Saturday, 4 November 2017

The First Signs of Ghettoization

Christian Student Expelled for Enunciating Biblical Teaching

Imagine stating a truth from the Scriptures so obvious and clear that it could not be gainsaid.  Imagine, further, that the one who made the statement was, as a result, expelled from a university.  Imagine, still further, that a High Court upheld the expulsion order.

Felix Ngole

That is what things have come to in the UK.
A Christian student who expressed support for biblical marriage on Facebook has lost his legal appeal after a High Court ruling determined Sheffield University has acted lawfully in expelling him.  Devout Christian Felix Ngole was thrown off a social work postgraduate degree course after posting comments on Facebook in support of the biblical definition of marriage that the university deemed “derogatory”.

In 2015, Mr. Ngole posted comments on a social media thread related to Kim Davis, the Christian Kentucky state official who refused to register same-sex marriages, arguing that Davis’s position was based on the “Biblical view of same-sex marriage as a sin”, adding: “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.”

Two months later, he received an email from university administrators advising him that his comments were being investigated. He was later interviewed by the university’s investigatory team and was removed from his course by a panel who deemed his comments, “derogatory of gay men and bisexuals”. [Victoria Friedman, Breitbart London]
Note that what exacerbates this case still further is that Mr Ngole was making comment in a social media's string of comments, of which his was just one.  To our knowledge, no other commentator has been thusly dealt with.

He sought help from the Christian Legal Centre.  It appealed the University's expulsion to the High Court.  Now, note this--the High Court.  In defending the University's actions the defendant stated that Felix was speaking without malice, and with honesty and integrity.  The University also agreed that he was entitled to his religious beliefs.  These were significant concessions.  But, nevertheless, he was declared justly expelled from Sheffield University.
Arguing in court that his rights to freedom of speech had been breached and that he was merely expressing common Christian biblical views, lawyers representing the university said he had shown “no insight” and that Sheffield University had to consider his “fitness to practice” in social work.

The court heard that the university “investigatory team accepted that Felix was fully entitled to his religious beliefs, and had acted with honesty and integrity”. They said that it was not Felix’s views that were at issue, but his public posting of these views which could cause “damage” as they “may have caused offence to some individuals”.
Read the last statement again.  By posting his views publicly--that is, in the public square (as per its definition by sociologist Jürgen Habermas)--those views could cause "damage" and they "may have caused offence".  On the basis of the "mays" and the "coulds" Mr Ngole was expelled.
On Friday, Judge Rowena Collins Rice ruled against Mr. Ngole, saying that the university was acting lawfully when it expelled him, reports The Star.  “Public religious speech has to be looked at in a regulated context from the perspective of a public readership,” said Judge Collins Rice.  “It was how [these comments] could be accessed and read by people who would perceive them as judgemental, incompatible with service ethos, or suggestive of discriminatory intent. That was a problem in its own right…

“But whatever the actual intention was, it was the perception of the posting that would cause the damage. It was reasonable to be concerned about that perception.”

Following the decision, Mr. Ngole said he was “very disappointed” and intends to appeal.
Note the underlying "ghettoization" of Christians implicit in the Judge's ruling.  There is an alleged  possible "perception" that Mr Nogle's would damage other people--and that effectively excludes Mr Ngole working as a social worker.  It shows the judicial intent: exclude Christians, with "dangerous" views working in the market place.  They are thereby disqualified from employment.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “Rulings like this show that society is becoming increasingly intolerant of Christian moral values. Christians are being told to shut up and keep quiet about their moral views or face a bar from employment.  “Unless the views you express are politically correct, you may be barred from office. This is very far from how a free and fair society should operate.  No democratic society can function without freedom of expression. This ruling shakes the foundations of freedom in our society.”
Precisely.  It is not too far a stretch to see this as the wedge that would reintroduce the equivalent of the enforced wearing of the Star of David.  Christians in state-enforced ghettoes--in the UK!  Unable to be employed because the State refused to allow them to work.

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