Saturday, 23 August 2014

Catholic Supporters of UKIP

I do find it odd that some Catholics support UKIP. Of course there are many legitimate reasons why a Catholic could desire to see Britain leave the European Union. The EU is a secular institution that is not particularly Christian. It is an institution that has plenty of faults. To my knowledge there is nothing in Catholic teaching that requires one to support the European Union. Yet I still feel slightly puzzled by Catholics who support UKIP and also Catholic Tories who take a militantly anti-EU stance.

I suppose my main reason for feeling this way is my own experience. At one time, I was part of a Protestant fundamentalist organisation that was fiercely opposed to the European Union. We believe that the EU was not just a bureacratic muddle, but part of a sinister Catholic conspiracy. Being militantly anti-EU went together with being anti-Catholic.

The identification of Catholicism with those sinister continentals is nothing new. British anti-Catholicism has generally been accompanied by a suspicion of foreign things. Catholicism was perceived until recently as something foreign and un-British. I suppose that has changed, which is why some Catholics feel comfortable identifying with the narrow Little Englander vision that UKIP represents. It still seems perplexing to me.

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