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Friday, 23 October 2009

More on the church and the BNP

Talking of the odious Nick Griffin, as we were here and here, the excellent Ekklesia reckons that, whatever their views about the rights and wrongs of his appearance on Question Time last night, “church leaders will now have to think long and hard about some of the arguments they employ”.

“Last night,” writes Ekklesia co-director Jonathan Bartley, “the leader of BNP used the words ‘Christian country’ three times in setting out what he believed about what it means to be British – which many in the churches should find a little close for comfort.”

Many Christians don’t, of course, do themselves any favours when they espouse the Right. Your mainstream Christians – the likes of Jonathan Bartley – don’t, of course, but that leaves a lot who do. Their treatment of women and homosexuals marks them out as having some fascistic tendencies – and the redneck, brain-dead fundamentalists in the USA and to some extent over here just wouldn’t dare, I assume, to criticise the BNP for fear of being accused of having similar prejudices.

The Anglican Church is such a broad church that you can’t blame the BNP for trying to climb into bed with it. There’s plenty of room.


Stuart Hartill said...

I'd have to suggest that if the Anglicans seriously want to disassociate themselves from fascism they have to give up the 'right' for bishops to sit in the Lords. The idea that a bishop is a pre-ordained 'natural born leader' with some (presumably) divine right not to need to face the electorate is a wee bit too close to fascist thinking for my liking.
I also have a wider question, prompted by words like 'Christofascism' and 'Islamofascism' which I wish secularists would take up.
This is, is it possible for any 'brand' of fascism to develop without prior religious belief?
I'm quite serious here. I don't see, for example, how 1930's fascism could have happened without the prior 'doctrine' of antisemitism, which comes from Christianity. Certainly, for the time being, I'm going to see if, rather than accepting the simple term 'fascism' I can pinpoint the origin of the particular fascism I'm observing. Could be an interesting exercise, and I suspect I will find a particular religious origin in each case.

Andy Armitage said...

Sounds like the makings of a guest post on our blog there, Stuart. I'd be interested to know how you get on in your research.