Imagine my surprise!
Well, have you imagined it?
What’s that? You want a reason? OK well imagine that yesterday morning it’s early. Too early. That’s not the reason – I wake up early every bloody morning including Sunday. Nor was it the fact that OH made tea early: that was no surprise either. This is my life – everything is early. Nope, the surprise was that as he came in with the tray the news also entered the room that the Church of the Martyrs was on the radio. Not local radio, national. Radio 4.
Let’s backtrack a little. Immigration is a big subject for debate at the moment. The other week I had a disagreement with someone who thought there was a link between the churches and far-right groups. No, I said. Absolutely not. Maybe in the US but not here; in the UK, churches of whatever persuasion would not touch far-right groups with a bargepole. And I stand by that – but the programme (which was also on the TV) gave me pause for thought; because it appears that 66% of Anglicans want immigration to be reduced. That’s 66% of churchgoing Anglicans, not people who just put ‘C of E’ on application forms without ever setting foot inside the porch. The figure for non-churchgoing Anglicans is 88%, which is more understandable, but the figure of 66% is quite concerning because it means Anglicans are more hostile to immigration than other denominations.
First on the programme was Billy Graham’s son Franklin, who defended his attendance at Trump’s inauguration by saying, in effect, ‘no-one’s perfect’ and declaring that God intervened to appoint Trump as President.
it’s about 7 minutes in.
The recording of The Martyrs came as a breath of fresh air. It was made during a recent ‘Tomatoes’ breakfast cafe about which I have blogged many times:
and talking about a Christian duty to welcome the stranger and the refugee. It included an interview with Evernice, whom I know well, who is a refugee from East Africa and now a valued member of the church. There was also an interview with vicar Richard who reiterated the point about the Christian duty to welcome the stranger. It never ceases to amaze me how people can ignore key aspects of the gospel when it suits their particular prejudices.