Student expelled from British university for biblical opposition to gay marriage

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Revelations-Series-Banner-770x150A Christian social work student was expelled from his university for his Facebook post quoting the Bible and backing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis in religious opposition to same-sex marriage.

Davis spent five days in jail last summer for her faith-based refusal to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. She became a heroic symbol of resistance to evangelical Christians and was widely praised by conservative politicians.

Now, Felix Ngole may be the next hero for anti-gay marriage forces.

According to The Independent, the master’s degree student told friends in a private post, “I stand with Kim Davis” and quoted a biblical passage from Leviticus calling homosexuality an abomination.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, flanked by Republic presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, left, Attorney Mathew Staver, second right, and her husband Joe Davis, right, celebrates her release from the Carter County Detention center in Grayson, Kentucky on September 8, 2015. U.S. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Chris Tilley *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-MARSHALL-COLUMN, originally transmitted on September 10, 2015, or with RNS-STETZER-COLUMN, originally transmitted on Dec. 30, 2015, or with RNS-GUSHEE-COLUMN, originally transmitted on Jan. 6, 2016.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, flanked by Republic presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, left, Attorney Mathew Staver, second right, and her husband Joe Davis, right, celebrates her release from the Carter County Detention center in Grayson, Kentucky on September 8, 2015. U.S. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Chris Tilley
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-MARSHALL-COLUMN, originally transmitted on September 10, 2015, or with RNS-STETZER-COLUMN, originally transmitted on Dec. 30, 2015, or with RNS-GUSHEE-COLUMN, originally transmitted on Jan. 6, 2016.

The Christian Legal Centre has taken up his cause. Andrea Williams, CEO of the center told The Independent this was “yet another case of Christians being ‘neutered’ in the public arena, and of censorship of views.”

Ngole, 38, a second year masters student in social work, posted his comments on Facebook in September. Two months later, a university committee that addresses “fitness to practice” told him he was expelled.

The letter to Ngole, as quoted in Christian Today,  said he “may have caused offense to some individuals” and had “transgressed boundaries which are not deemed appropriate for someone entering the social work profession.”

Ngole, on the contrary, called this “secret policing of Christian belief.” If Facebook comments can be used to block access to professional licensing “then very serious questions need to be asked about the freedoms in the UK,” according to Christian Today.

A spokeswoman for the Sheffield University told the Independent there would be no comment because the case is subject to appeal.

 

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  • Daniel Berry, NYC

    Giving that student a pass would be the same as giving someone studying the natural sciences a pass for saying that the earth is 6,000 years old and that the earth is the center of the universe.

    Such latitude is not tolerated in the natural sciences and doesn’t belong in the behavioral or social sciences either. The sciencesare evidence-based. As the bible is not a scientific text, it’s appropriately rejected for use in both academies.

  • Kevin norman

    He was disciplined for making the death threat in the Leviticus verse…. not for exercising his free speech. If that free speech had not invoked the Leviticus instruction to murder gay people he would have been fine.

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  • L Brinkley

    Very good point!

  • G Key

    Sheffield University stated that Felix Ngole “transgressed boundaries which are not deemed appropriate for someone entering the social work profession.”

    Mr. Ngole called his expulsion a “secret policing of Christian belief.”

    He should be old enough and learned enough to know the difference between his beliefs, which are no one else’s business, and other people’s boundaries, which are none of his business.

    Just because he thinks others’ rights should be defined by their sex lives doesn’t mean he can self-righteously condemn the “sins” of others’ private lives without incurring a foot-bruised posterior and a door-slammed nose.

    I applaud Sheffield U.’s wisdom and willingness to impart that wisdom on a former student who obviously was not willing to master the critical sensitivity reasonably demanded of any “masters student in social work”.

    I hope Mr. Ngole appreciates the generous & practical gift he has received.

  • Ted

    You are right, the earth is not the centre of the universe. In our western society each individual is the centre of the universe.
    By the way, the so-called social sciences are psuedo-sciences since, unlike the natural sciences, they predict almost nothing.

  • Ted

    “…..know the difference between his beliefs, which are no one else’s business, and other people’s boundaries, which are none of his business..” Welcome to what Paul Vitz has called the religion of Selfism. Looks like this is a religious war between the cult of self-worship that permeates much of current western ethos and traditional Christian beliefs which, as community centred, surpasses these Selfist boundaries of other people..

