A British priest who refused to censor his own straightforward rhetoric on the topics of abortion and state-sponsored euthanasia has been barred from holding a chaplain position at a local university:
The University of Nottingham, in central England, confirmed on Aug. 25 that it had declined to give official recognition to Fr. David Palmer, a priest of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.
"Our concern was not in relation to Fr. David's views themselves, but the manner in which these views have been expressed in the context of our diverse community of people of many faiths," a spokesperson for the university told [Catholic News Agency]...
"They referenced a tweet where I had referred to the proposed ‘assisted dying' bill [introduced in Britain's Parliament in May] as a bill to allow the NHS ‘to kill the vulnerable,'" Palmer told CNA via email on Aug. 26.
"I was told it was fine for me to have this opinion, but they were concerned with how I expressed it. When I asked how they would suggest I express it, quite remarkably, they suggested I should call it ‘end of life care,' which is a completely unacceptable policing of religious belief."
Palmer said the university also took issue with his medically accurate characterization of abortion as the "slaughter of babies."
Palmer correctly recognized that to censor his own language on this issue would effectively change the nature of his publicly stated convictions: If he must outwardly use favorable language to refer to policies with which he strongly disagrees, then he's effectively being forced to support those policies.
British commentator Inaya Folarin Iman strongly criticized the university's decision:
"Offense is a very small price to pay for living in a free society." Yep.
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