Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Church of England and the BNP

Cranmer received an email yesterday accusing him of being a ‘surrenderist’.

Not to any particular brand of Christianity, or to Islam(-ism), or to any multi-faith ecumenical politically-correct pap, or even (God forbid) to Socialism.

Cranmer, it was alleged, had surrendered to the BNP.

All because he was pondering (and taking his time over it) whether or not he ought to comment upon their campaign of ‘What would Jesus do?’. He was also asked whether or not the feeble response of virtually the entire episcopate of the Church of England to the suggestion of national bell-ringing on St George’s Day was a politically-correct sell-out.

Well... ‘surrenderist’ seems a little unfair. God knows that Cranmer labours day and night for no earthly reward in order to bring some common sense (as ConservativeHome once put it) to some of the touchiest subjects in British politics.

When it comes to the BNP, His Grace has a dilemma. Does he cover their outrageous advertising campaign and provide them with ‘the oxygen of publicity’, or does he ignore them altogether, thereby leaving unchallenged their assertion that they are a Christian party; indeed, more Christian than the Church of England?

If the BNP were a Christian party, they would drive Jesus to atheism.

The far-Left party has launched its campaign for the European Elections with a poster which features a picture of Jesus with a quotation from the Gospel of John (15:20): ‘If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you’.

It is noteworthy that Jesus consorted with the outcast of his day – Samaritans, tax-collectors, prostitutes –– because he loved them. The BNP are noted for rejecting those who might consider themselves the persecuted of today (Muslims and homosexuals, for example), which rather presents the BNP with something of ‘Christian’ credibility problem. Jesus commanded us to love our enemies and welcome them into our homes: the BNP offends, excludes and seeks to deport them.

But the advertisement asks: ‘What would Jesus do?’

One would think the Church of England might have made a swift response to this. After all, it was they who banned their clergy from membership of this democratic and legally-constituted group during a recent General Synod. The Methodists, Baptists and the United Reformed Church have all condemned the advertisement, but the Church of England is as confused by English national identity as it is about sexuality.

A spokesman for the Archbishop of York said: ‘Jesus wouldn’t say anything’.

It is such an abdication of spiritual leadership and theological responsibility which gives credence to the BNP’s assertion that the Church of England is failing its adherents and letting the country down. And so the party adopts the church’s rhetoric of persecution and the need to sustain Christian values in this Christian country. It hijacks the Cross of St George, and promises to defend our Christian heritage and culture because the Church of England has failed to do so: indeed, the national church is mute.

It is interesting to note that the most senior Church of England clerics who have dared to talk about Englishness and the importance of defending and asserting its Christian heritage are not white Anglo-Saxons, but black and brown-skinned foreign-born. Archbishop John Sentamu and Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali have made pronouncements against the tide of secularism and the threats of Islamism and shari’a law, but they are lone voices. The perceived de-Christianisation of England continues apace, with secularising calls from Parliament and pronouncements about an ‘unavoidable’ Islamification from Lambeth Palace.

Cranmer does not believe that the Jesus who has been revealed in Scripture would remain silent, and neither should the national church.

And so the BNP fills the void, with one of its spokesmen referring to ‘a witch-hunt’ of those who politics the church does not approve. He said: “You can’t have an organisation passing itself off as Christian while embarking on thoroughly vindictive and un-Christian behaviour.”

Quite so.

A spokesman for the BNP said: "We are putting (the posters) up there in response to the way the Church has attacked us. We believe we are being persecuted and turned into martyrs."

But it is a wonderful irony that the criticism of the church for its discrimination against members of the BNP comes from a political organisation which is founded upon the most un-Christian of discriminations – that of race. They have not grasped the essence of the gospel that Jesus abolished the distinction between Jew and Greek.

The Church of England could help if it were not perceived to have sold out to both secularism and political correctness. While the Mayor of London has a week of events planned for St George’s Day, and has vowed to hoist the flag of St George above his offices, the bishops of the Church of England have largely rejected the proposal to ring out the bells on April 23rd in celebration of England’s patron saint.

The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds the Rt Rev John Packer said: ‘I’m not sure assertiveness is a Christian value.’

Does he not believe the glorious gospel of Christ? Does he not wish to see the conversation of others? Does he think this comes about passively? Did Jesus never assert his views on others? Which Bible is Bishop John reading? Should we apologise for Easter? Should we not proclaim the gospel in season and out?

The Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Dr Kenneth Stevenson refused to back the plan, claiming: “Some secularists would say the Church was imposing its beliefs on the whole population.”

He has obviously omitted to notice that the secularists have no fear of imposing their atheistic views on the whole population.

