Ekklesia reports that British far right party the BNP are to use Jesus in their next election campaign.
The poster, pictured here, quotes John 15: 20 ‘If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you’ and presents the BNP as martyrs for the Christian faith.
British churches have rightly been quick to dismiss this silly propaganda. Christine Elliot, secretary for External Relations of the Methodist Church, said, “It’s ironic that the BNP is using the world’s most famous Jew to promote its racist message.
“Our traditions have a history of promoting racial justice and inclusion and rejecting messages of hate and fear.
“It is always important that people go out and vote, especially in these extremely difficult economic times. Sadly, in the past, economic problems have been exploited by extremists as opportunities to scapegoat minorities.”
It’s true that in these straitened times, the political process does become more vulnerable to extremist fear-mongers like the BNP. I’m fascinated at the BNP’s attempts to cultivate the “Christian vote”, though I note that not all members of the party are happy about it. (I trawled some of the far-right forums. I wouldn’t recommend it) As Euro-elections approach with their traditional pitifully low turn-out, it is particularly important that the churches speak out against the BNP and make it clear that their ideology is utterly incompatible with the Christian gospel.