Church of England

Momentum drops commitment to nonviolence: how can CofE clergy be permitted to join this group?

“Momentum is wholly committed to working for progressive political change through methods which are inclusive, participatory and nonviolent,” the Momentum code of ethics used to state. But not any more. The Corbynista Militants (‘extreme left’?) have decided to drop their pledge to nonviolent action “after several members argued that Momentum members should have the right to defend themselves if attacked by police or fascists”.

“Police or fascists”…

When is violence against lawful police action ever justifiable in a liberal democracy? Policing is a difficult and dangerous job at the best of times: officers frequently put their lives on the line in order to protect the public from harm. If Momentum members are arrested on a protest, is their legitimate and justifiable response now to hurl stones at heads or Molotov cocktails at feet in the hope of breaking police skulls or burning their bodies? Doesn’t contempt for law enforcement soon lead to harm? Doesn’t harm soon lead to death? What is Momentum saying here? That their members can knock the hell out of police officers if they get in your way, but please stop short of killing?    

And as for these fascists, well, we know who they mean. If any evil Tories, bigoted Brexiteers or demagogic Christians seek to impede a Momentum protest (it may, of course, include other groups, for ‘fascist’ has become a casual catch-all noun for any right-wing person who happens to disagree with the liberal-left progressive-inclusive agenda), it appears to be permissible to kick and thump them, or at least slap them around a bit. Momentum executive committee member Jill Mountford explains the rationale:

“I raised a point that if we stuck with the suggested wording, and our members were arrested for defending themselves on a protest, then we would have to consider expelling them from Momentum,” she said.

“As people who are organising and protesting, we have to have a right to defend ourselves. I cited the fight against fascists in Cable Street, the right of self-defence during the miners’ strike, the suffragettes. Those struggles showed us that while the right might accuse the left of violence, we should defend the right to defend ourselves.”

According to the Guardian, in addition to sitting on Momentum’s steering committee, Jill Mountford is “a leading supporter of the Trotskyist group the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty… who has since been kicked out of the Labour party for being associated with the AWL”.

Please read and understand that: a Momentum leader has been expelled from the Labour Party for ‘extreme left’ agitation.

No wonder the code of ethics has changed: the Militant narrative has long included the exhortation to “kick the shit” out of the fascist police and evil Tories, so if either should get in the way of a Momentum rally or protest against austerity and privatisation, its members may henceforth use violence. If any fascists take issue with Momentum’s promotion of equality, their action on climate change, opposition to Trident, or advocacy of public ownership of railways and in the energy sector, etc., etc., members may now respond with violence (at their judgment) without fear of being expelled from the socialist fraternity. A spokesperson explained: “While some of our members are pacifists, others are not and argued that in certain circumstances, such as fighting fascism in world war two or struggling against apartheid, violence is legitimate.”

The UK is manifestly not fighting German Nazis or South African racists, but Momentum clearly seek to equate ‘extreme’ Toryism or ‘right-wing’ Christianity or ‘xenophobic/racist’ Brexit (etc.) with Nazi tyranny and apartheid oppression, against which violence may be justified.

In a liberal democracy, the ballot box is the mechanism by which Christians may determine change: peaceful protest is a fundamental right, intrinsic to democracy. Quite how Church of England clergy can justify membership (and propagation of membership) of an extreme left group which is no longer pledged to nonviolent participation is unknown. Consider their response in 2013 to the rise of the extreme right:

The measure was aimed at the BNP, but note how Ben Bradshaw expressed it: the prohibition is not on clergy membership of far right and racist parties, but those which are far right or racist, ergo the Church of England forbids membership to its clergy of all far right organisations, without, of course, defining the term. It was perhaps therefore inevitable that ‘far right’ for some has come to embrace those ‘fascists’ who oppose same-sex marriage, women bishops or membership of the EU. For if racism be an abhorrent manifestation in the Church of Christ, how much more should homophobia, misogyny or europhobia be subject to ecclesiastical opprobrium?

All reasonable Christians will agree with an expression of Christian witness which seeks to denounce racism in all its forms, including in the political realm. The Church should be completely intolerant of all who seek to foment discord on the basis of people’s ethnicity or skin colour. The Early Church completely abolished the Jew-Greek division and declared all to be one in Christ Jesus, so there can be no theological rationale 2000 years later for black-brown-white segregation. To be Christian is to be blind to race: all of humanity is equal in the great plan of salvation. We are all children of God, and all equal in our sin.

But the Established Church of England is empowered by Parliament to prohibit those in Holy Orders from joining a political party or organisation which is ‘far right’, even if it is legally constituted in the United Kingdom, wins elections and conforms in every way to both UK and EU anti-discrimination law. The General Synod decreed that allegiance to a party whose policies are “incompatible with the teaching of the Church of England in relation to the equality of persons or groups of different races” would be “unbecoming and inappropriate”. So Ben Bradshaw was right to assert that all racist or discriminatory political parties are proscribed.

But what about the ‘far left’? Are Church of England clergy free to be Communists, revolutionary socialists, Militant Trotskyists or members of Momentum? Are they really free to be so even when any of those groups explicitly rejects a commitment to nonviolence? What happened to ‘Blessed are the peacemakers‘? How can CofE clergy profess to be working toward peace and reconciliation if they are simultaneously members of a political organisation which not only permits but advocates violence against fascist and police if they should seek to hinder their protests or rallies?

