You probably haven’t heard of the Christian Peoples Alliance (since they were founded in 2000 and have a whopping 374 followers on Twitter), but you have likely heard of their policies. They’re against gay marriage and abortion, and their leader Sid Cordle has called Islam a “false religion.”
Because the BBC is obligated to give airtime to all political parties in the run-up to an election, Cordle was interviewed about his beliefs and attempted to explain that his party isn’t “anti-gay and anti-Islam”… at least when it comes to individuals.
“We’re not against the people. We stand for the principles. And the principles as far as homosexuality is concerned, we believe that we should protect marriage, which should be between a man and a woman because it’s there for the children… and homosexual couples can’t…”
Interrupted by the interviewer, Cordle was asked if his views could be seen as “homophobic.”
“No. As far as we’re concerned, it’s about protecting children. And that’s our priority.”
Regarding Islam, Cordle said the Christian Peoples Alliance’s policy was “open debate.”
“We want open debate in universities, in schools… open debate on television.”
We should all be open to debating Islamic beliefs, but as with many Christian Right types, Cordle routinely talks about blocking Muslims from worshiping freely like Christians can, even opposing the building of mosques in some cases.
Cordle, who was quoted as calling Islam a “false religion,” defended the remarks without embracing them.
“I’ve spent 10 years studying the Qur’an. I know full well what it says. The Qur’an says you should cut off the heads of disbelievers… it says you should kill disbelievers. It also says that if in a woman you should find disobedience, [she] should be beaten.”
Maybe if he read the Bible, he’d know there are plenty of disturbing, violent passages in there too. When it comes to Islam, he assumes believers must take everything literally; when it comes to Christianity, different interpretions are acceptable.
Cordle, who is pro-Brexit, was also asked if it was “God’s will” for Britain to leave the European Union. In his response, he stated that all of the party’s positions should be in accordance with his deity’s wishes.
“Everything we do is a matter of asking God and talking to God. One of the fundamentals of the Christian Peoples Alliance is Jesus said, ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.’ So absolutely we pray about everything that we put forward, and we seek to only put forward things that were called into God’s will.”
When asked about the party’s stance on abortion, Cordle said women who are thinking about it should be forced to look into other options.
“Our policy, basically, is that people should have to look at alternatives. Everyone that’s considering an abortion should have to consider the alternative of adoption. And we also believe that life should be protected from conception, so a fetus has rights, rights not to suffer pain and to be abused.”
When prodded a second time on whether those who consider alternatives and still choose abortion will be subject to criminal charges, Cordle deflected.
“It’s a criminal offense at the moment… if you kill a baby after 26 weeks. And it’s quite right that that should be maintained, because a fetus should have rights. So of course there will be a criminal aspect to it.”
Toward the end of the interview, Cordle was challenged by Guardian writer Owen Jones regarding his positions on gay marriage and Islam.
“The Bible and every other religious document has some pretty unsavory things anybody could quote, including about homosexuality, but also about genocide and mass murder. There are millions of Muslims like, for example, the mayor of this great city of London, who fought for the rights of LGBT people against the sort of bigotry that you represent, who believe in a secular democracy with equal rights for all.”
The allotted time ended before the politician could respond, but not before he accused the network of offering “fake news.”
At least in the UK, unlike in the U.S., this fringe group has no real political power. They have no seats in Parliament, and only a few elected seats in local governments. The “peoples alliance” is a statement of desire, not reality, kind of like the Religious Right group One Million Moms.
(Thanks to Keith for the link)