Watching our words and deeds

Statement from Christians on the Left regarding antisemitic, abusive and intolerant behaviour

‘Within European culture, the root of all racism, I think is found in antisemitism. It goes back more than 1000 years in Europe. Within our Christian tradition, there has been century upon century of these terrible, terrible hatreds in which one people, who at the same time have contributed more to our culture as a people than almost any other that one can identify, that one people are also hated more specifically, more violently, more determinedly, more systematically than any other people.’ – Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury 2017

Respect, dignity, tolerance, watching our words and deeds; all things we value highly as Christians on the Left, along with the ability to disagree robustly but well and the ability to speak out against persecution and hatred.

Events over the last few months have shone a spotlight on the worst of how we behave towards one another. The unacceptable antisemitic remarks and racist behaviour displayed in public, over social media and within communities have all shown a need for relational restoration.

As Christians on the Left, we believe that antisemitic, xenophobic, racist and other personal attacks are absolutely unacceptable. 

We have a great deal of shared history and values with our friends at the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) and will be supporting the motion and debate they will be raising at the Labour Party Conference in September. Along with other socialist societies, we will also be calling on the Labour Party to review its internal disciplinary procedures.

Christians on the Left will support JLM however we can and will work with other friends and colleagues including the socialist societies to bring reforms, trust and support across the wider Labour Movement.

As Christians on the Left, we will continue to be a voice clearly stating that hatred and abuse has no place within the Labour Party.

During the election and beyond, we ask that every member keeps demonstrating how to disagree well, having a responsibility to uphold values of protecting the vulnerable and being the change in their community. Let us continue showing respect, demonstrating relational community, loving mercy, walking humbly and doing justice.

The Labour Party and the Labour Movement has a long history of fighting racism and bigotry and we must continue to fight any prejudice and campaign for a fair, equal and just society.

Submitted by 

Christians on the Left Executive

May 2017 

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