The anti-far-right measures agreed by the Ecclesiastical Committee were born out of a proposal in 2009 by Vasantha Gnanadoss who warned then of the potential for the BNP to grow in influence. “Passing this motion is a push that is seriously necessary,” she told Synod at that time. The peculiar thing is that no member of the Church of England clergy was or is known to be a member of the BNP. But quite a few are jumping on the Momentum bandwagon in order to get JC into No.10, and they are preaching the movement’s virtues to the whole nation.

Now that Momentum permits or advocate violence in order to attain their political objectives, is it not time for the Church of England to proscribe all far left organisations which are incompatible with the teaching of the Church of England in relation to peace, democracy and the rule of law?

  • Anton

    The CoE will probably define “far right” as anybody who questions the Welfare State.

    • David

      I do believe that they confuse the charitable role of the monastic system with what that most cold, distant and imperious organisation – the welfare state. Pondering the moral consequences of some aspects of state welfare is unknown territory to almost all clerics I’d say. This is due to a mixture of social naiveté and economic, political, and above all else, anthopological ignorance.

    • Bernard from Bucks

      “Far-right” in Europe now means anyone to the right of Karl Marx.

  • CliveM

    As most ‘far left’ parties are either openly or covertly anti-semitic, (which is one of the earliest and most enduring forms of racism), can we now see an updated list of proscribed left wing parties and movements, including of course the current Labour party, issued by the CofE?

    • James Bolivar DiGriz

      Just what I was going to say.

  • David

    What a splendid article, well done and thank you Archbishop.
    So many times it this website that acts as the canary in the coal mine, identifying dangers and hypocrisies not detected, or maybe deliberately ignored, by the slow moving, left leaning mainstream press, and especially the highly biased BBC.
    The left are now the new fascists. For of course it is impossible to squeeze a sheet of paper between the far right and the far left, as they are bedfellows in demanding power through bullying, and even worse.
    Those of us who remember the violence of the miner’s strike can probably sniff more such unrest ahead. So what was that about Theresa May, as Home Secretary, slashing police numbers ? Time to sharply reverse that policy ! Oh and while the plods are handling the political extremists, armed police may be thin on the ground, so perhaps the decisions to cut army numbers needs rethinking ?
    Ho hum – some of the young need to learn a dose of reality – so prepare for tax increases, economic slow downs and don’t forget to stock up this winter on batteries for torches. I must remember to keep my cars at least half full of fuel at all times.

  • vsscoles

    Any member of the clergy engaging is violence is likely to face charges in a church court of “conduct unbecoming” and to be removed from office. Whether left wing or right wing or just plain nuts.

    • David

      Church courts are very rare aren’t they ?

      • vsscoles

        No member of the clergy has ever joined BNP and equally are very unlikely to engage in violence.

  • When can rise up against the State and people use violence to defend themselves and overthrow a regime?
    Violence and insurrection was used against this nations legitimate ruler, King Charles I, based on claims he was a tyrannical monarch. He quarrelled with Parliament as it sought to curb his royal prerogative. His religious policies, coupled with his marriage to a Roman Catholic, led to mistrust from protestant groups such as the Puritans and Covenanters, who viewed him as too Catholic.

    • Dolphinfish

      Careful, Jack. Next thing, you’ll be suggesting the Glorious Revolution wasn’t.

      • Britain was the first European nation to move towards democracy via bloody and violent means. France and Russia followed. There was nothing “Glorious” about inviting and conspiring with a foreign power to overthrow the King by use of force.

        • Anton

          Whereas conspiring with the ruler of the Papal States is OK?

          • Evidence?

          • Anton

            I was asking in principle.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Are you denying that the pope conspired to remove Elizabeth from the throne?

          • Define “conspired”. He certainly declared her reign illegitimate, which it was, and, unwisely, asked Catholics to disobey her.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Her reign was as legitimate as any other, not of course that the pope had any sort of say in the matter.

            The pope was clearly involved in attempts to remove her, which is an act of war. Such an act automatically made his followers enemy agents, subject to execution as traitors. That they were not all so dealt with is evidence of the wisdom surrounding much of Elizabeth’s reign.

          • Her reign breached the agreed law on succession – the Third Succession Act, passed by the Parliament of England in July 1543,

          • Martin

            HJ

            Seems to me that the act does entitle her to reign in the event of her half sister having no heirs. But then of course we are assuming Henry had the right to reign.

        • Busy Mum

          It was Mary – not a foreigner, but the heiress – who insisted William came along too.

          I have heard/read that the only blood spilt during the Glorious part was when James II had a nosebleed.

          • King James II of England was the monarch -not Mary. The birth of the King’s son, James Francis Edward Stuart, on 10 June, changed the line of succession and displaced Mary as heir, who just happened to be the wife of William of Orange.

          • Busy Mum

            A baby, whether smuggled in a warming-pan or not, could not be the immediate solution to replacing James II.

          • That’s not how babies come into this world, Busy Mum. You should know this by now. They aren’t delivered by storks either.

