In a wonderful act of selective self-censorship, the Church of England has banned the clergy from joining the British National Party and the National Front on the grounds that these parties are guilty of “the sin of racism.”
They really mean it!
Racism is one of the modern seven deadly sins along with sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, elitism, social-exclusion, global-warming denial and belonging to the Nasty Party. It’s reassuring to know that the bishops will not unfrock me if I join the Communist party, despite that party’s historic contributions to general impoverishment and genocides. Indeed, some Anglican clergymen of very high rank have been members of the Communist Party.
There was Hewlett Johnson (1874-1966) who was elevated to become Dean of Canterbury. He ought to have been shot as a traitor for his continued support for the USSR even after the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact had allied Russia with the Germans with whom we were at war. The Soviets regarded him as principal among the “useful idiots” along with G.B. Shaw, H.G. Wells and Sidney and Beatrice Webb. They awarded him the oxymoronically-named International Stalin Peace Prize in 1951.
It occurs to me that there are more pertinent allegiances which ought to earn the penalty of unfrocking: not believing the fundamental doctrines of the Church, for instance. Though I guess the bishops conjectured that this would reduce the number of the clergy by quite a lot – not excluding some of the present episcopate.
This latest act of ecclesiastical puerility and political-correctness only serves to make the Church look ridiculous and to show it up once again in its true colours. Actually, the Church of England has only one colour these days: red.