A boarding school in the UK has cancelled their support of a children’s charity after receiving one complaint accusing the charity’s founder of believing what the Bible says about marriage.
St Lawrence College in Ramsgate, Kent, terminated their support for the Samaritan’s Purse’s ‘Operation Christmas Child’ after a single complaint was made against the charity’s founder, Rev Franklin Graham.
Complainants described Rev Graham’s biblical view of marriage as ‘homophobic,’ and warned that anyone who shares the charity’s beliefs about the Bible is a ‘danger to children.’
The OCC program, which the school began backing in 2021, has provided more than 186 million children from 160 countries with Christmas gifts since the initiative began in 1990.
Christian Concern notes: “In March, in response to the Ukraine crisis, Samaritan’s Purse delivered some 660,000 Operation Christmas gift-filled shoebox to the country, in partnership with more than 3,200 churches.”
Furthermore, “they also carried out their fifth airlift to Ukraine carrying more than 19 tons of relief, including medical supplies for area hospitals for the country’s suffering medical system.”
But the complainants said, it was “time for the school to change,” and the £12,000-per-term college agreed.
Despite their self-professed “evangelical ethos,” the 625-pupil school withdrew their support of the charity due to the organisation’s support of traditional marriage.
In a statement, the school said: “The College carried out due diligence on Samaritan’s Purse… and believed its values were in line with the College’s Christian ethos. We now accept our research, which was conducted in good faith, did not give sufficient consideration of the wider potential impacts that supporting Operation Christmas Child may have on the existing College community, or a proper assessment of the charitable purposes of Samaritan’s Purse. We have therefore decided not to support this charity in the future.”
The statement continued: “Whilst it is important to respect the right to freedom of expression and the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion within the bounds of the law, it is also important to be clear that such views are not in line with the school where pupils can be themselves and are respected and celebrated for who they are.
“We recognise that teaching across our curriculum and our pastoral care should respect and reflect the diversity in today’s society, and the importance of equality in our society and institutions.”
Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern described the move of the fee-paying college as a betrayal of Christian children and parents at the school.
“How sad to see a Christian school, with such an amazing heritage, pressured into abandoning its support for one of the most effective emergency relief organisations in the world just because it won’t water down what it believes in.”
Williams continued: “Franklin Graham is a man whose faith drives him to serve the poorest and most in need across the globe. What he has achieved through Samaritan’s Purse is nothing short of miraculous. He’s a faith hero just like his father, Billy.
“This is another in a long line of cancel culture stories where the pressure of an ideological LGBT lobby has forced people in charge into submission because they are scared to resist. This has to stop.”
Rev Graham said the charity welcomes everyone to fill shoeboxes with gifts for children and said it’s “disappointing that anyone would take issue with this.”