One of the world’s most prestigious universities has issued an apology after hosting a Christian conference that featured a speaker who held controversial views on gender identity.
Worcester College at England’s Oxford University hosted a conference put together by Christian Concern earlier this month which was described by the group as an “intensive residential programme aimed at students and young professionals with a passion to serve Jesus Christ in a variety of vocations.”
When several students who did not attend the conference caught wind that one Dr. Mike Davidson, PhD, the CEO of the organizations Core Issues Trust and X-Out Loud, had been one of the speakers, they complained that the event was “hateful and invalidating,” as The Christian Post reports.
Davidson has been vocal about his opposition to “conversion therapy,” although many oppose the threats such bans could pose to legitimate forms of religious counseling erroneously included in the category of this controversial practice, as he has articulated.
Core Issues Trust, meanwhile, describes itself as seeking to support and minister to those “voluntarily seeking to leave homosexual behaviours and feelings.”
“Many of us come to uni hoping to be allowed to be ourselves and know we can trust our new community and home,” a group of students wrote in an outraged email to administrators and leaders at Worcester. “But how are we expected to place our trust in somewhere that, if it weren’t for a leaflet being left behind at breakfast, would have left us unaware that they had hosted a group that has consistently aimed to persecute and strip us of our rights for our sexuality, gender and or religion?”
The school quickly apologized.
“We deeply regret the distress caused to students, staff and other members of the college community by the presence of the Wilberforce Academy conference,” a spokesperson for the college said, according to school’s newspaper, The Oxford Tab.
Christian Concern says they have since reached out multiple times to college leadership to discuss what was “alleged” against the speakers at the conference, but has not received any reply.
They have decried the apology as symptomatic of “cancel culture.”
The group’s chief executive Andrea Minichiello Williams said in a statement, “if the college has turned its back on us, it seems that cancel culture has once again demonstrated the power of its grip in one of our top universities, fuelled by a small group of activists who won’t tolerate any view that departs from their own narrow ideology and who will resort to tactics of misrepresentation and sweeping allegations to get their way, seemingly frightening nearly everyone into submission.”
If you appreciate the work we are doing for faith, family, and freedom, please consider a small donation to help us continue. Thank you so much!