          • Busy Mum

            Mind you, to all intents and purposes they might as well come into the world like that. I saw something about that Kardashian woman choosing to have a baby via surrogacy for no reason at all other than that’s how she wanted the baby to arrive.
            Warming pans/incubators….storks/surrogates…maybe we haven’t ‘progressed’ at all…

          • Very true.

    • dannybhoy

      Justified by the Word of God Jack, the handbook of our faith.
      The Old Testament’s Chronicles and Kings records the reigns of righteous and rebellious kings.
      The Scriptures themselves bear record that God was exceedingly displeased with many of them.

      • Where does scripture commend violence against the State?

        • dannybhoy

          Good question.
          So your implication is that it was wrong to go to war against Hitler’s Nazi regime/state…?
          I’m going for a nap. I might have a more substantial answer for you when I re-surface.
          Unless someone here gets there first….

          • Has Jack said rebellion and revolution against one’s State is intrinsically “wrong”? If a State wages war against its members then they have a right to defend themselves – subject to certain conditions. There’s a long tradition in Christianity for this, similar to Just War Theory.

          • Anton

            That’s exactly what Charles did at Nottingham in August 1642.

          • dannybhoy

            ‘Where does scripture commend violence against the State?’
            Sorry Jack, I can’t find the comment you made that prompted my first response.

            Anyway, we obey our rulers as long as their laws do not contravene God’s laws.
            That’s Biblical.
            I pointed out earlier that God was displeased with many of Israel and Judah’s kings. In fact He was never keen on the idea of monarchs in the first place.

            So when a king led the people into idolatry or oppressed them excessively,
            (Ist Kings 12), He either used foreign powers to punish them or the people themselves rebelled against them..
            Thus Israel divided into two kingdoms.

          • Jonathan

            So the young prophet went to Ramoth Gilead. When he arrived, he found the army officers sitting together. “I have a message for you, commander,” he said.
            “For which of us?” asked Jehu.
            “For you, commander,” he replied.
            Jehu got up and went into the house. Then the prophet poured the oil on Jehu’s head and declared, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anoint you king over the Lord’s people Israel. You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the Lord’s servants shed by Jezebel.

          • dannybhoy

            Where does scripture commend violence against the State?
            We obey our rulers as long as their laws do not contravene God’s laws.
            I pointed out earlier that God was displeased with many of Israel and Judah’s kings.
            In fact He was never keen on the idea of monarchs in the first place.
            So when a king led the people into idolatry or oppressed them excessively,
            (Ist Kings 12), He either used foreign powers to punish them or the people themselves rebelled against them..
            Thus Israel divided into two kingdoms…

    • Busy Mum

      His royal prerogative to rule without a parliament for eleven years, and raise taxes illegally?

      • Yes, he wasn’t a democrat nor very wise. However, this hardly justifies what ensued and the resulting deaths and wars.

        • Busy Mum

          So the people should have just submitted?

          • It wasn’t “the people” who objected to Charles I – it was a small minority with competing material and religious interests.

            You do realise that you’re line of reasoning supports Momentum’s approval for the use of violence in situations where they see it as self defence?

          • Anton

            If it was a small minority then how come it dominated Parliament?

            That is a false analogy with Momentum, who are not an elected body.

          • Parliament was hardly an elected body based on universal suffrage. As you know, only wealthy landowners were eligible to vote in Parliamentary elections and those who owned land in multiple Counties could vote multiple times, providing a powerful election tool for these landowners.

            This was a dispute between Puritans and Arminians, as well as Catholics. The Puritans defined themselves against “Arminian” moderates on church and foreign policy. Charles forbade preaching on the subject of predestination and also wanted bishops to enforce compliance with the Book of Common Prayer in worship and to suspend ministers who refused. Big mistake. The Puritan dominated Parliament refused to grant Charles revenue, claiming that it might be used to support an army that would re-impose Catholicism on England. The 1625 Parliament broke the precedent of centuries and voted to allow Charles to collect Tonnage and Poundage for just one year.

            Tell Jack what’s the difference between the “Resistance Theory” of Puritans/Calviists and that of Momentum? The Puritans justified disobedience to Charles I and this led to rebellion and revolution. Any “right to resist” is a theory about the limitations on civil obedience. The right of self-defence is usually taken to be a part of it.

          • Anton

            Universal suffrage? Given that the idea came out of the Putney debates and that you bang on and on about how wonderful the feudal system was, I’ll take no lessons on suffrage from you.

          • Now, now …. do calm down.

          • Anton

            Great non-reply!

          • Martin

            And could form an army sufficient to defeat the king.

          • Busy Mum

            Small minority?

            I cannot see any comparison at all between Momentum and the Puritans.

            Presumably you think the Huguenots should have submitted to the Duke of Savoy?

            Puritans were not all Quakers, you know.

          • The Puritans, yes, or used non-violent means of resistance.
            “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which is from God. The authorities that exist have been appointed by God.”

          • Busy Mum

            Emigrating to the New World must count as the most non-violent means of resistance possible.

          • Yeah, after causing bloodshed and mayhem and failing in England.

