May 20, 2008
Christian Fundamentalism exposed in the UK
Both the Torygraph and Channel 4 have done some excellent reporting here, and it is well worth drawing your attention to.
I didn't watch the Dispatches documentary last, unfortunately. However, I did manage to see almost all of it on YouTube today, and what I saw was pretty incredible.
I should point out I'm not exactly a newbie to fundamentalism of any sort. I've read Sayyid Qutb, I've more than a few times taken part in Discordian trickery or O:MF against American religious fundamentalists, and I've studied the problems of religious and political extremism with some very talented forensic psychiatrists and political thinkers. So I'm fairly well grounded when it comes to extremism.
I'm just shocked when I see it in the UK.
I know we've had Muslim extremists and fascist extremists in the past, and they're all subjects I've kept an eye on, if I haven't commented too often. But in the UK, Christianity, insofar as it exists, is generally seen by most people here and abroad as a benign affair - especially when you consider the two major contrasts are American evangelical preachers and people like Abu Hamza.
Despite the occasional crazy statement from the Christian Lawyer's Association, or the inane campaign from Nadine Dorries (of which we will see the possible results tonight, when the House of Commons votes on whether to restrict abortions to 20 weeks down from 24), we've always seen these people as mostly nutty individuals.
So this was quite enlightening, showing the networks that are allowing for fundamentalist Christianity to spread through the country. How American groups have infiltrated in part the faith schools - a legacy of Tony Blair's - and the potential, in terms of legal ability, size and influence these groups could have. I was most unhappy to see such people conferring with Norman Tebbit for example (mainly because I hoped the old bastard was dead, to be fair).
While I'm too unmotivated at the moment to go digging any deeper into the topic than this, I may in the coming weeks look more into the personalities and structures of these groups - where they get their funding from, who runs them and precisely how much influence they have. Between them and the Muslim fanatics, they do seem intent on staging a Clash of the Civilizations in the UK - and their rhetoric feeds indirectly into BNP political support, even if on other issues they may disagree.
So yes, these people are a concern and although they may be small in numbers and have little say in the mainstream Conservative Party, especially under Cameron, the harsh light of publicity will do them, and me, the world of good.