  • David

    Folks, the Bible is not the only source of code for behavior in human culture. There is natural law, and history. And are you trying to say that there is no place for a social worker who believes that marriage is valid only between a man and a woman when it’s been the practice of all cultures throughout history? I wonder how many Islamist’s are protected by the same university for beliefs in female subjugation, slavery and all other tenets of Sharia law.

  • G Key

    Wow. You don’t even know me, and yet you think yourself worthy to “define” my character and criticize it to boot? Making up lies about strangers is immoral in my book. So is exalting yourself over others.

    Since I don’t believe in God, I considered what I care about most — how people treat each other — and chose my values accordingly: Equality, Respect, and Compassion. Looks like we differ on these.

    But this article and my earlier comment have nothing to do with beliefs, whether humanitarian or what you define as “traditional Christian”. (And let’s not forget that many, many devout traditional Christians would take issue with how you think yourself worthy to “define” that, too).

    The topic here is fitness of a specific student for the profession of social work. Given your willfully ignorant and arrogantly insulting “judgment” of my character, I dearly hope you don’t think yourself worthy of judging, let alone performing in, that profession as well.

  • Debbo

    David said, “marriage is valid only between a man and a woman when it’s been the practice of all cultures throughout history?”

    That’s not true at all. It’s not true historically and it’s not true currently.

  • tomont

    Debbo, This is not about history, or even “gay marriage” but about freedom of speech–which is increasingly threatened by a new leftist intolerance in our Western countries.

  • John Morrow

    In the UK university tuition is heavily subsidized by the state. He didn’t get expelled he was kicked off benefits

  • MarkE

    50-75 years ago, Mr Ngole would have been disserved by a post-graduate trained social worker who was allowed to graduate while professing personal religious beliefs that the “colored” man was not fully human. Is that they kind of public servant you want?

  • yoh

    No it’s about acting in ways which are unfit for social work. The students expression of bigotry is no different than if he declared, “blacks and Latinos don’t deserve social work services because it should be for whites only”.

    “They won’t tolerate my intolerance, whaaah!” Give me a break. Wrapping bigotry up in religious belief does not make it suddenly socially acceptable.

    Bigotry is not a personality trait which works well in a social work environment.

  • No one

    Maybe he should have quoted this verse from Luke 16:18: “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from [her] husband committeth adultery.”

    Then he could have said, “I stand with Kim Davis,” a woman who by her own biblical standards is nothing but an adulteress trying to define matrimony for an entire generation. If you’re going to use the bible as a law book, read it, and if you’re going to ask other people to abide by its passages, abide by them yourself or shut up.

  • No one

    If intolerance means not allowing people to mistreat or discriminate against other people based on a case of the dumbs, I’m behind that all the way.

    You have a right to say what you want, but I have a right to call you dumb for it. See? That’s not intolerance. It’s about as smart as any political debate will ever be.

  • Debbo

    I feel that there are a few times when liberals have been intolerant of certain speech, especially hate speech. That being said, freedom of speech is not at all the issue here.

    This is about Ms. Davis’ actions as a paid public servant tasked with carrying out the law.

    tomont, my reply was specifically about the comment that I responded to. Context does matter.

  • Biplav Shrestha

    What she supported was not doing work for something that her religion doesn’t agree with. She trying to work in a field where you are required to work with all kinds of people. She supporting not working for something that her religion doesn’t allow but the law does.

  • G Key

    Mr. Ngole seems to want to use the Bible as a social workers’ manual, and therein lies the problem.

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  • Jeff

    In every career there are requirements and responsibilities. In his chosen path he seeming no longer meets the requirements. This man has the freedom of speech but that comes with freedom of a response. He just did not like the response he received.

  • 1951Boy

    As far as it is explained in the article, the Sheffield University is acting against Mr Ngole for the opinions he exprerssed in private post, not for any action he accomplished against aybody. The law must condemn the actions, not the opinions. Nor I see the U. was asking mr Ngole for ammends its opinions. The U.’s actitude towards Mr Ngole was more offensive and discriminatory than the opinions Mr Ngole expressed in provate form.