David Booker has been suspended from his job with the English Churches Housing Group (ECGH) for talking about his faith and expressing his religious views concerning homosexuality and same-sex marriage with another member of staff.
He was suspended for seriously breaching the charity’s Culture and Diversity Code of Conduct “by promoting your religious views which contained discriminatory comments regarding a person’s sexual orientation.”
Mr Booker maintains that he is not homophobic and was merely agreeing with the Church’s teaching.
Here’s the flaw in his defence. The teaching of the Church of England and all other mainstream denominations is prejudiced against homosexuality. To agree with church teaching on homosexuality and share this teaching with other people is to express homophobic attitudes.
The teaching of the Church of England stated in Issues in Human Sexuality and of the Anglican Communion in Resolution 1.10 of the Lambeth Conference 1998 is prejudiced against the proper understanding and full inclusion of LGBT people in our church.
Anyone who bases their attitudes to LGBT people on the official teaching of the church risks making statements which are homophobic. Davis Booker has been suspended for making discriminatory comments about a person’s sexual orientation.
Changing Attitude disagrees radically with official church teaching. The Church has no alternative but to revise its teaching at some point in the future if it is to return to the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels – justice and grace for ALL. The teaching of Jesus transcends whatever negative interpretations are put on the teaching in Leviticus and of St Paul about same sex activity.
It is a minority if Christians in the UK who hold prejudiced views about LGBT people based on Leviticus, Issues and Lambeth 1.10.
LGBT people have been and still are the victims of prejudice in our society, and most particularly in the church.
The majority of Christians are shocked not by the attitude and action taken by a Christian organisation towards a Christian employee holding prejudiced views but by the Church’s teaching on marriage, same-sex relationships and homosexuality which are prejudiced and unchristian.