Category Archives: Religion

Did the Archbishop of Canterbury troll Liz Truss during the Queen’s funeral?

This is extraordinary. Take a look:

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Unrepentant, racist Johnson refuses to retract criticism of the Church over Rwanda

Justin Welby: the Archbishop is right and Boris Johnson is wrong – and racist.

If anything shows that Boris Johnson couldn’t care less about being fined for attending lockdown-busting parties, or his dishonesty to Parliament about it, it is this.

Instead of repeating his apology to each and every Conservative MP in a meeting on Tuesday evening, he instead opted to rally support by singling out an enemy for them to hate together: Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Church of England.

His reason for whipping up this animosity?  Senior clergy had been “less vociferous” in their condemnation of Vladimir Putin than of plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Johnson’s claim is not true; both Mr Welby and the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, have denounced the invasion of Ukraine as “an act of great evil” and have called for Russian troops to withdraw.

But it seems Johnson is upset because his racist plan to send people to Rwanda if they arrive in the UK illegally has been opposed by the Church’s leaders on moral and ethical grounds.

In Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Johnson said he had been surprised that the Church’s top clergy had opposed what he described as a plan to  “end the deaths at sea in the Channel as a result of cruel criminal gangs”.

But he has not explained how a plan to deport people who have arrived in the UK will stop deaths, at sea, of people who have not got here yet.

The plan to resettle migrants in the African dictatorship of Rwanda is riddled with serious issues to do with race and human rights, as described in this Vox Political article.

Johnson’s claim to be trying to stop Channel deaths is an attempt to gloss over the drawbacks in his policy – along with, indeed, his own racism.

Both he and his racist Home Secretary Priti Patel simply don’t want Johnny and Janey Foreigner taking asylum – which is legally theirs – in the UK. He’s upset with Welby and Cottrell for highlighting his shortcomings.

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Comparison of #Ukraine with #Palestine exposes ugly prejudices

“There is no such place called Palestine,” says ‘Elli’. It is true that Palestine is disappearing – but only due to the genocidal aggression of people like ‘Elli’ him/herself.

This Site welcomes the warm reception given to the article comparing Keir Starmer’s attitude to the Russian occupation of Ukraine with his policy on the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

I note with pleasure the proliferation of posts on the social media pointing out the discrepancy between his behaviours towards the two countries. Here are a few examples.

However, it seems some are less pleased to have their racism questioned. Here’s a commenter to This Site who wishes to hide behind the pseudonym “Elli” rather than be revealed for the bigot they are. Brace yourself because this is shocking:

There is no such place called Palestine, or a race of people. Muslims have no rights to Jewish lands. Jews are on their own lands. So are not ‘occupiers’, as you so ignorantly call them.

I make no reference to Jews in the matter of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. But Israel’s borders were very clearly set out before that country came into being by consent of the United Nations in 1949, as were those of Palestine.

Compare the 1949 borders with the situation today and we can see very clearly the extent of Elli’s lie. There is a state called Palestine – but it has been hugely eroded by Israeli occupation and aggression.

This person’s words are racist, Islamophobic and – at least on the face of it – genocidal. They also attempt to deny the Palestinian people the right to self-determination that is so often claimed by Israel on behalf of Jews – despite the fact that there are Jewish people living all over the world.

I look forward to receiving messages rejecting them – particularly from supporters of Israel like (for example) Keir Starmer.

But I fear I may have a long wait.

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Tory MPs make the final link to identify with fascism in ‘Good Friday’ tweet

Fascism: Nadhim Zahawi was one of several Tory MPs who posted an image that tried to appropriate Christian imagery for the Conservative Party.

Remember my article a couple of weeks ago, asserting that Boris Johnson’s government is not Conservative but Fascist, and providing the reasons?

I referred to a list of 14 characteristics of fascist regimes, as defined by Lawrence W Britt. Johnson’s government conformed to 13 of them.

The only one missing was “religion and government intertwined”.

And now the Tories have met that condition as well.

Why else would Nadhim Zahawi have tweeted this?

Zahawi, originally an Iraqi Kurd, has a Christian background but that cannot excuse him publishing an image that some would describe as blasphemy.

An image containing a Christian symbol, with the Tory logo attached to it, on one of the holiest days in the Christian year, is not only tasteless; it is shocking.

The Conservatives are not Christian in either outlook or behaviour. Jesus Christ often preached against the selfishness of people with Conservative values – perhaps most famously when he said it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Apparently many other Tory MPs have tweeted it too, which suggests that it has come from Conservative Central HQ.

So this image can serve no other purpose than to attempt an intertwining of religion and government, as defined in fascist ideology.

There has been a backlash, of course.

