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The Conservatives should not cancel Christians

A Conservative party that demonises Christian convictions will cease to be conservative

Artillery Row

This week it emerged that Cllr King Lawal has finally been cleared by Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ) following a six-month investigation. 

What had he done to prompt such an in-depth investigation? He posted a tweet which said:

When did Pride become a thing to celebrate! Because of Pride Satan fell as an arch Angel. Pride is not a virtue but a Sin. Those who have Pride should Repent of their sins and turn to Jesus Christ. He can save you. #PrideMonth #Pride2023 #PrideParade

An attached image quoted from Isaiah 3:9 saying: “Whatever God calls ‘sin’ is nothing to be proud of.”

Cancel culture immediately came into effect. The same day, he was suspended from Northamptonshire Unitary Council. Within days he was dismissed as a trustee of a charity, suspended as an Academy Council member for Weavers Academy, removed as a Governor of Northampton Healthcare Foundation Trust, and banned from holding a joint Police and Council surgery in the local library. He was even forced to resign from his own family business under threats that a contract would be withdrawn.

All of these cancellations are shocking, discriminatory, and possibly illegal. But what was perhaps most surprising was that he was also immediately suspended by the Conservative Party. 

The local Conservative Group on the Council came under pressure to suspend him from CCHQ. Shortly afterwards the Group decided to reinstate him. But CCHQ continued to investigate him, whilst publicly distancing itself from the suspension and telling Cllr Lawal to keep his investigation confidential. This sounds more like the behaviour of a Soviet communist party than the Conservative Party.

Cllr Lawal was accused of being “homophobic”. It was alleged that “by posting this content [Cllr Lawal] has failed to sustain and [is] in conflict with the purpose, objects and values of the Conservative Party.” Cllr Lawal was supported throughout by the Christian Legal Centre which defended his right to express his Christian beliefs.

When it finally reached its conclusion, CCHQ agreed that Cllr Lawal’s posts “are a representation of his religious beliefs, which he is free and entitled to hold. Accordingly, the posts, while they may be offensive to some, would on balance not be considered by a reasonable and fair-minded observer to be discriminatory or homophobic per se.”

The question is why CCHQ even thought that Cllr Lawal needed to be investigated? All he was doing was expressing his Christian views on the morality of pride. Is it really a kind of blasphemy to state that “pride is not a virtue”? 

By including the hashtags for Pride Month and Pride Parade it was clear that Cllr Lawal had concerns about Pride events. Again, is this beyond the pale for Conservatives?

Many people are expressing concerns about the large-scale celebration of sexual immorality that is the Pride movement. Well-known lesbian and gay commentators Julie Bindel and Douglas Murray have spoken out in no uncertain terms, asking “What is the point of Pride?” Murray recently pointed out that “Pride comes before a fall”, which is, of course, a paraphrase of another Bible verse – Proverbs 16:18. He said in the video with Bindel: They are so disgusting these people.” If he was a member of the Conservative Party would CCHQ investigate him?

There is clearly a battle for the soul of our society. Cancellation of those who criticise the prevailing moral orthodoxy is one of the weapons in this battle. CCHQ should be standing with those who are pressured and cancelled by the left-wing mob, not adding to the pressure by investigating under a cloak of secrecy. 

It seems to me that there is not only a battle for the soul of our society, but a battle for the soul of the Conservative Party. Will the Conservative Party allow itself to be captured by the alphabet soup of left-wing activists? Will it support cancel culture or oppose it? 

What the Conservative Party needs is more people who are willing to speak out of their moral convictions — just as Cllr Lawal did. People are sick of politicians who have no moral fibre and no real convictions. True leadership is born out of conviction. 

Christian moral values — including the promotion of family — have been at the heart of the values of the Conservative Party. Margaret Thatcher famously said, “What’s right for the family is right for Britain.” Winston Churchill noted that: “There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained.” I doubt very much that amongst those virtues, Churchill counted pride!

Christianity has formed the moral basis for Western civilisation. As we abandon our Christian heritage, we are seeing the decline of our moral values. Yet there are still Christians who are prepared to call society back to the foundation that is found in Christ and the Bible. This is what Cllr Lawal was doing. This is surely what it really means to be Conservative. The Conservative Party should welcome and protect Christians rather than harass them. Once the Conservative Party endorses cancellation of Christian convictions it will have ceased to be conservative.

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