The claims of the Christian Party
British Christians have firmly rejected sectarian party politics by offering almost no support at all to the Christian Party, who secured less than two per cent of the vote in each of the 71 constituencies they contested.
In addition to a right-wing economic agenda and opposition to immigration, the Christian Party supports legal and political privileges for certain forms of Christianity. Despite describing themselves as “pro-life”, they want to retain the UK's government's nuclear weapons. They also call for a reduction in the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. They justify their draconian policies on the grounds that “Britain is a Christian country”.
This sort of agenda has long been promoted by groups such as the Christian Institute and Christian Concern For Our Nation (CCFON), who like to give the impression that they represent the concerns of a large percentage of British Christians. CCFON explicitly endorsed the Christian Party's leader, George Hargreaves, who stood in Barking.
The results suggest that Christian voters, scattered throughout all constituencies, have comprehensively rejected this approach to politics.
There were several predictions that by standing in Barking, Hargreaves would take enough votes from Labour to allow the British National Party to gain the seat. In the end, he gained just over one per cent of the vote.
The Christian Party long for a return to Christendom, in which establishment Christianity was united with political and cultural power. But many other Christians can see the benefits that Post-Christendom brings. These include greater freedom to seek to follow the socially radical teachings of Christ, unfettered by compromise with wealth and privilege.
I'm very keen on seeing a greater diversity of parties on the political scene and I don't believe people should abandon their principles just because they are not popular. Hargreaves and his allies are quite entitled to campaign for their own policies and political outlook. What they must not do – after last week – is to claim that any significant number of Christian voters agree with them.
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