I read with interest the Peter Roberts article you published on 16 April, a ‘letter’ to Jacob Rees Mogg asking him not to make his usual Easter Tweet. As we all know, he went ahead, quoting from the Easter liturgy: “Christ is risen, Alleluia. He is risen indeed, Alleluia, Alleluia.”
As a practising Catholic, I celebrate these words, but I do NOT need to hear them from such an utter hypocrite as Rees Mogg. Therefore, I felt that I had to write to agree with what Peter Roberts says about the sheer hypocrisy of Rees-Mogg and his sickly professions of Christianity.
Rees Mogg is not the only Tory who claims, hypocritically, to be a practising Catholic. Of particular note are Ian Duncan Smith and Ann Widdecombe: the attitudes and policies of both in no way chime with true Christianity and Catholicism. Then there was the cycnical way that Boris Johnson miraculously rediscovered the faith into which he was originally baptised just to be able to marry his nth wife in Westminster Cathedral: I explored this in a Catholic marriage of convenience.
British politicians are not the first nor the only hypocrites to have wrapped themselves in the cloak of religion, to justify their cruel and outrageous behaviour and policies. General Franco suddenly became a fervent Catholic when he needed to court the Church in Spain to support his rebellious Civil War and subsequent dictatorship. As stated in a WCV article published on 25 February 2021, Democracy breaks up from the inside: “As if by a miracle, he suddenly ‘became’ a devout Catholic, having previously been indifferent to religion!” Then within the past few weeks we have been presented with the image of Vladimir Putin apparently praying in church, and gaining approval from the Russian Orthodox Church for his violent and cruel invasion of Ukraine. Hypocrisy.
However, Rees Mogg has made an absurdist art-form of religious hypocrisy. Just two very recent statements suffice to exemplify this:
First, Rees Mogg’s defence of Johnson over the Partygate scandals and the fine imposed on him. Rees-Mogg said the prime minister was “in his own garden, not at boozy parties.” Amazing that the police think otherwise, but then Rees Mogg’s attitude of entitled, arrogant superiority would not consider that relevant. With supporters like this, why should Johnson admit that he has done wrong in lying to Parliament and accept the consequences? Compare this with the way Jesus Christ accepted the sentence resulting from trumped-up charges against him. During Holy Week in Vélez Málaga, one of the Semana Santa processions features ‘La Sentencia’, representing Christ’s humble acceptance of his sentence for the sake of redeeming Humankind’s sins.
Second, as reported in various news outlets, “Jacob Rees-Mogg has defended the government’s plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda as “almost an Easter story of redemption”. How on earth can any Christian with half a brain and an iota of conscience make such a ridiculous statement? How could he possibly liken Patel’s wicked proposal to deal with asylum seekers in this way to Jesus Christ taking on himself the sins of Humankind to provide Redemption?
I will leave the final word to His Holiness the Pope, who chose the name Francis, the saint of Assisi who epitomises humility and gave his riches away and devoted himself to the poor and downtrodden:
“You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian. You cannot be a Christian without practising the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25. It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help. If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.”