web analytics


By ATWadmin On November 9th, 2006

poppy.jpgI wonder what you make of the comments from the director of Ekklesia, Jonathan Bartley, who has claimed that although a symbol of hope, the red poppy was not a good Christian symbol because it implied redemption can come through war?  

"The Christian tradition, and specifically the crucifix, have a great deal in common with the poppy,"

He made this wild claim in an article for this week’s edition of the Anglican newspaper The Church Times.

Now then – let’s be kind and assume that poor Bartley is just plain daft. But one has to wonder why the Anglican Church itself gives this puerile nonsense such a platform at this time of the year? Are they just trying to boost declining readership by permitting liberal driven controversy into the headlines? Or, might it be that those at the top of the Anglican Church also share Bartley’s distaste for the Red Poppy?

Wearing the Red Poppy is an expression of remembrance, of solemnly honouring those in our Armed Forces who have given their lives that we may be free.  There is a section within the apostate Anglican Church that is unrelentingly pacifist, that opposes the idea that we might actually have to fight for our liberties. They would do better to wear white flags than white poppies.


  1. A bit of a slap in the face to the Shiks, Hindus, Moslems and astheists from the commonwealth and empire who traveled around the globe to fight and die for Britain in Christian vs. Christian wars.

  2. "There is a section within the apostate Anglican Church that is unrelentingly pacifist, that opposes the idea that we might actually have to fight for our liberties. They would do better to wear white flags than white poppies"

    I know that you consider yourself to be a man of faith David, I thought that, unlike those nasty Muslims, Christianity was supposedly the religion of peace?.

    But tell me what regiment did you serve in David?…

    Yeah, I thought as much. As long as it’s someone else that has to do the fighting, (and dying), eh?

  3. WOCI,

    Learn to read the Bible and you might understand that fighting for that which is right is the correct thing to do. Flying commercial aircraft into tall buildings, blowing up disco’s, detonating on the underground, THAT kind of thing so preferred by the ROP, is plain evil.

  4. Talk about a hypocrite, – he accuses DV of all sorts, but doesn’t have the nerve to give his real name, preferring to hid behind a trite pseudonym.

    Easy to make snide remarks when there is no fear of a comeback. What a spineless creature this person is!

  5. Totally agree with you EY…and who are you Weapons of Crass etc.,, What nonsense this charade re poppies is. Have they got nothing better to do with their time. I think we should ignore the whole thing, don’t give any importance to crass statements.

  6. Maggie,

    You’re probably right.But I drive past the local village cenotaph each morning, and I do look at it and reflect on those ordinary people who gave their lives that we could enjoy our liberty. It makes you feel so humble. And I suppose when I read the warblings of the White Poppy brigade, I get annoyed.

  7. Does the red poppy imply that redemption comes through war? I’ve never heard that. I have always seen it as purely our country’s chosen symbol of rememberence of those who have fallen in military service with no other politicised meaning. I don’t know what this man is on about at all.

  8. Colm, I agree totally with your sentiment re service without a political agenda.

    Reading about the Health and Safety edict from the Poppy distibutors, that collectors should not pin the Poppy on donors coats, made me wonder whether all that sacrifice was really worth it.

    One of the pillars of ‘Sevice without Politics’ succumbing to the very worst of Political Correctness, all very sad!…

  9. Maggie,

    On the surface it may appear to be a ‘waste of time’,

    Did you know that the British Legion, is the sole source of help for the majority of Service veterans. The majority of their funding comes from the sale of Poppies, it is a charity and receives no help from the Government. All of those folk standing outside Tescos’, are volunteers.

    To many disabled vets it is their lifeline. That the Government sees fit to ignore their responsibilities to vets of the armed forces, is an utter disgrace.

    The Police have far better pension and disability rights than any of the Armed Forces, but then they are the bureacrats ‘protectors’, and need to be kept ‘on-side’.

    So yes, they do have better things to do with their time, instead of sellings bits of red plastic and paper, I am sure they would rather be doing their job of caring for the Vets.

