A Christian chaplain, with the help of the Christian Legal Centre in the United Kingdom, is fighting back after he was accused of being a terrorist – and dismissed from his job – for preaching a sermon on the campus of Trent College on religious rights.
The offense by Rev. Dr Bernard Randall, 48?
He preached that religious beliefs are protected in law, and students were not required to adopt the LGBTQ “ideology.”
He’s now taking the school to court for discrimination, harassment, victimization and unfair dismissal, and his hearing is expected to be heard at East Midlands Employment Tribunal starting June 14.
Randall, after being excluded from a campus discussion on whether to adopt an LGBT-promoting agenda, which school officials did, because he might “disagree,” he explained in a campus sermon that no protected characteristic is more protected than another.
And he said, the Legal Centre explained, “for Christians, where there is disagreement, it is vital to love their neighbor, leaving no room for personal attack or abusive language towards anyone.”
He explained Church of England’s biblical position on marriage and human nature, and said children at the school were not compelled to “accept an ideology they disagree with.”
The result was that the “Designated Safeguarding Lead” in the school “began the process of reporting Dr. Randall, without his knowledge, to the government’s counter-terrorism watchdog, Prevent, as a potentially violent religious extremist.”
The situation had developed because school officials adopted a radical agenda proposed by LGBT activist Elly Barnes, of the “Educate and Celebrate” program that seeks to “embed gender, gender identity and sexual orientation” into the school, which previously described itself as having a “protestant and evangelical” Church of England ethos.
Barnes’ agenda, as she has described it, is to “smash heteronormativity.”
‘I never thought a sermon would lead to me being reported as a terrorist’.
Dr Bernard Randall, an ordained @churchofengland minister, speaks about his experiences of being reported as a terrorist for a sermon encouraging pupils to love their neighbour. https://t.co/sSjqhEWxF1 pic.twitter.com/K8JNJ26EgV
— Christian Concern (@CConcern) May 9, 2021
Randall’s job description included his being “the particular voice and embodiment of … Christian values,” and he was alarmed by the school’s plan, and soon found himself excluded entirely from all evaluation and decision-making processes.
The Legal Center explained, “In a hostile interrogation, Dr. Randall was told that his beliefs were not relevant and did not matter, and that the sermon had hurt some people’s feelings and undermined the school’s LGBT agenda.”
The school also “began the process” of reporting him as a possible terrorist.
Randall explained he preached the sermon because a student had approached him “whether he would address ‘How come we are told we have to accept all this LGBT stuff in a Christian school.'”
A resulting police investigation, by Derbyshire police officer Richard Barker, explained the sermon posed no counter-terrorism threat.
He was fired but the school’s governors overturned that only to impose a list of 20 demands that he no longer express “any opinion” that could “cause offense” to anyone.
And they required every sermon to be censored by school leadership.
He then was removed from his employment again because of COVID-19 lockdowns.
Randall said, “Being reported as a potential terrorist, extremist and a danger to children are arguably the worst crimes you could be accused of. When I found out that they had reported me without telling me, my mind was blown trying to comprehend it. I had gone to such lengths in the sermon to stress that we must respect one another no matter what, even people we disagree with. I am not ashamed to say that I cried with relief when I was told that the report to Prevent was not going to be taken further.”
But he said he was ordered to “support everybody else’s beliefs, no matter what, while my Christian beliefs, the Church of England’s beliefs, were blatantly censored.”
He added, “My story sends a message to other Christians that you are not free to talk about your faith. It seems it is no longer enough to just ‘tolerate’ LGBT ideology. You must accept it without question and no debate is allowed without serious consequences. Someone else will decide what is and what isn’t acceptable, and suddenly you can become an outcast, possibly for the rest of your life.”
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “When an ordained Church of England minister can’t give a simple sermon in a Church of England school without being reported as an extremist and hounded out of his job then who is safe?
“For many years Bernard Randall has worked in education motivated by his love for God and others. When someone like him is pursued and punished it’s an attack on us all. It’s time to stand up and speak up for these freedoms.”
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.