Fear turning into hatred

As an angry and disaffected youth, back in the 1970s and 1980s, long before my subsequent change of heart and conversion to Catholicism, I had been a leading member of the National Front, which would later metamorphose into the British National Party. I was a member of the National Front’s Executive Council and its National Directorate and was Chairman of its youth movement, the Young National Front. I was sentenced to prison twice, in 1982 and 1985, for “publishing material likely to incite racial hatred,” an offence under the Race Relations Act. One of my closest friends was Nick Griffin, later to become notorious as the leader of the BNP. I was best man at Nick’s wedding and co-edited a magazine with him. Perhaps, therefore, it could be suggested that I might have a sense of déjà vu as I observe the turbulent times in which we live. In some ways, I do. The similarities are striking. And yet in many ways, and perhaps in the most important ways, things are very different today.

Racism is always evil, as is any other manifestation of hatred towards our neighbours or our enemies. Christians can never espouse racism, nor can they support with a clear conscience parties that advocate racism. It is, however, unfair to suggest that anyone who is concerned about the Islamization of Europe or about the endemic corruption and overarching imperialism of the European Union is either a racist or a xenophobe. Such language is the sort of thoughtless knee-jerk reaction that is the death of rational discourse. Furthermore, it is the sort of demonizing and stereotyping of opponents of which the racists are themselves guilty. Against such dumbing-down of the real nature of the problem, I would argue, with Pope Benedict XVI among others, that there are three mutually incompatible and inimical forces at work in the international arena: secular globalism, radical Islam, and Christian orthodoxy. As Pope Benedict highlighted in his prophetic Regensburg Address, the clash between these forces is at the troubled heart of our darkening world.

This struggle for the heart of Europe was encapsulated by a young priest, Father Jacek Międlar, at a rally of almost 100,000 patriotic Poles in Warsaw in November last year. Comparing efforts by the European Union to force Poland to accept large scale Islamic immigration, he likened the EU’s coercion of the Polish people to the oppression of the Soviet occupation.

Leftist and Islamic aggression aimed at everything Christian and national makes us very afraid … But we’re also afraid that our fear will turn into hatred. And we, as Christians, cannot let this happen. That’s why we, the Christians, want dialogue. But no one wants to talk to us, instead calling us fascists, racists, xenophobes, and infidel dogs. We can never allow this [succumbing to hatred]. We don’t want to fight with the hammer of hate they [the socialists and the Islamic fundamentalists] want to push in our hands…. We want to fight with the sword of truth. With the sword of love! With the sword of the Gospel! With the Sword that is Jesus Christ, our living Lord and Saviour.

(Joseph Pearce, What Does the Rise of Europe’s New Right Mean for Christians?) I heartily recommend it.

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.