Ethics Sex and sexuality

Debate About Gender Issues – Letter in The Sunday Herald


On Sunday the 8th the Sunday Herald ran a ridiculous piece about the TIE campaign and Transgender rights, where it did not deal with the issues and killed any sensible discussion with the headline ‘Christian Right accused of whipping up trans-panic’.  Although I was not allowed an article as a right of reply, they did agree to publish the following letter as their lead letter.  To be fair to the editor, Neil Mackay, he was true to his word.  You can read the text below and the original letter Here


The whole question of gender and gender fluidity is an important issue that goes to the heart of what it is to be human; therefore it was disappointing that it was covered in such a pejorative and prejudiced manner in The Sunday Herald (Christian right accused of whipping up ‘trans panic’, News, January 8). When an article is headlined like this, you know that a balanced, unprejudiced discussion of the issues is unlikely.

It is not helpful to accuse those who have questions about teaching children they can choose their own gender, as being “right-wing Christians”. I confess to being a Christian but I suspect I am far more left-wing than most Sunday Herald journalists. The mocking name-calling just illustrates the weakness of the argument.

Which is a shame because the issue is vital. I am not talking so much about the need to help and support those who suffer from gender dysphoria, with which I completely agree, but rather the fact that this particular condition is being used to further a complete moral, social, psychological, sexual and spiritual revolution. And that young children are being targeted for indoctrination into a sexual/political philosophy that will do them a great deal of harm.

The issue is not about transgender, changing from one gender to another, but rather whether gender exists at all. The new idea, which has no scientific or empirical evidence to support it, is that gender is just a social construct and nothing to do with biological sex. Gender is not fixed. It’s fluid and you can change your gender whenever you want to.

The political ideology means that gender dysphoria is no longer treated as a psychological condition. Rather than seeking to help by focusing on mental health and psychology, we are now told that changing appearance, hormones and anatomy is the solution. Instead of trying to change the mind to fit with the body, the body is changed to fit with the mind. And the success rate is poor. Given that 84 per cent of children who identify as transgender revert to their biological gender in adulthood, it is surely unwise to give puberty blockers to primary children or tell five-year-olds that they can choose whether to be a boy or a girl. I think of the seven-year-old who came home to her parents, confused and upset, asking, “am I a boy or a girl?” because the teacher had told the class that they could choose.

The Time for Inclusive Education programme is a Trojan horse that seeks to indoctrinate all children into this ideology and not allow any diversion from it. Far too many professionals, politicians and journalists, fearful of the abuse they will receive, are keeping quiet. Are those of us who deviate from this latest state-imposed moral authoritarianism only fit to be mocked, abused and sidelined?

Before we swallow this harmful ideology wholesale and indoctrinate our children with it, can we at least have a proper debate where evidence, facts and different points of view can be considered? Or in this post-truth world, has Scotland become such an authoritarian culture that it is now no longer possible to have such a debate?

David Robertson

St Peters Free Church



My view is that now is the time for people to stand up on this issue.  The Scottish Government are now saying they are in support of TIE…it is incredibly harmful.  We need to make people aware of what is going on.  It would be really good if the Church of Scotland, the Baptist Union, The Catholic Church and others made public their opposition to our children being taught this nonsense….

Incidentally this article in the Sunday Herald came a year after This one


  1. Brilliantly written, well said.

    I hate to be in the position of being able to say, “I told you so”, but unfortunately, as you can see from the links, as far as I could see it, the “time for people to stand up on this issue” was in the period 2002 (Goodwin) to 2005 (Allman). Where was my support then, when it might not have been too late to prevent what is happening today, to our children?

    The only press reports of the judgment of Sullivan J in my legal challenge to all this nonsense, were in the Metro, and, all credit to Dr Napier Malcom, in the paper that Dr Malcolm edits, British Church Newspaper. I referred to this publicity boycott of The Queen v The Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs (on the application of Allman), as evidence of the Judges 8 factor at work.


  2. The issue as to how children which have gender dysphoria are treated is raised in the recent bbc documentary – “Transgender Kids – Who decides ?”. This explores the treatment options for trans kids in Canada and reveals that the only treatment now being offered is transitioning and parents are being placed in an impossible position – “Allow your child to transition or they will hate you forever or they will kill themselves.” The only psychologist (Kenneth Zucker) offering alternative treatments has been sacked following a dubious report into his work. The program has been condemned by pro trans groups as being hateful etc. but is in my opinion the kind of balanced debate that is needed. It is currently available on iplayer.

