A boarding school in the United Kingdom secretly turned over its chaplain to an anti-terrorism program after preaching a sermon in which he defended students' rights to question the school's new LGBTQ policies, the Daily Mail reported.
What are the details?
The Rev. Dr. Bernard Randall told students at independent Trent College near Nottingham that it was OK for them to disagree with the policies, especially if they go against Church of England principles, the outlet said.
One of the school's new policies was to "develop a whole school LGBT+ inclusive curriculum," the Daily Mail said.
But when the powers that be at the boarding school deemed Randall's sermon "harmful" to LGBTQ students, the school turned him in to Prevent, which the outlet said normally identifies individuals at risk of radicalization.
However, after police investigated the tip, they told Trent College that the 48-year-old chaplain posed "no counter terrorism risk, or risk of radicalization," the Daily Mail said, adding that Derbyshire Police confirmed the case "did not meet the threshold for a Prevent referral."
But it wasn't over
But the outlet added that Randall — a former Cambridge University chaplain and Oxford graduate — revealed that Trent College later informed him that his future sermons would be censored in advance and that his chapel services would be monitored "to ensure that ... requirements are met."
And then Randall was fired, the Daily Mail said.
While the outlet said he's suing for discrimination, harassment, victimization, and unfair dismissal, he shared that "my career and life are in tatters."
What did he say in his sermon?
Randall said his June 2019 sermon in the school chapel was prompted by concerns from students about an organization called Educate & Celebrate, which was invited to "embed gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation into the fabric" of the school, the Daily Mail said.
"You should no more be told you have to accept LGBT ideology than you should be told you must be in favor of Brexit or must be Muslim," Randall preached, according to the outlet.
However, he also encouraged students to "treat each other with respect," the Daily Mail said.
And then a few days later, Randall said he was called to a meeting and told the sermon was inflammatory, divisive, and "harmful to LGBT pupils," the outlet noted.
The Daily Mail said Randall only discovered the anti-terrorism referral because it was mentioned in documents given to him ahead of a disciplinary hearing: "I had visions of being investigated by MI5, of men knocking down the front door."
The school finally made Randall "redundant" on Dec. 31, 2020, according to Staffordshire Live, which cited the Christian Legal Centre, the organization supporting Randall.
Toby Young of the Free Speech Union told the outlet that Randall's sermon was "fantastic" and that it insists "no one has a monopoly on moral truth. For Bernard Randall to lose his job as a result of this sermon is scandalous. What's so depressing about his treatment is the message it sends to the pupils. The central theme of his sermon is that children shouldn't be afraid to think for themselves. But the message the school has sent is the opposite. Schools should be teaching children how to think, not what to think."
Andrea Williams — chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre — asked, "Who are the extremists in this story? The partisan agency who teach young children that they can be born in the wrong body, or the school chaplain moderately presenting what the Christian church has taught about marriage, sex, and gender for the past 2,000 years?" the Daily Mail said.
Randall's case is scheduled for a hearing in June, the outlet said, adding that Trent College declined to comment.
Here's commentary on the controversy from the Daily Wire's Michael Knowles:
Pastor on TERRORIST Watch List After LGBTQ Outcry youtu.be