Mr Poots said that he believed Christians were being persecuted and being denied the right to practice their faith by, what he termed; 'silly liberal laws'. The minister apparently believes that the only way to address this perceived persecution is for more Christians to be involved in the decision making process. One can fairly assume from this that Mr Poots feels that Christians are currently under represented in Politics.
Well, I disagree. For one, his party's MLA's, MP's and candidates for Assembly in May have or will at some point made reference to their Christianity, their church or even their Orange order membership. The UUP are not quite as big on pointing out their Christian credentials but they're not far behind. On the other side the fence, separation of church and state is more evident but there is still no shortage of Christians. That is how it should be, Mr Poots, not your way. There is nothing wrong with being a Christian but there is everything wrong with trying to impress your religious beliefs on others and it is abominable to do it through legislation.
Dawn Purvis provided an excellent answer to this question when she said that the freedom to practice religion must not prove detrimental to the rights of others. The couple who were denied the opportunity to foster were not, at any point, denied their right to practice their faith. What they were denied was the opportunity to push their faith on someone else, in particular, an impressionable child. This isn't a silly liberal law, this is protecting the rights of those who need the most protection.
On a final note, for Edwin Poots to moan about state interference is quite simply laughable. Almost to a man, his party opposes relaxation of Sunday Trading laws. Apparently, it's fine for the state to interfere when it's about keeping Sunday free for church.