Notwithstanding the manifest bias and blatant support for homosexual rights in the Norfolk police (indeed, it is manifest in society generally), it is reported that PC Cogman was ordered not to use the police internal communication system to for personal purposes.
He disobeyed this order.
While dismissal appears to be something of an overreaction, the Bible is clear that one must submit to authority, and that includes Ceasar. But PC Cogman says that the gay rights agenda made ‘being a Christian officer extremely difficult’.
Well, being a Christian anywhere is difficult, and it occurs to Cranmer – unless PC Cogman struggles in the area of his sexuality – that having to endure a few emails or pink and rainbow ribbons is utterly insignificant compared to what our brothers and sisters in the Lord endure on a daily basis in Israel, Egypt, Iraq – where the persecution is very real, and quite literally a matter of life and death.
Yet PC Cogman says: ‘I have to make a stand when things become so blatantly biased against me just because I hold a faith.’
One might consider the example of Jesus when he was presented with the woman caught in adultery. Cranmer has no doubt that he was also finding it a little difficult ‘because of his faith’, but his example was to show compassion and forgiveness. Certainly he encouraged her to sin no more, but he did not do so with condemnation which included the words ‘inappropriate’, ‘thoughtless’ or ‘insensitive’, as PC Cogman is reported to have done. And neither did Jesus use the occasion as an opportunity to quote those scriptures to her which are critical of adultery.
And Cranmer is equally sure that the Lord did not say to her anything like ‘Love the sinner, hate the deed,’ not least because for many sinners their sexual behaviour has become so much a part of their identity that there is no convenient distinction to be made: to hate the sin is to hate the sinner.
Jesus never promised that being a Christian would be easy, and the call to take up one’s cross is a daily one. To be crucified with Christ is a daily anguish endured patiently and silently by millions all around the world. PC Cogman certainly breached the internal email ban, but there is prima facie evidence that he also failed to treat his colleagues with ‘politeness, tolerance and respect, regardless of their beliefs, age, gender or sexual orientation’.
It is undoubtledly wrong that gay rights now trump religious rights, and of course diversity statements cut both ways, but for a professing Christian to set aside a direct order from a superior is unwise. And to continue using the police email system to communicate personal beliefs is indeed unacceptable. Certainly, PC Cogman may have been discriminated against, even harassed and bullied, but there are appropriate procedures in all organisations for dealing with such matters, and such procedures must be followed.