At a time when war against Iraq looms ever closer, Britain's Church Leaders are uniting to show solidarity….with Saddam. Recent weeks have brought shrill statements from the religious establishment warning against any US/UK led attempt to use force to remove Hussein's malignant dictatorship.
The leader of British Roman Catholics, Cardinal Murphy O'Connor, said "The need to avoid war is a cornerstone of Christian teaching." He said military action was only acceptable in the face of a grave and imminent threat and when "there is no other means to achieve the just end of disarming Iraq". Cardinal Murphy O'Connor called for an end to sanctions against Saddam Hussein's regime and for Iraq to be offered a "positive incentive" to comply with United Nations Security Council demands. He stopped short of suggesting Iraq be given a seat on the Security Council, but it is clear where he is coming from.
The leader of the 70 million world wide Anglican community, Archbishop of Canterbury designate Rowan Williams, has given an early sign of robust political involvement by signing a statement against war on Iraq. The Christian Declaration, with nearly 3,000 names including those of other Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops, was handed to the British government on Hiroshima Day, Aug. 6, -- the 57th anniversary of the world's first use of a nuclear weapon in an act of war.
Coinciding with reports that the United States, with possible British support, is preparing detailed war plans to remove Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the declaration described an attack on Iraq as "immoral and illegal." It said: "It is deplorable that the world's most powerful nations continue to regard war as an acceptable instrument of foreign policy, in violation of both the United Nations and Christian teaching."
The declaration was organised by Pax Christi, the international Catholic movement for peace and was published in the weekly Roman Catholic journal, The Tablet.
Meanwhile, Scotland's senior Protestant cleric, Dr. Finlay Macdonald, moderator of the Church of Scotland, said Parliament should be recalled if there was any prospect of committing British troops to a war in Iraq. In a letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair, Mr. Macdonald said there should be "no question of the United Kingdom becoming involved in military action against Iraq that does not have the support of the United Nations."
The unspeakable moral equivocation behind these statements issued by the British religious elite helps explain why Christianity in the United Kingdom has dwindled to the point of virtual extinction. The only higher authority that this ragbag band of apostates appears to recognise is the United Nations.
They delight in a disgraceful moral equivocation which in turn is seized upon by the leftist British media as the "moral" argument against removing the beast of Baghdad. The truth is that there is little that is recognisably "moral" left in the British established Churches.
(The post above appeared on the British blog "A Tangled web" on 17TH November 2002 but is unknown to Google. The blog concerned has moved sites a couple of times so the post may be really lost. The present site for the blog is here)