And for Sunday schools? They must include ‘teaching of LGBTI beliefs‘
An executive agency of the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued a report recommending that seminaries include “queer theology” in their courses and that even Sunday schools teach “LGBTI beliefs.”
The stunning document, released by Wilton Park, an agency of the Foreign Office, also recommends that the Bible be reinterpreted “to make it compatible with LGBTI ideology.”
The Barnabas Fund, an organization that supports persecuted Christians worldwide, was surprised and more than a little worried.
“The recommendations, if implemented, would massively reverse freedom of religion across the globe,” the group said.
“Once it is accepted that any ideology can be imposed on those who hold conscientious disagreement with it, a very significant backward step has been taken both in relation to i) Freedom of Religion or Belief and ii) human rights generally.”
The Christian organization issued its own report stating “the fact that Wilton Park is an executive agency of the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office” is frightening.
“As such, unless disowned by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the publication of these recommendations by Wilton Park are in effect state sponsored advocacy of imposing serious restrictions on freedom of religion around the world.”
“The Wilton Park report therefore represents a significant attack on the human rights of Christians around the world,” the Barnabas Fund said.
The government report, which appears to be directed mainly to nations in Africa and South America, blames the “heteropatriarchy of Christianity brought by Western missionaries” for current problems.
The solution it recommends isn’t complicated: “Improve” how people think about the Bible.
“Understanding of key religious texts which appear to perpetuate discrimination should be improved by using well reputed scholarly texts to challenge accepted versions eg the story of Sodom and Gomorrah from Genesis Chapter 19. A good example of a thoughtful scholarly based discussion of this story is ‘Breaking Open: Sodom and Gomorrah’ a 2016 booklet by Soulforce Inc.”
Soulforce is an advocacy organization for homosexuals. Genesis 19 describes how God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their tolerance of homosexuality.
“The promotion of more creative ways to reread religious texts would do much to encourage a change of viewpoint,” the report continued.
“Queer theology, feminist theology and a theology of inclusion need wider currency, particularly in seminaries,” it went on. The report said “religious people eg teachers and pastors should have generic human rights training so that they can understand LGBTI+ issues in the wider context of protection for all people.”
It said marriage is “part of heteronormative society; there are other types of relationships: polyamorous relationships, bisexual relationships. Sacralising things excludes people, and can create demons in others. It is important to go beyond Christianity.”
The report urges lawyers to “challenge hate speech” and even implies a threat much worse.
“In some cases, direction action is more effective than dialogue in order to challenge hateful religious teachings,” the report said.
Barnabas Fund said the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office “should immediately withdraw” the Wilton Park report and “immediately issue a statement stating that this report does not represent U.K. government policy.”
“The promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief around the world should be included as a major aim of U.K. foreign policy [and] the Foreign and Commonwealth office should institute an inquiry into the operation of Wilton Park,” Barnabas said.
“It is a matter of profound concern that an organization which is an executive agency of the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office has published a report recommending measures to enforce an ideology on religious believers, such as evangelical Christians.”
The anti-Christian bias in the report is obvious, Barnabas Fund said.
“Missionaries are described as: ‘spreading prejudiced views’ … contributing ‘to the context in which these attitudes and behavior have flourished’ and people ‘who bought the trust of the people’ and entrenched hateful attitudes toward homosexuality, transgender and intersexuality.’”
Barnabas Fund said the report condemns Christians for having “intensified hatred, disseminating it in parts of the world which had previously exercised greater tolerance.’”
The Christian group said the “suggestion that evangelical Christians in the global south have simply imbibed incorrect interpretations of scripture from Western missionaries and need to be challenged to reinterpret them will be deeply offensive to a great many Christians.”
The Wilton Park report, the Christian group concluded, “contains extensive and significant levels of Christianophobia, both in the sense of intolerance toward Christians including negative stereotyping and advocacy of discrimination and even direct action against Christians.”