Tim Dieppe comments on the breaking case of Keith Waters.
Part-time school caretaker, Keith Waters received death threats and harassment from members of the local community after posting a tweet critical of Pride event. The school, instead of defending his right to free speech or to be critical of Pride events, conducted an investigation and accused him of bringing the school into disrepute. He eventually felt forced to resign.
The new blasphemy
Criticism of Pride is the new blasphemy against our current cultural idols. Woe betide anyone who criticises Pride. If you don’t bow to the rainbow flag, you will incur the wrath of the LGBT activists. Instead of engaging in rational argument, their tactics are bullying – death threats, harassment, intimidation, and lobbying to get your employer to sack you. All in the name of freedom and rights. Their actions betray their intolerance and hatred.
What was so offensive?
So, what did Keith Waters tweet? What was so offensive? Was there a threat of violence? Was there anything sexually explicit? Did it suggest that some people will go to hell or be judged by God for their actions? Was there a curse? Did it show hatred?
Here is the text of the offending tweet:
“A reminder that Christians should not support or attend LGBTQ “Pride Month” events held in June. They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Christian faith and morals. They are especially harmful for children.”
I don’t see any hate or threats in that. In fact, he is not even saying that non-Christians should not attend Pride events. He is saying that Christians should not attend Pride events because they promote a culture and activities that are contrary to Christian faith and morals. This is quite true and correct. Christianity has always taught that marriage is between a man and a woman and that sexual activity is reserved for marriage. LGBTQ events clearly promote sexual activity outside marriage which is therefore contrary to Christian morality. This is clear and obvious.
The tweet goes on to say that Pride events “are especially harmful for children.” Who can disagree with that? Pride events frequently involve displays of nakedness and are highly sexualised, promoting sexual immorality. Why would anyone think this is good for children? If nakedness and sexually suggestive displays were taking place in a primary school, there should be a clear safeguarding concern. Keith Waters was working at a primary school which should share his concerns about the welfare of children being exposed to sexual content at Pride events. All Keith did was express care and concern for the welfare of children in his tweet. This is only the kind of thing one would expect a primary school caretaker to do.
Keith Waters said: “I have had huge amounts of support from lots of parents coming in saying that they are very thankful that they have somebody around the school who has a decent moral compass.” The fact is that most parents would not want their children to be exposed to sexual content such as occurs at Pride events. They would expect that teachers and staff at primary schools would share their views. They recognise that such promotion of immorality is harmful for children. This is the kind of thing that responsible parents will want to protect their children from.
Blaming the victim
Keith Waters is not the one who has threatened, intimidated, harassed, or bullied anyone. He merely posted a tweet that is critical of Pride events. Following this he received death threats, harassment, and verbal abuse online so much that he feared for his and his family’s safety. Who is blamed for all this? Those who harassed him are clearly the bullies here. Keith is the victim, not the antagonist. The school should be protecting him and standing up for him, rather than encouraging bullying and intimidation like this.
With the help of the Christian Legal Centre, Keith is now suing the school for constructive dismissal, indirect discrimination, and breach of public sector equality duty. He also believes that the school have interfered with his rights to freedom of religion, expression and thought. The plain fact is he did nothing wrong. The school had no grounds to investigate him. Many parents are supportive of what he said.
Earlier this year, Felix Ngole won his case against Sheffield University in the Court of Appeal. The University had expelled Felix after some social media posts critical of same-sex marriage. In a landmark ruling, the court upheld the rights of Christians to express moral viewpoints on social media without risk of losing their careers. This case should support Keith Waters and others like him who criticise the morality of Pride events. No one should lose their job for expressing Christian morals online.
I hope that Keith Waters wins his case just as Felix Ngole won his. If we build up more legal wins like this then society will start to listen. People cannot be forced out of their jobs for expressing their views. Bullies should be stood up to. It is high time these bullies started to realise that bullying doesn’t pay.
Read 6 reasons why Christians don’t support Pride
Find out more about Keith Waters