In George Orwell’s book ‘1984’, Oceania is ruled by one party that forcibly implements a new language, which is part of a process of preventing political rebellion by eliminating certain words. Even to think rebellious thoughts is illegal: it is thoughtcrime and is considered the worst of all crimes. When Felix Ngole was thrown off a social work course because of what he thought, we entered the world of ‘1984’. There had never been any complaint of discrimination against him and in spite of his assurance of professionalism, Sheffield University dismissed him. As The Guardian pointed out, such an approach would effectively rule out Christians from participating in any profession.  Peter Tatchell of Stonewall also defended the right to freedom of speech and thought. Fortunately, the Appeal Court judges agreed the university had exceeded professional guidelines. In an interview on Radio 4, Mr. Ngole gave a calm and reasoned defence of his position.1Peter3:15 says, ‘Be prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.’ We all need to be able to explain our beliefs to those who ask or call us to account. We don’t have to be defensive or aggressive; we don’t have to retreat into inflammatory words and phrases. We do need to be prepared and expect to have to give an account.

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