I was going to write on this insane story out of the UK, but Rod Dreher captures my thoughts precisely and so I’ll just excerpt his:
The Rev. Dr. Bernard Randall is a Church of England priest who worked as a chaplain at a private British school, one founded on the Evangelical tradition, where an LGBT activist gave a rousing talk on the importance of “smashing heteronormativity” and suchlike. In a subsequent sermon, he told students that there was nothing wrong with them if they disagree with LGBT ideology. The school reported him to the government’s anti-terrorism agency. The program to which he was reported is one in which people are encouraged to report those believed to be at risk of radicalism and terrorism. The agency ruled that the vicar was not a terrorism risk. But that wasn’t the end of the story. Excerpt:
Dr Randall, a former Cambridge University chaplain and Oxford graduate, claims that the school later told him that any future sermons would be censored in advance. He also claims that he was warned his chapel services would be monitored ‘to ensure that… requirements are met’. Dr Randall was later dismissed. He is suing for discrimination, harassment, victimisation and unfair dismissal and his case is due to be heard next month. ‘My career and life are in tatters,’ he said.
Campaigners said the case was one of the most extraordinary of its kind and raised disturbing questions about freedom of speech. Former Education Minister Sir John Hayes said, if the claims are proved, the school had ‘behaved appallingly’.
Or maybe when it came to inviting Educate and Celebrate to Trent College, it wasn’t thought to have anything to do with religion. It’s just about be friendly to LGBT+ people. Who can object to that? And the answer of course, is no one. Certainly not me.
But the Christian tradition has plenty of resources to help navigate such conundra as making sure that there is no tolerance for bullying — we’ve all heard of “Love your neighbour as yourself.” How about supporting teenagers as they work out what their identity is, and how they fit into the world. “Made in the image of God,” anyone?
And if something needs adding to this, then, yes, let’s have that discussion. But if you want to import a different belief system into the school, don’t expect the chaplain to sit idly by. And make no mistake, this is a different belief system. The sign was writ large on that day of staff training. You couldn’t miss it. It said that the Equality Act protected characteristics include “gender,” and “gender identity.” No. They don’t. “Sex,” (you know, that biological thing) is there, and “gender reassignment, (a process of change)” too. If this is just a benign programme, why start with a whopping great lie?
The answer is that this is not simply about supporting LGBT pupils — even supposing we think that LGB and T belong together (the LGB Alliance and many others don’t). It is about an ideology which wishes to break down society, and remould it into … well, I know not what. It’s about Queer Theory, and disrupting all categories. That’s why the mantra “smash heteronormativity” describes Educate and Celebrate’s work so very well. But as human beings we navigate the world by categories — it means we don’t have to process every piece of sensory input or information separately and afresh. The destruction of categories means mental overload, loss of the ability to make timely decisions, paralysis, and chaos. I’m pretty sure no Christian would support chaos. Nor would any reasonable person. Yes, categories, stereotypes, sometime mislead us, but the way to deal with that is to be alert to them, not to dispense with them altogether. What’s more, Queer Theory has roots in Marxism and Postmodernism, and is thus a manifestly atheist system. Again, why would a Christian chaplain just let that pass?
Where is the Archbishop of Canterbury on this? Where are other Christian leaders in Britain? This is an utter outrage. The vicious leaders of that school turned the vicar in to the anti-terrorism agency of the government for giving a sermon saying that it was okay to disagree with an LGBT activist! They’ve wrecked his life. This is soft totalitarianism, straight up. Watch this short clip from Christian Concern, in which the priest reads from the sermon that got him accused of terrorism. Criticize LGBT ideology in even the mildest, most respectful terms, and these radicals will try to destroy your life.
Who will stand up for the Rev. Randall? Who will finally get sick of these leftist bullies, and push back hard in the name of liberty and common decency?