Interesting little snippet from Westminster yesterday where during a discussion on clergy discipline measures there was a surprising reluctance to deal with the recent Arthur Redfern ruling . You will remember that the General Synod of the Church of England recently adopted some rather vicious and distinctly un-Christian legislation justifying the instantaneous dismissal of people aligned to the BNP.
It seems though as if North Oxfordshire Conservative MP Tony Baldry was aware of the inconsistencies even if he didn't spill the beans to his fellow committee members:
Sir Tony Baldry: Let me help my hon. Friend. This is a very specific proposal. Church of England clergy are entitled to take part in political activities. There is no restriction on their taking part in political activities. Indeed, when I was worshipping up in Leeds not so long ago, I noticed that behind the pews were a lot of Liberal party banners. This was at St Aidan’s. Clearly, the clergyman there was a keen supporter of the Liberal party. I know of no political party as such that actively has it as part of its purpose to discriminate against people on grounds of sexual orientation. Some political parties, such as the British National party or parties that tend to reconfigure and have different names, seek to discriminate against people on grounds of race. This is a very specific provision to deal with a very specific mischief. It says that it would be unacceptable for a Church of England cleric to be a member of, or associated with, a political party that sought to discriminate against people on grounds of race.
With regards the excommunication of BNP members originally voted on by the General Synod one wonders how many past and present sex offenders were responsible in some way for that decision. If members of the clergy wanted to cover up or continue their careers in paedophilia then it makes sense to shut out those who would potentially blow the whistle.