I have part-paraphrased Clare Hepworth’s tweet already. She also said that although she is an atheist, she respects the icons, rituals and symbols of all of them – and described the Tory image as “tasteless and just plain wrong”.

Here are some more:

Some Tories have tried to counter by claiming that the image was no worse than when the Labour Party has posted images to Muslims saying “Eid Mubarak”, but it is an argument that does not work. Here’s the reason:

Just so. Labour wasn’t appropriating Muslim symbols when it sent its message to Muslims, but that’s exactly what this message did.

And that means Zahawi and the Tories have crossed the line into full-on fascism. What a time – and what a way – to do it.

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Conservative Party ‘racially profiled’ 10 million voters illegally before 2019 election

Questionable behaviour: the party that once put out the above as an election communication has been gathering information on UK voters by race and religion. What harm do you think they were going to do with it?

Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party bought tools to work out voters’ race and religion and used it for “racial and religious profiling” of 10 million people before the 2019 election, the Information Commissioner’s Office has revealed.

The Open Rights Group has said the data could have been used for “voter suppression techniques”, and referred to Tory Zac Goldsmith’s 2016 London Mayoral campaign, when he was criticised for ethnicity-targeted leaflets aimed at Hindu, Sikh and Tamil voters.

There is no evidence to suggest that the Tories used the information in any specific way in the 2019 election campaign.

The Open Rights Group has released this video, in which ICO staff explain that it was illegal to collect ethnicity data:

Cat Smith, Labour’s shadow minister for voter engagement, said the revelation that the party in government – that is due to impose new, discriminatory voter identification laws – had been using illegal means to gather information is serious cause for alarm:

“The Conservative Party’s illegal misuse of ethnic race data – a characteristic protected by law – is deeply concerning.”

“With the government’s discriminatory Voter ID laws due to come into law this year, such racial profiling by the Party that is in charge of upholding our data protection laws raises serious alarm bells.”

Why would the Tories want to gather information that the law forbids them from taking, if not to give themselves an unfair electoral advantage?

What were they planning to do with it?

And why have they not even been punished?

We don’t know whose voter information received this “racial and religious profiling” treatment, so I think we all need to ask the Tories what they have been finding out about us.

We should all send a Subject Access Request to Conservative Central Office, demanding full disclosure of all information they have about us.

Source: Conservative Party ‘racially profiled’ 10 million voters | openDemocracy

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Tory heretic Baker says Church of England could lose official status for criticising Brexit

Steve Baker: what’s the line I’m looking for? “Before he demands the bishops remove the mote from their eye, he should remove the plank from his own”?

Perhaps Steve Baker should be excommunicated? His true religion appears to be Brexit, anyway.

After Church of England bishops spoke out in the House of Lords against Boris Johnson’s ridiculous ‘Australia-style’ (read: ‘no deal’) Brexit, the oily Baker slithered straight to The Times with his ridiculous suggestion.

The Times is behind a paywall, which limits the damage. I certainly won’t pay Rupert Murdoch any money just to see what he said… but then I don’t have to. Here’s what he said:

I don’t know why Tories say stupid things like this, though. It only lays them wide open to mockery and ridicule, viz.:

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After #BorisJohnson complained about lack of cash, he’s had a #trolling from the #ChurchOfEngland

Realisation dawns: as he reads the passage chosen for him at the Battle of Britain commemoration service in Westminster Abbey, Boris Johnson discovers that the Church of England is trolling him.

Whoever chose the reading for Boris Johnson at Sunday’s commemoration of the Battle of Britain is a genius.

The service at Westminster Abbey celebrated the 80th anniversary of the crucial World War II battle:

The UK’s performing monkey prime minister Boris Johnson attended and gave a reading – but after he reportedly complained about having trouble making ends meet on his more than £150,000-a-year salary, it seems someone responsible for the order of service decided to have a laugh:

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”

The church should be giving more of this kind of leadership.

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Now the Tories have given £240 million to a firm linked to religious extremists for PPE

It’s only money: Boris Johnson has no problems with handing over fistfuls of our cash to rich religious extremists. His problem is using it to help poor people. And were the contracts even honoured?

After all the criticism for awarding major contracts to firms run by their friends, you’d expect the Tories would have gone back to competitive tendering for their biggest PPE contract.

Not a bit of it!

Instead, they gave nearly a quarter of a billion pounds – for the supply of full-body overalls – to a firm founded and run by leading members of a hardline, conservative religious sect which preaches that the outside world is morally corrupting, according to Byline Times.

Unispace Global Health was also awarded a £103.7 million contract for the supply of examination gloves. Among the contracts so far revealed by the Tory government, these two represent the largest amount of taxpayer cash handed to a single firm for the supply of PPE during the Covid-19 crisis.

