As a result of the article in the Times, the attack from the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and all that followed, most newspapers carried stories in similar vein. I wrote about the background to this here I would love to have just let things lie, but in today’s world, where everything is on the internet forever and people continue to abuse and attack it is sometimes necessary to challenge the distortions and attacks. I find this especially necessary because the bullies and cowards not only attack me but they have a go at my family and anyone associated with me. Being labelled ‘transphobic’ in todays society is the equivalent to being labelled a Nazi in the UK today, or a Communist in 1950’s America. So I wrote the following to the Times which was published by them on Saturday.
I am disappointed that my attempt to have a serious discussion about how Jesus would deal with those who suffer from Gender Identity Disorder has been dealt with in such a shallow and unthinking manner by politicians and clergy alike. Perhaps you would allow me to explain my position for those who will only have read the soundbites and not the article in the Free Church Record.
I agree with the EIS that schools should be inclusive and welcoming for all pupils including those who suffer from gender dysphoria. However accepting pupils is not the same as accepting ideologies and I do not agree that schools should teach Queer theory which argues, without any scientific basis, that gender is just a social construct.
It is harmful to children to teach them that they are not boys or girls but were just ‘assigned a gender at birth; that biological sex has nothing to do with being male or female; or that they can change as they wish. Rev Mark Strange’s statement whilst full of the usual meaningless truisms, is judgemental and wrong. I too believe we are all the children of God – the God who created us male and female – and I will do my best to protect children from those who seek to destroy that. I’m sure that most parents in Scotland will agree with me in opposing this current dangerous illiberal fad. “
David A Robertson
Editor The Record
Further to your report of the 15th of March I would be grateful if you would allow me to correct some comments that were falsely attributed to me. I did not use the phrase ‘anatomical ideology’, nor did I say that ‘my problem is with trans people who take the view that cross gender identification is common to all. or that ‘the unhappiness of some trans people may be their own fault’. I regard all these statements as ridiculous and deny that I said them.
My view is quite straightforward. I recognise that there are a small number of people who suffer from Gender Identity Disorder and who need support and help. I disagree that this means we should accept the philosophy and ideology known as Queer Theory, which teaches that gender is just a social construct and nothing to do with biology; that there are many genders other than male and female; and that young children should be encouraged to choose their gender. The proposals of the Scottish government to allow people just to self identify as any gender they wish, without the need of medical help or the requirement to have lived for a couple of years as the opposite gender, is in my view dangerous and unhelpful. The indoctrination that is going on in some of our schools, whilst being well intended, is in my view harmful to children and will create enormous societal problems in the years to come.
The attempt by ideological activists to close down any debate or discussion of this subject is equally worrying. If I am to be demonised by the politicians and clergy for speaking what 90% of people in Scotland know to be common sense and reality, then so be it. But I would at least ask the my comments be reported accurately.
Finally – this was sent to the Dundee Courier
The most disturbing aspect of your report (15th March) on the fuss surrounding my remarks on the Scottish government’s gender self-identification proposals, is that the Scottish Government has deemed my remarks ‘unacceptable’. It appears to me that we are moving more and more towards what might be described as a ‘liberal fascistic’ state, where if you don’t agree with the moral philosophy of the government and the current elitist zeitgeist, you are deemed to be ‘unacceptable’.
Just what is it that the Scottish government found so unacceptable? I was objecting to the teaching of Queer Theory in Scotland’s schools (including sadly several in Dundee) where under the guise of the worthy cause of preventing bullying and making all children feel accepted, a radical and unscientific philosophy is being indoctrinated into our children. Queer theory teaches that gender is nothing to do with biology; that it is entirely a social construct; that we are ‘assigned’ our gender at birth and can change it if we want to. I object to telling primary school boys and girls that they can choose their gender, that they have to call people by their ‘preferred’ (and made up) pronouns and that anyone who thinks that humanity consists of male and female and not the 79 ‘genders’ on Facebook is transphobic!
The potential consequences of the gender self-identification bill are horrific. It will make a mockery of women’s sport, undermine feminism and place the weak and vulnerable in danger. Which is why Rev Marks Strange’s comments are so wrong – he states that ‘we are all Gods’ children
, equally loved and cherished for who we are” – as though being opposed to the indoctrination of children with Queer Theory, is somehow opposed to that. I believe that we are all the children of the God who created us as male and female. We live in a broken world where there are people who suffer from Gender Identity Disorder and need help and support with that. But using GID to overturn the whole teaching about humanity is not ‘loving and kind’. And seeking to bully those who dare to question the new absolutist morality of our rulers, is cowardly, irrational and worst of all, harmful to our children.
As anyone who has ever had to face the fury of Trans activists will understand – this has not been a pleasant week. It has felt like being thrown to the wolves. Sometimes the secular media seems to get this a lot better than the church. I read this fascinating article in Unherd on why the media just doesn’t get trans issues
I was stuck by their final comment:
“Who, though, is brave enough to give a platform for the other side of the argument? At the moment, some are allowed to speak, and others are actively being silenced. What is this Orwellian nightmare our news media has enabled?”
All I can say is that I have been trying. As I indicated in the earlier article I am glad to be out of the country just now although I wish there was someone else who would take all the media phone calls and requests for interviews. But this is going to get a lot worse. It’s ironic that I am preparing to speak next weekend at the Katoomba Easter Christian Convention, on the subject of courage! Because we are going to need it – and I am not ashamed to admit I am scared.
What can you do? Pray…please. Private messages of support – thanks. Public statements of support even better. Most won’t write to newspapers or be asked to publicly comment, but what you can do is just say a word in season when you have the opportunity. You can speak up in your schools, universities and workplaces – in a tactful, loving and honest manner. Especially when you are asked. And if, as a result of someone reading about what I said, you are asked what you think and if you support me, please don’t give the kind of political, ‘neutral’ answer that the Free Church did (because that just adds fuel to the fire). Dare to say yes and be prepared to give an answer when you are asked why. The more people who stand up and refuse to be intimidated, the more we are likely to see things change for the better.
The trouble is that the way that the question is so often framed is wrong. It is always set up as if you are against Queer theory (the view that gender is a social construct and can be changed at will) then you must hate trans people. I don’t. And I would plead with anyone who reads this – not to hate anyone – and especially trans people. They too are people made in the image of God who need to see, know and experience the love of God. But it’s precisely because of that love that we need to speak out. We must refuse to be bullied and intimidated by those who hate in the name of love. And we must never stoop to hatred, or give into fear.
This was my psalm this morning:
PSALM 62 L.M.
1 My soul finds rest in God alone;
From him comes my salvation sure.
2 My safety, fortress, sheltering rock—
In him alone I am secure.
3 How long will you assault a man?
Do you all seek to lay him low—
This leaning wall, this tottering fence—
And bring about his overthrow?
4 They plan his fall from his high place;
They take delight in spreading lies.
With false and flattering mouths they bless,
But in their hearts curse and despise.
5 Find rest, my soul, in God alone;
In him my hope is ever sure.
6 My safety, fortress, sheltering rock—
In him alone I am secure.