A Christian teacher who refused to address a student by their preferred pronouns is now being kept behind bars for the duration of the Christmas season, a judge ordered this past week.
Enoch Burke has been contending against the LGBT movement ever since he was suspended with pay this past summer for refusing to comply with a student’s and his school’s demands to use “they” rather than “he” when speaking to and about the student.
After Burke ignored a court order to stay away from the school during his suspension, Burke did not comply. He returned to campus and was subsequently arrested in September.
In jail ever since, Burke recently requested of the judge presiding over his case to release him for the holidays, noting that he was not a thief, a murderer or a drug dealer” and that he was being imprisoned solely for adhering to his Christian beliefs and values.
Despite this basic appeal, the judge refused to release Burke on account of the latter’s steadfast unwillingness to comply with his previous court order. The judge stated that Burke could secure his release as soon as he purged his contempt before the court. As this would amount to sacrificing his values and “reneging on his duty to God” – as the Daily Mail wrote – Burke has refused.
Burke put simply: “I am in prison for my religious beliefs.”
The Daily Mail continued is reporting, writing that Burke’s parents were present at the hearing in which they would be denied their son’s visitation for Christmas.
Mr Burke’s parents Sean and Martina were left in fury over their sons imprisonment.
Present in the court, Sean Burke said his son was not a criminal but had simply been brought up in a Christian family.
He added that his son was being wrongly persecuted over his objection to ‘transgenderism’ that was founded on the bible ‘from the book of Genesis to Revelations’.
Mr Burke’s mother Martina told the court ‘shame upon you’ and that they will face judgment from ‘God Almighty’.
Martina Burke also told the court that the case was ‘all about transgenderism’ and that her son was being denied his constitutional right to express his Christian beliefs.
The judge said he refused to enter into a debate with Mr Burke’s parents.
Burke has maintained his position amidst this corrupt judicial process since early last summer. Speaking in June, he said:
“I said that this was opposed to scripture and the teachings of all churches. My views on transgenderism are based on my religious beliefs.”
He added later:
“The suspension and the action taken against me by the school is unreasonable, unfair, unjust and unlawful. Freedom of conscience and freedom of religion is enshrined within the Irish constitution.”
Legal counsel for the school has portrayed their case as one of Burke violating a court order to stay away from the school as opposed to his specific views of transgenderism. Of course, his court order was the direct result of steps taken on account of his views, so the legal case seems tethered to a legal technicality rather than reality.
“The fact that he’s in prison is a matter for Mr Burke. [He] has decided not to obey the orders of this honourable court. Mr Burke has decided not to purge his contempt. If this order is granted, he will go back to the classroom. That’s what Mr Burke wants,” a lawyer representing the school said. “That would be of grave concern to the school and would cause disruption to the students. There should be no further disruption.”
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