When it comes to political villains, UKIP has been given the lion’s share of the focus in the media recently. With their highly controversial stances on issues such as immigration, the all too frequent accusations of racism and homophobia levelled at individual members of the party, and their incompetent and foolish leader, it is hardly surprising that their surprising surge in popularity is seen by many as cause for alarm. However, UKIP is not the only party with dubious policies on the political spectrum at the moment, as the manifesto of the Christian Party offers a concerning insight into the thoughts of some of the country’s more radical politicians.
With all of their policies firmly rooted in religious beliefs, the party is deeply biased and highly marginalising, prioritising only the Christian faith at the expense of all other approaches to life. This is particularly worrying when in the context of education, as many of their policies appear to advocate a form of indoctrination. Under a Christian Party government, schools would be required to enforce Christian religious worship on their pupils “with no obligation of promoting other faiths”, and schools would have to present evolution as “an alternative hypothesis, rather than falsely depicting it as a proven fact”.To completely disregard not only other faiths but also undermine what is an accepted scientific fact demonstrates the dangerously discriminatory and backward approach of the Christian Party and its supporters.
Arguably more worrying than this, however, is their view on homosexuality. On a basic level, the Christian Party promotes marriage above all else, and their website states that they want to “bring normality back to childhood” by centring sex education solely around the institution of “traditional marriage”. This is indicative of their view of homosexuality as an abnormality, a perversion which is reinforced through their health proposals, which aim to “publicise the catastrophic effect of ungodly behaviour on the life expectancy and health of people, whom God loves and we should love; particularly homosexuality, excessive drinking and the use of addictive substances”. This clearly demonstrates the intention to present homosexuality as a harmful and dangerous addiction which must be suppressed, as their manifesto also frequently refers to “the LGBT agenda”. In a country which has recently legalised gay marriage, within the Christian faith, this is a shockingly discriminatory view.
Their website further launches attacks on equality laws, on positive discrimination, on the provision of so-called “non-essential treatments” on the NHS (such as abortion and gender reassignment surgery), political correctness as a method through which the government are controlling our thoughts, on the undermining of parents’ authority over their children, on the alleged persecution of Christians in the UK… the absurd list goes on.
These policies and views put forward by this party show not only ignorance, but also demonstrate that there are still people with out-dated values who support the aggressive persecution of minorities. Aside from the fact that politics should be secular and uninfluenced by religion, in particular as we live in a multi-faith society, this party’s views are damaging and dangerous to their core.
Although having won no constituencies in the last general election, the Christian Party nevertheless has widespread support throughout the UK amongst those with strong religious beliefs. Despite the fact that they have little political power at the moment, the very existence of a party with beliefs such as this is deeply unsettling and illustrates the ingrained prejudices which must still be addressed in the promotion of equality and tolerance in our society.