Friday, November 10, 2006


"Longrider" has written a brilliant article about the "white poppy" issue.

He describes Jonathan Bartley of Ekklesia as a sanctimonous arsehole. Quite rightly, in my opinion.

Here's Longriders article

A religious think-tank said today that red poppies have become “politically correct,” with many people wearing them simply because they feel obliged.

Public figures in Britain are urged to wear the red poppy almost as an “article of faith” while simultaneously being told not to wear items such as the crucifix, the director of Ekklesia, Jonathan Bartley, said.

He added that although a symbol of hope, the red poppy was not a good Christian symbol because it implied redemption can come through war.

Jonathan Bartley is a sanctimonious arsehole. There is nothing “politically correct” about the red poppy. It is a reminder of the fallen on the fields of Flanders during the Great War – and, subsequently, their comrades in more recent conflicts. For this loathsome group to attempt to pervert the red poppy in this manner is deeply, deeply insulting to the war dead and the surviving veterans. I don’t give a damn whether the red poppy of Remembrance Day is a good Christian symbol or not. It isn’t a symbol of religious faith at all; it is a symbol of remembrance; of sacrifice and irreplaceable loss. Of the gift, given by one generation that the next may live free. It does not and never has represented redemption through war. That is merely Bartley and his odious cohorts projecting their ridiculous prejudices on something that they do not, nor cannot understand; the honour and the legacy of the fallen. They disgrace themselves and slur the memory of the dead with their cheap tactics.

But whilst apparently banned from wearing one symbol of hope, the cross, public figures in Britain are simultaneously urged, indeed in many cases, required, to wear another, the red poppy, almost as an article of faith.

There is a political correctness about the red poppy, which often goes unnoticed.
Oh, what utter, utter bollocks! Wearing the poppy (besides contributing to help veterans) is a symbol of remembrance, of gratitude for the sacrifice; a way of saying “thank you”. You don’t need faith to wear a poppy. You don’t need faith to be grateful for a generation’s sacrifice. You don’t need faith to hope that the sacrifice was not in vain. To draw a comparison with the current silliness over religious symbols is nothing more than cheap point scoring and typical of the persecution complex trotted out by the religious at every tiresome opportunity.

Mr Bartley’s remarks come in advance of Remembrance Sunday on November 12 and will anger war veterans.

Undoubtedly. Should he ever enquire, I have a suggestion as to what the egregious Bartley may do with his white poppy.

I, meanwhile, intend to honour the fallen with a red poppy. In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row by row,That mark our place; and in the skyThe larks, still bravely singing, flyScarce heard among the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe;To you from failing hands we throwThe torch; be yours to hold it high.If yea break faith with us who dieWe shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have a listen to the Remembrance podcast on iTunes or the Royal British Legion blog. It's a good way to remember.