You have to laugh…
THE Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, and seven other bishops are among 37 faith leaders who have signed a letter warning EU referendum voters against “undermining” the international institutions charged with tackling the great challenges of the day.
“Faith is about integration and building bridges, not about isolation and erecting barriers,” they wrote, in a letter to The Observer, published last week. “As leaders and senior figures of faith communities, we urge our co-religionists and others to think about the implications of a leave vote for the things about which we are most passionate. . . So many of the challenges we face today can only be addressed in a European, and indeed a global, context: combatting poverty in the developing world, confronting climate change and providing the stability that is essential to tackling the current migration crisis.
“We hope that when voting on 23rd June, people will reflect on whether undermining the international institutions charged with delivering these goals could conceivably contribute to a fairer, cleaner, and safer world.”
Surely it would be rude to laugh at these noble sentiments?
It would – if they were noble. And even if there was a smidgen of truth in them.
But the bishops are wrong to claim that leaving the EU would mean “isolation and erecting barriers.” Getting out of the EU customs union would tear down barriers between Britain and the rest of the world – with countries with which presently we are not allowed to trade, unless we pay prohibitive tariffs.
But more serious even than this – so perhaps we shouldn’t laugh after all? – is the bishops’ reference to “the things we are most passionate about.”
And what are these things? The Gospel, the Creeds, the Sacraments, Christian mission? Of course not. These men are bishops, after all. Their stated passions include “combatting poverty in the developing world.” Yes, but this is best achieved by free trade – a thing which the EU explicitly forbids.
Oh yes, and the episcopal fancy of the moment: “confronting climate change.”
The words “God, Jesus Christ, forgiveness, redemption” appear nowhere in the bishops’ letter to The Observer.
The bishops seem not to notice that the EU is not a Christian polity. In fact it is hostile to Christianity. It does not reproduce Christian symbolism in any of its documents, publicity, logos etc. Its political morality is not based on The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, but derived from the doctrines which appeared at the French Revolution, particularly the atheistic doctrine of universal rights.
The EU is militantly secular.
But then so are our bishops