The BNP’s regressive racist ideology is already well-known; however, they also claim an explicitly religious justification for their beliefs and actions. In fact, during a European Parliament debate in January 2010 about the Haiti earthquake, Nick Griffin himself actually started quoting from the Bible in order to justify his argument that absolutely no humanitarian aid should be given to the victims of the disaster because it had occurred in “somebody else’s backyard”.
Irrespective of their claims to speak for “Christian Britain”, the BNP has been heavily condemned and explicitly rejected by both the Church of England and the Methodist Church. The BNP’s racism and divisive tactics have also recently been jointly condemned by Christian, Sikh, Muslim and Jewish faith leaders in Stoke-on-Trent, one of the BNP’s major target areas, and the individuals concerned have signed a formal pledge of unity.
The “Christian Council of Britain”
Nevertheless, a few years ago, a front organisation for the BNP called the “Christian Council of Britain” (CCB) was formed, headed by “Reverend” Robert West. In reality, West is not actually registered as a reverend with any of the Christian denominations in the country.
Robert West appeared alongside BNP MEP Andrew Brons on the BBC’s “The Big Questions” in June 2009, where both individuals were confronted by Jonathan Bartley of Ekklesia. As regular readers of Pickled Politics may recall, this was also the episode when Jonathan Bartley challenged Brons to answer one of the “85 Questions for the BNP”.
There is, however, much more. During a radio interview, Robert West made the following statements:
“The Christian Council of Britain is a group set up to represent Christian values and the Christian Heritage of the country…A big problem with the institutional churches is that they seem to have lost their way…They have almost become extinct in their faithfulness to holy scriptureâ…There is a link in that the BNP has encouraged and facilitated the formation of the Christian Council of Britain. They are working as facilitators. They are supporting what we do.
The CCB believes in the biblical teaching of nations. We should live in nations as nations…If we are to exist as nations then we are to have our own national homelands. In our own national homelands in which our own identity has priority. The BNP doesn’t want the British people to be homeless. Each race should have its own space.”
When asked whether he would support the view of the BNP that people should be repatriated he said; “Yes. Provided it was by consent. Not by force.”
He said that he believed that the BNP’s repatriation policy was “in line with the scriptural doctrine that races are divided into nations and homelands.”
“The mixing of races challenges the glory of God”.
So it’s not just the BNP’s attitudes to “race” which are extremely backward; they actually want to drag liberal modern British Christianity kicking and screaming back to the 19th century too.
Incidentally, there is also a major precedent for the affiliation of a fundamentalist Christian group with a racist and anti-Semitic political party in Europe from the first half of the 20th century.
Religious Impact of a BNP government
This matter clearly has numerous ramifications for the United Kingdom in relation to the specific religious policies a BNP government would implement, some of which were covered in the following still-unanswered questions for the BNP proposed by eGov Monitor and Pickled Politics last summer :
74. During an interview on Sky News with Adam Boulton in June 2009 shortly after the relevant elections, Nick Griffin clearly stated that he would use the current Saudi Arabian policy on non-Islamic places of worship as a guideline for official policies towards non-Christian places of worship under a BNP government, thereby effectively turning Britain into a Christian version of Saudi Arabia. Therefore, upon the election of a BNP government, will it be legal to build new non-Christian places of worship?
75. Will it be legal to maintain existing non-Christian places of worship or will they be a) allowed to fall into disrepair or b) destroyed?
76. What will be the official BNP policy towards non-Christian white/Caucasian British citizens who have adopted other religions (eg. Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam or any others) or are the children of such individuals?
77. Will the individuals described in point 76 be “encouraged” to re-convert to Christianity or will they be subject to either voluntary or compulsory repatriation?
78. If the answer to the first question in 77 is “Yes”, exactly what measures will be taken by relevant authorities under a BNP government to “encourage” non-Christian white/Caucasian British citizens to re-convert to Christianity?
79. What will be the official BNP policy towards Christian, agnostic or atheist white/Caucasian British citizens who wish to convert to a non-Christian religion & will this be explicitly prohibited or “discouraged” ?
80. Exactly what measures will be taken by relevant authorities under a BNP government to “discourage” conversion to non-Christian religions amongst the individuals described in point 79?
81. Under a BNP government, exactly what will be the punishment for apostasy amongst Christian white/Caucasian British citizens?
82. What will be the response of a BNP government if the execution of any of these policies in the name of Christianity is objected to by Queen Elizabeth II or (upon her death) her successor in her/his formal capacity of Head of the Church of England and Defender of the Faith?
83. What will be the response of a BNP government if the execution of any of these policies in the name of Christianity is objected to by any members of the clergy comprising the Church of England?
“What would Jesus do ?”
This is not merely a rhetorical question. The BNP actually used this query on their election posters in the run-up to the European Elections last year, accompanied by a picture of Jesus Christ and an extract from a verse in the Bible (specifically John’s Gospel, John 15:20) where Jesus said “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you”. In fact, the BNP even attempted to imply that they directly identify with Jesus himself, as the poster also stated “Press – persecution” and “BNP – Persecuted for saying what you think”.
(The poster concerned is displayed at the top of this article).
In March 2009, Nick Griffin also sent an email to BNP supporters containing the following statements:
“The British National Party is the only political party which genuinely supports Britain’s Christian heritage…Surely if God calls a man to his service, no church has the right to contradict HIS holy will ! For many years, the churches in this country scrupulously avoided being politically biased. Nowadays however we see a small number of clerics and bishops openly preaching hatred towards the BNP.
Church leaders actively shun the word of God on issues like sodomy, abortion and social justice.
With this in mind I invite you to preview our European election billboard…aimed at attracting even more Christian voters.
Jesus was viewed as a revolutionary figure, hated and hounded to death, not by ‘evil men’ but by the corrupt hypocrites who ran the church. Has nothing changed in two thousand years?”
That’s right. The BNP…
- a political party which still refuses to explain exactly how a BNP government would reduce Britain’s non-white population from 10% to 1% (confirmed as one of the BNP’s continuing aims by Nick Griffin directly on the BBC’s ‘Question Time’ in October 2009, despite the fact that Nick Griffin also confirmed during the latter half of 2009 that the BNP is now formally abandoning its proposed “voluntary repatriation” policy),
- a political party whose senior leadership has formally confirmed in writing that a BNP government would implement full-scale racial apartheid in Britain,
- a political party which intends to strip Britain of all laws currently protecting non-white citizens from racially-motivated persecution, discrimination, harassment and malicious propaganda,
- a political party whose current chairman Nick Griffin has been caught on video giving a speech to BNP supporters where he openly stated that he is deliberately scapegoating & persecuting Muslims (and simultaneously publicly hiding his anti-Semitism) as a vehicle to achieve power,
- a political party whose current chairman Nick Griffin advocated the military use of EU navies to attack and sink boats carrying African immigrants to Europe,
- a political party whose current chairman Nick Griffin recently advocated that EU governments should not provide any humanitarian aid whatsoever to the victims of the Haiti earthquake,
…is hypocritically claiming to be following the teachings of Jesus, despite the fact that he was actually one of the most humane, compassionate and pacifist religious figures in history.
I will leave the final word to Jonathan Bartley of Ekklesia. The extract below says it all :
I found myself up against the BNP’s vice-chair yesterday in a radio interview, in which he tried to claim that the BNP was a Christian Party. So I asked him if his party stood by the passage they were quoting from and followed Jesus’s teachings about loving those they ‘might find a bit difficult’ such as Muslims.
“No” came the rather embarrassed reply.
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Filed in: Religion,The BNP