O Tempore, O Mores. George Carey, ex-Archbishop of Canterbury, has been evicted by King’s College London from its ‘wall of fame’ on The Strand. Meanwhile, dozens of other alumni continue to gaze imperiously from an otherwise grey concrete facade. Was Carey too male, pale and stale? Perhaps not, as Desmond Tutu also lost his pane. Yet we smell a rat.

Back in 2010, at the height of the gay marriage debate, LGBT student campaigners demanded the removal of Lord Carey for opposing this policy. The university, however, stood firm, a spokesman explaining that ‘Lord Carey’s views are his own and offered as part of an open debate’. King’s was originally founded as a Christian institution, and Carey had graduated there in 1962 as a Bachelor of Divinity. Acting on his Christian beliefs, Carey tabled an amendment to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in the House of Lords. LGBT campaigner Ben Hunt (now president of the Students’ Union) condemned Carey’s views as ‘outdated, hurtful and offensive’.

By 2013, a new principal had been appointed. Ed Byrne was keen to put students at the heart of university policy, and according to Pink News, he invited KCLSU to submit an alternative list of alumni to refresh the Strand gallery. Ben Hunt declared that ‘the scheme will mean the removal of Lord Carey, and the inclusion of minorities in the discussions for new alumni’. So, Byrne had agreed, at least indirectly, to students’ demands. Hearing of this, Carey was not so much worried about his own publicity but by the creeping censorship in academia.

Two years later, LGBT activists were impatient: the allegedly homophobic ex-Archbishop was still there, traumatising students. Dust had settled on the ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ controversy in Oxford, where administrators had resisted calls to eradicate the statue of the college’s benefactor. King’s may have feared similar adverse publicity, particularly as the Rhodes campaign had caused a backlash (and threatened loss of major alumni donations). But now Ben Hunt was back knocking on Byrne’s door. Meanwhile, Carey’s image was repeatedly defaced by graffiti.

Last year a King’s spokesperson stated that while there were no current plans to remove any figure, including Lord Carey, ‘our proposed redevelopment of The Strand campus is likely to require a review of the display of our alumni’. As widely reported, King’s plan to demolish a row of 18th century buildings to make way for a steel and glass monstrosity was loudly criticised, and Westminster Council rightly rejected it. For the university a huge investment project was halted, but for LGBT activists this meant that Carey might linger indefinitely.

Well, he has gone now. The current edition of ROAR, the King’s Student Union newspaper, announced ‘Archbishop removed from wall five years after success of LGBT campaign’. The delay had troubled campaigners, Nik Sas arguing that ‘it reflects a worrying trend in universities to put money or prestige above students’ well-being and – frankly – morality’. But he and Ben Hunt felt very proud that the university had finally acted.

Is ROAR misrepresenting the facts? The reason for Carey’s departure is tailored to whoever asks the question. To outsiders, King’s say that space was needed for a new video screen. But we are inclined to accept the students’ account, while the university appears to have been managing the truth. Student agitators may be sanctimonious petty Napoleons, but they seem honest in their endeavour. For a prestigious institution of Christian heritage to allow this campaign to claim victory is worrying.

To label Carey a homophobe is to enter the theatre of the absurd. The Established Church does not restrict membership or ministration of sacraments to a holy huddle of Hallelujah criers who sign a confessional statement. By law, an Anglican cleric is required to minister to every soul within the parish. He or she does not choose who enters the sanctuary, but must hatch, match and dispatch all and sundry – extending to an avowed atheist (or a gay Christianity-basher). Indeed, it is commendable that clergy do this with great compassion – albeit sometimes torn between their own convictions and the imposed whims of modernisers.

George Carey was admired as a parish priest. Anyone reading his book The Church in the Market Place cannot fail to be inspired. He became Principal of Trinity Theological College, Bristol and Bishop of Bath and Wells; certainly he would have encountered homosexual students and fellow clergy in these roles. No cleric in his diocese, or later when Carey became Archbishop of Canterbury, felt marginalised because they were gay. In 2003 Carey admitted to ordaining two bishops who he suspected were gay, despite adhering to orthodox Christian belief that ‘sex should be restricted to monogamous heterosexual marriages’. Carey was hardly a conservative evangelical when he vigorously and successfully pushed for ordination of women in the Church of England. To the disillusionment of Christian and secular conservatives, he is a recent convert to the cause of assisted suicide.

Carey is not homophobic, but his name has been tarnished by a ‘Gaystapo’ that refuses to acknowledge that a clergyman cares for all, while maintaining a traditional view of marriage. In a lecture on tolerance, spoken from head and heart, Carey explained how he could love a homosexual neighbour while following the Gospel: –

It is simplistic to think that tolerance is achieved merely by a shoulder shrugging indifference to people who believe and act differently. That attitude is not tolerance: it is apathy.  Genuine religious toleration is achieved when people hold their religion as so important, so absolute that to part from it is to die, and at the same time realise from their absolute centre of being that another person’s values and beliefs are just as important and as real. That is the moment of genuine tolerance, because there is a cost involved in the act of tolerating another person’s way of living and believing. The pain involved is not only in preserving inviolate one’s own convictions but enduring the reality of the other person’s, and, whilst deeply disagreeing, respecting them… For tolerance involves entering into the ‘strangeness’ of others and feeling their pain.

Only by Orwellian ‘double-think’ can the LGBT activists who attacked Carey carry the baton of tolerance. Their world is framed by identity politics, with positive discrimination for those of favoured status, while any unfavourable attributes (as arbitrarily determined) are open to attack. Last week an experienced nurse was sacked for offering prayer for patients of shared faith. Although she is black, thus meriting sensitivity from politically-correct authorities, her status was tainted by the one religion that is freely criticised. If only Carey had kept his beliefs to himself, perhaps he would have been tolerated. We could take lessons in accommodating Christianity from communist China.

