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Foreign Office agency says biblical morality is 'hateful'

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The Barnabas Fund has highlighted that a report by Wilton Park (an executive agency of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) urges reinterpretation of Scripture and the imposition of LGBTI ideology on evangelical Christians in the Global South. The report describes biblical sexual morality has 'hateful' and evangelical Christians in prejudicial terms. Tim Dieppe says the Foreign and Commonwealth Office should disassociate themselves from this report.

 

Barnabas Fund have highlighted that a report by Wilton Park (an executive agency of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office) urges reinterpretation of scripture and the imposition of LGBTI ideology on evangelical Christians in the Global South. The report says it has been produced in association with The Arcus Foundation whose stated aim says: "to ensure that LGBT people and our fellow apes thrive in a world where social and environmental justice are a reality."

Biblical sexual morality is 'hateful'

The report describes Biblical sexual morality as 'hateful', and blames protestant evangelical churches for spreading "hate filled messages." The report says that "Christian theological readings reflect the heteropatriarchy of Christianity brought by western missionaries." Missionaries are described as people "'who brought the trust of the people' and entrenched hateful attitudes towards homosexuality, transgender and intersexuality." Barnabas Fund describe this as Christianophobia, given that there is extremely prejudicial language and negative stereotyping of Christians. It also assumes that Global South Christians are unable to interpret the texts for themselves and have had an interpretation imposed on them by western missionaries. Barnabas Fund say this amounts to institutional racism.
 

Direct Action Advocated

The report states:

"Queer lawyers and allies are well placed to challenge hate speech through administrative law and litigation. In some cases, direct action is more effective than dialogue in order to challenge hateful religious teachings."

This amounts to state supported discriminatory action against evangelical Christians, restricting their freedom of religion.
 

Bible should be reinterpreted

A key recommendation of the report is "challenging the interpretation of sacred texts." This is state sponsored advocacy and funding of the reinterpretation of scripture. The report urges more funding for these initiatives which challenge freedom of religion.
 

Archbishops are allies

The report claims that Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Archbishop Justin Welby are examples of prominent Christian allies who are vocally championing the LGBT agenda. It notes the success that Stonewall has had in raising sexual orientation issues within the Anglican Church.
 

Neo-Colonialism

What this report advocates is a kind of neo-colonialism which imposes an ideology on other countries, regarding their existing morality as backwards. Whist blaming colonialism for the legacy of Biblical morality, the report sees no irony in seeking to impose an LGBT agenda on Global South nations in a patronising manner. This is also done by British embassies which are being used to 'marry' same sex couples in countries where same sex marriage is illegal. Over the last year, more than 200 same sex 'weddingstook place in British embassies and consulates in countries where same sex 'marriage' is illegal.
 

Recommendations

Imposing an ideology on evangelical Christians in the Global South appears to be the stated aim of the Foreign Office according to this report. This works against freedom of religion and human rights more generally. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office should immediately disassociate itself from this report and make clear that it does not represent UK government policy. The government should be working to promote freedom of religion around the world, not undermining it.

 

Related Links: 

UK Foreign Office agency says Evangelical Christians in the Global South should "reinterpret" the Bible (Barnabas Fund)
UK embassies ignore local law and 'export' same-sex marriage abroad (Premier)
 

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