Christian Legal Centre steps in after British Scouts ditch bigot

Christian Legal Centre steps in after British Scouts ditch bigot

Bristol Christian Brian Walker, above, is being helped by the Christian Legal Centre to challenge the Scout Association which allegedly booted him out because of his faith.

According to this report, Walker, 62, says his membership was unfairly taken away after he expressed fears the organisation was increasingly promoting Islam and homosexuality and moving away from its Christian roots.

I am raising this case as I believe the fundamental values of Scouting are being undermined. Parents need to be made aware of what is happening at the centre of Scouting, and will eventually flow out into the local groups.

Walker wrote to the Scout Association’s official magazine on March 18, 2017, to slam the organisation for promoting political correctness and interfaith issues above Christian values.

He was sent a letter four days later by the local District Commander, informing him he was no longer a member of the organisation.

Walker, who lives in the Brislington area of Bristol, was told that he views did not reflect the inclusive nature of Scouting. He unsuccessfully appealed the decision at an Appeal Committee on June 7, 2017.

Walker, who attends the Carmel City Church in Bristol, told the committee he did not mean to offend anyone personally in his comments which referred to the organisation as a whole.

A life-long scouts member, he accused of the Scout Association of:

Making a mockery of what was once a respectable organisation.

This was being done through its emphasis on Islam, as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex issues.

Walker will argue he has been discriminated against on the grounds of his Christian faith, and that the Scout Movement has contravened its own Equal Opportunities policy.

According to this Bristol Post report, Walker’s letter was prompted by the the publication in Scouting magazine after it featured a Muslim leader who was also a scout leader.

The woman, named as Zainab, above, told the Spring 2017 edition of the magazine:

A couple of times we’ve been out on hikes in our hijabs and neckers, and people have come up to us and given us a lot of positive comments. It is not a barrier; it doesn’t stop me from doing anything. I’m bossy. Nobody can say I’m repressed.

But Walker, a canoeing instructor, wrote to the magazine to say they would:

Most likely drown wearing that Darth Vader tent.

In his letter, which was unpublished, he also said:

Her outward appearance is enough to frighten children and animals.

Walker told the Bristol Post he believed the scouting movement was “moving away from its Christian roots” and that it had become “fluffy”.

The editor of the official magazine wrote back to say he disagreed with the letter, and Mr Walker was dismissed from the association four days later.

The district commissioner for Bristol South also told Walker his views:

Did not reflect the inclusive nature of scouting.

Walker told the Post:

It was just a quip, meant to be tongue in cheek. Communication is paramount when you are a scout leader, but if they can’t see your face, how do they know who you are?

People are so fearful of speaking out. I’ve got two special needs kids with Asperger Syndrome and cerebral palsy, so I know all about exclusion.

He also said he did not agree with the magazine telling scouts to go to Pride festivals.

When asked if he thought his comments were racist or homophobic, he said:

I lived in Sydney, the second gay capital in the world. I used to work for one chap who dressed up in women’s clothes. They [the magazine] should be promoting scouting adventures not gay pride. They have gone all fluffy. I feel they have gone off the path on everything that they set out to do.

Walker, who served for 12 years in the military, said the association:

Was embracing everything except Christianity.

A spokesperson for the Scout Association said:

We are aware of the issues raised with us by Mr Walker. However due to legal reasons we are unable to comment specifically on this case. Inclusivity is at the heart of modern scouting and is a value we hold dear. We welcome young people and volunteers from all communities across the UK and we are proud of our inclusive approach to youth work.

7 responses to “Christian Legal Centre steps in after British Scouts ditch bigot”

  1. andym says:

    Another case involving the CLC where you’re not sure you’ve got the full story. We’ll see.

    It is , to me, an Alice in Wonderland world where the niqab can be used as a symbol of inclusivity.

  2. AgentCormac says:

    I actually feel very sorry for Brian Walker. He’s been unceremoniously booted out of an organisation he clearly loves for expressing his concerns regarding the direction it is, in his eyes, taking. As far as I can tell he hasn’t (unlike a great many other CLC clients) tried to foist his christian views on anyone, he hasn’t discriminated against anyone and he hasn’t refused to participate in any aspects of the movement’s activities because of his faith. He’s merely airing his concerns, via a letter. And in a democratic society he has every right to do so without fear of reprisals, regardless of whether we agree with him or not.

  3. andym says:

    That’s why I wonder if there’s more to it. There usually is. His comment about Darth Vadar was a bit crass, but surely a niqab would be a health and safety risk on water. Thinking an organisation is focusing too much on LGBT issues does not in itself make him a homophobe.

    It could be both sides are being economical with the truth. I wouldn’t trust the Scouts much more than I trust the CLC. Look at they way they dug their heels in about swearing an oath to god.

  4. barriejohn says:

    She wouldn’t attract any “positive comments” from me, but I’m pretty sure what the attitude of Carmel City Church would be towards Muslims, and possibly LGBT people and women as well, despite catering for “people from all walks of life”. Their leaders all seem to be men, (supported by their wives, of course), and I see that they advertise a “Women’s Conference”, which I find highly suspicious, as the Brethren also tolerated similar events as a sop to those women who resented their “subservient” role. Maybe someone will put us right on these matters.

  5. L.Long says:

    1st the scouts were NOT pushing any gay or muslin agenda, as the gays don’t have one other then being treated equally. The muslins may have one, but as long as everyone stays secular and enforces laws properly, it will not h=get them far. But ‘booted out for expressing his concern”? Yes there is more to this, as you don’t booted for concerns.

  6. StephenJP says:

    Yes, once again something less than the complete picture, I feel. And I’m afraid that my reaction to Zainab is that there is something seriously wrong with someone who chooses to dress in that way.

    Still, I fear that Mr Walker hasn’t got a prayer, not now that the CLC are supporting him.

  7. 1859 says:

    Inclined to agree with AgentCormac – why shut people up who disagree with how an organisation is changing? Far better to engage in a debate, to try and convince the Mr. Walker’s of the world that these changes they see as bad are in fact a step forward. Of course, these sorts of changes will be interpreted by those with closed minds as a direct challenge to their religion. Good. I want to see Islam challenged. I want to see Christianity challenged. I want to see the entire gamut of organised religions challenged until they see the pernicious absurdity of what they are doing to humanity.