SOUTH YORKSHIRE, U.K. — A Christian studying to be a social worker at a prominent university in the United Kingdom has been expelled after explaining the biblical stance on homosexuality on his personal Facebook page.
According to reports, last September, Felix Ngole, 38, had posted on his private page—which is only able to be viewed by his friends—his support for Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and outlined what the Scriptures state about sexuality, citing the biblical law in Leviticus.
However, nearly two months later, Ngole’s post was brought to the attention of administrators at the University of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, which touts itself as a “world top-100 university and number one in the U.K. for student satisfaction in the 2014-15 Times Higher Student Experience Survey.”
Ngole, who was a second-year Master’s student, then became the subject of a “Fitness to Practice” hearing, as he was advised that he “may have caused offence to some individuals” and had “transgressed boundaries which are not deemed appropriate for someone entering the social work profession.”
Following additional meetings, the Sheffield committee concluded that Ngole’s beliefs would negatively affect his “ability to carry out a role as a social worker,” and was consequently advised that he was “excluded from further study on a program leading to a professional qualification.” The school recently informed Ngole that he is “no longer recognized as a university student.”
“Your student record will be terminated shortly and your library membership and university computer account withdrawn. You may wish to contact your funding body for advice on your financial position,” it wrote.
But Ngole believes that the action taken against him wrongfully sends a signal that Christians are not welcome to serve as social workers. He is vowing to fight back.
“My beliefs about marriage and sexual ethics reflect mainstream, biblical understanding, shared by millions around the world,” he said in a statement released by the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Ngole. “Simply expressing that understanding, in a personal capacity, on my Facebook page, cannot be allowed to become a bar to serving and helping others in a professional capacity as a social worker.”
“The way that I have been treated raises very serious issues about the way students in English universities are being censored in their views and beliefs,” he further stated. “If the personal statements of students on their own social media pages, and among their own ‘friends’ are now to be used to judge whether they are ‘fit and proper people’ to serve in professions such as law, medicine, teaching and social work, then very serious questions need to be asked about the freedoms in the UK.”
Ngole says he doesn’t believe institutions of higher education should “censor” statements about any subject matter, but rather encourage discussion.
“The university claims my views are discriminatory, but I am the one being discriminated against because of my expression of Christian beliefs,” he stated. “I wonder whether the university would have taken any action if a Muslim student who believes in Shari’a law, with its teaching about women and homosexuality, had made moderate comments on his Facebook page. I don’t think so.”