The Bishop of Chester the Rt Rev Dr Peter Foster said there was a danger in ‘public displays of confidence’.

No, Bishop, the danger is in public displays of no confidence. For where the bells fall silent, the Adhan will fill the vacuum.

In fact, just 5 out of 44 bishops think the church bells should ring out on St George’s Day. And only one, the Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, gave a ringing endorsement to the plan.

Fools may rush in where angels fear to tread. But where angels never tread, the demons revel in an uninterrupted orgy.

Our church bells are one of the glories of the Church of England and of English social life, so ringing them loud on our national day would be entirely appropriate. It would be a celebration of England’s national identity, which other nations manage to celebrate without apology. It is time for the English to express pride in who they are and give thanks for the Christian faith which forged a distinct identity. Ringing out the church bells would not be an expression of triumphalist nationalism or an assertion of superiority, but a celebration of all that is good about England, and an expression of thanks to God for the blessings and mercies he has bestowed.

Is it too much to ask that the Church of England should facilitate this?

Is it too much to ask that the Conservative Party might encourage them to do so?


Anonymous mckenzie said...

Amen to that Cranmer. That is all I have been basically trying to say, but in a frustratingly inadequate way. Thank you.

I hope you are not misunderstood and suffer the usual oxygen and platform accusations, especially when you have made you position on the matter explicitly clear. But I will not be holding my breath.

2 April 2009 at 09:08  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Your Grace it's quite obvious what Jesus would do. The BNP are the political equivalent of lepers. He would go in and cure the lot of them. Then he would most likely make his way to Number Ten in order to kick over Gordon's tables. To complete the hat-trick he would pay a visit to good old Dave in order to minister to the Tory party and raise the dead...

2 April 2009 at 09:26  
Blogger The Church Mouse said...

Your Grace. I covered this on my blog, and had an interesting comment from a General Synod member. He pointed out that, contrary to the media reports, the Synod did not ban membership of the BNP. It merely resolved that members of the CofE should not also join groups with 'unchristian values'. As such, the meaning is sufficiently unclear as to be unenforceable.

Mouse draws a parallel with the Church's failure to get to grips with the issues of Freemasonry in the Church. The CofE is about the only mainstream church that allows clergy to be members, despite stating that it is 'incompatible' with Christianity. Go figure.

2 April 2009 at 09:31  
Blogger Toque said...

Well said Cranmer, if the Church of England doesn't act as a national church - if it is embarrassed by the English flag and English national day - then it leaves itself with no choice but to remain silent when others speak for the nation and claim that flag and national day as their own.

The Church of England has surrendered English national identity and is now so politically correct and in fear of 'offending' that it cannot even try to reverse the tide. Shameful.

2 April 2009 at 09:33  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

If you let your enemies into your house,do you really believe that you will survive the encounter?

2 April 2009 at 09:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Archbishop, I'm sorry to say that you greatly err, not knowing the Scriptures.

You write:
"A spokesman for the Archbishop of York said: ‘Jesus wouldn’t say anything’.

It is such an abdication of spiritual leadership and theological responsibility which gives credence to the BNP’s assertion that the Church of England is failing its adherents and letting the country down."

By this I take it that you mean that the Abshp of Y's spokesman was demonstrating an abdication of spiritual leadership. But what he said was precisely in line with the actions and teachings of Jesus, who 'when he was reviled reviled not again,' and, as the prophet wrote concerning him (Isa 53:7), 'He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.'

This, you will observe, is fully in line with Jesus's injunction to all his followers that 'ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.'

Your problem, Archbishop, if I may presume to say so, is that you have always inhabited a world whose parameters were set by Constantine, and you can't conceive of true Christianity taking its hands from the levers of power and genuinely following Jesus, whose kingdom is not from this world.

When you say that 'the secularists have no fear of imposing their atheistic views on the whole population,' are you really asking disciples of Jesus to use the secularists as a model for Christian behaviour?

I am posting this as 'Anonymous' because I can't work out how to attach my name to it. Otherwise I would sign as 'Anabaptist'.

2 April 2009 at 10:09  
Anonymous Kwelos said...

Your Grace, there is no possibility that the Tory party will do anything that might upset the easily offended ones. The Tories are paralysed in the face of the Islamic advance for the reasons set out here.

2 April 2009 at 10:42  
Blogger Christian said...

"Fools may rush in where angels fear to tread. But where angels never tread, the demons revel in an uninterrupted orgy."


2 April 2009 at 10:46  
Blogger ProudGeordie said...

The BNP are a Far-LEFT party now Your Grace??

