Letter to The Times in response to CofE’s call for Christians to repent over antisemitism

Nov 22, 2019 by


Clare Foges speaks for many when she despairs of the Church of England’s pursuit of self-flagellation and ingratiation.  Apologising for events in 1260 (before the C of E existed), as the church does in this report on antisemitism, seems vacuous.

Bishop Bell’s confrontation of the antisemitism of the right in the 1930s offers an inspiring example.  In that spirit the church should defend the faithful and brave Jews who have been harassed by the left and have been driven out of the Labour Party.  The church would risk opprobrium by pointing out why.  The cause is that the Labour Party is courting an Islamic vote that is predicated on a blind antisemitism that fails to distinguish between a not unreasonable criticism of Israel’s political strategies and a hateful antisemitism.

A church that is unwilling to offend cannot defend our Jewish neighbours.  Such courage will provoke the inevitable charge of Islamophobia when the church invites Islam, as well as political left, to renounce their antisemitism.

Apologising for the past offers no excuse for failing to tell and confront the truth of the present.

The Rt Revd Dr Gavin Ashenden
Christian Episcopal Church

Read also: Church of England calls Christians to repentance over role in antisemitism, Christian Today


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