The BNP and the Hijacking of Christianity


by Jai
4th March, 2010 at 9:30 am    

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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  1. pickles

    Blog post:: The BNP and the Hijacking of Christianity http://bit.ly/cT4BYu


  2. earwicga

    RT @pickledpolitics Pickled Politics » The BNP and the Hijacking of Christianity http://bit.ly/bNnzWP


  3. VoteNoToBNP

    RT @pickledpolitics Pickled Politics » The BNP and the Hijacking of Christianity http://bit.ly/bNnzWP


  4. Jonathan Bartley

    RT @pickledpolitics: The BNP and the Hijacking of Christianity http://bit.ly/cT4BYu


  5. George Luke

    RT @Jon_Bartley @pickledpolitics: The BNP and the Hijacking of Christianity http://bit.ly/cT4BYu


  6. Malcolm Evison

    RT @pickledpolitics Pickled Politics » The BNP and the Hijacking of Christianity http://bit.ly/bNnzWP


  7. Keith Jones

    Pickled Politics » The BNP and the Hijacking of Christianity http://bit.ly/baHUyo




  1. Hannah — on 4th March, 2010 at 9:42 am  

    That picture of the poster, plus what i’ve read here makes me feel sick. None of the views the BNP promote have any place in Christianity.

  2. MiriamBinder — on 4th March, 2010 at 10:13 am  

    @ Hannah # 1 – Of course not but then again, the voters they are going after is hardly to be the type of individual who would let that trouble them.

  3. Ravi Naik — on 4th March, 2010 at 12:06 pm  

    What Jesus would do? – asks the BNP poster.

    Let’s see. Jesus was non-European middle-eastern fellow and Jewish. He was not British or Anglo-Saxon, and his ancestors did not hail from the British Isles since the Ice Age. This foreigner is considered a prophet by Muslims.

    Would he vote for the BNP? Really?

    What really offends me about the BNP is that these people are just plain ignorant and complete retards.

  4. persephone — on 4th March, 2010 at 12:21 pm  

    ^^ Tagging onto Ravi’s comment:

    If their role model is Jesus, his ancestry seems to be trackable from the Iron Age if not the Ice Age:

    Judaism, Christianity & Islam were born out of a common belief that the one true god appears before an Iron Age sheikh, Abram, later Abraham, whom Jesus is believed to have descended from. Abraham is believed to be from South Iraq/Kuwait before he immigrated to Israel.

    Yep the BNP are building a platform of commonality with a non indigenous, immigrant descended from a sheikh.

  5. Kevin — on 4th March, 2010 at 12:31 pm  

    @Ravi #3 – Obviously Jesus may have been middle-eastern but I’m fairly confident that the BNP would tell you God is an Englishman! I think there’s always been a strangely held belief in that – ‘And did those feet in ancient time, walk on England’s mountains green. And was the holy lamb of God, On England’s pleasant pastures seen’

    Handily interpreted – of course the Lord God is English.

    Like you I would also deeply doubt that Jesus would vote BNP, it is by historical church legacy of course that these pictures of Him used by the BNP tend to be very ‘White European’ looking.

    In reality there is no good description of what Jesus looked like but we can be fairly confident it wasn’t like Terry Smith from Essex!

    What would Jesus do? Cry probably, because it makes me want to cry seeing the BNP misappropriate Christianity like this and I’m sure I don’t feel it anywhere near as much as Jesus does!

  6. Lee John Barnes — on 4th March, 2010 at 1:01 pm  

    Now non-Christians on Pickled Politics want to tell us to how to worship Christianity.

    Oh the Hubris of it all.

  7. Abdul Abbulbul Emir — on 4th March, 2010 at 1:20 pm  

    Mrs A says

    Abdul.

    I think BNP have a point about Jesus.

    Do you really think Jesus would have teemed up with all these God deniers abortionists humanists and other rif raffy types who jump on the anti BNP band wagon ?

    Not to mention the C of E.

    In my opinion that place hasn’t been the same since Henry V111 went Moslem.

    They always do what the government of the day wants.
    Call that a religion Abdul. Its all render unto Caesar cos that’s where the promotion comes from.

    Sometimes I’m grateful I’m just a simple Moslem.

    Peace.

  8. MiriamBinder — on 4th March, 2010 at 1:26 pm  

    @ Lee John Barnes # 6 – You can worship Christianity in any way you care. I would have thought that the aim of Chrisitanity is to worship God and the fruit of his holy ghost though ;)

  9. persephone — on 4th March, 2010 at 1:38 pm  

    @6

    Oh the Hubris that abounds

    You have a non qualified solicitor posturing as a ‘legal adviser’ and a non reverend without a registration to a Christian denomination promoting himself as a platform of Christianity. Only in the BNP.

  10. damon — on 4th March, 2010 at 3:03 pm  

    That picture at the top is really funny.

    And that BNP twerp @6 is a christian?
    That’s funny too.
    LJB – what would Gandalf do?

  11. douglas clark — on 4th March, 2010 at 4:14 pm  

    Some people seem to think LJB is an Odinist. Whatever that might be!

    http://tinyurl.com/y8kk7x5

    Perhaps he would like to clarify?