          • Busy Mum

            Oh? They were pulling out well before the Civil War even started.

          • Not quickly enough and look what they achieved in America.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Justification of slavery…The most despicable disgusting perversion of justice under a fake Christian banner… that is what they achieved.

    • Anton

      The Puritans disliked him because he had their ears cut off for producing entirely peaceable pamphlets protesting at his tyrannical rule without any Parliament during the 1630s. You wouldn’t be too keen on somebody who did that to you and your friends, I think.

      Charles I certainly started off as the legitimate ruler in 1625. But he flagrantly breached his Coronation Oath and that leads to the question you always duck… who but Parliament may hold him to it? And why do you suppose that “the State” is vested in him but not in Parliament?

      • The Puritans were spreading sedition and treason against their lawful King because they objected to his religious beliefs. You know this and so does Jack.

        • Anton

          All they wanted was some freedom of worship within the Church of England and an end to unlawful levying of taxes – which for centuries had been cleared through parliament in England. They were not spreading sedition and treason at all and I invite you to prove it or retract.

          • Go read your own history. Religion and treason were difficult to separate.

            Charles began a series of anti-Calvinist, Arminian reforms that attempted to ensure religious uniformity by restricting non-conformist preachers, insisting that the liturgy be celebrated as prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer, organising the internal architecture of English churches so as to emphasise the sacrament of the altar, and permitting secular activities on the Sabbath.
            Charles may have been a numpty and unskilled in matters of state, but the Puritan property classes were seeking to break with the via media of the Church of England and used their position in Parliament to undermine the Kings ability to rule by starving him of finance.

          • Martin

            HJ

            When a religious leader claims to be a monarch they make their state the religion. Such was the case with Nero.

          • Charles wasn’t a “religious leader” claiming to be monarch. He was the legitimate King. He was opposed to the Puritans who were acting against the lawful religion of England.

          • Martin

            HJ

            He was claiming authority over what was taught in in the Church. That makes him a religious leader.

            And on what basis was he a legitimate monarch?

          • He was implementing what the majority in England believed was taught in scripture – Episcopalianism – and was against the unbiblical belief in predestination.

          • Martin

            HJ

            You will find predestination in the Bible. For example:

            For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29 [ESV])

            And what is taught in Scripture is that each local church should be governed by a number of elders/overseers and independent of churches in other places.

            And what is this “lawful religion of England” concept? There is nothing in the Bible that requires Christians to abide by a lawful religion.

          • Catholics believe in predestination – just not Calvin’s (mis)understanding and (mis)representation of it which makes God the author of both good and evil. God foreknows those who respond to His universal call and the graces available to us all.
            Well Jack agrees and Catholics should have been permitted to practice their faith too. However, Jack was referring to the laws of Britain. You know, the Constitutional settlement.

          • Martin

            HJ

            You really need to be more careful how you use words then. As for how Calvin understood predestination, you clearly don’t understand that.

            Of course you’ll find predestination in pre Romanist early Christian writings as well:

            1 Clem. 32:4 And so we, having been called through His will in Christ
            Jesus, are not justified through ourselves or through our own wisdom or
            understanding or piety or works which we wrought in holiness of heart,
            but through faith, whereby the Almighty God justified all men that have
            been from the beginning; to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

          • As Jack said, Catholics believe in salvation by faith alone and in predestination. Faith is offered to all and sufficient graces. However, some reject the offer and resist grace. It’s you who doesn’t understand Catholicism. We’re not Armenians.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Surely you’re mistaken, sola fide was condemned by the council of Trent.

            You might want to consider how those dead can resist a work of God. As for soteriology, Rome requires other things in addition to faith.

          • Anton

            You are simply repeating yourself. How about answering this: When Charles breached his Coronation Oath, who but Parliament may hold him to it? And why do you suppose that “the State” is vested in him but not in Parliament?

          • And when a Puritan Parliament, inspired by religious fervour and self interest, breached centuries of convention in withholding finances from the monarch to rule his realm?

          • Anton

            It didn’t. Suspicious of how Charles’ father had abused Parliament’s lifetime granting to him of the right to collect tonnage and poundage, Parliament required Charles to come back a year later in order to renew the privilege. Charles simply dissolved parliament. Now that I’ve answered your question first time, would you do me the favour of answering mine as the fourth time of asking? Anybody would think you were avoiding it, you know…

          • At the time in question, the authority of the State was invested in the monarch. The concepts of democracy and universal suffrage just didn’t apply. A king was expected to rule in the interests of all and obtained his authority from God, to whom he was accountable.

        • Dreadnaught

          And The Gunpowder Plot was what exactly…?

          • An unjustifiable act of treason by a small group of disaffected Catholics who were set up by anti-Catholics.

          • Dreadnaught

            Ah – the ah but defence.
            Catholics in England had expected James to be more tolerant of them. In fact, he had proved to be the opposite and had ordered all Catholic priests to leave England. This so angered some Catholics that they decided to kill James and put his daughter Elizabeth on the throne ensuring that she was a Catholic. This led to a plot to kill not only the king of England, James, but also everyone sitting in the Houses of Parliament at the same time as James was there when he opened

          • “Some Catholics” …..
            This attempted act of terrorism and mass murder cannot be justified.