Why was I not infored at my last meeting as if I am now a state-funded Anarchist or Communist I think I should have been informed!

2 April 2009 at 10:47  
Anonymous Arun Arora said...

A point for the record your Grace.

As the spokesperson for the Archbishop of York may I correct you on your assertion that:

"A spokesman for the Archbishop of York said: ‘Jesus wouldn’t say anything’."

That particular innacuracy is being propogated by the Director of the Ekklesia think tank who was rather put out that I refused to comment on a story that only came to the media's attention through his press release.

The BNP themselves did not press release the billboard and in fact have admitted that they have put up "only one or possibly two" such posters.

Unfortunately in their haste to promote their own comment on the issue, Ekklesia effectively effectively acted as the BNP's PR agency through their naive promotion of the BNP's campign, which has given the poster the kind of media attention they could otherwise never have hoped (or paid) for.

Ekklesia unfortunatley compounded this basic PR blunder by misquoting my repsonse to their story.

In fact the comment I gave to the Press Association was: "this is clearly designed to seek the oxygen of publicity. We refuse to provide it".

There is clearly a big difference between refusing to engage with a poster campaign (providing publicity) and taking every other opportunity to reiterate that the BNP is an odious and racist organisation against which the CofE stands firm.

Certainly for any organisatation, such as Ekklesia, to question the Archbishop of York's commitment to racism from the safety and security of their own offices is quite absurd when one considers that when he was vicar in South London John Sentamu's house was firebombed by the National Front.

Whilst we can all share in a common untied opposition of the BNP, the cause is not helped by the basic errors of "think tanks" which seem to be keener on self-promotion than working together against fascism.

2 April 2009 at 10:59  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

The BNP are confusing in the public mind the persecution Jesus and practising Christians suffer – for the faith and its works are offensive to Jew and Greek, with the mockery that the BNP experiences for its ideology based upon the pathology of nationalism and the racialist ethic.

You state that, ‘A spokesman for the Archbishop of York said: ”Jesus would wouldn’t say anything.”’

I suggest that our Lord would say, ‘Love thy neighbour as thy self.’

What the BNP has done with this ethic is snapped it in half. They are loving themselves as translated into the concept of race.

The Socialists do the same, as they too cannot operate in a vacuum, they snap that ethic in half and love themselves as translated into the concept of class.

Loving thy neighbour as thy self would also undermine the slave-master; plebeian-patrician and BOG comprehensive-Etonian relationships. It is transforming, yet seldom attempted as it requires much courage.

The Church of England is unable to think through the relationship between patriotism and nationalism. That is where its corporate mental blockage is. We should all be patriots. Nationalism is an abnormality, a condition experienced by nation-states in crises. It is not the normal condition of a democracy. Nationalism, should it be triumphant through exercising the procedures of democracy rapidly destroys the very democracy that permitted it life.

The major reason why the Church of England does not want to celebrate St George’s Day is because it is dominated by the Left-liberal version of history that sees our history as one of shame, betrayal and degradation. It is ashamed of our past and therefore our present and future.

The guardians of our high culture, history and art have repudiated it to such a degree that people feel ashamed. These are the very people who are being paid by the State, out of Lottery funds, to do this.

Hooligans express this shame far more honestly than the parish priest. Swinging beer cans from their prehensile tattooed arms expresses what they believe is left of the inheritance of our once glorious culture.

But, Your Grace, there is hope (the substance of things not yet seen). The Lion of Judah is on his way – and the English lions tremble in their dens.

2 April 2009 at 11:07  
Blogger Toque said...

The Church of England is unable to think through the relationship between patriotism and nationalism. That is where its corporate mental blockage is. We should all be patriots. Nationalism is an abnormality, a condition experienced by nation-states in crises. It is not the normal condition of a democracy. Nationalism, should it be triumphant through exercising the procedures of democracy rapidly destroys the very democracy that permitted it life.

The BNP are British nationalists or, if you prefer, racial nationalists.

The Church of England is the national church of England - by definition it is nationalist. Nationalism is just the politics of loving your country (patriotism). To be nationalist is to believe in the concept of the nation - whether England (me), or Britain (Gordon Brown), or white christian Briton (like the BNP).

No one is expecting the CoE to be nationalist in the way that the BNP is nationalist (ie British and racial).

If the Church of England does not believe in England then it should be disestablished and cease to be the national church of England.

The Church of England is the most venerable and the most influential of all the factors which have gone into making English history and English character. Broadly and deeply planted in the land, mixed up with all our manners and customs, one of the main guarantees of our local government, and therefore one of the prime securities of our common liberties, the Church of England…is part of our history, part of our life, part of England itself.” - Bishop George Bell

2 April 2009 at 11:54  
Anonymous Anabaptist said...

It is perfectly possible to believe, as I do, in England without supporting the establishment of the C of E.

