Tory MP: Church of England Should Stop Preaching on Migrants

Archbishop of Canterbury
Justin Welby / Lambeth Palace

A Conservative Member of Parliament has slammed the Anglican Church for its hypocritical, liberal preaching on the migration crisis. He says the Church should be doing more to integrate newcomers into the British way of life, including teaching them about God.

David Davies, MP for Monmouth in Wales has hit back at the woolly, liberal stance the Anglican Church has taken on migration and so many other issues. In a hard-hitting article headlined “Anglican leaders should preach word of God, not word of the Guardian,” published on his own website, Davies tore into both the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Wales for preaching an open doors migration policy, instead of the Gospel.

“How wonderfully saintly it must feel to sleep at night with an easy conscience knowing you have roundly condemned the wicked politicians and bigots who worry about mass migration without actually having to take difficult decisions yourself and live with the consequences,” he said.

“However, it will not fill the pews. A recent poll shows that immigration is the issue of greatest concern to the population, much more so than “climate change” – an issue about which the Church seems unduly obsessed even though Biblical stories of plagues and floods appear to suggest inclement weather is not something particularly new.”

He perhaps had in mind the Archbishop of Canterbury’s recent New Year’s message, in which the Archbishop urged Britain to do more to welcome migrants into Britain. “Jesus was a refugee – fleeing as a baby with his parents, returning years later to a strange new ‘home’. He tells us to be those who welcome the alien and stranger, the poor and weak. As a nation we have always done so. In today’s world hospitality and love are our most formidable weapons against hatred and extremism,” he said.

That message came hot on the heels of a Christmas message the Archbishop posted on Facebook, which began: “This year has been an extremely tough one for so many people and communities in this country. In particular I think of our Muslim brothers and sisters who’ve felt pressured to defend themselves in the wake of horrendous attacks carried out so outrageously in their name.”

No mention was made of the hundreds of thousands of Christians suffering persecution across the world.

“If Anglican leaders spent a bit more time listening to their rapidly diminishing flocks, they would discover that people want to help genuine refugees but are deeply concerned by the implications of the open door immigration policy which the Church seems to want.”

Those implications include financial costs such as the impact of mass immigration on the health and education budgets as well as the direct costs of housing and benefits; diminishing wages, especially for the lower waged; and of course environmental costs.

“The hundreds of thousands who arrive each year and the hundreds of thousands more who the Church want will need houses, roads and workplaces which need to be built in our decreasing number of green areas,” he said

“Major building projects always attract local protests. Ironically they are often led by an unholy coalition of the very same left-wing politicians and left-wing clergy who create the need to build through their demands for higher immigration levels.”

Flinging the Bible back at those such as the Archbishop who argue that Jesus was a refugee, or who use the parable of the Good Samaritan to preach no borders, Davis exhorts them to read it more closely: “Joseph took his family with him when he fled, unlike the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants in Europe today who are mainly young men and who, if they are genuinely fleeing the modern day equivalent of Herod, seem happy to leave their wives, sisters and children behind to fend for themselves,” he says scathingly.

“The government is rightly doing an enormous amount to help genuine refugees from Syria. … Yet nothing will be enough for campaigning clerics who contrast our policy unfavourably with that of the Good Samaritan.

“They should re-read the parable: When the Samaritan came across the Jew on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho, he didn’t take him on to Samaria. Instead, he paid for him to be looked after in the Inn – the nearest place of safety, just as we are doing today throughout the Middle East in our refugee shelters.”

But Mr Davies’ biggest criticism came in relation to the cultural cost of welcoming so many newcomers in such a short space of time, and the Church’s silence in the face of the spread of non-British customs in this country. On that, he accused the church of being un-Biblical.

“The Old Testament makes clear that foreigners living in the land of Israel were expected to obey the laws and customs of the land. It’s a message we don’t hear much of today.

“Prelates happily take to the airwaves or the comment page of the Guardian to preach multiculturalism and mass migration, but how willing are they to preach Christianity to those who have just arrived in this country and have never heard the word of God? Especially to those whose values are far removed from ours?

“Yet isn’t this exactly what the leaders of the Christian faith should be doing? Jesus was not afraid to deliver a difficult message to those around him. Vacuous left-wing sermons condemning a government for upholding border controls is not a difficult message.”

Church leaders should take a leaf out of Jesus’ book, he says, and “confront in person those whose religious values condemn women and gays to being, at best, second class citizens and who would do harm to those converting to Christianity.” Only then would they “be truly walking in the footsteps of He who turned over the tables of the money changers.

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