Racism is not the problem. Rebellion against God’s word is the problem.
We call on the Archbishop of Canterbury to provide spiritual leadership that aligns with the teachings of the Bible, and to acquaint himself more fully and accurately with the history of slavery and Britain’s involvement.
1. We respectfully draw the Archbishop’s attention to the fact that slavery has existed across every continent and in every culture from the beginning of history. Despite this, slavery in Britain was prohibited from 1102 (https://kentquakers.org.uk/quakers-and-the-abolition-of-the-slave-trade-the-abolition-of-slavery-a-timeline/), and while from 1640 British merchants transported slaves between Africa and the new world, it was Britain in the 19th century that led the way for the abolition of slavery, finally achieved in 1833.
Notwithstanding abolition in the West, this vicious and cruel trade continues today across Africa and Asia, with over 46 million enslaved in such places as India, China, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo etc (https://reliefweb.int/report/world/which-countries-have-highest-rates-modern-slavery-and-most-victims). Some of these unfortunates have even been brought illegally into our own country.
2. The UK Black Lives Matter movement calls for repentance and reparation for wrongs endured over two hundred years ago – but apparently accepts without comment the cruel and vicious exploitation of enslaved people today. It ignores too the fact that black people living in Britain are not the descendants of ex-slaves who have remained, but are here by choice, they or their families drawn by our culture to seek a better way of life. They have been welcomed and found work, contributing to the rich diversity of life in modern Britain, while enjoying access to our free health service and education, together with housing and financial support, where required.
There are clearly social and financial inequalities within the country, but these equally affect white people, and conditions of poverty and social injustice are issues that need to be addressed for all.
The truth is, current unrest is being exploited by activists whose aim is to undermine Western culture, using the pretext of ‘ending white supremacy’ (see: https://blacklivesmatter.com). The Archbishop’s condemnation of ‘white’ history, far from helping, can only deepen racial division and tension. We respectfully suggest that he should rather take a lead in calling for an end to the vicious and exploitative practice of slaavery across Africa and Asia, and for an end to the widespread persecution of Christians.
3. We deplore the Archbishop’s call for the removal of statues from church buildings of anyone in any way associated with or profiting from slavery two hundred years ago. This is a political judgment, and an attempt to erase British history in order to pander to a campaign that has at its heart a political, sexual and racial agenda hostile to Western culture. (https://blacklivesmatter.com/black-futures-month/).
4. The call to remove statues of Jesus, Mary and the apostles presented as white European figures has nothing to do with racism, but is an attack on Christianity (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/some-church-of-england-statues-will-have-to-come-down-says-archbishop-of-canterbury-qwpjcfhvr ). We would remind the Archbishop that every society and culture portrays religious figures as racially similar to themselves. This is not a statement of ethnic superiority, but is a way in which men and women have always related at a personal level to the divine, and is a tool for deepening faith. Thus in Japan, Jesus appears oriental, while in Africa he is portrayed as black etc. Calls for the removal of Europeanised representations are not just profoundly racist, but an attack on Christianity: which it is the Archbishop’s job to resist.
5. We call for the Archbishop, as leader of the Anglican Communion, to provide a proper spiritual lead, expressing in full the teachings of the Bible – and not a woke reinvention of generalised spirituality that focuses on a misplaced reinterpretation of justice. As taught by Jesus, we call on him to promote forgiveness on the part of those who feel they have been wronged. We remind him of the Lord’s command that when someone sins against us, we should forgive them seventy times seven (Mt 18:22), and let go the offence – as God forgives us. And that Christ Himself did this, forgiving unreservedly those who had betrayed and crucified Him. Indeed, if it had been otherwise, none of us now would be saved – and the whole of Western society, as we know it, would not exist.
6. Finally, we call upon the Archbishop of Canterbury, as leader of the Anglican Communion, to uphold in full the moral teachings of the Bible, and to reject all attempts to reinterpret or reconfigure God’s word, as set down in Scripture.
As we go forward into the new that is Britain today, it is vital that we come together as one people. There are offences – both real and imagined – on both sides, and both black and white now need to forgive one another and come together in unity, to work for the wellbeing of all. We call on the Archbishop to uphold and defend the truth of the gospel in its entirety – that he may fulfil his commission to defend the flock against attack by the evil one, and lead the sheep into the ways of righteousness.