Not to be outdone, in June, “Three church groups [were] suspended from preaching at a secondary school after a leaflet containing homophobic scripture was delivered to homes in Walthamstow.”
In other words, because the leaflets contained a Bible verse that spoke against homosexual practice (part of a list of ten sinful behaviors in the verse; see 1 Corinthians 6:9-10), they were suspended from using a public school for their meetings. (It should also be noted that the verse was one of several on the leaflet, and homosexual practice was absolutely not the focus of the leaflet.)
Remarkably, all three church groups denied distributing the leaflets, with one theory being that it was the work of a “rogue parishioner.” The spokesman for one of the church groups stated that, “It is ill advised to put that sort of thing on a leaflet and we would certainly never do it,” while a local atheist who received the leaflet said, “People who preach this sort of thing shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a school.” Perhaps verses like this should just be cut out of the Bible to avoid all offense?
And then there was the case of Eunice and Owen Johns, a Christian couple in their 60’s who had cared for 15 foster children in the past. Last year, England’s High Court ruled that they could no longer take in children after a gay activist organization brought a complaint against them, concerned that kids in their care could be “infected” with Christianity.
As Eunice Johns explained, “All we wanted to do was to offer a loving home to a child in need. We have a good track record as foster parents, but because we are Christians with mainstream views on sexual ethics, we are apparently unsuitable as foster parents.”
In May, the courts again ruled that the Johns’ could not provide care for a 16th child. As Eunice stated, “The judges have suggested that our views might harm children.” (She had previously told a social worker who pressed her about her faith that she would provide love and care for a child who identified as homosexual but would not tell the child that homosexuality was “okay.”) She continued, “We have been told by the Equality and Human Rights Commission that our moral views may ‘infect’ a child. We do not believe that this is so.”
Ironically, the initial court ruling against the Johns’ came down just weeks after magazine covers around the world breathlessly announced the news that Elton John and his partner David Furnish now had a baby boy, all of which leads me to ask: Christian England, home of men like John Bunyan, John Wesley, William Wilberforce, G. K. Chesterton, J. R. R. Tolkien, and C. S. Lewis, home of cities named Christ Church and of once-Christian universities like Oxford and Cambridge, what has become of you?
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University and has served as a professor at a number of seminaries. He is the author of 22 books and hosts the nationally syndicated, daily talk radio show, the Line of Fire. Follow him atAskDrBrown on Facebookor @drmichaellbrownon Twitter.