NSS refers Christadelphian charities to regulator

As mentioned by a couple of commenters:
The National Secular Society has referred 10 Christadelphian charities to the Charity Commission over concerns that they promote deeply intolerant messages, despite their legal requirement to provide a public benefit.

Material posted on some of the charities' websites condones the death penalty for LGBT people and Wiccans, associates being LGBT with child abuse and rape, and promotes female subservience.

Read more here

Full report


  1. To me, this report is a reminder of how weird a fairly standard Christadelphian upbringing is. As I read through it, half of me is saying "Yes, these teachings are terrible" and half of me is saying "Yes, that's a pretty standard Christadelphian teaching - haven't they got anything more serious to accuse them of?" To take the two most common points, it may not be every single ecclesia, I'd imagine it's not news to anyone who has been significantly involved with Christadelphians that they are strongly against homosexuality and strongly for women being second class citizens (not that that's how they would express it, of course). In my experience, homosexuality was often treated as the worst possible sin around, which I didn't agree with even as a believer (I wrote more about that when writing about Alan Turing earlier this year).

    I also feel that NSS have put the worst possible construction on many of the quotes they included. I suspect that many Christadelphians, including former-me, would say about some of the quotes "That's not really what we intended by that quote" (this doesn't make the NSS wrong - even if only a percentage of Christadelphians take those words to an extreme, the words themselves are still dangerous).

    For me there are two bottom lines:
    1. As Joseph has said, these teachings are not in the public interest, and should not be getting taxpayer support. I'd be inclined to go further and say "advancement of religion" is not a charitable aim in the public interest.

    2. These teachings are supported by Bible verses, and as a result are promoted by many Christian denominations, particularly I think on the fundamentalist side, not just Christadelphians. There are usually other interpretations proposed by more liberal denominations - but while the verses are still there they will continue to be available for use to divide and to control. I would love the power to cut verses permanently out of the Bible, and if I ever got started I'm not sure how much would be left.

  2. Jon,
    Thanks for posting this as an article,as requested.
    I fail to see how the NSS have "put the worst possible construction" on any of the quotes, since they are just quotes. If the Christadelphians did not mean what they have written, then why not just change it to what they do mean?
    This is the standard defence when Christadelphianism is shown to be bad, the person at the sharp end has either done wrong, failed to understand, etc etc, pick your own excuse!
    The point here, I think, is not what Christadelphians believe, but whether or not the UK taxpayer should be funding the promotion of those beliefs by handing them tax relief that could go to other causes.
    Your second point, although true, tends along the line that "everyone does it" as a let of for Christadelphians. Very few mainstream denominations now promote these points as they are demonstrated by the report-and if they do, then the question is should they get charitable status too?
    Christadelphians always bleat that nobody listens to them. Well they have now, and have taken note, so it is up to them to explain themselves and justify the status that they are claiming.

  3. Joseph, I'll probably respond at more length on Phynnodderee's article, but to me the issue isn't what some of the quotes say, but what NSS thinks they say. I am a frequent and sometimes vocal critic of Christadelphians, but that doesn't mean I have to completely agree with other critics...

    I can see how my second point could be seen as a let-off for Christadelphians, but it's not what I intended. I'm not trying to defend them, but to understand why they teach what they do and how likely it is to stick round. Incidentally, I think I first got this point from an ex-Muslim in Infidel talking about the Qu'ran, and I suspect it could apply to almost any religious text where "taking it seriously" comes to mean "take it literally, and don't ever compromise on it".

    As far as charitable status goes, yes, if other denominations promote the same points, they should also be de-listed. And if all they are doing is advancing their own religion I would also de-list them.

  4. I'm just glad that someone is trying to expose this dangerous cult I sent the NSS a video of christadelphians being racist to help them expose the christadelphians

  5. Christadelphians have softened up in recent decades when it comes to women's rights and gay rights and similar issues. In my childhood, the message was very firmly that women were subservient to men (and the status of females remains distinctly inferior to that of men even to this day), and that gay people were subhuman monsters. Having a gay sibling, and watching that individual's face during tirades about "sodomites," both during Sunday School and during the regular service, is an indelible memory for me. It was in those moments that I observed the destructive power of hate. I also saw some of the compromised lives and suicides that resulted from this kind of hatefulness, which has only softened in recent years, not ended.

    CDs now follow most churches in saying things like: "We hate the sin, not the sinner," and "Homosexuality is just a sin, like all other sin." But in my day their approach to the topic of gay people was absolutely vitriolic and vicious, and they've just applied more lipstick to the pig, in observance of today's more progressive thinking. The message they're still selling is one of intolerance and exclusion.

    Don't believe it; the fetid undercurrents are all still there under the surface.

  6. "Hate the sin, love the sinner" is something of an improvement, but still a problem for those of us who think there's nothing wrong with it and calling it a "sin" is harmful.


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