A London priest has said Christian schools should not be forced to teach children about ‘gay lifestyles’ – and in particular, same-sex marriage.
Pastor Elisha John, who minsters at the Grace Baptist Church in Stratford, said members of his congregation were alarmed at the idea of LGBT+ equality being taught to children.
He also claimed that his thoughts were echoed by many parents across the religious spectrum.
‘It’s not just Christians. Most people don’t want this taught to their children,’ he told the Newham Recorder.
‘I have spoken to people in the community and they don’t want this – this ‘lifestyle’ that is gay marriage.’
He added: ‘We’re living in a democracy, a free democracy, and imposing their lifestyle on children under the guise of equality is not equality at all.’
‘What they are saying is that it should be made legal that Christian schools which don’t even receive public money should teach this lifestyle to their children, and that’s the last thing they want to do.’
The Department for Education (DfE) has said that all children should be taught about same-sex marriage since it was now legal in the UK, although teachers or schools were not required to promote or recommend it.
A DfE spokesman added that this policy did not equate with that of sex education, which should still be provided in consultation with parents.
He told the newspaper: ‘Schools are required to teach children about the nature of marriage, and this should reflect the legal definition of marriage.’
‘Teachers are expected to inform students about marriage in a way which is factual and age-appropriate.’
‘But no school and no teacher is under any duty to endorse or promote same-sex marriage.’
Pastor John also raised concerns about the fact that science lessons were forced to follow evolutionary theory and not allowed to teach creationist views of how the earth and life began.
He said: ‘They are saying you can’t teach creationism, you have to say that we all come from monkeys, and the big bang etc.’
‘If you remove the thought of God you’re left with no moral responsibility.’
The DfE spokesman responded: “Creationism has no place in science lessons – and must not be taught as fact in any state-funded schools.
‘Schools are free to discuss it in RE classes providing it is not presented as a valid alternative to established scientific theory.’