Thou shalt not bear false witness

The ninth commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness” forbids speaking falsely in any matter, lying, equivocating, and any way devising and designing to deceive our neighbour.

It would be tiresome to apply that to, and comment on, the serial failures to observe it over on the Backing Fracking Facebook page, but yesterday we were stopped in our tracks by an exchange we read. Here it is in full.

For those of you who do not know Michael Roberts, as well as being one of the admins on the farcical Backing Fracking Facebook page, is also a semi-retired Church of England vicar. Yet here he is not only denying having made a statement which is on record, and claiming to be misrepresented,  but accusing the other person of lying about him having made it! That seems like odd behaviour for a man of the cloth.

There can be no doubt that he made the statement “Not next to me, I think it would need to be several hundred yards away from the nearest house. Exactly how far I don’t know” . He can be heard making it in a recorded Radio Lancashire interview here, about 2 minutes and 40 seconds in:

The Reverend Roberts has just been appointed HfD (House for Duty) Priest in Charge at St Anne’s church in Woodplumpton

We wonder what the local parishioners will make of the man who will be now be delivering their Sunday sermons?

Of course it is entirely possible that Michael did not intentionally set out to mislead and that the inconsistency between observable facts and his claims is due to something else.

In that case his new flock may be grateful for the final provision of clause 3.5 of the Church of England’s House For Duty Guidance

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