There has been an inordinate amount of outrage online relating to this small article in Dutch News today:-
Christians can’t vote for Wilders, say vicars
A Christian cannot vote for Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration party PVV, say 75% of church leaders in a poll of 1,200 ministers and church workers in the Nederlands Dagblad.
The ministers represent a cross-section of all the Netherlands’ Protestant churches, representing 2.3 million people, the paper says.
One third of the people polled said there were people who supported Wilders in their communities and 5% said Wilders had a lot of support.
‘Wilders and the PVV’s views contradict Christianity,’ one minister told the paper.
As you will note from comments on this article, there is little sympathy for these church leaders simply stating that Christians cannot vote for Geert Wilders, and the accusation that these leaders are “out of touch”.
Church leaders in the UK have made similar comments in recent times relating to the British National Party. Most notably in July last year, BNP members were banned from joining the Methodist Church,
It was back in October that a joint statement was issued by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, stating that; “Christians have been deeply disturbed by the conscious adoption by the BNP of the language of our faith“.
Towards the end of last year the Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan became embroiled in a furious war of words with the BNP, over the far-right party’s claim to represent “Christian values”.
We also had the embarrassing episode whereby, David North a Churchwarden from Melton Mowbray, was bullied into resigning, after church leaders deemed that his membership of the British National Party (BNP) was “incompatible” with Christianity.
The truth is that I do not believe that church leaders should be banning or discriminating against folks who vote for, or are members of, any legal political body, no matter how distasteful we may find their “politics”.
This may sound a little ironic to regular readers, as I have often posted rebuttals of the BNP claims to represent Christianity, especially articles written by Edmund Standing, see; here, here, here & here.
My point in saying this, is that it is pointless church leaders simply saying Christians mustn’t be involved with political parties such as the BNP, they must make a strong case as to why this is so.
I personally know of some Christians who are leaning towards the BNP right now. These are good folk, who are utterly disillusioned with the “main” political parties on a number of issues, especially, immigration, the perceived rise of Islamic extremism and the erosion of a “Christian British cultural identity”. Readers have to be aware that as Christians we are acutely aware of the horrific persecution of our brothers and sisters in Islamic lands, which gives additional impetus to the fear of the rise of Islamic extremism in this country.
The BNP are cunningly attempting to fill a vacuum and tap in to a Christian sense of abandonment by the “main” political parties, and have gone as far as to clone and hijack Christianity through the Rev West West’s Christian Council of Britain. Do take the time to read the interesting comments on this blog relating to the Rev Robert West, including some from Rev West himself.
The British National Party (BNP) candidate styles himself as Rev.
I agree with the Communities Secretary John Denham, who last October called on faith groups to “nail the lie that the BNP is a “Christian party”, however, this does not take place by “bashing” those Christians who have been duped by the BNP, but by informing them and peeling off the skin of the BNP Christian claims.
I’ll say publicly that at one stage I was personally leaning toward the BNP, until I began reading articles written by Edmund Standing, who worked tirelessly to highlight the inconsistency of the BNP’s Christian claims (even though he himself is an atheist), but sadly has now stopped this work (tired of swimming in the sewers), which left a worrying gaping hole.
Thankfully, the website “There is nothing British about the BNP” has picked up the gauntlet today:-
Why there’s Nothing British about the BNP’s “Christian values”
Nick Griffin and the British National Party are keen to portray themselves as on the sides of traditional British culture. They see a gap in the market that they can fill. While other parties surrender to multiculturalism, Islam, and politically correct secularism, the BNP stand up for traditional British Christianity. This is nonsense. There is nothing Christian about the BNP.
On the BBC’s ‘Question Time’ programme, British National Party leader Nick Griffin stated: ‘If Muslims do stay in this country they must remember that Britain is essentially a fundamentally British and Christian country’. The BNP is a ‘Christian’ party that can save ‘Christian culture’
The BNP have created a front organisation called the ‘Christian Council of Britain’, headed by BNP activist and electoral candidate Robert West who leads religious services at various BNP events, including the party’s ‘Red, White & Blue’ and reportedly preaches on topics such as ‘the importance of nationalism’ and how “homosexuals do greatly err”. For West, a multi-racial society is a form of ‘Holocaust’, with immigration used to create “Lebensraum” for the Third World. Despite initially denying any connection with the BNP, West has admitted that the BNP “encouraged and facilitated” its establishment.
Why the BNP are not Christian
- There’s nothing Christian about the BNP’s ethics. For Jesus Christ, humanity was all part of one family. Christianity from the outset taught a universal message which dissolved the idea of race or nation, teaching that it is of no significance to God. He said that we should love our neighbour, preach the good news and understanding to all nations. He taught the parable of the Good Samaritan, to show our true neighbours were not just those from the same race. Most of all, he abhorred violence and the hatred that is fascism’s speciality.
- The BNP use Christianity as an excuse to attack Muslims. Rather than refer to the actual teachings of Christ, the BNP’s favoured role model are the Crusaders. In a letter, Nick Griffin wrote “We will never allow our children to become a minority in our homeland! We will fight to the bitter end, just like our Crusader ancestors, to preserve our Christian culture and heritage. The spirit of the Medieval Knights lives on in all of us!”
- The BNP’s use Christianity as an excuse for their homophobia. British fascism has a history of extreme homophobia. While the party’s policy is no longer officially to ban homosexual activity, they are always keen to claim that homosexuals are an affront to Britain’s ‘Christian heritage’.
- The BNP’s real ideology is pagan. Christianity, of course, is a “foreign import”, and for the extreme activists within the BNP inner circle, like all other imports it must be purged.
The BNP’s Foreign Affairs spokesman Arthur Kemp wrote in his March of Titans that “the introduction of Christianity has to count as the single greatest ideological catastrophe to ever strike Europe.”
Ever since Himmler’s obsession with the occult, there has been a strain of Paganism with fascism, as zealots attempt to reclaim a purely European religion.
Lee Barnes, the BNP’s legal director, is a particular fan: ‘Christianity is a semitic religion, it is creature [sic] of the deserts of the Middle East not the forests of the Northern Europe [sic] and its symbol the cross is an instrument of torture not of living redemption’. In place of Christianity, Barnes advocates Odinism, the worship of the Norse pagan gods of pre-Christian Europe, and he connects the Odinic ‘tree of life’ (Yggdrasil) with a religion based on race: ‘The roots represent our descent from the Gods and our connection to the Earth, the trunk represents our shared European racial heritage, the main branches of the tree our nations and tribes, the twigs on each branch represent each family unit and each single leaf symbolises an individual life’.