  12. Tom Johnson — on 4th March, 2010 at 4:27 pm  

    @Lee John Barnes 6

    Come on Lee be fair. I’m no knee jerk BNP basher but the BNP and Christianity is total hypocrisy. When did you last celebrate the Christian faith, when did any member you know partake of a Christian sacrament, when was the last time you attended evensong, when were you last in Church, apart from nicking the lead off the roof, be honest with us???

    One of the delicious ironies of the BNP’s Christian stance is that the typical Christian, in London at any rate, is African/African Caribbean female. Black people have a far greater claim to a Christian heritage than any number of insecure white bigots. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  13. Wibble — on 4th March, 2010 at 5:40 pm  

    Douglas @ 11

    “Some people seem to think LJB is an Odinist.”

    Surely you mean “Onanist” ?

  14. Don — on 4th March, 2010 at 6:20 pm  

    @Miriam #8

    I think that went over his head. LJB (LL.B Hons.) doesn’t do subtlety.

  15. Katy Newton — on 4th March, 2010 at 6:33 pm  

    @10: is that the same Gandalf who spent decades ceaselessly working to unite diverse races against a common enemy…?

  16. Rumbold — on 4th March, 2010 at 6:50 pm  

    Excellent piece Jai. The idea that Jesus would have anything to do with the BNP (apart from forgiving them of course) is ridiculous. He probably wouldn’t understand the central arguments.

  17. asquith — on 4th March, 2010 at 6:57 pm  

    You got their first, Tom Johnson. What do you find in half the churches in London if not Afro-Caribbeans & recent immigrants?

    I am glad to be an atheist because it means I can be an honest man & won’t have to change my mind as soon as I realise something in a book or some leader’s statement contradicts it… or just ignore the authorities when they’re inconvenient.. I find it incomprehensible that people profess beliefs, especially ones like Roman Catholicism that are clearly laid own, then go on to ignore them.

  18. MiriamBinder — on 4th March, 2010 at 8:59 pm  

    Wibble # 13 – Only if he can find it ;)

  19. Wibble — on 4th March, 2010 at 10:22 pm  

    “@10: is that the same Gandalf who spent decades ceaselessly working to unite diverse races against a common enemy…?”

    Is Gandalf a member of the EDL ? Perhaps he’s a Grand Wizard in the organisation ?

  20. me — on 4th March, 2010 at 10:38 pm  

    Lee John Barnes

    Now non-Christians on Pickled Politics want to tell us to how to worship Christianity.

    Oh the Hubris of it all.

    Perhaps because fvcktard you dont WORSHIP Christianity you practice it (or not as in your case). Christianity is a religion and religions are not worshipped, God is.

    Like many BNPers you aren’t able to write or comprehend basic English . What a fine representation of British people you are.

  21. me — on 4th March, 2010 at 10:40 pm  

    Ravi Naik’s post #3 is brilliant.

  22. Matt Wardman — on 4th March, 2010 at 11:15 pm  

    Good piece.

    One quibble – I don’t think you can call the German Christians fundamentalist. More like Protestantism plus a Nationalist Mythos.

  23. Jai — on 5th March, 2010 at 2:06 pm  

    Rumbold, Matt Wardman,

    Thank you very much for your kind words.

    I don’t think you can call the German Christians fundamentalist. More like Protestantism plus a Nationalist Mythos.

    Perhaps “extremist” might be a more appropriate term. In any case, there is certainly a significant historical precedent for the “Christian Council of Britain”.

  24. Bill Corr — on 5th March, 2010 at 2:13 pm  

    Anyone who has attended a Coptic, Armenian, Nestorian [and so on] service knows that Christianity is just another weird Middle Eastern religion.

    What made it ‘special’ was being adopted by Rome and then chopped in half between Rome and Constantinople and then brutally reformed by brisk North Europeans and the – most important of all – being carried across the Atlantic.

    On Christian symbols and how some react to them, there’s this:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/jul/26/comment.race

  25. Bill Corr — on 5th March, 2010 at 2:16 pm  

    And I wish LJB would cease and desist.

    He’s doing for the BNP what Amy Winehouse does for recreational drug use; getting it a bad name.

  26. Jai — on 12th April, 2010 at 1:29 pm  

    Edmund Standing has very recently written an excellent article about the considerable disparity between the BNP’s “Christian” rhetoric and the reality of the party leadership’s views on both Christianity itself and religion in general, as comprehensively listed here:

    http://edmundstanding.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/has-the-bnp-had-a-damascene-conversion/

    It includes some more recent information on the subject, further to the matters discussed in my PP article above.

    Sunny, Rumbold,

    It may be worthwhile cross-publishing Mr Standing’s article verbatim and in full as a PP article in its own right, at your discretion (crediting him for the authorship, of course). In any case, it’s definitely worth reading through.

  27. Dalbir — on 12th April, 2010 at 4:05 pm  

    Christianity!

    Secretly they are probably prancing around in aprons worshiping the Black Sun God, Wodin or the wicker man…….

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