    So please, whatever your political feelings are, don’t ignore the real purpose behind those bits of red plastic…

  10. I’ve just blogged on this issue. Red poppies do not celebrate war, they commemorate those brave enough to give their blood for peace. Sounds pretty Christian to me.

  11. I’d always thought the poppy was chosen to recall those poppies that grow so abundantly in France and Belgium, on or close to the military cemeteries. Wrong then.

    Thank you, Ernest, for the heads-up. It’s criminal that the poppy sellers are a charity. Until such time as the government properly honours our fallen and the survivors, I’ll give more generously.

  12. Ernest

    I think Maggie was only saying that the comments and views and controversy stirred up by this Mr Bartley was a waste of time and not worth responding to. I don’t think she was dismissing the fine tradition of red poppy selling and wearing.

  13. Fanny

    I don’t think you are wrong about the reason the poppy was chosen as a symbol. It is I believe to do with the poppy fields of places like Flanders and other first world war battlefields in Northern France and Belgium.

  14. make the political and economic elite the first on the frontline of every conflict.

    war would become a thing of the past, overnight.

  15. She wasnt Ernest. Youve read into the statement wrong. I think youll find Maggie was suggesting we marginalise people who would try to undermine the poppy statement.

    And yes it is symbolic of the bloody battlefields in Flanders – the red poppy become a symbol of death, renewal and life. The seeds of the flower remain dormant in the earth for years apparently, but will blossom spectacularly when the soil is churned. The battlefields of Northern France and Flanders were the scene of bloody warfare. Red poppies appeared in the same fields after the war.

  16. Maggie,

    Please accept my apologies for misunderstanding your comment…

  17. Just a quote from the article in question:

    "The think tank points out that both the red poppy and the cross of Christ are symbols of sacrifice, but while one embodies the idea that violence can be redemptive, the other shows that absorbing rather than inflicting it is what lies at the heart of the Gospel"

    It would seem that masochism is at the heart of Christianity, – if these folk are to be believed. The days of hair shirts and self-flagellation will soon be back with us.

    That the poppy is a symbol of ultimate sacrifice, seems to have been completely missed by ‘the Think Tank’. Their obsession with anti-war rhetoric seems to be at the expense of their sense of logic.

    The link is here:

  18. Libbie,

    You’re quite right – but there are some in the Anglican Church who would not recognise Christianity in any guise.


    Well said.


    Yes, the obsession with being "anti-war" tops everything!

  19. Backward Christian Soldiers should be the new tune. Good Lord, you would think an extreme leftwinger would like anything "Red".

  20. The poppy became a symbol of that lost generation from, I remember once reading, the poem "In Flanders Fields", written on the battlefield by the Canadian medic John McCrea

    "In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row .."

    It was published (in Punch!) in December 1915 and became very popular that Christmas. It was later set to music (and even later printed on a Canadian stamp) and became even more moving when McCrea himself later died in action. McCrea was describing the scene exactly as he saw it, and the symbolism of the poppy, if at all, was originally because of its colour but for its alleged soporific effect, as shown in the last lines:

    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

  21. = was originally NOT because of its colour

  22. "The poppy became a symbol of that lost generation from, I remember once reading, the poem "In Flanders Fields", written on the battlefield by the Canadian medic John McCrea"

    John McCrea’s reinforced concrete aid station and surgery are still standing, just outside ypres in belgium. i strongly recommend taking a tour of the ypres salient. from the cloth hall in the town centre to the barely discernible high ground of paschendale. its a depressing but worthwhile visit. make sure to pay your respects at the german graveyard too.

    farmers still plough up tons of shells to this day.

  23. Daytripper, it was stitting outside that aid station looking at the new graves just in front of him (one of which had just been dug for a friend) that McCrea composed his poem.

    I must look it up next time I’m passing.

  24. What is the Anglican Church apostate from?

  25. Christ.

    Next question…?

  26. Just found this interesting article on the origins of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance of the war dead, which … ahem.. confirms what I wrote at 3:40 yesterday.

    Mahons will no doubt also be pleased to note that the idea, like so much else, started in New York!