(Image: Elyob)

  • North Angle

    Another day, another progression towards cultural marxism. Where have people’s backbones gone?

    • Groan

      Indeed another “Winston Smith” style re-writing of history. Though many “on the left” are unaware of it, their behaviours are in line with an ideology. I was interested in David Cameron’s comment that her was most proud of “gay marriage” because that meant that his friends who were gay could be married to the partners they loved. Its revealing in the sense that it is all about pleasing his pals. not about any wider public purpose nor any understanding of social institutions. It is in fact a fine example of how identity politics both feeds on personal emotional responses making “the personal political” and thence encourages actions that traduce social cohesion. I actually do not doubt that call me Dave is quite genuine in believing in marriage and civil society and is oblivious to the building blocks of a society that supports such things. Hence completely unaware of the undermining of those building blocks by being “nice”.

      • Bik Byro

        Cough – when it comes to a Winston Smith re-writing of history, the authors of this article have not done a bad job at putting their own rose coloured spin on things by not giving us the whole story.

    • Groan

      A good example of a neat bit of cultural Marxism on its way in our Parliament It seems such an good cause. Yet the content is of the all men are rapists/marriage is domestic abuse line. Fooled again I expect conservatives not to notice the danger.
      “Suddenly, the matter of the Istanbul Convention has come to an urgent point.
      I have just discovered that this coming Friday, 16th December, a private members’ bill is going into second reading to enact the Istanbul Convention. Details here.

      It is important that your MP knows to vote against this bill. Your MP can’t be expected to be informed about everything and an innocuous and helpful-sounding bill like “Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Bill 2016-17” is something few would object to unless informed.

      The DAY AFTER TOMORROW your MP might vote for this, or fail to vote against it. Your earnest appeal to them not to be fooled by the pretty words and title and to vote DOWN this bill might be all that is needed to stop it.”

  • Politically__Incorrect

    You know what the LGBT movement is guilty of by what it accuses you of. They are supremos at intolerance, vindictiveness, and bigotry.

    • Bik Byro

      Absolutely true and spot on! But let’s not be in a rush to ‘canonise’ Lord Carey, he was no saint.

  • Rosalind Taisia

    “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 The devil has an agenda and will use whatever or whoever to do his dirty work. LGBT activists think they are working out their own agenda when in fact it is totally inline with the devil’s purposes of attempting to eradicate Christianity and all who hold faithfully to God’s holy word. Thank you Dr Niall and Rev Jules for your courage to speak out the truth. We are in the last days and the Lord is coming soon and we cannot stay silent. “For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”
    1 Thessalonians 4:2

    • Bik Byro

      “Thank you Dr Niall and Rev Jules for your courage to speak out the truth”
      You mean including the bit where they missed out the child sex abuse?
      “You Will Know The Truth And The Truth Will Set You Free”
      John 8:32

  • Bob

    Great article. Isn’t it strange though how Carey can make this insightful comment on tolerance yet support the sham multiculturalism so favoured by the ‘liberal’ left?

  • As an LSE alumni, my reaction to Kings is to raise the upper lip in a sneer. What do you expect from a place like that? To attempt balance, having a lot of alumni who did well in their various fields but only limited space for names or faces invites problems at the margin. Also, there will be some who will have critics or opponents, even within. If Kings was a truly academic place it would not need or want to have this kind of selective Hall of Fame. They could replace it by a limited category. My suggestion is Captain’s of Rugby and at a pinch, cricket.

  • Bik Byro

    Good riddance
    “The former archbishop of Canterbury George Carey failed to pass on a specific allegation of sexual abuse to the police”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/12195754/Lord-Carey-might-have-delayed-investigation-into-church-sex-abuse-for-20-years-inquiry-hears.html

    Orwellian doublethink indeed – a homophobe who covers up homosexual abuses?

    Funny, you don’t mention this bit of news in your fawning obsequious article.

    • eat your greens

      Outright silly indeed, to put it mildly.

      • Bik Byro

        It’s been all over the news. Can’t think how they possibly could have missed it.

  • No one has taken George Carey seriously since … well, possibly ever. No one even passingly familiar with the Church in the Marketplace these days could imagine his having anything to do with it. But then, his Evangelical credentials were always overstated. He was really the most prominent of that type which is now slightly out of date, a sense in which he continues to exemplify it. I refer to Liberal Protestants with Charismatic backgrounds, who assume that their own experience is theologically normative, and who work from there.

    Ignore George Carey. Most people always did.

    • Don Benson

      David, I’m struggling to remember where in the Bible you have found the words ‘theologically normative’.

      OK, we both know it’s not there, but who in the Bible might have thought along those lines – the Pharisees perhaps?

    • The_greyhound

      You are a fool.

  • Jethro Asquith

    I am not in the least bit religious and not by any stretch a fan of Carey but this LGBT nonsense of dictating what the majority think and do needs to be stopped in its tracks. Why do they think they can erase history to suit their causes,

  • The_greyhound

    Fifty years ago, when selection was tight and competition intense, Universities still had a fair few dolts, teaching staff and students alike. Today, they are awash with them, the lecture theatres thronged with tomorrow’s hairdressers, hod carriers and shelf stackers, being addressed by municipal clods whose socialist credentials are beyond criticism, even if their academic credentials are not. For such people, University is merely the ultimate extension of their kindergarten, safe, undemanding, unintellectual, a large playpen for dullards postponing adulthood. It’s not so surprising then that the atmosphere of such places is so militantly mediocre, and so sanctimoniously intolerant. Time to relabel these “Universities” as the Techs and Secondary Moderns they are, and have done with the pretence that they have anything to do with the life of the Mind.