Christian police officer sacked after offering officers 'cure for homosexuality'
When Cranmer was made aware of this by his loyal communicant Mr Recusant, he reflected on the usual concerns about the ‘rights hierarchy’ which is developing in the UK, in which all rights increasingly appear to trump religious rights, especially those concerned with homosexuality. It has been seen through the Sexual Orientation Regulations, the closure of Roman Catholic adoption agencies, the imposition of ‘Gay Pride’ marches upon firemen, and the proposed compulsory teaching of sex education in schools.
PC Cogman was apparently 'bombarded' at work by emails and posters promoting gay rights and events. ‘Gay liaison officers’ circulated an email urging officers to wear a pink ribbon on their uniform to mark Gay History Month. PC Cogman’s response to this 'politically correct' campaign was to send out emails to colleagues which quoted religious texts suggesting homosexual sex was sinful.
(Before Cranmer proceeds, may he ask his communicants what is ‘Gay History Month’? His Grace has never heard of it, and is most curious to know of its origins and which public bodies are ‘persuaded’ or ‘encouraged’ to promote it, how many comply, and at what cost?)
There were complaints, and he was advised by lawyers to admit a breach of the police code before a disciplinary committee. He was ordered to cease using the police’s email system for such purposes because he failed to show 'respect and tolerance' to fellow officers. However, following a further allegation that he used the internal communication system to circulate a link to an American Christian helpline which professed to cure homosexuals, he was sacked by Norfolk police.
The case has been taken on by the redoubtable barrister Paul Diamond, who defended Nadia Eweida after she was suspended by British Airways for wearing a cross, and also XX after she was suspended from school for wearing a chastity ring.
But Cranmer has a certain disquiet about this case.
Notwithstanding the manifest bias and blatant support for homosexual rights in the Norfolk police (indeed, it is manifest in society generally), it is reported that PC Cogman was ordered not to use the police internal communication system to for personal purposes.
He disobeyed this order.
While dismissal appears to be something of an overreaction, the Bible is clear that one must submit to authority, and that includes Ceasar. But PC Cogman says that the gay rights agenda made ‘being a Christian officer extremely difficult’.
Well, being a Christian anywhere is difficult, and it occurs to Cranmer – unless PC Cogman struggles in the area of his sexuality – that having to endure a few emails or pink and rainbow ribbons is utterly insignificant compared to what our brothers and sisters in the Lord endure on a daily basis in Israel, Egypt, Iraq – where the persecution is very real, and quite literally a matter of life and death.
Yet PC Cogman says: ‘I have to make a stand when things become so blatantly biased against me just because I hold a faith.'
One might consider the example of Jesus when he was presented with the woman caught in adultery. Cranmer has no doubt that he was also finding it a little difficult ‘because of his faith’, but his example was to show compassion and forgiveness. Certainly he encouraged her to sin no more, but he did not do so with condemnation which included the words 'inappropriate’, ‘thoughtless’ or ‘insensitive', as PC Cogman is reported to have done. And neither did Jesus use the occasion as an opportunity to quote those scriptures to her which are critical of adultery.
And Cranmer is equally sure that the Lord did not say to her anything like 'Love the sinner, hate the deed,' not least because for many sinners their sexual behaviour has become so much a part of their identity that there is no convenient distinction to be made: to hate the sin is to hate the sinner.
Jesus never promised that being a Christian would be easy, and the call to take up one’s cross is a daily one. To be crucified with Christ is a daily anguish endured patiently and silently by millions all around the world. PC Cogman certainly breached the internal email ban, but there is prima facie evidence that he also failed to treat his colleagues with ‘politeness, tolerance and respect, regardless of their beliefs, age, gender or sexual orientation’.
It is undoubtledly wrong that gay rights now trump religious rights, and of course diversity statements cut both ways, but for a professing Christian to set aside a direct order from a superior is unwise. And to continue using the police email system to communicate personal beliefs is indeed unacceptable. Certainly, PC Cogman may have been discriminated against, even harassed and bullied, but there are appropriate procedures in all organisations for dealing with such matters, and such procedures must be followed.
Having said that, Cranmer is sick and tired of politically-correct policing, and he just wishes they would get on with their jobs and stop obsessing about black and Asian quotas and gay-friendly training programmes. Perhaps the police might get over the pervasive mentality in which ‘diversity’ appears to trump ‘criminality’.