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Thursday, April 25, 2024
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Will the progressives censor the Bible?

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IF KING Charles III is presented with a Bible at his Coronation, as his mother was at hers in 1953 as ‘the most valuable thing which the world affords’,  he would get the full King James version. But for how much longer will uncensored Bibles be allowed in the United Kingdom?

If the Conservatives lose the next General Election and a coalition of Labour, the Lib-Dems and the SNP governs Britain, a beefed-up law against anti-LGBT ‘hate speech’ would surely be likely.

How could a passage like the following in the New Testament survive such a law?

‘But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall become one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.’

Those are the recorded words of Jesus Christ in Mark’s Gospel, chapter 10 verses 6 to 9, in the King James version. They show that he believed that heteronormality is God’s intention for humanity. They also show that he believed that the God-created institution of heterosexual marriage is the bedrock of society.

In the absence of an authoritative survey, it is hard to determine whether LGBT people in 21st century secular Britain could care less about the Bible. But politically correct cancel culture, as it has gained traction in Western democracies since the turn of the millennium, does not seem to need many complainants.

So under a draconian hate speech law in the second half of this decade, it is not hard to foresee even a small cadre of complainants achieving a great deal in their campaign against the uncensored English Bible. Christian Churches might consider that, in order to avoid potential prosecutions, it would be safer to issue versions of the Bible with the offensive passages taken out.

Churches could find themselves under pressure from their insurers to excise politically incorrect passages from their Bibles. They could even come under pressure from their own employees.

In case readers think the word ‘could’ here is doing too much heavy lifting, the counsel for the defence of this scenario should call the Reverend Dr Bernard Randall to the witness stand. According to the Mail, he was sacked in 2019 as Church of England chaplain of a fee-paying school in Derbyshire and ‘reported to terrorism watchdogs for defending pupils’ rights to question the introduction of new LGBT policies’.

In the employment tribunal action the Christian Legal Centre is pursuing for Dr Randall, an email from a Church of England safeguarding officer has come to light.

She wrote: ‘Despite his opinion being supported by scripture and elements of canon law it is his apparent opposition to consider or accept a different approach to relationships which is of concern in a 21st-century Church of England. This is a reputational risk to be managed by any parish and diocese to which Rev’d Randall is connected.’

She opined that the Church of England’s traditional teaching on marriage and sexual morality, as derived from the Bible, could be a safeguarding risk: ‘Due to some church scripture supporting Rev’d Randall’s views the church itself may also be a risk-factor, to be used to justify Rev’d Randall’s opinions.’

In the last 25 years of the Queen’s reign, since the advent of New Labour, a new public morality has become politically entrenched in Britain flowing out of the sexual revolution of the 1960s. It is very different from the Christian worldview that prevailed when she was crowned. It is surely not fantasy forecasting to suggest that the Bible, which is the source of the old morality, would no longer be tolerated, at least uncensored, by the enforcers of the new.

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Julian Mann
Julian Mann
Julian Mann is a former Church of England vicar, now an evangelical journalist based in Heysham, Lancashire.

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