          • Dreadnaught

            Some Muslims flew planes into the twin towers while others celebrated [still do] and even blamed it on a Jewish enterprise to discredit Islam, while many more millions more remained silent or refuse to condemn terrorist acts of mass murder.
            My point is, one has to be careful when accusing others of deeds to make a political or even historical point, unless one is able to show the clean hands of your own argument.

          • Few Catholics “celebrate” or defend the Gunpowder Plot.

          • Dreadnaught

            On that I agree. I was talking more of the actual time when if it had come about, there would have undoubtedly been many pleased by the outcome if not the means.

      • Cressida de Nova

        I would never support anyone cutting off your ears Anton. Catholics hate that type of thing.

    • The two rather obvious differences between Charles I and Theresa May is that firstly Mrs May is unlikely to have your ears cut off and you nostrils slit and secondly, after five years you can vote her out.

      • No, but according to some, she is imposing unjust and unfair laws and taxes on the people causing poverty, premature death and misery.

        • Anton

          Then she can be voted out, as he pointed out.

          • By a system that some believe enchains others through its cultural and social hegemony.

          • Anton

            If I gave you a time machine would you go back to the feudal system?

          • A silly question.

  • The Church should be completely intolerant of all who seek to foment discord on the basis of people’s ethnicity or skin colour

    The Church of England document Affirming Our Common Humanity [download here] goes further than ‘ethnicity or skin colour’, paragraph 2 stating that ‘this biblical teaching does not support…the segregation of people belonging to different tribes, nations or religions.’ A clear affirmation of multiculturalism and of the continued and growing presence in Britain of Islam, to the detriment of Christianity. No surprise at all, then, that the church banned its clergy from associating with the anti-Islam BNP and National Front, and no surprise at all that the church invented the sin of racism to guilt-trip its congregations into meekly accepting race and faith replacement. The C of E bans the only political parties which want Britain to remain Christian and congratulates itself on a job well done. Sheesh.

    there can be no theological rationale 2000 years later for black-brown-white segregation

    That memo hasn’t yet reached Britain’s multitudinous ghettos, established along racial, ethnic, national and religious lines, and it never will because human nature is ethnocentric and no amount of ecclesiastical hand-wringing will change it.

    • David

      Quite. There are powerful arguments to be drawn from Scripture to support the position that God expects, post-Babel, each tribe and people to live in harmony yes, as good neighbours, but as separate tribes and peoples. Once again the C of E, like other liberal led Christian organisations, projects its political stances onto the faith without using the Scriptures to genuinely guide them.

      • The bible doesn’t justify segregation of the races.

        • Martin

          HJ

          The Bible shows there is but one race.

          • Agreed.

          • @ Martin—The Bible shows there is but one race

            The Bible needs to get out a bit more: ‘If Nick Glasgow, 28, were white, he would have a nearly 90 percent chance of finding a matching bone marrow donor who could cure his leukemia. But because the bodybuilder is one-quarter Japanese, his doctor warned him the outlook was grim. Glasgow’s background would make it almost impossible to find a match, which usually comes from a patient’s own ethnic group.’—Boston Globe

          • Ethnicity is not the seem as “race”.

          • @ Happy Jack—You may have missed ‘Mixed-race patients struggle to find match in bone marrow donor’, or ‘racial minorities and mixed-race donors’, or ‘Multiracial patients’.

          • Not terms carrying any scientific authority.

          • Martin

            Irrelevant.

          • @ Martin—Irrelevant

            Nice touch of Christian compassion there, darling Martin.

          • Martin

            HJ has given you a clearer answer.

          • Anton

            Nick Glasgow is going to die someday. It’s only a question of when. But that is true of you and me too. The important thing is to be right with God. So you need to get into the Bible more.

            In case you think this is short of compassion, it’s exactly what Jesus said when asked about the people who died in the collapse of the tower of Siloam (Luke 13).

          • @Anton—Western churches get into the Bible and triumphantly produce umpteen justifications for Third World immigration and multiculturalism. What use to me is a book which provides divine authority for the ruination of my country?

          • Linus

            Interesting.

            So your country is actually your idol and if the Christian god doesn’t help you to keep it “pure” and “white”, he can go take a hike, eh?

            This blog attracts some pretty unsavoury far-right bigots. One imagines that if the Maybot makes good on her promise to crack down on extremism, several of those who comment here will be subjected to close scrutiny.

            Bang go the fake archbishop’s chances of ever being selected to stand as a parliamentary candidate. Providing a forum for those who preach White Supremacy must have turned him into Conservative kryptonite. Parliamentary party members must positively flee from him.

            Poor chap. So much ambition. So little potential.

        • Anton

          God divided us at Babel by language for our own good. We are one race though.

          • Not in favour of the use of English as a universal language then?

          • Anton

            If one language, Hebrew.

          • Why?

          • dannybhoy

            Squabbling happily away….

  • ecclesiaman

    Left wing violence is happening in the USA. Those who see through socialism whilst respecting some sincere socialists must expect to be demonised if they dare oppose the new (not really) gospel of the left. A panacea which will turn sour as most who have experienced a socialist regime will confirm. A prophet is not welcome in his own country, so Mr Orwell is ignored.

