Dear First Minister,
I am writing to you as the moderator of the Free Church of Scotland and want to assure you of our prayers for you and your government. I also write in a personal capacity as a supporter of both you and the SNP. It’s no secret that you have long been the recipient of my vote. So please take this as a letter from a well-wisher not a detractor.
I am greatly concerned to read of your remarks on Thursday evening at the LGBTI Parliamentary Leaders debate (I note with interest that this seems to be the only special interest lobbying group that gets its own debate) and I would ask you to reconsider some of what you are proposing.
At one level of course much of what you said most reasonable people would agree with. Equality, anti-bullying, promoting children’s health, tolerance, respect, human rights, good citizenship, healthy relationships, inclusion and a modern fairer, Scotland; is the motherhood and apple pie of todays Scottish politics. But the trouble comes when we try to put some meaning and substance to these buzzwords.
The first thing to note is that this is not primarily about ‘equality’ in education, but rather the advancement of a particular teaching about sexuality and gender. In one sense it is the easy option for you (and other political leaders) to promise more LGBT ‘equality’. It doesn’t cost you a great deal to spend yet more millions of our money on the 1% of the population who are LGBT. Whilst it looks good to get a headline in the media saying ‘government promises more gay rights’, I suspect the vast majority of Scots are far more concerned that this is a diversion from wider issues. The real issue in equality is the growing gap between rich and poor in education and how that can be bridged. That is by far the greater need and dare I suggest that that is the key issue the new Scottish government needs to address. As another politician once said, the mantra is ‘education, education, education’.
The problem with the approach advocated by The Equality Network (a government funded lobby group) and others, is that it is limited to one very narrow area of life and one very narrow philosophy. You may regard it as a given that the redefinition of marriage to allow SSM was the best thing for society, but can we request that you don’t demonise those of us who disagree with that point of view as being homophobic supporters of inequality! Likewise what I say to you just now is not because of some deep-rooted transphobia or some kind of backward religious doctrine. I believe that you are being conned into accepting a philosophy and doctrine about gender that will have the opposite effect of what you intend.
Although the philosophy is narrow, its application is clearly not, as exemplified by Kezia Dugdale in her remarks last night. She wants LGBT issues to be taught not just in social education but also in every subject – in English, History, and Maths etc. This is nothing more than total indoctrination and as all the speakers said, they want teachers to be re-educated (indoctrinated) so that they can indoctrinate our children. Can you imagine the fuss that would be created if we suggested that Christianity should be taught in and through every subject in school? Why are you prepared to allow, fund and encourage this for the 1% of the population who profess to be LGBT and leave out the 50% who profess to be Christian? Are some more ‘equal’ than others?
We believe that what is proposed could actually be harmful to many children, and will not promote children’s health and well being and will not produce the utopia envisaged. The trouble is not with transgender or those who suffer from gender dysphoria. We would encourage the government to provide support and the right kind of help for those who struggle with gender identity disorder. It is a serious problem and people do need help. The problem is that you seem to have accepted the whole philosophy of gender fluidity. Is it now the policy of the SNP that there are no longer two genders, male and female, but many genders? And that people can choose to switch between as many of them as they wish? Is transgender now no longer trans between two genders, but trans multi-genders?
We do not believe that this will lead to the Brave New World envisaged by the proponents of the multi gender doctrine. It is destructive of humanity and will cause chaos in our society. Your statement seems to indicate that you now accept the unproven and somewhat bizarre notion that even children get to choose their own gender and sexuality. We believe that if this policy is accepted and acted upon, it will result in confusion and brokenness amongst our children rather than fulfilled potential. It is a policy that will bring untold disaster and harm upon Scotland’s children. This is nothing less than state sponsored indoctrination of the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society. To tell children that they can choose their own gender is a recipe for misuse and abuse. Teaching children they can choose their own gender is itself a form of child abuse.
We are also concerned that there will not be equality for those who do not agree with the new morality that children can choose their own gender or that such choosing should be encouraged. Your statement that “the very fact that we are still having debates like this at election time just underlines that there is still much that we need to do” is very concerning. Firstly having watched the ‘debate’ last night, I simply observe, where was the debate? All of the political leaders were falling over yourselves to boast how much each of you was meeting the LGBT agenda. There was no dissent, no questioning, no debate. No one dares challenge the narrative of the LGBT activists.
Your words suggest that you think that even having such a debate should not be permitted in a modern ‘progressive’ Scotland. These words were echoed by Patrick Harvie who wants anyone who disagrees with his agenda to be bracketed along with racists. Can I simply ask that we be allowed to have a debate? It seems to me that you and the political elites in Scotland are seeking to close down any debate. There is no rational, no reasoning, no looking at evidence. Like your ‘debate’ last night it is just emotion, virtue signalling and demonising anyone who dares to question. If you doubt that let me show you the hate mail and abuse I have received even from last night. We need to discuss and think about the kind of changes we are imposing upon our society. To you and your fellow party leaders it is obvious that you are right. But can you allow for the possibility that you might be wrong and that everything is not as black and white as you seem to think?
