Books Politics Scotland Sex and sexuality

When Harry Became Sally – the ‘must read’ book of the decade!

When Harry Became Sally – Responding to the Transgender Movement

Ryan T. Anderson

51k6sgApxVLThis is a stunning book – the best I have read on the subject of Transgender.   But it is about so much more than that. It covers issues such as gender fluidity, the difference and connection between biological sex and gender; feminism, politics, government, law and media. Although it is written from and into the American situation (which seems especially nuts) it is certainly applicable to the UK and other areas of the Western world – or indeed any part of the world where Western liberal imperialists seek to impose their ideology

It is well researched and written, with a great mixture of theory and practice. I was particularly moved by the personal testimonies of those who have been harmed by the current trans fad amongst the governing elites. They are heartbreaking.

Before any lawmakers, just following the fashion, pass any further laws on changing gender and adopting the whole concept of gender fluidity – they should read this book. (In my own country I hope every MSP will read this before passing the Scottish Governments mad gender self-identity proposals – if you baulk at my description of it being ‘state sponsored child abuse’, then read this book for the evidence. Of course the way the militant trans activists conduct themselves I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to get it banned – so get your copy now. It will enlighten, inform and sadden you.   It will also make you glad that someone with brains and sanity has their finger on the pulse of what is going on!

As usual I take highlights out of books – but this one is so good I have over 90 – so I have reduced them down to the highlights of the highlights.   Better still get the book for yourself. Read and weep – for surely we are heading down a dark and dangerous path. May we come to our senses as a society before any more young people and children are harmed.

  1. Biology is not Bigotry
  2. Transgender ideology is self-contradictory
  3. Its politically incorrect and dangerous to oppose the Trans ideologues
  4. Transgender procedures do more harm than good.
  5. Transgender ideology is changing and harming the medical and psychiatric professions
  6. Transgender ideologues seek to use the education system to indoctrinate their ideology.
  7. Transgender ideology is unscientific and irrational
  8. Transgender ideology is based on a false and dangerous understanding of gender
  9. Transgender ideology harms feminism and women
  10. Transgender ideology harms children
  11. Transgender ideology must be opposed and defeated – for the good of all of us.

David Robertson

1) Biology Isn’t Bigotry

The best biology, psychology, and philosophy all support an understanding of sex as a bodily reality, and of gender as a social manifestation of bodily sex. Biology isn’t bigotry. Every human society has been organized around a recognition that men and women are different, and modern science shows that the differences begin with our DNA and development in the womb.

2) The Self Contradictions of Transgender Dogma

Activists tend to be uncompromising in their demands, yet their worldview is fraught with contradictions. It holds that the real self is fundamentally separate from the material body, yet insists that transforming the body is crucial for personal wholeness. It attaches a notion of authentic gender identity to stereotypical activities and dispositions, yet it grows from a philosophy holding that gender is an artificial construct. It promotes a radical subjectivity in which individuals should be free to do whatever they wish and to define the truth as they choose, yet it calls for enforced conformity of belief in transgender dogma.

A CNN report on the subject in 2016 said that gender identity and expression “can change every day or even every few hours,” and this fluidity “can be displayed in how we dress, express and describe ourselves.” Moreover, it added, “Everyone’s gender exists on a spectrum.”

3) It’s Politically Incorrect and Dangerous to oppose the Trans ideologues

But it’s better to be correct than politically correct where human lives are concerned.

But Time was judged guilty of using “a simplistic and outdated understanding of biology to perpetuate some very dangerous ideas about trans women,” and failing to acknowledge that biological sex “isn’t something we’re actually born with, it’s something that doctors or our parents assign us at birth.”

4) Transgender Procedures do more harm that good.

The institution was a forerunner in offering sex reassignment procedures, largely due to John Money, a professor of medical psychology at Johns Hopkins University who in the 1960s advanced a radical notion that gender is only a social construct without any real connection to biology. Indeed, Money appears to have been the first person to use the term “gender” in this way in the academic literature. He famously claimed to have helped a family successfully raise their twin sons as brother and sister after a botched circumcision destroyed one boy’s penis. Money presented this case, along with findings from his work with “intersex” children, as proof that infants aren’t born with a specific gender and that any child might be raised as either a boy or a girl (perhaps with medical assistance). In reality, the young boy raised as a girl always felt that something was wrong, despite all the hormones and surgery and social conditioning he was subjected to. When he was fourteen, his parents told him the truth. Both twins took their own lives in their mid-thirties. Yet Money never backed away from his radical claims.

After studying the evidence, McHugh decided that sex change surgery was bad medicine and was “fundamentally cooperating with a mental illness.” Psychiatrists, he thought, could better help patients with gender dysphoria by “trying to fix their minds and not their genitalia.”

This is a real outcome of transition. I’m a real live 22 year old woman with a scarred chest and a broken voice and 5 o’clock shadow because I couldn’t face the idea of growing up to be a woman. That’s my reality.

One study from 2011, for example, found suicide rates for people who have transitioned that are nineteen times higher than those of the general population.

A study done in 2014 found that 41 percent of people who identify as transgender will attempt suicide at some point in their lives, compared with 4.6 percent of the general population. Suicide attempts do not spring from nowhere, and people who identify as transgender are more likely to suffer from conditions that too often lead to suicide: depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse. These problems do not seem to be alleviated much by sex reassignment procedures. While those measures may bring temporary satisfaction, as we saw in the stories of detransitioners, they do not tend to promote long-term mental health. The poor outcomes can’t be blamed on a hostile or bigoted society, since they are reported even in the cultures most accepting of people who identify as transgender. It is true that transgender individuals face discrimination and other kinds of social stress, but the research doesn’t show these factors to be solely or chiefly responsible for the relatively poor mental health of transgender subpopulations.

5) Transgender Ideology is changing and harming the medical and psychiatric professions

A postmodern worldview is changing medicine from a profession that restores health and wholeness, into a set of techniques to provide customers with what they desire.

Truth tellers and healers are being punished by government and by society. In several states, McHugh points out, “a doctor who would look into the psychological history of a transgendered boy or girl in search of a resolvable conflict could lose his or her license to practice medicine,” but there is no penalty for putting such a patient on drugs to block puberty, which may cause a host of problems.

I want to ask you, how many other medical conditions are there where you can walk into the doctor’s office, tell them you have a certain condition, which has no objective test, which can be caused by trauma or mental health issues or societal factors, and receive life-altering medications on your say-so?

When we step back from contentious political debates, we can see scientists acknowledging what might otherwise be an unpopular truth: that there are biological differences between men and women, and they are consequential for our health. Recognizing differences between the sexes is increasingly regarded as vitally important for good medical practice, because scientists have found that male and female bodies tend to be susceptible to certain diseases in different ways, to differing degrees, and they respond to treatments differently. For this reason, the best research protocols now require that both males and females be included in samples, and that the sex of participants be tracked so that any sex-specific results can be recorded.

In all cases, the starting point is to recognize that feelings are not the same as reality. “Psychiatrists obviously must challenge the solipsistic concept that what is in the mind cannot be questioned,” says McHugh. “Disorders of consciousness, after all, represent psychiatry’s domain; declaring them off-limits would eliminate the field.” He’s right. Mental health professionals must not simply help people survive with whatever beliefs they happen to hold, but help people accept the truth, as they work through the deeper issues beneath the false beliefs.

Unfortunately, many professionals now view health care in general, and mental health care in particular, as primarily a matter of fulfilling a patient’s desires. In the words of Leon Kass, a professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, today a doctor is often regarded as merely “a highly competent hired syringe”: The implicit (and sometimes explicit) model of the doctor-patient relationship is one of contract: the physician—a highly competent hired syringe, as it were—sells his services on demand, restrained only by the law (though he is free to refuse his services if the patient is unwilling or unable to meet his fee). Here’s the deal: for the patient, autonomy and service; for the doctor, money, graced by the pleasure of giving the patient what he wants. If a patient wants to fix her nose or change his gender, determine the sex of unborn children, or take euphoriant drugs just for kicks, the physician can and will go to work—provided that the price is right and that the contract is explicit about what happens if the customer isn’t satisfied.

Whereas the law forbids discrimination on the basis of sex, HHS redefined the word “sex” to mean “gender identity,” without legal authority to do so. Medical professionals and health-care organizations would thus be penalized for believing—as a matter of faith, moral conviction, or professional judgment—that maleness and femaleness are biological realities to be respected, not defects to be corrected.


6) Transgender Ideologists seek to use the education system to indoctrinate their ideology

Activists are particularly intent on promoting their policy agenda in schools, with serious consequences not only for students’ privacy and safety, but also for their development: for what is taught about biological sex and gender identity, and for whether children with gender dysphoria will be helped or harmed.

In the case of gender dysphoria, unfortunately, the mistaken belief is often encouraged by school counselors who, “rather like cult leaders, may encourage these young people to distance themselves from their families and offer advice on rebutting arguments against having transgender surgery.” What these young people need is to be removed from this “suggestive environment” and be presented with a different message. The proliferation of gender clinics in America and gender identity programs in the schools makes it less likely that children will get the help they need to work out their issues. Instead, they find “gender counselors” who encourage them to maintain their false assumptions.

Schools are a major front in this campaign, as we saw earlier in the guidelines produced by the National Education Association and the ACLU along with various LGBT groups. The aim of protecting students who identify as transgender from bullying and respecting their dignity is reasonable in itself, but that’s not what these policies are about. They’re about a larger program of indoctrination in gender ideology.

7) Transgender ideology is unscientific and irrational

At the core of the ideology is the radical claim that feelings determine reality. From this idea come extreme demands for society to play along with subjective reality claims. Trans ideologues ignore contrary evidence and competing interests; they disparage alternative practices; and they aim to muffle skeptical voices and shut down any disagreement. The movement has to keep patching and shoring up its beliefs, policing the faithful, coercing the heretics and punishing apostates, because as soon as its furious efforts flag for a moment or someone successfully stands up to it, the whole charade is exposed. That’s what happens when your dogmas are so contrary to obvious, basic, everyday truths. A transgender future is not the “right side of history,” yet activists have convinced the most powerful sectors of our society to acquiesce to their demands. While the claims they make are manifestly false, it will take real work to prevent the spread of these harmful ideas.

In all cases, the starting point is to recognize that feelings are not the same as reality. “Psychiatrists obviously must challenge the solipsistic concept that what is in the mind cannot be questioned,” says McHugh. “Disorders of consciousness, after all, represent psychiatry’s domain; declaring them off-limits would eliminate the field.” He’s right. Mental health professionals must not simply help people survive with whatever beliefs they happen to hold, but help people accept the truth, as they work through the deeper issues beneath the false beliefs.

The first observation to make about the outcome of sex reassignment surgery is that it doesn’t actually reassign sex. Cosmetic surgery and cross-sex hormones don’t change the deeper biological reality, which begins with our DNA and fetal development, unfolding in every bodily system.

“Transgendered men do not become women, nor do transgendered women become men” through hormones and surgery, Dr. McHugh emphasizes. Instead, they become “feminized men or masculinized women, counterfeits or impersonators of the sex with which they ‘identify.’” Their future is problematic, since it is “not easy nor wise to live in a counterfeit sexual garb.

Things are even more opaque when people claim a gender identity at odds with their biological sex. This raises metaphysical questions concerning what it could mean to “be” a man in a woman’s body, and epistemological questions concerning how a man could know what it is to “feel” like a woman. As the philosopher Thomas Nagel argued back in 1974, no one (other than a bat) can answer the question “What is it like to be a bat?” So, can a man know what it feels like to be a woman? Or vice versa? It is impossible to know experientially what it is like to be something one is not. The claim of a biological male that he is “a woman stuck in a man’s body” presupposes that someone who has a man’s body, a man’s brain, a man’s sexual capacities, and a man’s DNA can know what it is like to be a woman. As many feminists have pointed out, no biological male can really experience what it is like to be a woman, for males can have no embodied female experiences. Many of the claims made by transgender activists seem therefore to rely on stereotypes of what “real” men and women are like, of male versus female preferences and interests.

8) Transgender Ideology is based on a false and dangerous understanding of gender

A week before the Karen Pence profile ran in the Post, a columnist for the Daily Telegraph wrote an op-ed titled “It should be illegal to be a stay-at-home mum.” Sarrah Le Marquand argued that feminism shouldn’t be about giving women choices, but rather about making women equal to men, with “equal” understood as acting the same—regardless of what any woman might want. Le Marquand is willing to tolerate moms staying home for the first couple of years in a child’s life, but she isn’t willing to tolerate that choice when children are old enough to attend school, and she wants her preference to be enforced by law. “Rather than wail about the supposed liberation in a woman’s right to choose to shun paid employment,” she wrote, “we should make it a legal requirement that all parents of children of school-age or older are gainfully employed.”