  • dannybhoy

    The story of man always has to do with good and evil, justice and injustice, oppression and liberty..
    I think we’re shaping up for another confrontation, and no true Christian can side with the forces of darkness, however they manifest.
    And let’s not forget our brave police/fire/paramedical personnel, especially the Christians amongst them.
    A word of thanks and appreciation goes a long way..

  • Dolphinfish

    Winding Cranmer up about the “Glorious” Revolution aside, there does appear to be a growing sense of entitlement to the use of violence on the left. Peter Hitchens opined recently (with regard to the increasingly indiscriminate use of language like “fascist” and “bigot”) that the basic problem is that there aren’t enough genuine Nazis and fascists to go around, so anyone who doesn’t see things the left’s way ends up getting nominated. I suppose it’s a short step from that to thinking you’re entitled to hang one on people you don’t like.

    • “Winding Cranmer up about the “Glorious” Revolution aside … “

      HG isn’t easily wound up. However, a few of his followers are.

  • James60498 .

    Not only does the Conservative Government allow violence against the unborn in England, but now it (through the Chancellor, no less) has announced (according to the Telegraph) that women from Northern Ireland who want to murder their babies should be allowed to do so “free of charge” in England. Apparently it is “important” that they should be allowed to do so.

    How can a Christian support this group/ government?

    Incidentally. I wonder what the DUP will have to say about this.

  • Royinsouthwest

    By abandoning the principle of non-violence Momentum has turned itself into an extremist organisation. Therefore shouldn’t its members, including those who are CoE clerics, be referred to the government’s de-radicalisation programme? The only argument I can see against making such referrals is that it would detract the attention of those running the de-radicalisation programme away from dangerous Islamists.

    • David

      Good argument. But the authorities will wait until the bloodshed occurs repeatedly before they act, because it is only the almost mythical, tiny “far right”, who are violent init !

  • Point of information:

    Members of Momentum must be members of the Labour Party by July 2017 and Momentum is seeking to become an official affiliate of the Labour Party.

    http://www.peoplesmomentum.com/about

    If Jill Mountford is “a leading supporter of the Trotskyist group the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty… who has since been kicked out of the Labour party for being associated with the AWL”, then, according to their own rules, it would appear she – and a bevvy of other revolutionaries – can no longer remain members of Momentum.

  • Mike Stallard

    One of the scary things about real fascist dictators – whatever their excuses may be – is the prevalence of young thugs who have the power to use force to get their own way in the streets and, yes, inside people’s houses.
    In Venezuela, which Mr Corbyn thinks (or is it thought?) such a model state, young colectivos run amock, armed and ready to dictate morality. In Saudi it is the Mutawa. I can see Momentum going (or is it gone?) the same way.

  • len

    Socialism is the new’ gospel’ of left wing Christians.
    However, socialism is a failed political system (with the use of violence or not) and God has only one plan for the salvation for humanity, there is no’ plan b’ so lets just get on with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!.

    • David

      Nicely put Len.
      Yes Socialism is the social gospel on steroids, but without the gospel of salvation through faith and repentance it misses the first, fundamental step. Social gospel Christianity will peter out leaving a small remnant to take the Church forward in the west. But meanwhile the Church grows strongly on other continents.

  • Anton

    I think the Women’s Institute doesn’t have an explicit non-violence clause either.

    • Manfarang

      A WI Molotov cocktail making session! Just imagine it.

      • David

        Good for recycling the jam jars though !

  • Manfarang

    The IS boot boys back again.

  • Chefofsinners

    At stake here is the rule of law. Momentum is a large organisation and one of its main activities is mass protest.
    It is telling its members that they may strike back at perceived police violence, and that they may make this judgment in their own minds and in the heat of the moment.
    The essence of the rule of law is that we must submit to the authority of the police in the moment and seek redress through the courts if we believe they have acted unreasonably.
    Momentum must now be banned as a subversive and lawless organisation.

    • David

      Hear, hear chief !

  • Manfarang

    Foyle MP Elisha McCallion spoke at the recent Annual Derry Volunteers Commemoration, which saw hundreds of republicans gather at the city cemetery to pay tribute to IRA volunteers.
    Mrs McCallion said she “remembered with pride the huge contribution they made in our struggle” and that their “dedication, courage and their sacrifice is an inspiration to us and certainly to me”.
    No non-violence clause there either.

  • Chefofsinners

    Today Theresa May has bought the votes needed to pass her Queen’s speech with the blood and butchered bodies of countless unborn children. May God have mercy on her twisted soul.

    • Anton

      Could you clarify please? She got the DUP on side; aren’t they anti-abortion?

    • dannybhoy

      ??
      Don’t follow your thinking Chef

      The DUP is anti abortion.

      • Busy Mum

        My thinking is that it’s a sop to the Scottish Tories who are very different to the DUP…..

        • dannybhoy

          Deep thinking indeed..

          • Busy Mum

            The Scots would demand some proof of the DUP’s willingness to espouse ‘liberal’ values, and maybe this is it!