We too want ‘tolerance, respect and inclusion’, but we ask that that is extended to those of us who don’t automatically accept the latest change in the moral zeitgeist handed down to us from the Equality Network and others who consider themselves in the vanguard of the new moral enlightenment. Are we allowed to differ? And can I ask that if you really want a debate that you don’t just debate with those who already agree with you, but actually take time to debate with those who disagree? Would you be willing to debate myself and others?
There is also a major contradiction between your policy on gender balance in politics and boardrooms and your new ‘gender fluid’ policy. You intend to allow transgender people, who switch from the gender recorded at birth, to change their birth certificates without having to seek approval from a tribunal of lawyers and doctors. What happens if someone feels that their political career is being hampered because they are the wrong gender? If all they have to do is fill out a form and announce that they are another gender then what is to stop someone deciding to change gender if they think it will enable them to further their careers and job prospects? I’m sure you are aware that there has been a major clash between some in the radical feminist community, such as Germaine Greer, and those who support Transgender, precisely because of this problem. The bottom line is that if you accept the gender fluid philosophy it drives a cart and horse through your gender quotas policy. By the way if you strictly apply the quota system in order to enable ‘fairness’ and due proportionate representation (that the number of say party leaders who are female reflects the proportion of the population) do you think that should apply in other areas? Should only 1% of MSPs be gay? I note with interest that two thirds of the party leaders in Scotland are gay. Personally that doesn’t bother me, sexuality should no more be a factor in electing a politician than gender, but it does bother me if that is then used to push a gay rights agenda which overrides the rights of others and becomes the predominant moral issue in politics, media and education. And it also shows how selective politicians who advocate quotas are – do you not think by your logic that you should be pushing for a majority of leaders to reflect the majority of the population?
For me the most disturbing part of your speech is the statement that “Enabling young people to make informed choices about their gender and sexual identity is about supporting them to be themselves so that they might fulfil their potential.” This was echoed by Willie Rennie who stated that people need ‘education’ to ‘remove the archaic system that we have just now’ and the people should have the right to choose their own gender for themselves.
I believe in this statement you are out of touch with the vast majority of people in Scotland. We do not believe that we choose our gender, or that we are assigned it at birth, as though a doctor is picking gender for us. Gender, like skin colour is something that we are born with. This week I became a granddad. My granddaughter was not ‘assigned’ gender at birth, as though she were being given a name. She IS a girl. She is not one of several genders that she can get to pick and choose as she pleases later on, according to some societal construct or government edict. To teach that girl when she is five years old that she has the ability to choose whether she will be a boy or girl or one of the other 26 genders on Facebook, is to create a world of confusion, distortion and insanity. I believe you have made an enormous mistake by buying into this confused policy, just because you have been told it is the ‘progressive’ and caring thing to do.
You may be fortunate in that I suspect most senior politicians, educators and journalists won’t take on the LGBT lobby over this issue (it’s more than their job is worth or the emotional hate they will receive) and therefore no-one will challenge you at the elite level. But if you ask the ordinary people of Scotland about ‘gender fluidity’ I suspect you will find that most people regard it as nonsense. As parents we already have enough problems bringing up our children without the State creating this kind of confusion.
Willie Rennie asked a key question “for those who find this difficult. if nobody is restricting your freedom, why should you restrict anybody else’s freedom?” Of course nobody answered or thought about that on the panel. The fact is that your government constantly restricts people’s freedom – the smoking ban for example. You want to restrict the number of any specific gender who are on company boards. You do so because you believe, rightly, that some restrictions are for the good of the wider public. The other problem with Willie Rennie’s statement is that he and all of the political elites are proposing restricting the freedom of those who want their children to grow up in a community where they are given clear teaching about gender and sexuality.
First Minister, we have moved in a very short space of time from sexuality being perceived as something we are born with, to now being perceived as something fluid which we can choose. We have moved from marriage being a life long covenant between a man and a woman, to being a civil contract between any two people who ‘love one another’. We have moved from having fixed genders to letting children choose their own gender. Now we are moving from gender being male and female to gender fluidity. When will it stop? Unless someone has the courage to say, ‘stop this nonsense, enough!’ we will find that our political, media and social elites will have led us down a path that inevitably leads to destruction. It may be that you and others genuinely believe that you are progressing us to the secular Nirvana we keep hearing about. But what if you are wrong? What if, in hubris, our rulers are sowing the seeds of our destruction as a nation and people?
Today is April the 1st. Reading that the Scottish government intends to add a ‘third’ (why not 4th, 5th, 5,000th?) gender would make me wonder if this is an elaborate April Fool. Sadly this is not an April Fool, although it is one of the most foolish things that any politician has ever proposed. Do you seriously think government dictate can re-make humanity?
This is a very important issue. For me it is so important that if your policy announced tonight is something that is to be mandatory upon all SNP MSP’s you will lose my vote and I suspect I will not be the only one. Can I ask you to reconsider and to think again before introducing such a destructive and harmful policy?
David A Robertson
Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland.
The follow up to this letter and the response can be read here – Scotland’s Babylon – Who is going to Speak for Scotland’s Children?