    There is also an ‘interesting’ interpretation of Acts 8 given by a church of Canada minister.

  3. I have just posted on Doctors Net UK questioning whether or not teaching young children to “choose” their gender is child abuse, given the potential harmful effects of hormonal and surgical treatments and the poor clinical outcomes of transgender treatment. It will be interesting to see how the profession responds.

  4. Oh dear. We’re on a slippery slope here. Children already carry and hold too much power. There’s little to no discipline and they know parents and teachers can’t smack them, they already realise they can do what they like. So… now what? They get to choose their gender??? Really? This has gone too far now, way too far. Oh Lord, have mercy on us all.

  5. There is a need to keep plugging away at this, particularly against the way the so called discussion is being framed and you responded particularly well in the newspaper.

    There is also a great need for doctors like goodfeldt (apologies, I don’t know whether you are Dr. or Mr.) and scientists to get involved to deconstruct the myth of the of gender fluidity.

    Why is it left to ministers like David, who the public are more likely to see as biased, to respond to newspaper articles. (This is not in any way to be construed as an getting at goodfeldt, who seems to be seeking to harness support within the profession, which probably necessary, rather than rely on individual contributions. And he’s in England. Probably just as well he’s not) in Canada.

    I’ll watch the BBC prog, particularly as it seems to have some balance.

    Here is a link which reports on biological influence on play:

    Within it there is a link to an article on Zucker’s dismissal.

    This may be simplistic, but if gender is merely a social construct why is there a need to have a biological, chemical, reconstruct? Is that not. in itself, an acceptance that biology is important in identity, and it’s not merely social?

    I’ve just watched the BBC prog. I found it deeply disturbing, not merely interesting, due to damaged and broken lives. And due to the Canadian witch-hunt against Zucker and parents.

    Interesting is not the word I’d use for the hideous eisegesis of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. Blasphemous , if I heard correctly the description of our Triune God.

    The BBC is to be applauded for showing the programme. Far more balanced than anything I’ve seen on Newsnight on the subject.

  6. 1. Why do we base gender or sex entirely on external physical characteristics? It is entirely conceivable but admittedly less easy to prove with current technology that given how sex is determined genetically and epigenetically in the womb and through development that someone could have a ‘female’ brain and a ‘male’ body or vice versa.

    2. Given that biological physical expressions of sex and gender are variable and present as a continuum, why is it inconceivable that the way the brain is wired isn’t also on a continuum between masculinity and femininity? It’s why there is a difference between Hugh Jackman and Justin Bieber, or why there are intersex people. It is not irrational to think that as an organ which is heavily influenced by sex hormones (e.g. Oestrogen, testosterone) the brain could exist on this continuum between masculinity, femininity and intersex, irregardless of the outward biological appearance of gender.

    3. Do you have a source for the ‘84% of children who identify as transgender in childhood revert to their biological gender in adulthood’ statistic?

    4. I’m not transgender but I can kind of understand where they are coming from when they don’t want debate. I’ve never met a legitimately transphobic evangelical christian, and I admit that the media likes a good ‘religious right’ vs ‘sexual deviants’ story that they speak in hyperbole. But, I’m friends with transgender people, and I know the pain and suffering they go through and the violence (verbal and physical) they have to endure. I also know how much that can change by embracing the gender they identify with. So, I get the kickback against a church which often appears to be cold, flippant and insensitive, pushing them back to a place of suffering or accusing them of harming children.

    1. Frederick…..gender is not based on entirely physical characteristics – but they are vital…! Otherwise why even have GRS?

      Your point 2 seems to be saying that gender is completely fluid. Intersex has nothing to do with this…you do understand that intersex is entirely biological?

      Yes – look at the documentary…

      Your point 4 is valid but overstated and typical of the kind of emotional blackmail mentioned in the documentary – and yes I do think that teaching children they can choose their own gender is harmful.

    1. A little caution is required with the American College of Paediatricians. Although it claims to be politically neutral, many would describe it as having a right leaning agenda (Traditional Christian values). As such using their materials in discussions may be problematic as many do not see them as a credible source.

      Another source of background from a Christian perspective is available here …

  7. I think that the question of male brain in a female body and vice versa was dealt with by the scientist in the BBC documentary. There is no scientific basis for the assertion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: