Mocked, fired, and reported as a terrorist: UK priest loses case in LGBTQ controversy

An ordained Church of England (CofE) clergyman who was fired from his job and secretly reported to the UK government’s terror watchdog for a liberal sermon in a school chapel on identity politics was handed over this week Will appeal the decision of an employment tribunal.

After being fired, the Reverend Dr Bernard Randall took his employer, Trent College in Nottingham, to court for discrimination, harassment, victimization and unfair dismissal. He is being represented by the Christian Legal Center, the legal ministry of religious freedom watchdog Christian Concern.

Randall described the latest ruling against him as “a blow to free speech and Christian liberty.”

“I am extremely disappointed with this result. It is a personal blow, but more importantly, it is a blow to all who believe in freedom of expression, freedom of religion and an education system that opens the minds of young people. We do.” Rather than narrow them down or impose an ideology that harms many or most people in our society,” he said in a statement.

Randall said, “It’s really a fundamental tenet of a democratic society that the free exchange of ideas is good for everyone.”

“In this case, mainstream Christian beliefs about marriage are held by a minority in society, although a substantial one. They are hardly extreme: they arise from God’s deep love for all people, and are absolute. arise from their desire for human flourishing. They deserve to be taken seriously,” he said.

“On the other hand, the beliefs of gender identity ideology are themselves held by a minority and are controversial to say the least. They should also be taken seriously. However, it may not be right for a school to teach them as As such they are indisputable facts, and to shut down those who want to take an open deliberative approach to the wellbeing of young people,” Randall explained.

“The tribunal’s decision makes the free exchange of ideas very difficult in schools and in wider society. I understand that the whole point of the Equality Act is to protect minorities. Today it feels as if Christians are a minority that That protection is not given.” , and I believe it is wrong on every level,” he concluded.

Randall, 50, from Derbyshire, was ordained by the Church of England in 2006. He was employed at the school for four years until he was sacked in 2019.

As CBN News reported in September of 2022, he told the East Midlands Employment Tribunal that the school showed “absolutely no regard for concern for those troubled or confused by the implementation of Educate and Celebrate” – a group that provides is training to “embed gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation into the clothes” of their organizations.

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According to The Daily Mail, Randall told the tribunal, in a written statement, that it was clear that the charity’s stated aim was to promote inclusion in LGBT+ schools. However, he added that the E&C “went beyond a naturalistic stance of inclusivity into the active promotion of ideas that he considered identity politics.”

He also claimed that much of E&C’s program appeared to him to be “contrary to Christian teaching”.

Randall told the tribunal about a September 2018 meeting at the school when E&C representatives urged staff to chant to “smash heteronormativity” – the concept that heterosexuality is the normal form of sexual orientation – the BBC reported.

Randall said that he did not participate in the chanting.

They were told by their supervisors at the school that they would “not simply introduce the entire Educate and Celebrate program, but make selective use of what fits with the Trent ethos.”

He later learns that the school intends to implement the entire program.

The pastor said there were several concerns within the school community that were brought to his attention about the program.

“Some objected to the elements on religious grounds; others found the approach offensively political, feeling that their beliefs were being forced upon them; others were simply confused by what they could, or could not, do. can believe,” he said.

According to Randall, when one child asked “How come we were told we have to accept LGBT stuff in a Christian school?” He decided to respond by carefully composing an explanatory, liberal sermon giving a Christian perspective and emphasizing “respecting those with whom we disagree.”

According to the Christian Legal Center, he preached twice during chapel, once with minor alterations, and spoke to various staff and students ages 11 to 17.

Randall said in his sermon, “You don’t have to accept the views of LGBT activists.”

According to the BBC report, even though he knew it might “ruffle some feathers,” he told the tribunal that he did not expect any complaints about it.

The attorney representing the school asked Randall if he was intentionally being provocative and undermining a program the school was implementing.

He replied, “The school has no place to tell students they have to accept an ideology. I would say the same applies to Christianity.”

Randall said, “I don’t think it ever occurred to me that anyone would think that was offensive.”

