Pastor Fired And Secretly Reported To Government Terror Watchdog
A pastor from the Church of England who was fired and secretly reported to his government’s terrorism watchdog over his sermon in a school chapel will appeal an employment tribunal ruling.
Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, Rev. Dr Bernard Randall had taken his employer, Trent College in Nottingham, to court for discrimination, harassment, victimization and unfair dismissal.
He was attacked by the school for a sermon on identity politics.
According to Christian Concern, the ruling against him was a blow against Christianity.
Bernard is a former chaplain at Christ’s College Cambridge, and was concerned at the start of the 2018 school year when Trent, which purports to have a “Protestant” ethos, invited a radical and extreme LGBT group, called Education & Celebrate, to the school.
Its leader had urged faculty to chant “smash heteronormativity” during a training session.
Christian Concern explained, “‘Smashing heteronormativity’ means smashing the traditional view of sex and gender and getting rid of the belief that there are men and women, and that men and women belong together. In other words, ‘smashing’ the Christian worldview of sex and gender.”
“E&C actively promote Queer Theory and the ‘Gender Unicorn’ which presents multiple genders children can identify as. The group has been shrouded in controversy after being forced to remove leading patron, trans comic, Jordan Grey, for stripping naked on Channel Four,” the report said. “Grey had suggested that he went into schools to ‘talk about gender’ on behalf of E&C, adding that ‘toddlers kind of get it straight away.’”
Later, Randall delivered a sermon entitled “Competing Ideologies” in the school’s chapel. The sermon was moderate, encouraged respect and debate and said that it was alright for pupils to disagree with LGBT teaching.
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The report said he immediately was subjected to “Stalinesque interrogations” as well as a sustained campaign of censorship.
“Without his knowledge, he was reported to the government’s terrorist watchdog, Prevent, maneuvered out of employment at the school, and blacklisted as a ‘safeguarding risk’ by the CofE. He has not been able to give a sermon in over three years,” the report said.
A hearing by the East Midlands Employment Tribunal in September 2022 had Victoria Butler, an employment judge, rule the Church of England had recognized “E&C” as a “resource” and his views were “extreme.”
The judge ruled the school’s referral to the terror watchdog happened because of the “objectionable way in which Bernard manifested his beliefs.”
Bernard called that conclusion a “blow for all those who believe in freedom speech, in freedom of religion, and in an educational system which opens the minds of young…”
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, who backed Randall’s case, said: “We cannot permit this judgment to stand. It is neither a rational judgment nor an impartial one. It reads as a promotional piece for Queer theory.”
Williams said the appeal is necessary because the current judgment determines for Christians “is you cannot disagree or express disagreement with LGBT teaching – you must comply, celebrate and promote.”
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