Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The CofE and the BNP

Moral fibre seems to be everywhere at the moment, evidenced by some people telling other people what they may or may not do. Traditionally, this has been part of the role of religion, but was never, of course, not confined to the religious.

Anyway, the General Synod of the Church of England has now decided that membership of the British National Party is to be forbidden (one is tempted to say verboten) to its clergy.

If you would like to express your opinion on whether you feel this is a right or wrong move, please vote in the poll at the top of this blog.

Meanwhile you might like to nip across to the BNP website and read what its supporters (generally) are saying about the Church of England and the Synod's decision. (Treat it as an exercise in listening to those with whom you disagree - something the CofE prides itself on.)

NB Comments on this post without a full name and location will not be published.


  1. For as long as I can remember the C of E has been urging us to get involved in politics. Recently, we have had bishops, etc., telling us how the BNP is terrible - now there are the synod's moves you report. This means that the church's leadersip is happy as long as you are supporting the parties, or party, that they approve of - and which is that, pray? (The C of E used to be called "the Tory party at prayer"; but now it's "the Guardian readership at prayer"). So I expect an official list of approved parties to be be published as soon as possible.

  2. Anyone worried about John's location can click the link on his name and see it is Wolverhampton.

  3. "These political priests need to be reminded that the church and state were separated at the time of the Reformation." Marvellously batty.

    FWIW I'd be happy for clergy to be barred from membership of any political party.

  4. From the Guardian politics blog:

    "Yesterday's vote also smacks of herd-instinct bullying, like ganging up on Carol Thatcher, but not on Jonathan Ross or Jeremy Clarkson. Many clergymen live among the poor and know why some may succumb to what the Bishop of Blackburn called "the politics of hatred". Making things illegal won't make them go away: society has to address the causes, not just the symptoms."

    I agree.

  5. Someone attempted to post anonymously, questioning whether John Thomas really has that name (for the unenlightened, the explanation is here).

    Personally I find it entirely plausible, especially since in my second parish the name of the organist was also John Thomas - a combination which is beyond caricature.

  6. Personally, I find the politics of Al-Qaeda and the Socialist Workers Party (to name but two, at random) abhorrent, but am I likely to see Synod banning these as well?

  7. Richard, the answer is probably no. Any chance of a location, to keep the Trolls happy?

  8. Interesting to see General Synod following the Metropolitan Police's lead in barring from membership in the BNP. I pray that Synod will continue to follow the police's courageous lead by now barring membership in the freemasons.

  9. There was no place to put my location in that last comment. It's Wrentham Suffolk