Religious nuts are blaming a department store fire that decimated a historic building in Belfast on “God’s wrath”” because the company had a LGBTQ display in its front window.
Officials have not determined what caused the blaze that destroyed the 233-year-old Bank Building in downtown Belfast on Tuesday. But on Twitter, commenters are already insisting it was the Pride month display in the Primark department store window that fanned the metaphorical flames.
In a now-deleted tweet, Jonathon Eccles wrote: ‘Primark Belfast up in flames. ‘Galatians 6:& comes to mind… ‘Be not deceived: God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’
“Primark supported wickedness via it’s shop window a few weeks ago in Belfast.’ wrote another person on Facebook. “The Almighty God has showed his wrath on Primark store in Belfast which was found ablaze this morning for supporting Gay Pride. ‘Be not deceived, God is not mocked.”
Added another, “Reminds me of our Trinitarian God who burnt not just a shop, but a whole city to a crisp.”
It took some 80 firefighters to contain the department store fire, which led to the evacuation of nearby businesses. Just weeks earlier, on August 4, Thousands marched through the streets in Belfast’s 25th annual Pride parade, which actually went past the Bank Building and its rainbow display.
Representatives from the Northern Ireland Humanists are condemning the homophobic comments.
“We know this is not the feelings of most Christians, but we would ask you, religious or not, to call out this homophobic rhetoric where you find it. We hope those employed by Primark are being helped while out of work. And we also hope the building will be rebuilt as it is one of Belfast’s most beautiful.”
Criticisms against the display surfaced almost immediately after it was unveiled. One angry customer wrote the store to say his family was boycotting Primark. “The reason being, your company’s very in your face support of the political movements that are Stonewall and Pride.”
“It is indeed offensive and should be removed immediately” said another, “Considering your current display is anti family then how do you expect to get trade from people who believe in marriage between one man and one woman? Your display is also anti Christian and against the believes (sic) and teachings of the Bible.”
A Primark spokesperson defended the display from criticism.
“Primark’s position on LGBTQ rights is well-known and the company supports equality for all. It is proud to be supporting Pride, and proud of its partnership with Stonewall.”
According to Metro UK, the historic structure had been undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation.The building and surrounding area still cordoned off, as there is the continued threat of collapse. Engineers are working to establish whether the facade can be saved.