2 April 2009 at 12:20  
Anonymous the recusant said...

This Your Grace is ironic, that I should be defending the CofE while you vent righteous anger; however I think in this case they have chosen the more prudent option. As you say the CofE have recently determined that it is incompatible to be both a minister and a member of the BNP, they have drawn the line in the sand, the proverbial let your yes be yes and your no be no. To respond then to this bit of provocation from the BNP is to dance to their tune, to react to their agenda, do we really want to give them that credibility? Personally I don’t think so.

It may seem strange that the RCC should find common cause with the Muslims and homosexuals you mention, bur perhaps as the only ‘minority’ who has suffered real persecution in our own land, and lets face it at the hands of the Anglican establishment, the BNP exhibit a real vitriolic hatred of Rome in both their writings and pronouncements. I have no reason to consider them anything other than a retrograde step on the political path of the United Kingdom.

What would Jesus do, again I am inclined to agree with the spokesman for the Archbishop of York. In his time on earth Jesus never got involved in politics, perhaps that is one of the reasons Judas Iscariot betrayed him (fitting at this time no?). Jesus was no Che Guevara, he did not take up arms to further the cause of the Judean People's Front or the People's Front of Judea, when the Pharisees tried to trap him, he simply said “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”, I think this should be our guide in this case and the CofE has judged this right.

St George’s Day is another matter, I say ring out those bells.

Now I need to lie down.

2 April 2009 at 12:56  
Anonymous not a machine said...

your grace does not fight shy of modern dangerous dilemmas , quite right too , about time we had a think being as labour are throwing in the kitchen sink and the sewer to survive.

if you met the BNP in the 80s , it was almost a paramilitary style group , taking much from national socialism . i never found its faith wing.

however they seem to be making a very important point (if you can put aside race hate which jesus would point out as being wrong headed) in that the christian faith is being undermined by those who wish to see it end both by devout secularists/humanists/socialists and by a islam .

there is also the secular bnp supporter who does not want immigration.

i dont really see how the BNP can defend the faith , i think they claim to not be a religous party.

however it seems clear to me that if you make a society culturally unstable you will have trouble.

labour have overseen a cultural instability which they thought would work for there ideals , but it is there own voters which have turned to the BNP.

i have comcluded that the BNP is not just riding the back of an ecnomic downturn , but rising out of corrupt and failed politics , manifest in labour policy and actions. in a bizzare twist labour have produced radical islam and then gone on to give it equality causing a schism , which multifaith was to be the solution .

what the BNP have realised and rougeishly peddle is that we have imported a sort of cultural nemesis.

imans like mr choudry , continually spout about having a sharia UK little realiseing that conversions of pagans only occures naturally once in a culture and this view of converting/defeating christianity by either stealth or political force is an impossible route for them to take.

i dont think many christians could and would vote BNP , the power of the faith and its wisdom prevents such naked hatred.

however by 2020 leicester will be the first european city to have a white minority , there is resentment to the goverments lack of care on realisimg that such a change wouldnt create a sort of vacuum or race poverty.

the christian faith does not hate the colours that god made , but i do wonder if god dislikes aquiessence into multifaith more .

labour has meddled and split society into somthing socialism cannot heal , i am sorry it has built this funeral pyre , at the moment it certainly feels as though somewhere down the line either labour or a faith is going to be consumed by the flames.

more to the point if the people dont want it (by a majority) and they have polled more than liberal democrats in some by elections , then anti politics has taken hold with all too many signs looking back at history, that a painfull reaction will occure

2 April 2009 at 12:57  
Anonymous Thomas Pelham said...

Speaking as a Church Bell ringing myself, you can be sure that many bells will be rung for St Georges Day - not just because of national pride, but because we ringers welcome any excuse to make a sound and practice our exercise. Quite frankly, those Bishops seem to be talking absolute rubbish. There are plenty of retired or student ringers, and plenty of towers!

2 April 2009 at 13:12  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Good report Your Grace.
Sadly it highlights the weakness in the C of E but clearly shows that there are still some men of faith in there. Someone once said for evil to triumph, all it takes is for good men to do nothing, the flag of St George should be proudly flown on St Georges day & the church bells pealed throughout the nation as a sign of a Christian country, if the nation is fearful of doing so then others will hijack this symbol. Let ALL the political parties fly the flag if they believe, then let them prove it by policy & actions, there , a challenge, who will accept it?
Our tolerance & Christian charity should not be confused with weakness by those of other faiths or political parties who seek to impose their will on the rest of us, likewise the weak actors that proclaim themselves to be church leaders but lack moral fibre should seek other employment, they are false shepherds who will abandon their flock at the first sign of trouble & as such have no part in the blessings that God has prepared for those that love Him.

2 April 2009 at 13:14  
OpenID britologywatch said...

Your Grace writes: "It is interesting to note that the most senior Church of England clerics who have dared to talk about Englishness and the importance of defending and asserting its Christian heritage are not white Anglo-Saxons, but black and brown-skinned foreign-born. Archbishop John Sentamu and Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali have made pronouncements against the tide of secularism and the threats of Islamism and shari’a law, but they are lone voices."

This is not strictly accurate: Sentamu and Nazir-Ali have talked in terms of defending Britishness and the British heritage, not Englishness - rather a fundamental distinction. For me, their stance partakes of the Church's disavowal of England and Englishness - ideas that I suspect they would associate more with the likes of the BNP, in fact, than with the Christian tradition and heritage of 'this country'.

I think the Church is caught in a bit of a double bind. As the established Church, it is inevitably implicated in the British Establishment per se and has to play a careful political game. In this instance, as questions about the Church's established status have conveniently just been indirectly raised via the red herring of the Act of Succession, the Church does not want to rock the boat further by appearing to associate itself with the English 'nationalist' cause - an association that would inevitably be made, even if it were not intended, if the Church enthusiastically embraced the suggestion of ringing out the bells on St. George's Day. Clearly, the British Establishment does wish to suppress English nationalism and calls for an English parliament, etc. So I think the Church has been sent a message that if it wants to keep its established status, it should not undermine the British Establishment of which it is a part.

On the other hand, the CofE is established, precisely, as the Church for England. So it should be a national church and body that speaks for England both in its general public pronouncements and within the political Establishment. In fact, it is arguably the only official English voice and national institution within the British Establishment, which is one of the reasons why there are so many people who are keen to disestablish it.

In this area, the Church is essentially confronted with a dilemma as to whether it is primarily British or primarily English: a microcosm, in fact, for the dilemma and the decision confronting the whole of English society.

2 April 2009 at 13:47  
Anonymous bring back gas chambers said...

I am not sure who is the biggest nut case, Jesus Christ or Nick Griffin, they both seem to have a lot in common if you ask me. And there is no shortage of crackpots willing to support both.

2 April 2009 at 14:10  
Anonymous Perfect Pig said...


Are we to conveniently forget Rome's history? How many people have been put to death by Rome merely through difference of opinion? No wonder you have to lie down with all that glass flying around, but that is the trouble with glass houses.

2 April 2009 at 14:22  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Well done Bishop Chartres - St George's Day at least will be celebrated in London (and in Barchester too I might add, as long as Mr. Slope pulls his finger out). Time to take a stand I think and for the Church of England to show some spunk!

2 April 2009 at 14:46  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

Is not a Cathedral an archtectural expression of confidence?

2 April 2009 at 15:17  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

.... and was not Peter "assertive" on the day of Pentecost .. and Paul on the Areopagus?

Where do we get these Bishops from??

2 April 2009 at 15:28  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Well said Mr Sewell, well said Sir. The Church needs to be more assertive, not less. As for not holding celebrations because they might offend people of other faiths - fie to that! By the by, we have a vacancy for a curate at Puddington - don't suppose you fancy it?

2 April 2009 at 15:44  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Mr Perfect Pig, you are quite right Rome does have 'history', but whether forgetting it is convenient or not is immaterial to this discussion, it is not what His Graces blog is about is it? It is about the BNP and the CofE response to their antics; I am perfectly willing to enter a debate on the highs and lows of Rome and the Popes both good and bad, but if not already, you really should acquaint yourself with the attitudes the BNP exhibit today regarding the RCC. Here are a few examples of their particular brand of brotherly love:

BNP activist and writer Colin Farquhar

“There can be no fellowship with Rome: for once the Protestant Church is entangled in the web there is no escape, for sudden destruction will come upon it. Jesus came to give life, but Antichrist Rome administers the kiss of death ... There must be no compromise with Rome, and no appearance of compromise”

Or Anti-Catholic statements on the BNP’s website

“I have pointed out the history and origins of Catholicism and how it is an intentional distortion, by Constantine, of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth”

“This country is Christian NOW. Before the Roman [Catholic] Empire INVADED IT, it was a PAGAN COUNTRY. Also, Christianity is a perversion of the message Jesus had. It was created by MAN, specificaly, Constantine [founder of the Catholic Church], rather than being the true message from GOD”

“expecting the Catholic church to sit back and accept it. Quite simply, the [Catholic] church wouldn’t stand for it. It would be the end of their money-grabbing, choir-boy-buggering way of life”

“If you want to look at other shamefull families in religion, look at the Borgias, and the machinations of Pope Alexander VI, and his virtual pimping of his daughter Lucrezia for political reasons”

Quite apart from the implicit credulity required to swallow this rubbish, the basic lack of a plausible historic perspective is, not to put too fine a point on it, laughably appalling but expected. Now Mr Perfect Pig, perhaps you agree with these statements, perhaps you also agree that the BNP will deport all Catholics and Muslims from Britain.

BNP speaker Alan O’Reilly threatens Catholics and Muslims with the following warning:

“As and when it comes to power a BNP Government would be constitutionally entitled summarily to eject you. All Muslim supporters, Marxist supporters, Papal [i.e. Catholic] supporters etc. could be 'ex-patriated' to countries where such regimes prevail”

Catholics can never be British

BNP speaker Alan O’Reilly classifies Catholics as an enemy category who must be ethnically cleansed from Britain because they can never be British (odd given that Britain was once a Catholic country!):

“I would include them [Catholics] in the 'foreign white' category, which you seem to have overlooked in my earlier posts - they certainly could not be described as ‘white Britons’”

The absurdity of a man with the surname of O’Reilly claiming Catholics can never be British, delicious, pure theatre. So there you go, it would not be the first time a vicious gang of nationalist thugs gained power, but I don’t see this bunch of clowns being anything more than a distraction; or would you like to be the one to put me in the cattle truck?

2 April 2009 at 16:02  
Anonymous Perfect Pig said...

The BNP will go nowhere if people stop voting for them. In the mean time, there are way too many whimpering pricks to sort out.

2 April 2009 at 16:23  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

The proposal to ring Church bells on St George's Day -- is the idea to reinstate an old tradition that had fallen into disuse, or to invent a wholly new practice with no historical precedent? Was there ever a time when Churches rang their bells as a matter of course to commemorate St George's Day? If so, when was the practice discontinued, and why? By order of whom? I regret I am not as well informed on thiese matters as I ought to be. Would some kind soul please enlighten me?

2 April 2009 at 16:31  
Blogger Microcosm said...

Jesus of Galilee would not have had an opinion on British politics.

Jesus of Galilee would be to busy with the ethnic cleansing in his own neck of the woods.

But lets just say Jesus of Galilee had fled his neck of the woods, because he didn't want killing again by the Jews and now resided in Britain. Maybe he would be concerned about the BNPs Zionist policies.

Maybe he would puke at the way Marxists create equality laws for different victim status groups, so that the State gets to victimize everyone who does not agree with Marxism. Rather than just treat everyone equally.

Yes Jesus would have wept by now realising that he had fled to another nation controlled by the money changers. That is undergoing the same ethnic cleansing and nobody is allowed to complain.

After this he would voluntarily return home, to be crucified for our sins.

2 April 2009 at 16:52  
Anonymous Joshua said...

This is an interesting debate. My response to the church would be, who are the BNP? Where have they come from? Where has the church been in the mean time?

I have a feeling that there most certainly must be catholics who support the BNP, to suggest otherwise is nonsense. It would be a sight to behold as catholic BNP members send off their fellow papists in cattle trucks. I think this really highlights the real intentions and attitudes of BNP members and supporters, ie. not a great deal of though goes into it, its more of an emotional response to years of neglect and disenfranchisement.

This, I believe is where the key to the whole situation can be found. That is to say, we need and ELECTED leadership which REPRESENTS the people who ELECTED it. Let's not forget the major turmoil this government has unleashed in such a short period of time. Even during the crash of the 1930's people did not have to suffer such levels of immigration, chaos and government spying and interference; and the additional propensity to inflict fear within our communities over things like terror, global warming, homophobia, racism. And now it seems they have managed to get Christians fighting over God, and which political party has the legitimate copyrights to the His English church brand.

I have constantly argued for the church to act more in the role of shepherd, looking after the spiritual welfare of its flock. this would, of course, involve speaking out against any political party which is leading the flock out into the wilderness, but it is a bit late in the day for it to be condemning the disease while all this time it has said nothing about the filthy conditions which have led up to the present epidemic.

2 April 2009 at 17:11  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I am at a loss to know which political party Jesus would consider "Christian". Would he accept Abortion? Euthanasia ?

I really see politics as the realm of the amoral and irreligious. Just as in his own day, politics is about power and corruption and to delineate the BNP as somehow evil and Labour as benign is strange, since Labour is a bourgeois party obsessed with class hatred if not hatred of England itself.

The programmes of all British political parties are anti-Christian. The Church of England is not where Jesus resides nor do I think he could avoid scourging many of its prelates fr they are Institutionalists rather than Believers.

The Church of England is silent on Abortion but vociferous on the BNP where it aligns itself with the SWP front organisations in a typical Leftist Popular Front.

The Church of England thus seems to support Abortion and any political agenda except immigration control. It has no objection to 250,000 immigrants each year nor to 180,000 abortions 75% of which are taxpayer-funded through the NHS financing Marie Stopes clinics.

I do not understand the politics of the Church of England but then again I could accept Cranmer's Church far better than Geoffrey Fisher's or Rowan Williams'. I suppose Your Grace brought Calvinism to our liturgy and recent incumbents have sought to remove any sense of coherence from the Church rendering it simply a social services department of The home Office with hand outstretched for subsidy in the form of "cohesion funds". I do not accept Jesus as an adjunct of Rome - he did not work for Pontius Pilate or Caiaphas

2 April 2009 at 17:40  
Anonymous len said...

The B N P riding on the back of the Anglican church is just about as obscene as the harlot riding the beast!
The Anglican church has failed and is no longer a viable force.
Jesus said" I am the good shepherd.The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.
But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd,one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.

2 April 2009 at 17:41  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

Spot on Len you big sausage.

2 April 2009 at 17:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The BNP are the ONLY party in this country that stand up for English principles and beliefs. The rest of you are just shit stirring anti-white, socialist fuckwits. You have not even read anything that the BNP have written. If you want to demonise them, then go to their website, and read what they believe in. All you white hand-wringer had better make your mind up about which side of the line you stand. If you are not for England, then you are against it. And therefore, you are an enemy. and i'm not even a member of the BNP. I just know from 12 years of socialist lies, corruption and incompetence that we are better than this.

2 April 2009 at 19:37  
Anonymous len said...

Anon 19:37
Yoi make a very good case for not joining the B N P.
My particular interest is the Kingdom of God because I think the kingdom of man ( including the BNP ) is coming to an end.

2 April 2009 at 20:28  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

The secret of politics is not to get emotional. Telling people what they better do, and calling them anti-white ****wits, is not going to induce support from anyone. This line of approach has long since been the weapon of the enemy. They have long ago worked out the apathy and over tolerant nature of the British herd. There is one thing that provokes reaction in the UK and that is bullying. The trouble is we Brits are a bit slow to see it in its covert forms.

Using threatening language in support of a political party that is trying to change its image into one that will be taken seriously....well need I say anymore? Its a very fine line as it is, and I would like to stir the manure for a while longer because it is provoking serious debate. So please tone it down dickweed!

2 April 2009 at 20:50  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

If you want to give your self an identity, and make comments detailing your concerns, while at the same time respecting the views and opinions of others, you will find yourself most welcome I am sure. Plus you will not only be adding to the debate, but you will learn much in here, as I can attest to this fact myself. I have not held too dissimilar narrow-minded views myself, but this has been out of emotion rather than reason.

I don't know if your comment was genuine, or another attempt to highlight BNP negativity, which needs no highlighting I might add, but You have obviously wandered in here for a reason. I will beg to appeal to the better side of your nature and ask that you consider the sensitivities of the whole situation.

The primary concern of most communicants in here, from what I can gather without being presumptuous, is one of a Christian nature. I personally come in here because of the nature of openness and honesty, and the high degree of democracy with regards to free speech which is unrestricted providing it does not cross the boundaries of decency.

There are very few places left, if any, that this level of debate can take place, please treat this with the respect it deserves...while it is still here. I happen to know that threatening and abusive language will not be tolerated by the BNP website administrators. In fact, you will be able to enjoy a higher level of free speech in here than you will there.

2 April 2009 at 21:23  
Anonymous CCTV said...

The BNP are the ONLY

The ONLY suggests "IS" to be the appropriate verb

2 April 2009 at 21:33  
Anonymous mckenzie said...

In American English, collective nouns are almost always treated as singular. In British English, it often depends on whether the speaker/writer sees the noun as a unit or as individuals. That seems to defeat the purpose of collective nouns, but that is how it is.

2 April 2009 at 21:41  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Anony 19:37
"The BNP......stand up for English principles ans beliefs."
Then pray why isn't it the ENP?
English beliefs-glad you put the 's' on that.Clearly one belief is liberalism and you don't stand up for that.
Jesus only spoke to the Jews of his day,but he might say to the BNP,"Cor!Don't you flippin' lot know what soap is?How often do you take a bath?Only once a week?And the nosh you eat is unclean too!"

