complicated because a lot of religious institutions have historically had ideological objections to any form of government accreditation, arguing that the government has no role in determining what is and isn't the right teaching.
Some countries rigorously protect the use of the title "Dr" by law, but others don't and leave it to the institutions and field concerned. I'm not aware of any law in the UK that Paisley could have broken on this. Timrollpickering (talk) 11:31, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
A honorary degree is usually granted for social, political, artistic or economic achievements. One may then sign as dr.h.c. ... or ..., DD(Hon), depending on the customs from the country where the degree has been granted. No study/diplomas are required for obtaining a honorary degree. The only form of cheating with honorary degrees is not actually having received it, otherwise any educational institution (college/university) may grant such degrees to anyone. Tgeorgescu (talk) 20:33, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

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