Reported as a terrorist to the government watchdog

However, within weeks of submitting the sermon, the school told Randall that it violated the school’s LGBT agenda. He was told earlier that the school had argued that gender identity was a protected characteristic. Second, he claimed that psychology textbooks say that there are three genders. But according to school officials, the real problem wasn’t what Randall said, but how the sermon made people feel.

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During his disciplinary meeting, Randall was given notes showing that he had been reported to Prevent, the UK government’s counter-terrorism watchdog, as a religious extremist. He was later told that the watchdog had returned the report to the school, refusing to investigate.

Church guidance was used against him at the tribunal

Randall had repeatedly told the school and the diocese during his investigation that his belief on marriage and human sexuality was based on the CofE’s practice of public worship, specifically the Book of Common Prayer and canon law, which states that marriage “A union in its nature is “permanent and lifelong, for better for worse, till death do them part, of a man with a woman.”

Following a legal hearing at the East Midlands Employment Tribunal in September 2022, however, employment judge Victoria Butler ruled against Randall. As has become standard practice in Christian liberties cases in the UK, Judge Butler used the CofE’s own “Valuing All God’s Children” guidance for schools against Barnard. Judge Butler noted that the CofE cites E&C as a recognized “resource” in the guidance.

Butler suggested that Bernard had made a “wrong impression” about E&C and that he had “overreacted” to his involvement within the Christian school.

Butler said, “Claimant {Bernard} takes an extreme view of E&C that bears no resemblance to the reality of its purpose and implementation, which was intended only to create an inclusive environment for all.” “We have not seen or heard any evidence that comes close to supporting the claimant’s view that E&C will motivate pupils in this way.”

In relation to Barnard’s precept, they concluded that: “The duty to protect pupils from risk of harm and the requirement to comply with the independent school standards regulator, outweighs the claimant’s right to express his or her beliefs in the school environment.”

Despite the sermon being moderate, the judge reiterated a conclusion based on a handful of complaints that bore no resemblance to what Bernard had said: “We’ve already found that the message taken away by the students was that being LGBT+ Was wrong and it’s okay to discriminate.”

However, Randall was forthright in stating, “No one should be discriminated against simply because of who he or she is: it is a Christian value,” as well as repeatedly stressing the importance of respecting those who We disagree and that, “there is no excuse for personal attacks or abusive language,” according to the Christian Legal Center.

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Judge Butler also said that the school security officer who reported the priest to terrorist surveillance was following his own experience in the field to be vigilant.

Butler also said that the officer was “concerned that the claimant has a deep belief that canon law takes precedence over the welfare of pupils and staff, which falls within the scope of Prevent.”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said in a statement: “We cannot allow this decision to stand. It is neither a rational decision nor a fair one. It reads as a propaganda for queer theory “

“This decision is sad for Dr. Randall, but we are encouraging him and all faithful clergy and lay members in the Church of England who believe in biblical truth. This result is not the end of the matter. won’t until this kind of censorship of Bible teaching ends,” she said.

“The message for Christians from this decision is that you cannot disagree with or disagree with LGBT teaching – you must follow, celebrate and promote it. It is not enough to be tolerant and liberal in the original sense of those words. You have to actively promote and celebrate,” Williams said.

“Extreme LGBT groups, such as Educate and Celebrate, who seek to confuse and influence young children with extreme LGBT ideology and ‘smash heterosexism’ should never be allowed in UK schools. putting them at risk in the long term—the term damage if these groups continue to be affected,” she explained.

“Bernard is kind, intelligent, and is not a security risk to anyone. It is the rise of LGBT ideology and activism within the Church of England that ‘risks’ very good and loyal clergy,” Williams said.

“For a moderate and thoughtful sermon by a CofE clergyman, reflecting the CofE’s own teaching in the CofE chapel at the CofE school, Bernard was described as a terrorist, blacklisted as a security risk to children , and he was put out of his employment,” she continued.

“It is appalling how the CofE hierarchy has stood back and watched one of its own clergy be crushed by the prevailing secular orthodoxy on human sexuality,” she said.

Williams concluded, “We will fight for justice for as long as it takes.”

Watch Christian Concern’s video about Dr. Randall’s case below:

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