Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Edinburgh University Bans Christian Club from giving Abstinence Course

EDINBURGH, Scotland, November 22, 2006 ( - University of Edinburgh officials have banned students with the Christian Union from holding a six-week course teaching abstinence on campus grounds.

The University made the decision to ban the program, entitled ‘PURE‘, after some students objected to literature promoting the course, which apparently included stories from people who had been “cured” of homosexuality, the Scotsman reported Sunday.

The course promotes marriage as the best setting for a sexual relationship, encouraging students to abstain from sexual activity until they are ready to get married. Officials said the course promotional material broke the “equality” and “diversity” rules of the University.

According to a university spokeswoman the course was “contradictory to our equality and diversity values” and not appropriate to run on university or Students Association premises.

The Christian Union is considering taking legal action against the university, on the grounds of human rights violations. Laura Stirrat, vice-president of Edinburgh University’s Christian Union, said, “The university is effectively closing down free speech.”

The Union has been forced to teach the course off-campus in a student’s apartment.

Peter Kearney, a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland, said the decision was “nothing more than blind and unthinking political correctness” on the part of the University.

The director of Share Jesus International, the Rev. Dr. Rob Frost, told Christian Today the University’s ban was not an isolated incident--he said Christian Unions in the UK have been enduring increasing oppression over the past five years.

“If we cannot have Christian organizations run by Christians, and traditional bible believing teaching given on student property, one must ask, ‘What kind of world are we entering?’”

“I commend those who will say political correctness has its place but there are even more vital things at stake here.”

By Gudrun Schultz

To respectfully contact Principal and Vice Chancellor Professor Timothy O‘Shea:

The University of Edinburgh
Old College, South Bridge,
Edinburgh, EH8 9YL