'Gays are illiberal and unkind. We can only pray for them.'

'Gays are illiberal and unkind. We can only pray for them.' October 6, 2017

Commenting on a court case involving Felix Ngole, a Christian student who was excluded from Sheffield University for being homophobic, Andrea Williams, above, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said:

Felix’s case is another example of just how totalitarian the LGBT movement is. They cannot tolerate any whiff of dissent. They demand not just tolerance, but unanimous approval and celebration. Anything less is met with name-calling, vilification and punishment. This lobby is deeply illiberal and unkind. We can only pray for them.

She added:

The university’s decision is a fundamental violation of Felix’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. He was severely penalised for holding, manifesting and expressing views based on Christian beliefs … Sadly, Felix is another in a long line of Christians who have been pushed out of public service because of their Christian beliefs.

Ngole, according to this report, was removed from his social work course by a “Fitness to Practise” Committee after he articulated his Christian beliefs about sexual ethics and marriage during a Facebook discussion. With the help of the Christian Legal Centre, he challenged the ruling this week in the High Court.
It’s reported here that Deputy High Court judge Rowena Collins-Rice decided not to immediately deliver a decision following a two-day hearing in London but instead chose to make a reserved ruling. A decision could be days, or even weeks, away.

Ngole, above, from Barnsley claimed his human rights were breached when university bosses ejected him from a postgraduate social work course.
The online exchange, which took place in 2015, centred on a US state official Kentucky, Kim David, who refused to register same-sex marriages. During the Facebook discussion Ngole put forward his Christian beliefs on the issue and argued that:

Same sex marriage is a sin whether we like it or not. It is God’s words and man’s sentiments would not change His words.

Sheffield University then said it had to consider the 39-year-old’s “fitness to practise”.  The institution said Mr Ngole:

Failed to show any insight into why his view may be problematic.

Representing Ngole, barrister Paul Diamond said his client expressed his views in a “polite and temperate way”, adding he is:

Entitled to express his religious views.

Ngole accused the university of “double standards”. He submitted evidence to the court that in December 2015 the university allowed an Islamic teacher, Fadel Soliman, to speak to a segregated student audience, and that during the presentation Soliman promoted his YouTube channel on which he sets out an Islamic case for domestic violence, sex slavery, and polygamy.
The university has defended its handling of the Islamic speaker’s visit.
Ngole’s barrister also submitted evidence that the committee was chaired by a prominent and long-standing LGBT campaigner, Professor Jacqueline Marsh, and that both she and the university failed to disclose her interest in the issue at any point during the proceedings.
The professor’s undisclosed conflict of interest makes the committee’s decision unsafe, Ngole said. He added that unless the decision is reversed and he is restored to his course, he will effectively be barred from serving society as a social worker
Commenting on his case, Ngole, said:

I was born in Cameroon, under a dictatorship, where free speech was heavily censored. I had always been led to believe that in the UK people could share their beliefs and opinions without fear of persecution from public authorities. Of all places, I would expect universities to be places for free exchange of ideas and debate. It is shocking that, as a student, I can be thrown out just for believing in the Bible.
I find it unbelievable that the person presiding over the disciplinary panel was a ‘proud’ Lesbian and a veteran LGBT activist, and that fact was never disclosed to me.
I am also amazed by how the university has handled the visit of the controversial Islamic speaker.
My case highlights the complicity of the liberal elite in this worrying movement. Instead of banning Christian students, universities should concern themselves with the increasing censorship of Christian belief and lack of religious literacy. Britain has led the world in education and is now in danger of becoming a laughing stock.

Hat tip: Angela_K

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  • andym

    He does have a point about the double standards over Islamic homophobia. However with the Christian Legal Centre on his case, he’s doomed!

  • barriejohn

    When I saw the title of this thread, I thought you were referring to the following speech!
    Whilst there is definitely a nasty streak of sheer intolerance in certain quarters, these people have no idea what the concept of “religious freedom” really means.

  • barriejohn

    The following article is worth reading:
    “Religious freedom cannot mean that one set of beliefs ought to take precedence over another, or that religious ideas should trump nonreligious ideas.”

  • John the Drunkard

    ‘Freedom of Religion’ for Ngole, not for his Islamist twins. Even so, he’s right to point out the special pleading for Islamists. So long as you want to kill Jews or Americans, your desire to kill gays becomes tolerable.

  • 1859

    Irrespective of his university’s inconsistent behaviour, I feel the crux of this case is Mr. Ngole’s ‘fitness to practice’ as a social worker. If he considers it appropriate to use his religion in making social work decisions that can have a profound impact on a vulnerable person’s life, then I have to agree he would be totally unfit to be a social worker. The issue is, can Mr. Ngole keep his religious beliefs separate from his profession ? It’s exactly comparable with other health professionals like nurses and doctors – be a believer if you want, but keep it private and do not let it interfere with your professional behaviour. We need social workers who are fluent with the law, not the eye-for-an-eye, tooth-for-a-tooth bible.

