Friday, 22 November 2013

THREAT TO ANGLICAN EDUCATION FROM STONEWALL INVOLVEMENT IN CHURCH SCHOOLS

What will be the impact on Bible-believing teachers, pupils, and local clergy from the Church of England's astonishing decision to involve homosexualist lobby group Stonewall in its schools?

The news emerged at this week's General Synod in London. The CofE's Board of Education is going to work with Stonewall to draw up new teaching material to combat a perceived problem of 'homophobic bullying' in church schools.

The Board's chairman the Rt Revd John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford, revealed the Stonewall involvement in answer to a Synod member's question. At July's Synod in York, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, had flagged up the possibility of an anti-homophobic bullying drive in church schools.

He said:
The majority of the population rightly detests homophobic behaviour or anything that looks like it and sometimes they look at us and see what they don't like. With nearly a million children educated in our schools we not only must demonstrate a profound commitment to stamp out such stereotyping and bullying but we must also take action. We are therefore developing a programme for use in our schools, taking the best advice we can find anywhere, that specifically targets such bullying.

Now it is clear that senior Anglicans consider Stonewall to be the best source of advice on how to target homophobic 'stereotyping and bullying' in church schools, the majority of which educate children of primary school age.

Biblically orthodox campaign group Anglican Mainstream has responded robustly to the news
Stonewall only addresses LGBT issues; what about all the other forms of bullying? Ofsted’s 2012 report, ‘No Place for bullying’ found most bullying in schools was based upon appearance, and only a small percentage on perceived sexual orientation. Surely a campaign to eradicate bullying in schools should prioritize tackling its most common forms?
Its statement continues:
Jesus was very clear about sexual morality: he was against all forms of sex outside heterosexual marriage, and that included homosexuality. Stonewall’s raison d’etre is to promote same-sex sexual relationships and lifestyles. How can a church which claims to obey Jesus partner with Stonewall?
Anglican Mainstream also highlights the fact that a senior Anglican church leader was targeted by Stonewall's Bigot of the Year award:
Stonewall has a history of inhibiting freedom of speech, by persecuting those who disagree with its views. The organization hosts a gala Annual Awards Event in London each year which features nominees for and presentation of Bigot of the Year Award. The former Bishop of Winchester, Michael Scott-Joynt, was among the nominees in 2009. Why would the Church of England wish to be publicly associated with such an organization?
It is surely legitimate to ask whether the anti-homophobia programme for church schools, produced with the aid of Stonewall, will foster the idea that those who say sex outside marriage is wrong are 'bigots'.

Will it result in new Stonewall-inspired anti-homophobia policies being imposed on church schools across the country? Will local vicars who articulate at school assemblies the teaching of the Church of England's Book of Common Prayer on sexual morality be subject to accusations of homophobia? What sort of complaints' regime will teachers or pupils who say that homosexual practice is against the Bible be subject to?

Given Stonewall's track record in fuelling the growing 'if it offends me, you can't say it' culture in the UK, these are pressing concerns. They will not be allayed by episcopal assurances that new teaching material will reflect 'Christian values'.

The reality is that those in high places in the Church of England who want to put new moral content into Christian values now have a powerful ally in Stonewall. Will that alliance be powerful enough to impose its new morality on church schools and sideline biblical Anglicans into silence?

UK ReNew Conference: Bishop Nazir-Ali speaks out against Prince Charles for multi-faith worship appeared on VirtueOnline.

This news story about the Church of England's Pilling report on human sexuality appeared on Christian Today.  

Your curate was on BBC Radio Sheffield's Sunday Breakfast show commenting on the Pilling report. The interview with Andy Crane can be found here about 1 hour and 13 minutes into the show.

11 comments:

  1. This is poor judgement by the CofE. Stonewall will replace homophobia with Chrstophobia. There will be no room for disagreement about the promotion of homosexuality (not the same as homophobia), whivh is simply a matter of opinion and nothing to do with bullying, The CofE could easily stamp out true homophobic bullying without politicising the issue. Stonewall have a much more extensive agenda than stopping bullying. The CofE seems too naive to see this.

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  2. Anglican Mainstream’s statement consists mainly of nonsense, and pernicious nonsense at that. Stonewall is being invited to help and advise specifically on stamping out homophobic bullying because it is an eminently suitable organization to invite for this purpose. That does not imply an intention to neglect dealing with other types of bullying, and it is disingenuous to insinuate that it does. The call to prioritize the most common forms of bullying reflects very oddly on the moral values of whoever drew up this statement. Do we prioritize the most common forms of child sexual abuse? Do we regard the persecution of Christians in non-Christian countries as low down on our list of concerns, since it affects only a minority in those countries and most persecution is on other grounds?

    Stonewall does not persecute those who disagree with its views, nor does it inhibit freedom of speech. Condemning, disparaging or even simply jeering at the views of those with whom one disagrees is not inhibiting freedom of speech. The Bigot of the Year may be regarded by many as being in bad taste, but it is quite inappropriate to describe it as persecution.

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  3. These scaremongering tactics are typically Con.Evos, and hardly deserving of comment - except to say that the use of the word 'homosexualist' betrays their ignorance. To define anyone by their God-give sexual-orientation as the sum total of their ontology is a sign of basic disrespect and prejudice. Not Christian!

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    1. "God-give sexual-orientation " is a travesty! It compounds the convenient, erroneous myth that sexual orientation is inherent, with the totally-false idea that (in the Judeo-Christian tradition) people can be seen to be as they are because God made them that way. Both are totally wrong.

