A Christian social worker who is taking legal action after having a job offer withdrawn because he refused to “embrace and promote” homosexuality says it’s imperative for other Christians to “stand up” for their beliefs, or they will face increased hostility in the workplace.
“I [could’ve] just gone quietly, as a lot of people do. That would save me a lot of stress,” Felix Ngole told Fox News Digital.
Growing up in Cameroon, Ngole said he always thought of Great Britain and America as places where freedom of speech and religion were protected. He felt “very sad” upon finding his Christian beliefs under attack after moving to the United Kingdom years ago and pursuing a career in social work.
In 2019, Ngole won a landmark free speech case against his university, after they kicked him out of a social work program because he had quoted the Bible in comments about homosexuality on his Facebook account. He was surprised to again find these comments getting him in trouble after he applied to a job with the NHS and the recruiting organization discovered his “very strong views” on homosexuality and marriage.
Ngole said he “really wanted the job” so he pushed back on these requirements and requested to meet with Touchstone to discuss the issue further. During that meeting, he reassured them he would not discriminate against anyone. However, he said the discussion turned into a two-hour “interrogation of [his] faith” instead.
“‘I hold strong Christian beliefs, of course, I cannot apologize for that. And in the same token, I’m not going to discriminate against your clients. I’ve worked with this same group of clients before and nobody’s ever complained about my practice. I’m qualified. I do my job well, and its unfair that you would withdraw this job offer,'” Ngole recalled telling Touchstone.
But the mental health company reaffirmed their decision to withdraw the job offer.
“And it’s not about me, only. It’s about my children and my children’s children and my neighbor’s children as well….We have to start challenging it now. And if we don’t these people keep doing it. You know, the only way they can learn is if somebody stands up and says, ‘this is not right,’” he added. “Things change when people challenge the system. When people don’t, the system will keep going as normal and it will come [back] to bite us.”
Ngole’s case was supposed to be heard at the Leeds Employment Tribunal last week. However, the court adjourned the case so that Touchstone could submit evidence called “minority stress theory” in their defense.
According to the Christian Legal Centre who is supporting Ngole, this theory is being tested in the UK court for the first time. The theory claims that if a minority client, such as someone who is LGBTQ, came across the social worker’s statements condemning homosexuality, they would face undue stress and potential harm.
“There is nothing that suggests that I’ve ever discriminated against anyone,” Ngole said. “If anything, I believe in the love that God has given us. I believe in the Bible when the Bible says ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes him shall not perish but have everlasting life. And God did not send His son to condemn the world, but that through Him, it might be saved.’ That is the tenets of my faith that I may not agree with their lifestyle.”
“I don’t have to agree with it,” he continued. “I know it is wrong, but at the same time, I love them as somebody who is in front of me. I’m not going to, you know, promote their lifestyle. I’m not going to tell them what they are doing is right, but I can still show them love. And that is what they really struggle with.”
Touchstone Support declined to comment, saying it would be “inappropriate” to comment on the pending case.