3 April 2009 at 04:21  
Blogger Plato said...

Excellent post Your Grace.

As a card-carrying aetheist, I can't comment on the faith bit of your argument, but I will add my 2p on St George's Day.

Ten years ago I became so incensed at the lily-livered attitude our politicians and media had our country's great traditions that I put up a flag pole complete with St George's flag. [I was tempted to raise a Jolly Roger until told it was 'illegal' WTF?]

This caused the raising of many eyebrows at the time but no longer. I think it is a very poor show for the representatives of the COE are so limp.

Bring on the bunting, church bells, flags and men with bells on their knees. St Patrick's Day is seen as a proud assertion of identity and tradition - how have we lost ours?

3 April 2009 at 10:07  
Anonymous anonymous 19:37 said...


Its a bit rich being lectured about soap and baths from someone who claims to be in Thailand: the number one destination for junkies and pedophiles. But of course you are there to study the spiritual side of vegetarianism. Fruitcake anyone?

Would you say that there is a strong chance that Jesus has been reincarnated as a fish, or is He in the realm of the Hungry Ghosts?

3 April 2009 at 10:14  
Anonymous Wallenstein said...

St Patrick's Day is seen as a proud assertion of identity and tradition

No it's not, it's seen as a cynical modern marketing exercise to shift gallons of green-dyed Guiness in ersatz cod-Oirish bars in the UK and America.

3 April 2009 at 11:15  
Blogger Jon said...

Your Grace,

Just a correction to Arun Arora's (the Archbishop of York's press officer) post. He seems to think that Ekklesia have questioned the ABY's commitment to fighting racism.

Over the last 6 years we have carried on our website over 200 articles about the ABY, most very positive, and some covering his excellent work against the BNP (which we praised again in an article a few days ago here:

It is true that every now and again we do raise things which Arun and the ABY don't like. We did point out that the C of E had a significant investment in the biggest listed hedge fund (Man Group) around the time the ABY attacked city traders for short-selling, and I know he was a little upset about that too.

Arun subsequently asked us to run everything by him before we make any public comment that might impact the ABY. We have respectfully declined. We do feel that would compromise our independence.

But we certainly weren't "put out" that he didn't comment on the BNP adverts. We just think it was the wrong call. We also feel there is a wider tendency within the C of E to ignore the impact of the "Christian Nation" rhetoric which plays into the BNP's hands, and which the BNP are seeking to exploit. I do think we are entitled to express a different opinion, although Arun is of course free to disagree with it. We do understand though why he won't like it because of course the ABY is one the main proponents of "Christian Nation" rhetoric. This is a dilemma they are going to have to adddress.

It is true that our own work on the BNP does not stretch back as far as the ABY's or come with such a great cost, and we greatly respect the price that the ABY has paid. Our own work goes back about 5 years, but we have received our share of hate mail as a result. Indeed, as a result of the backlash that has followed from the far-Right, we have set up a third party centre to handle our post and telephone calls, so this has not been without cost to us.

The suggestion that we are just about promoting our own comment on this issue I think does a disservice to everyone involved. For those interested there is a list of books and research papers that we have written in relation to this issue at the end of the artcle which Arun is upset about, here:

Jonathan Bartley

3 April 2009 at 12:23  
Blogger tammyswofford said...

Would you please clarify something for me? I do believe that Jesus said to "love your enemies" but I am at a loss to find where He said to welcome them into your homes. As a LCDR in the Navy I have a bit of a problem with that one, when looking at threat assessment. smile
Old Testament tradition does allow for the immigrant poor to "glean from the fields" much as the Biblical Moabite Ruth found her means of sustenance. Sadly, Europe has allowed a large immigrant class which is supported by government monies, hence do not contribute meaningfully back into the economy. Please, clarify, as I value your thoughts. You may feel free to enter my email.

Thank you.


3 April 2009 at 14:51  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Plato, I find it hard to believe that it's illegal to fly the Jolly Roger. If they try and stop you, just tell them it’s the regimental insignia of the Queen’s Royal Lancers:

3 April 2009 at 23:56  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Anony 19:37
Well it's clear that you have never been to Thailand which is just as well.Not much fruitcake here but plenty of mangoes and sticky rice.
On the question of reincarnation I can definitely say that a reincarnated Winston Churchill would not join the BNP.After all Enoch Powell didn't join the NF, the BNP predecessor, during his life time.

5 April 2009 at 13:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why give the oxygen of publicity to the B**? Anti-semitic, racist trash

7 April 2009 at 23:33  

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