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    2. "To define anyone by their God-give sexual-orientation as the sum total of their ontology is a sign of basic disrespect and prejudice."

      Of course it is. But since homosexual orientation is not "God given", the issue does not arise.

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  4. Is it any wonder that Mark Noll found much to write about in his book: 'The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind'? And when Angicans/Evangelicals (and they are usually one and the same when matters are tinged pink) claim others are denying them free speech it is amazing they remain ignorant of the irony of their cries! The biggest enemy of free speech for much of Western history from Constantine onwards has been Christianity!

    Can anyone explain to me the logic of this sentence? :’ Stonewall has a history of inhibiting freedom of speech, by persecuting those who disagree with its views....’

    Where is the evidence that Stonewall inhibits ‘free speech’? Just because Stonewall bites back and asks awkward questions doesn’t mean it inhibits ‘free speech’ it merely means that someone has the balls to stand up to the cherry picked righteousness of gay-obsessed clergy and their sex-obsessed followers.

    “Given Stonewall's track record in fuelling the growing 'if it offends me, you can't say it'” please give evidence for this statement Revd Mann. At the end of the day, given so much of what passes for Evangelical comment is just whining ‘It’s not fair... – we don’t have the power we think is ours by right...’ I’d reconsider yet another example of the modern miracle of the gay-obsessed, Liberal Conspiracy Victimhood Evangelicalism of turning anything into whine...

    Stoneway is a conscientious organisation that gives impartial advice on issues concerning the civil rights of lesbian, gay and transgendered people and fights the oppression of gay people – just because they have had some success at revealing the just how homophobic, petty-minded and sex-obsessed some of our fellow parishioners are, doesn’t make them an unwelcomed bedfellow of a state run religion.

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  5. If you want evidence that Stonewall inhibits free speech, look no further than today's judgement at the High Court, the latest turn in a whole host of attempts to get Christians not to believe what the church has always believed. Look no further than five Supreme Court judges, all scared out of their wits as to what the consequences might be had they come to a different conclusion. Ditto Baroness Warsi, the Government's official 'defender of religious freedom', who equally doesn't think that religious freedom applies to Christian theology in the same way as it applies to Muslim theology. And as for being sex-obsessed - that's certainly something I can accuse Stonewall of. They wanted to have the discussion about sexual orientation - they've had it - the problem is that they don't like the answer, and thus they choose to suppress free speech rather than engage in it.

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  6. "Lady Hale, deputy president of the Supreme Court, said: "Sexual orientation is a core component of a person's identity which requires fulfilment through relationships with others of the same orientation." "(Quote on BBC)

    If the "sexual orientation" of a person's identity "requires fulfilment" - then we are in very deep trouble as a society! Since when does my sexual orientation as a heterosexual male require fulfilment? If this is where a liberal agenda has taken us then I am thanful that I have very few years left of my allotted span!!

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  7. BAA asks "where is the evidence that Stonewall inhibits free speech?
    If Stonewall symbolises in practice the action of homosexual activists which operate widely in the world today - then yes, the evidence is overwhelming.

    Bill Muehlenberg on his blog constantly draws attention to the crusading "gay" activists, who through the courts, in the media, and at every opportunity seek to silence all critical comment - and particularly that of Christians.

    For example here is one by him - but he cites literally dozens of similar cases week by week
    :
    "Most of those pushing the hardest for homosexual marriage don’t even really want it. In fact, wherever it is legalised around the world there isn’t exactly a stampede down the aisle. It is really all about symbolism and social acceptance. All this I carefully document in my recent book, with numerous quotes from homosexual activists themselves saying just these things: ("Strained Relations" - published Koorong)
    But another reason why this is being pushed so doggedly is because it is a tremendous means by which the activists can silence any and all critics.
    By pulling these special rights out of a hat, they can impose all sorts of obligations on the rest of society, whether they like it or not. And I have already documented hundreds of recent cases of this happening.
    Julian Mann is therefore right, with many others, to express concern as to the direction of the current debate.

    All over the place people who dare to resist the radical social engineers are losing their jobs, being fined, and even jailed for their recalcitrance. Let me here offer just a few more examples of this, and then cite yet another homosexual who admits that marriage is a dumb idea anyway. Check out these recent cases of the tolerance brigade in action:
    “Judge allows lawsuit against pastor for opposing homosexuality”
    August 23, 2013
    “A U.S. judge is allowing a lawsuit by a Ugandan homosexual group charging an Evangelical pastor with a ‘crime against humanity.’ The American pastor is accused of violating international law for speaking against homosexuality and discussing legislation with Ugandan leaders."
    As RB rightly states above today's judgement in the High Court is yet another example (Mr & Mrs Bull).

    So BAA, if it is not Stonewall it is their fellow travellers all over the world where freedom of speech, and of conscience is being attacked by homosexual activists.
    Perhaps if you looked more closely at the vast amount of documented evidence on every side you would come to a more realistic and accurate assessment.

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  8. "What will be the impact on Bible-believing teachers, pupils, and local clergy from the Church of England's astonishing decision to involve homosexualist lobby group Stonewall in its schools?"

    That's a good question, Fr Julian. It raises the issue of whether England needs not only an independent Anglican movement, but also Anglican schools that are independent of CofE direction.

    This is probably a good idea anyway - the generally liberal direction of the Church of England is likely to drive parents away from putting their children in its schools, as liberalism drives people away from churches. So having an alternative system of Anglican schools will cater for a need.

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  9. "Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law".


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