Written by Minister James Rathman
Students from the JCR at Lady Margaret Hall of Oxford University have voted to ban a Christian group from one of their colleges. The vote was overwhelming and was under the pretense that it would threaten the school's 'physical and mental safety.'
According to OxStu, the student newspaper, "members of the JCR who spoke in the debate recognized Christian Concern as a 'real threat to the physical and mental safety of students.'" One student made the point that "we're inviting them into our home and we can't invite people who stand against our values."
Christian Concern wanted to host a residential summer camp on the premises. But opponents stated that the Christian group was too conservative, and were voted against 'because their values do not align with those of the college.' The debate was in review, and the college's governing body will make its final decision next week.
The University of Oxford's motto is, "Dominus Illuminatio Mea," meaning "The Lord is my Light." The move is understood to be driven LGBT students. Their stance is that they wouldn't feel welcome at the college if it gave a platform to people who are openly homophobic.
There is also a perceived physical threat because of Christian Concern's alleged history of harassment by protesting outside of abortion clinics. The camp is reportedly scheduled to gather for the summer of 2019, before the term starts. However, no fixed date has been set.
Although the majority of the university students will not be at the college at that time period, some of them will be on site conducting projects for research purposes. There are also approximately 60 postgraduates who live permanently at the site.
A JCR spokesperson made a statement to the OxStu saying: "The JCR met to discuss, and passed a motion that they opposed the group coming. However, until a decision is made, it would not be appropriate to comment further."