A Christian chaplain is fighting back being accused of "being a terrorist," which led to his termination for presenting a message on religious freedom on the Trent College campus.
Rev. Dr. Bernard Randall, 48, has filed a lawsuit against Trent College for "discrimination, harassment, victimization and unfair dismissal," reports the Christian Post.
As mentioned in an earlier report, Randall only explained about gender identification and same-sex partnerships based on the Bible. Students approached him, perplexed and disturbed by some of the stuff they're told in the curriculum presented by Elly Barnes, the creator of Educate & Celebrate, an LGBT education nonprofit who visited the school.
The course says that it's intended to "equip you and your communities with the knowledge, skills and confidence to embed gender, gender identity and sexual orientation into the fabric of your organization."
The next week, he was informed that his sermon had offended several people and that he would be suspended pending an inquiry. He was also reported to Prevent, which deals with terrorist concerns, as well as the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), who is the point of contact for claims of child abuse and neglect.
The priest noted that being labeled a terrorist has hurt him. Despite the fact that the police determined in his case two years ago that he was neither a "counter-terrorism risk" or at "risk of radicalization," he said that it "is still a wound."
During the first nationwide lockdown in March 2020, Randall was put on furlough. Last December, he was let off from his job.
"My story sends a message to other Christians that you are not free to talk about your faith. It seems it is no longer enough to just 'tolerate' LGBT ideology," he said. "You must accept it without question and no debate is allowed without serious consequences. Someone else will decide what is and what isn't acceptable, and suddenly you can become an outcast, possibly for the rest of your life."
His dismissal was reversed on appeal, but he claims he was prohibited from commenting on subjects "likely to cause offense or distress to members of the school body" as well as publicly stating his "beliefs in ways which exploit our pupils' vulnerability." The school also asked him to submit a draft sermon for approval ahead of time and to have an observer present during services.
Andrea Williams, Chief Executive Officer of the Christian Legal Centre, stated: "All those that said it couldn't happen - punishing and criminalizing a Christian minister for preaching from the Bible - need to take a long, hard look at the story of Bernard Randall."
"Who are the extremists in this story? The moderate school chaplain with an intelligent, mild-mannered and thoughtful sermon or Educate and Celebrate encouraging staff to smash heteronormativity?" she asked.
On June 14, the East Midlands Employment Tribunal is due to hear his case.
Despite all his troubles, the chaplain said he has grown more outspoken as a Christian.
"I think, as a Christian in particular, speaking about truth is really important, as Jesus said, 'I am the way the truth and the life,'" he asserted.