One of the firm’s bosses is linked to the world leader of the Exclusive Brethren, a subset of the Plymouth Brethren, who avoid contact with non-Brethren as much as possible, because the outside world is morally corrupting.

Apparently their ideology finds a way to allow commerce with the “morally corrupting” outside world, though.

Perhaps the Tories agree with their worldview. After all, “morally corrupt” seems an apt description of their procurement strategy.

And, was the contract even honoured? I seem to recall a lot of concern over the lack of PPE during April and May, when these contracts were awarded.

Source: Government Awards £240 Million PPE Deal to Firm Linked to Religious Sect – Byline Times

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Is the UK’s Chief Rabbi more concerned with supporting Israeli racism than Jewish people?

Ephraim Mirvis: His outburst about Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party has been condemned as ‘political’ and ‘ideological’ ‘propaganda’.

What the blazes was UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis doing, making a speech to US pro-Israel (by which we mean pro-Israeli-government) lobby group AIPAC?

Critics of the organisation have described it as an agent of the Israeli government with strong links to Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and the Republican Party in the US.

By making a speech there, Mr Mirvis was also making a clear declaration of political partisanship – as he was when he attacked Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during the general election campaign last year.

We can see the bias in the parts of his speech reported by the Jewish Chronicle – which I understand has undergone a certain amount of financial embarrassment due to false allegations of anti-Semitism it has made against innocent people.

“Prime Ministers of Israel and key Jewish leaders have been warmly and graciously welcomed at 10 Downing Street” under a Conservative government, he said, ignoring the fact that they have been welcomed under Labour governments too.

“What would happen if the next incumbent was Jeremy Corbyn? What would the consequences be for Jews and Judaism and the State of Israel?”

In making that comment, he committed a cardinal sin in the fight against anti-Semitism: deliberately presenting Judaism and the State of Israel as the same thing.

They aren’t; many Jews worldwide deplore the political decisions of the Israeli government, particularly in its treatment of Palestine.

Perhaps Mr Mirvis chose to blur the boundaries because he is a dyed-in-the-wool Conservative, a friend of Boris Johnson, and a Zionist who supports hatred against Palestinians (based on his own words in the past)?

But then, what can we expect from someone whose position in this debate is based on a lie? The post of Chief Rabbi is entirely symbolic and Jewish law provides no support for it as all rabbis have equal authority in principle.

The post merely arose because secular authorities have wanted an intermediary with the Jewish community for administrative reasons.

By interfering in secular politics, it could be claimed that Mr Mirvis has betrayed his role; he reports to secular politicians but should not have an influence on them.

And you should note that little is said in the JC report about the huge backlash against Mr Mirvis’s election campaign speech. This response is particularly revealing.

Sadly, it seems some political figures are all-too-ready to buy into the role he has assumed for himself (with no authority to do so).

In the following case, I can only sympathise with the attitude of left-wing Jewish group Jewdas:

Source: Chief Rabbi says he felt ‘weight of historic responsibility’ to speak out against Corbyn – The Jewish Chronicle

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How is the Church of England going to stop unmarried people from having it off?

Justin Welby: this latest proclamation from the Church is a blunder that the Archbishop of Canterbury should have avoided.

Apparently the Church of England has issued advice saying that only heterosexual, married couples should have sex.

Firstly, it is hypocritical for a religious organisation to try to tell the rest of us to abstain, considering the number of sex scandals caused by priests – of all denominations.

And secondly, as a friend of mine just pointed out: “How are you going to stop us, Justin?”

I am reminded of Billy Connolly’s reaction to Presbyterianism in Scotland (which I’ll censor slightly for the Vox Political audience): “John Knox, a f*cking weary willy of a man, and a hypocrite too: ‘THOU SHALT NOT! This is a race of people who wear skirts and no knickers! We f*cking SHALL, pal! Done it before and we’ll do it again.”

It’s political, of course – and the Church has said as much; it is supposed to be a reaction to the introduction of mixed-sex civil partnerships.

But I think there’s more to it than that.

Tories across the country have been moaning about the amount of benefits being paid to poor people who have lots of children (many outside the bonds of wedlock).

Back in the day, it used to be enough to tell people that sex outside marriage was sinful and you’d go to Hell (or some similarly horrible place. Finchley, maybe, or Uxbridge).

Perhaps the Tories are hoping to revive those superstitious and fearful times.

Tough.

There are much more complicated issues here than can be solved with a proclamation from a religious organisation.

All the Church of England has done is make itself look foolish and primitive.

Source: Sex is for married heterosexual couples only, says Church of England | World news | The Guardian

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