Monday, 9 April 2007

Outrage At The Naive Statement Made By UK Bishop of the Forces

The Roman Catholic Bishop of the Forces, the Rt Rev Tom Burns(pictured), who oversees the armed forces has provoked public outrage by praising the Iranian leadership for its "forgiveness" and "act of mercy" in freeing the 15 British sailors and marines last week. He said that the religious beliefs of the Iranians had played a large part in their decision to release the hostages. These words were echoed by a leading Anglican figure, the Right Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, who said Iran had acted within the "moral and spiritual tradition of their country" and contrasted this with Britain's "free-floating attitudes".

Bishop Burns continued ,"Faith in a forgiving God has been exemplified in action by their good deeds. They are offering to release the sailors and marines, not just as the result of diplomacy, but also as an act of mercy in accordance with their religion."

Now, with all due respect, have they lost their minds?!? I do not think these religious leaders understand that this was a premeditated capture and release. It was a PR stunt by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during which ,he humiliated the UK and forced our sailors and marines to be paraded in front of Iranian media. They were forced lie to save themselves from 7 years in prison or death. I think the bishops must have missed the part of the story where the sailor described how they were bound and blindfolded with guns being cocked. This is after the Iranians planned capture occurred where they attacked the UK ship when it was NOT in Iranian waters.I think they also are not acknowledging that these "religious Iranians" KILL and terrorize our people on a DAILY basis in the name of their religion.

The Bishop went so far as to make the following statement."The president talked about the religious background to the release, with reference to the Prophet's birthday and the passing over of Christ. What struck me was that if there were any values on the British side they were free-floating and not anchored in a spiritual and moral tradition." My comment to the Bishop is our beliefs may be "free-floating and not anchored in spiritual and moral tradition" but at least we do not blow up and terrorise innocent men women and children in the name of them!

Bishop Burns came under fierce attack yesterday for his more trusting remarks. Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, called him "naive in the extreme". He said it appeared that the bishop had been "taken in by the clever propaganda" of the Iranian regime. "This is a regime that illegally captured our servicemen and held them in quite dreadful conditions for some time. The true moral worth of a leader is in his or her deeds, not words." Dr Fox added: "I think that those who talk in religious terms while practising abduction should be judged on what they have done, not what they have said. "

I hope that both Bishops who applauded the Iranian President take note of Fox... the old saying is true, "actions speak louder than words."

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