On Thursday 16th May -Robert Halfon took up the deceitful cause of the Exclusive Brethren yet again – but his passion is flawed because he can’t even get their name right.
“Does my Hon. friend agree that the Christian Brethren, who carry out many charitable acts that benefit the public, have been discriminated against by the Charities Commission, which has significant implications for religious freedom? They have been refused charitable status and that has resulted in a lengthy appeals process. Does this not have wider implications for other faith groups?”
Let me answer the question more emphatically than those in the House did – and could.
For a start Honorable member- the group you claim have been ‘discriminated against’ are now called the Plymouth Christian Brethren- but have been known as the Exclusive Brethren up until the end of last year. So let’s at least get their name right lest we victimise some other ‘faith group’ – like the real Plymouth Brethren, whom they broke away from over 150 years ago.
Their charitable acts, Hon. Gentlemen, are a PR stunt – designed to confuse you. They have done nothing even remotely charitable for over 50 years – until this hornet’s nest was stirred up by the C.C. when they sought more information on the true nature of this sect.
It should have implications for other ‘faith groups’ -because every church has to be transparent in its operations and real social charter. It certainly does not affect those that have operated effectively and helped mankind for as long as they have been in existence.
Might I suggest to the Honorable Robert Halfon that he attend Communion at his nearest Exclusive Brethren hall. Like he can with most ‘faith groups.” The Exclusive Brethren won’t let him in the door! Better still – take some of your Honourable friends with you so they can see too.
I would also point out the Honorable Gentlemen that not all ‘faith groups’ are good. Some are evil and cruel. Take the ‘innocent’ religious endeavours of the ‘faith groups’ led by the Rev Jim Jones and the Man of God David Koresh -who changed his name from Vernon Howell because he was a direct descendant of King David, in much the same way as the Brethren’s leaders are a continuation of the Pauline line (as in Saint Paul).
Both of these ‘faith groups’ were separatist – like the Brethren – they also garnered their followers assets and cash resources, they closed themselves off from the world and they wrote their own set of stringent rules for their followers. And their collapse -because a politician or two did have the wisdom to ask some questions and investigate them – resulted in the deaths of 985 people and generations of adversely affected families.
Not all ‘faith groups’ are good Minister. Some are bad and deserve the ‘discrimination’ and a ‘lengthy appeals process’.
Worse- Honourable Member – you insult every person who has been adversely affected by this group, by blindly supporting them without understanding the reality of their dishonesty and the damage they have done to so many.
If you knew this – and the facts are readily available to you – you might start pushing a more worthy barrow of support.