Northern Irish Political Figure Calls Promotional Shirt for Netflix Show 'Blasphemous'
Baroness Eileen Paisley, political figure and widow of former Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley, criticized a Belfast sports store because of a shirt advertising the Netflix/Channel 4 show "Derry Girls."
The shirt in question is a yellow and green Gaelic Athletic jersey with the show's fictional school's crest, and features a picture of the character Sister Michael rolling her eyes with the quote "Sweet Suffering Jehovah" over her head.
O'Neill's criticised by Eileen Paisley over Derry Girls shirt https://t.co/Mn1te8nmjB
— The Irish News (@irish_news) March 11, 2020
That, according to Baroness Paisley, is enough to "leave Christians broken-hearted," reported The Irish News.
The shirt is one of five sold by O'Neills Sportswear. They're all faux-GAA jerseys with the Our Lady Immaculate College crest and photos of different characters with different sayings, like "Catch Yourself On" and "Wise Up."
Baroness Paisley must not have watched the show, or at least doesn't have much of a sense of humor when it comes to promotional advertising.
"It is with great sadness that I write regarding an item advertised for sale in the new O'Neills sports shop opened this week by the lord mayor of our great capital city," she wrote. "I'm sure I speak on behalf of a great number of Bible-believing Christians who are broken-hearted at such a blasphemous advertisement, demeaning the Holy Name of God, and using the picture of a young lady dressed as a nun under the words 'Sweet Suffering Jehovah.' I am sure there are many people from the Roman Catholic Church who will also be grieved to see their religion insulted in this way."
When you wear your Derry Girls GAA top round to Eileen Paisley’s house pic.twitter.com/NWdE0GTNnf
— Brian Q (@brianbrianquinn) March 11, 2020
Her full letter leans heavily into religious imagery and attempts at guilting the Belfast store and apparel's creators, despite the arguably tame depiction of the nun character. The line between representing a religious institution with comedy and satire without getting mean is obviously a difficult one to walk. But, as far as "demeaning" religion, as Baroness Paisley says the shirt does, a nun rolling her eyes and mild-at-worst example of taking the name in vain seems pretty harmless.