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In his letter, which was unpublished, he also said: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