BELFAST, Ireland — A school in Ireland has apologized and has decided to withdraw a worksheet that presents the Bible’s teachings on homosexuality following a complaint over the assignment.
Hunterhouse College in Belfast, a grammar school for girls ages 11-18, had included a study on 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 for its Religious Studies curriculum, discussing a variety of opinions about homosexual behavior, in addition to the Christian view as outlined in Scripture.
“Surely you know that the wicked will not possess God’s Kingdom,” the worksheet read, quoting from the Good News translation. “Do not fool yourselves; people who are immoral or who worship idols or are adulterers or homosexual perverts or who steal or are greedy or are drunkards or who slander others or are thieves—none of these will possess God’s Kingdom.”
“Some of you were like that,” the Scripture continues. “But you have been purified from sin; you have been dedicated to God; you have been put right with God by the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
The worksheet then asks, “What do these verses tell us about homosexuals? Who else is included with homosexuals? What hope is there for all these people?”
But the father of one student complained about the worksheet, which had been assigned as homework, prompting the school to pull the study from the class.
Principal Andrew Gibson said that the study was simply a part of learning about morality in Christianity, but recently issued an apology over the matter and said that the worksheet would not be used again.
“This is in the introduction to Christian ethics centered around personal and family issues. As part of this, pupils are encouraged to consider a variety of attitudes to homosexuality,” he told the BBC. “We have a very strong pastoral care system at the school and deal with issues around sexuality with great sensitivity.”
Local homosexual groups also opposed the worksheet after learning about the matter, stating their offense with homosexuality being included with drunkenness and other behaviors cited in the Scripture.
But Peter Lynas, director of Evangelic Alliance Northern Ireland, said that there was nothing wrong with the study.
“They were simply asking questions about the orthodox Christian position,” he told reporters. “If you can’t do that in a religious ethics class, then you are in danger of pushing religion out of the public square.”
As previously reported, a Christian bakery in Northern Ireland was recently ordered to pay compensation or face legal action after an equality commission declared that it was guilty of committing “unlawful religious, political and sexual orientation discrimination” for declining to make a Bert and Ernie cake that bore the phrase “support gay marriage.”
In May of this year, Ashers Baking Company in Newtonabbey—founded by Christians and named after Genesis 49:20—was approached by a same-sex “marriage” supporter to bake the cake, which also was to feature the logo for the homosexual advocacy group QueerSpace. General Manager Daniel McArthur, 24, told reporters that the company declined to bake the cake, explaining that same-sex “marriage” is against its Christian beliefs. Ashers Baking Company also offered a refund, which was accepted.
However, the customer, Gareth Lee, soon reported Ashers Baking Company to the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland, which in turn sent a warning to to McArthur, ruling that he and his bakery had discriminated against Lee. McArthur says that although his company “is willing to serve any customer regardless of their sexual lifestyle,” he does not believe that the bakery should be forced to decorate a cake that bears a statement that violates its deeply-held Christian convictions.