How can we avoid becoming like what we fight against? That’s the nagging question I’m left with after Question Time last night.
Most of the ideas and policies of the BNP, it seems to me, are a mix of the ridiculous and the reprehensible, the delusional and the dangerous. So I’m really concerned that the manner and the actions of the audience, the panel and the chair may have served to portray Nick Griffin and the BNP as victims. Now he can say with some justice that he was bullied, and bullying is of course a fascist tactic.
Fr Richard Rohr warns people of liberal politics like him and me that we can ‘become as power-seeking and controlling and dominating as our oppressors’. My hunch is that Nick Griffin would have revealed the extent to which his policies are based on fear, division and untruths of his own accord last night, if he was given space. Instead he was kept from answering truly important questions by some of the very tactics that most of us deplore and which we identify with far-right parties.
How can we avoid becoming like what we fight against? Perhaps it starts in the area of our own personal transformation. The teacher Jesus seemed to suggest that we need to learn to resist evil with stillness, mercy and even love. Tough stuff, particularly because, I suppose, it needs to start here, now, with me.