  • Stephen Mynett

    Good point 1859. I suspect he would be unable, probably unwilling as well, to keep his personal views private and do a decent job as a social worker.
    I have no problem stopping certain people from doing jobs where they are dealing with the vulnerable, despite the moans of religionists. A doctor, nurse, social worker etc makes a decision about the profession they take on but someone in need of treatment, whether for physical or mental injury is, in most cases, not in that position because of choice. For that reason the needs and rights of the latter must be the primary consideration, the religionists can choose to do something else, the ill cannot just choose not to be ill.

  • Robster

    The persecuted god besotted never seem to get the message that perhaps their biblically ‘inspired’ world view is considered these days to be way outside what’s considered acceptable. No longer can women be considered inferior and for that matter, the gays too and slaves have long been off the menu. By all means the fellow can believe whatever he wants, it’s when that belief starts influencing his ability to work with normal people and making those undesirable beliefs public, thereby tainting his employer that action needs to be taken.

  • Broga

    Ngole is unfit to be a social worker. He could be making decisions on adoptions, fostering placements, Mental Health sectioning, taking kids into care, placing kids in Children’s Homes. How can someone with his opinions make fair and objective decisions. He would be a danger to the well being of people who would trust his judgement.

  • andym

    @ Broga. I’m more with 1859. People can and do separate their personal beliefs from professional obligations. In this case, it appears that Ngole doesn’t recognise the need to keep them apart.

  • barriejohn

    @andym: I tend towards your point of view, though as an ex-evangelical I am well aware not only how devious these people can be in furthering their “agenda”, but also to what extent one’s beliefs tend to colour one’s judgment in almost every aspect of life – but than that applies to us all. As a liberal, I am totally opposed to the sort of censorship that we seem to have now, where people face the sack for comments and views expressed on social media (what next – microphones in our homes?), but anyone in Ngole’s position needs to be scrupulous in separating his personal beliefs and prejudices from his public responsibilities. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: many evangelicals still adhere to the view that their god created separate nations,with separate tongues, to live in clearly identified countries (apartheid, anyone?); and that the black people were to be clearly identified and discriminated against because of some “sin” committed centuries ago. It’s an appalling way of seeing the world, but you can’t STOP people from believing such nonsense, and if they can set those views to one side successfully and carry out their responsibilities according to the book, then we have to accept that. If we can’t, then we’re going to have the Spanish Inquisition again – and no one expects that!

  • Broga

    andym : I see what you mean. I think the problem with people like Ngole is that they rationalise their prejudices. I know personally, through my previous work, one social worker (a fundamentalist Christian) who was telling old people he was supposed to be supporting that unless they “found Jesus” they would go to hell. These old people were very distressed by what he was saying.
    That happened. I witnessed it happening. When he was challenged his response, defence if you like, was that it was most important that these old people were saved from hell. Everything else was secondary. The man was moved to an office job.
    Another happier example, if a bit self serving, relates to my wife who was a GP in an inner city area. Without her really noticing she was accumulating increasing numbers of women gay patients. When she retired they arranged a party for her. At that point she mentioned her husband. Her patient said, “Husband, we thought you were gay because you were so understanding.” That was all a long time ago.

  • Stephen Mynett

    I am lucky in having had a succession of GPs like Broga’s wife but I have also been “treated” by or witnessed some dreadful doctors, nurses, phsyios etc. If people want to do something different in their private life and they keep it private, that is fine but patients must be protected.
    People can go on about rights all they want but we have to recognise that the rights of some people are more important. Just as I do not care about offending those who wish to mutilate the genitalia of their children, I do not care about offending those who would cause damage to other vulnerable people, whether they be children or adults.
    The likes of Ngole should be given a chance but that should be in the form of a signed statement that they will keep their beliefs separate from their work and they should also have to accept they will be monitored. As Barriejohn said, they can be devious.
    I know this sort of thing upsets some liberals but the simple fact is complete democracy is impossible, there will always have to be rules. Likewise, complete equality in human rights is also impossible, although that could change but it will not until some religious and political extremists accept the difference between a right and privilege.

  • Laura Roberts

    Andrea Williams looks like Gollum bought a weave.

  • John

    Sheffield University have done the right thing.
    Ngole is unfit to practice as a social worker.
    It would also be unethical for the University to keep Ngole on the course and to charge him fees for a course he cannot pass or benefit from.
    Williams is the truly unethical one in this mini-saga.
    And not for the first time!

  • Broga

    John: “Ngole is unfit to practice as a social worker.”
    I agree. Every contact he had, every piece of work he did, would have a hidden, or perhaps not so hidden, agenda. All he did would be a cover for proselytising.