      • Chefofsinners
        • dannybhoy

          Thanks Chef, I hadn’t seen that. But surely then the DUP is abandoning it’s own anti abortion stance?
          https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2100976/abortion-northern-ireland-uk-nhs/

          • Chefofsinners

            The Tories made this concession. We are being asked to believe that some Tory MPs were willing to vote for the amendment at the cost of bringing down their own government. That is unlikely to be true. This is the government reacting to the outcry over the DUP’s anti-abortion stance, publicly distancing themselves.
            The DUP have been played for fools.

          • dannybhoy

            Hmm, but presumably the DUP knew the dangers to their own values?

          • Chefofsinners

            I think they have been DUPed. Tonight they will be fuming.

          • Jonathan

            “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart”

          • Good point.

          • David

            Well done. Sadly I think your analysis is probably right. The liberal-left, which includes most Conservative MPs, are outraged (inverted morals), with the working agreement between May’s party with the abortion opposing DUP. Hence this action to out manoeuvre the DUP’s policy, which was backed by a legal decision to make to make the Irish British pay for a NHS abortion in England. The DUP will be smarting from this. Politically it is a Conservative betrayal of their own new partners, which may make for a less harmonious arrangement. Morally of course it is the pits. Mrs May – a Christian lady ? First same sex “marriage” and now this ?

          • Busy Mum

            If May self-identifies as a Christian, who are we to question her?

          • len

            Perhaps T M should question herself?.

          • Anton

            I’m sure she’s been doing that since the election results, but not about the right subjects.

    • len

      TM ‘s government is corrupting the DUP.
      Political power has corrupted religion, the two need to separate.

      • Wot? And give up £1billion? Never going to happen.
        It’s the English who will be paying for and facilitating these abortions – not the Northern Irish or Stormont administration. Previously, many were paid for by women’s groups and other charities.

        • len

          If the DUP are only in it for the money they should stop pretending to uphold Christian morals.
          And perhaps the DUP should remember what happened with the Liberal democrats after they had joined forces with the Tories?.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    I fear the time to leave the Church of England draws near.

    • David

      For some time the vast majority of C of E clerics consider that their politics trumps Scriptural advice. It will be interesting to see how they handle this Momentum matter.

    • Anton

      If (like me a decade ago) you have your belief in the episcopal system, ordination and Establishment shattered by scripture study then leave now. If you retain a belief in those things then stand and fight, and nonconformists like me will gladly pray for you. We shall be a living witness to you that protestant faith in Christ is perfectly possible outside the CoE (and may be some consolation if you fail), but we shall not distract you by discussing ecclesiological differences whilst you are in the midst of battle. But don’t sit back – either fight for the CoE or leave it.

    • len

      Already left.

  • not a machine

    I wonder if momentum will be having a special police vehicle sign written….

    • Decorated with the Hammer and Sickle – as the Red Flag as the siren.

  • Murti Bing

    Political violence is the main modus operandi of the left. How else are they to convince the general populace of their innate superiority and their inalienable right to govern? All opposition must be crushed.

    As we have seen so many times before, those who forget history are not only doomed to repeat it, but are also doomed to have it repeated on them.

  • David

    This latest moral outrage from the Conservatives reinforces my relief at having voting Ukip again at the GE. Just when I thought that they couldn’t get lower they’ve descended downwards another two levels. Babies form N. Ireland will now be killed – abortion – the “holy sacrament” of the secular liberal left ! Societal depravity gains speed. I feel increasingly like a “pilgrim in this barren land”.

    • Busy Mum

      I presume that it will only be nominally Protestant babies who are aborted.

      • David

        “only” ???
        Think what you are saying !

        • Busy Mum

          Poorly written on my part!

          • David

            We’ve all done it. The speed of the internet results in most of us falling into that same trap at some time.

          • Busy Mum

            Especially if the ‘some time’ is ‘too late in the evening time’ when Busy Mum turns into Very Tired Mum…. who should have been packing the next day’s lunches instead of playing around on the computer. In mitigation, I had turned the wretched thing on in order to email a teacher!

      • … and nominally Catholic.
        PINO’s and CINO’s.

        • Busy Mum

          Yes – but I would observe that as Protestant mother of many children, I have often received comments to the effect that I must be RC.

          • Goodness! That must have been a shock to the system.

          • Busy Mum

            More of a shock to the other parties, who have been deluded into thinking that the RCC holds the monopoly on such matters.

  • Inspector General

    Either the Conservatives get rid of the Central Office list of imposed candidates or this man starts voting for a military coup…

    • David

      “Voting for a military coup”
      Now there’s a novel political concept.
      I don’t remember General Pinochet being especially morally upstanding ?

      • Inspector General

        Different people, David. We are much more civilised, but can we allow our civilisation to be destroyed by the Corbynistas? Law and Order is what counts. Most especialy order as we know it. Social Media has a lot to answer for. It’s not been around long. If we can’t deal with it, then we are going to have to smash a few skulls. We have no choice.

        • Anton

          Some of us think that we cannot get out of our present mire via the ballot box but we still do not advocate smashing a few skulls, as you delicately put it. And don’t knock social media, they are the best weapon against the mainstream media dominated by the soft left who are the hard left’s useful idiots.

