A row has broken out at the Catholic St John Fisher School in Croydon after the planned visit by gay activist author Simon James Green, whose teen books feature LGBTQ characters and sexually explicit material, was cancelled.
Following complaints in March by enraged parents, the Archbishop of Southwark, John Wilson, issued a directive telling the school to cancel the event, saying that the content was "outside the scope of what is permissible in a Catholic school" and not "compliant with the Equalities Act 2010 and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church".
The book Mr Green had been going to promote is titled Noah Can't Even and contains, amongst other things, a blasphemous gay parody of The Lord's Prayer that is overtly insulting to Christians, as well as sexually explicit LGBTQ behaviour involving the main characters.
Archbishop Wilson is to be applauded for upholding Catholic teaching and defending children against premature and inappropriate sexualisation. Such behaviours are clearly and unequivocally prohibited in Scripture, and form part of the core values of Christian belief and practice.
However, a majority of the school's governing body at the time disagreed, saying that they wanted the event to go ahead. As result, they were summarily dismissed by the diocese, and an interim executive board was appointed. Within days this was challenged as unlawful by LGBTQ supporters on the original governing body and on the school staff, and was in turn disbanded.
Now an unseemly argument is raging for control, with National Union of Education teachers at the school starting a three week strike in protest at the cancellation of the visit. Perhaps worst of all, however, are the accusations of bigotry and hatred flying round, aimed at the Catholic Church and specifically, at Archbishop Wilson – who of course has simply been doing his job of upholding Christian belief and protecting those entrusted to his care.
LGBTQ activists, despite their shouted demands for tolerance towards themselves, give every indication of intolerance towards others, hating all things Christian, which they try to suppress. For them, the ban has been the proverbial red rag to the bull. Protests have been accompanied by calls to the Government to withdraw State funding from all Catholic schools, with claims that they are failing to promote inclusivity and provide a safe environment for children struggling to come to terms with gender confusion and/or same-sex attraction.
This is duplicitous nonsense. The promotion of sexually explicit LGBTQ books to young teens is clearly designed to promote and normalise such behaviours and encourage experimentation. It is, in short, an attempt to indoctrinate young minds into ideologically promoted behaviours that undercut the traditional Christian values on which our society has been founded. To question and seek to suppress Church doctrine is a direct attack on Christian belief: a supposedly protected human right.
The Bible teaches that men and women are made in the image of God. Adam, Scripture says, was formed first, and then God took one of the man's ribs and from it fashioned Eve – for the simple reason that, by himself, the man was lonely and there was no fit companion for him in the rest of creation.
So, from the start, Adam and Eve complemented and completed each other, and God gave them the gift of marriage that they might live together in life-long, monogamous and exclusive union, for their mutual support and for the care of any children they might have. Any and all sexual relationships outside that union were prohibited, because they damaged not just those immediately involved, but the wider family and society.
Attempts to vilify Christian teaching and belief out of a desire to impose new and supposedly more 'liberal' values is a direct attack on freedom of belief and the right to manifest such belief, as set down in Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and incorporated into UK law in Article 9 of the Human Rights Act 1998.
Any such attack is not support for inclusivity, but is rather the attempted suppression of the diversity of belief, and enforcement of a vicious totalitarianism that will brook no dissent. Mr Green's book, deliberately insulting Christian faith with its blasphemous rendition of the Lord's Prayer, should be banned not just from Catholic schools, but from society as a whole.
Rev Lynda Rose is founder of Voice for Justice UK, a group which works to uphold the moral values of the Bible in society.