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September 20, 2005
On their knees before terror

Is there no limit to the abjectness of the Church of England’s response to Islamic terror? A working group of bishops led by the Bishop of Oxford Richard Harries has suggested that western Christians should apologise for the Iraq war. The moral stupidity of this is hard to believe, even by the standards of the CofE. Yes, terrible mistakes have been made by the coalition which have contributed to the appalling violence in Iraq which continues. But apologise -- for what, precisely? For getting rid of Saddam Hussein who subjugated his people and subjected them to unspeakable barbarity? For enabling the Iraqis to taste democracy and freedom for the first time? And apologise to whom exactly? To the Ba’athists, perhaps, who subjected the rest of the population to a regime of unmitigated horror and towards whom the church – by this logic – feels badly that they have been deprived of power?

The Times packs one idiotic argument by these bishops after another into one short news story. First, they want to apologise not for something they have done but for something the government has done:

‘The bishops say that the Government is not likely to show remorse so the churches should. They want to organise a major gathering with senior figures from the Muslim community to make a “public act of repentance”.’

No doubt they think they should muscle in like this on the political process because of their superior moral reasoning. Their arrogance is therefore as vast as their moral obtuseness. They plead for more ‘understanding' of what motivates terrorists but display zero understanding themselves of the principal motivation: Islamic fanaticism. And just look what they are comparing the war in Iraq with:

‘The bishops cite as precedents the official statements by the Vatican expressing sorrow for the Christian persecution of the Jewish people throughout the ages, the repentance by the Anglican Church in Japan for its complicity in Japanese aggression during the Second World War and the regret expressed by leaders of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa for their theological and political backing of apartheid.’

In other words they are comparing the removal of Saddam Hussein with the persecution of the Jews, the axis against democracy in World War Two and South African apartheid. But it was Saddam Hussein, the butcher of his own people and sponsor of terrorist murder against Israel and America who was the brother in blood to the tyrants of history. To compare these evils with the attempt to remove a similar modern evil is a straightforward inversion of good and evil. One associates such anti-reasoning with moral imbeciles – but the church?

According to Bishop Harries:

‘…it is not terrorism but American foreign policy and expansionism that constitute “the major threat to peace”’.

So the global jihad, the intention to restore the medieval caliphate, 9/11 and the many attacks on America and other western interests that preceded it, all apparently do not constitute ‘the major threat to peace’. Only America, the principal victim of this threat, fills that role in this hall of moral mirrors. And of course, American ‘moral righteousness’ and – wait for it – ‘the use of biblical texts’ fill these churchmen with the deepest possible horror. Furthermore, it is not, it would appear, the practical obstacles in the way of turning Iraq from a despotism into a democracy that worry these men of God – it is democracy itself that they despise:

‘“Democracy as we have it in the West at the moment is deeply flawed and its serious shortcomings need to be addressed,” state the bishops, members of the only unelected house in the Church’s own governing democratic body, the General Synod.’
The Telegraph made an additional point in its leader:
‘The impression given to the Islamic world by such an act, or even its proposal, is that the bishops of England had confirmed that the war against Iraq was a Christian crusade against Muslims. That is not what the bishops mean to say. They opposed the war. They think it was mostly about oil and American power. The inflammatory consequences of reinforcing the erroneous notion of a war against Islam could be far more horrific than anything yet seen, even in Iraq.’
Christianity is currently at the hideous receiving end of the global jihad, with countless millions of Christians being persecuted and massacred around the world and their churches burned to the ground. Yet the response of these bishops is to genuflect before terror, to apologise for the attempt to defeat it, to abase themselves and offer up their faith – and their country – to barbarism.

Who can ever take such a church seriously when its bishops behave like this?

Posted by melanie at September 20, 2005