          • Inspector General

            Everything’s up for grabs right now. Everything. If you want to sympathise with the Marxist injured, go ahead. As a student of history, one cannot help but consider what Germany went through in the 1920s. If Momentum are going down that road…

          • Anton

            Calm down a little, Inspector.

          • Sarky

            You better start dusting off your ‘brown shirt’.

        • David

          “Different people”.
          No, hardly different to us at all. Chileans are a decent bunch, calm, hard working, rational and mostly of northern european stock, unlike their neighbouring far more excitable Argentinians of southern european stock. Both countries are noticeably Christian, but Chile is the more traditional. Because of Chile’s attractions, many hard working US farming families are buying land and settling there.

          • Inspector General

            They’ve come through it then. Victims of Marxism don’t, at least for a very long time.

            Anyway, back to Corbyn. What would he have in common with Mugabe should we ever suffer his premiership, do you think?

        • Manfarang

          A Very British Coup eh?

          • Anton

            Great TV drama.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Happy Jack won’t be so happy if you admit that Cromwell was right!

  • bluedog

    One detects in this acceptance of the legitimacy of violence, Your Grace, more than a passing nod to the teaching of Islam. ‘The Jews and Christians are perverts; fight them’ Koran 9:30. Thus a secular movement like Momentum can justify its opposition to Judeo-Christian morality while scooping up the Muslim vote at the same time. Masterly!

  • Sybaseguru

    Your Grace has been seriously misled if he thinks that General Synod will pay any attention to the violence of the Left. After all it supported Palestinians who launched rockets at the Israelis.

    • David

      If violence occurs in UK streets it will be very difficult to ignore, and pressures will increase for all responsible organisations to condemn Momentum.

      • Royinsouthwest

        The media will blame any violence on the “far right” like it does already whenever Tommy Robinson is present at a political meeting or demonstration.

      • Sarky

        Last time there was violence on the streets, the mob got their way and the poll tax was scrapped.

  • Father David

    What next – Mrs. Proudie threatening to leave the Church of England? Shock Horror! Does that mean that the dear lady will be swimming the Tiber? If so, I understand that the crinoline when full of hot air acts as the perfect Mae West, so her safe arrival on the shores of the Vatican can be assured. I’m sure that Papa Francesco will greet her with open arms; he may even make her the first lady cardinal in the temporary absence of Cardinal Pell “Down Under”.

  • Sarky

    Breaking news!! The tories have launched a new group to counter momentum!!
    ‘BRAKE’ has been formed by two ‘school run mums’ from Surrey and will be campaigning for the reintroduction of the ‘free coffee’ at John Lewis. They are planning to barricade the car park of their local store with rangerovers and will absolutely ‘scweem and scweem’ if the local police turn up!

  • len

    How could the Tories have got things so wrong?. A referendum which could ‘only give the result that Cameron wanted’ and an election to give TM a massive majority?. Both failed dismally.
    One senses that all that people once held in respect are being questioned and exposed. Bankers, politicians, police, religious figures ,financial institutions, celebrities etc are being exposed( in some cases) as corrupt.

    This is obviously having a destabilising affect on society and couple this with Brexit and wider problems worldwide makes this a very uncertain time for many.

    I believe there is a move of God exposing the dark side of human nature and this can bring about a positive response to Christ and all He stood for.
    Those believers in the church and outside of the church need to step up and spread the good news about Christ. I emphasise ‘ the good news’ about salvation.

    • David

      I agree that much corruption plus sheer inadequacy is now being revealed at the top. The result is a feeling of some instability.

      Although God intervenes as He sees fit, I believe that this is rare and can be in response to our requests for help. But bad things will happen if we reject his rules, as they were given to us, not because God is a control freak, quite the opposite in fact as He granted us freewill, but to guide us for our own well being.

      But if as now, a sufficiently large percentage of society ignores that wisdom for sufficiently long, and sins multiply in severity and extent, then we begin to destroy ourselves. A world where humanity deliberately shuts out God, rejecting the wholesome guidance given to us for our own welfare, becomes a desperate, dark place. In short we start to create a hell on earth – hell being a place without God. Only Christ and the Holy Spirit can break into this desolate land.

      This is the environment that atheistic, secular Communism created in the USSR; for 70 years the Russian people hung on that cross. Now they have shaken off the totalitarianism and many have returned to God. An examination of the laws and practices of contemporary Russia show that they are now far more moral than the ever more corrupt west. This partly explains why Russia is vilified in the western media, just like the DUP are – such is the intolerance of those who rebel against God.

      God does not need to intervene, we can destroy ourselves quite successfully, but He intervene and help anyone or any group that, recognising their errors, turn to Him for help and salvation. This series of repeating cycles, of moving away from, then returning to God, is the chief thread running through the OT.

      • DP111

        An examination of the laws and practices of contemporary Russia show that they are now far more moral than the ever more corrupt west. This partly explains why Russia is vilified in the western media, just like the DUP are – such is the intolerance of those who rebel against God.

        I’ve thought so too. Russia may not be a tolerant place yet, but it is headed the right way. We OTH are going the other direction. No wonder the libleft media hate Russia.They were never so hard on the USSR as it butchered its way to lead even Hitler in the mass genocide stakes.