Sex is a bodily, biological reality, and gender is how we give social expression to that reality. Gender properly understood is a social manifestation of human nature, springing forth from biological realities, though shaped by rational and moral choice. Human beings are creatures of nature and of culture, but a healthy culture does not attempt to erase our nature as male or female embodied beings. Instead, it promotes the integrity of persons, in part by cultivating manifestations of sex differences that correspond to biological facts. It supports gender expressions that reveal and communicate the reality of our sexual nature.

Simone de Beauvoir inaugurated this line of thinking in The Second Sex (1949). Recall these memorable lines from the book: “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. No biological, psychological, or economic fate determines the figure that the human female presents in society; it is civilization as a whole that produces this creature, intermediate between male and eunuch, which is described as feminine.”

9) Transgender Ideology harms feminism and women

Gender identity access polices will make girls more vulnerable to sex crimes and very possibly more reluctant to report them.

In Seattle, a man used a women’s locker room at a public swimming pool to undress in front of young girls who were changing for swim practice. When staff asked him to leave, the man said: “the law has changed and I have a right to be here.”

In a report for the Heritage Foundation, Melody Wood and I documented over 130 examples of men charged with using bathroom, locker room, and shower access to target women for voyeurism and sexual assault. Intimate facilities are already places where woman can feel unsafe, so why remove essential safeguards?

For the first time, progressive and conservative women have come together to challenge the notion that gender is the same as sex. We are radical feminists, lesbians, Christians and conservatives that are tabling our ideological differences to stand in solidarity against gender identity legislation, which we have come to recognize as the erasure of our own hard-won civil rights. As the Hands Across the Aisle Coalition, we are committed to working together, rising above our differences, and leveraging our collective resources to oppose the transgender agenda.

My driving goal in life is making the world a better place for girls and women, the people who are oppressed globally on the basis of female biological sex. These people are aborted in the womb or smothered to death as infants because they have vulvas. They are sold in childhood to men as sex and breeding slaves and the world calls it “child marriage.” They perform countless hours of uncompensated labor and are treated as servants by men of all cultures. They are trafficked as commodities in the global prostitution and surrogacy industries. They go to jail for suspicious miscarriages. They are criminalized for having home births and for extended breastfeeding. They suffer court-ordered forced caesareans. The list goes on and on. Transgender ideology tells us there is no such thing as biological sex and robs us of our ability to name the class of people who suffer sex-based oppression. If we cannot name a phenomenon, we certainly cannot fight it. Gender ideology is harmful to women and girls.

10) Transgender Ideology harms children

But there is no reliable scientific evidence to support the view that professionals can actually know whether a child will persist in a transgender identity into adulthood.

The use of any experimental medical treatment on children calls for “especially intense scrutiny,” they emphasize, “since children cannot provide legal consent to medical treatment of any kind . . . to say nothing of consenting to become research subjects for testing an unproven therapy.” The rapid acceptance of puberty suppression as a treatment for gender dysphoria with little scientific scrutiny should raise concerns about the welfare of the children who receive this treatment. In particular, we should question the claim that it is both physiologically and psychologically “reversible.”

There is no such thing as generic “parenting.” There is mothering, and there is fathering, and children do best with both. While many mothers and many fathers have raised children alone out of necessity, and have done so successfully, it remains true that mothers and fathers bring different strengths to the task.

The rate of teenage pregnancy is far lower among girls who have had a father at home throughout their childhood and adolescence than among those whose father has left the home sometime before they turn eighteen, and this effect is greater the longer a father sticks around.

The best sociological evidence available, controlling for other factors including poverty and even genetics, indicates that both boys and girls fare best on virtually every indicator examined—educational achievement, emotional health, familial and sexual development, and delinquency—when they are raised by their wedded biological parents.

11) Transgender Ideology must be opposed and defeated

Children need our protection and guidance as they navigate the challenges of growing into adulthood. We need medical professionals who will help them mature in harmony with their bodies, rather than deploy experimental treatments to refashion their bodies. And we need a culture that cultivates a sound understanding of gender and how it is rooted in biology, a culture that respects our differences without imposing restrictive stereotypes.

A healthy society would recognize a mother’s preference to care for her child not only as her personal wish but as what’s best for her child and for society.

12) We must be tolerant and loving towards those who struggle with their gender identity

We should be tolerant—indeed, loving—toward those who struggle with their gender identity, but also be aware of the harm done to the common good, particularly to children, when transgender identity is normalized

Religious leaders can contribute to these efforts in various ways. They’ll need to provide pastoral care to people struggling with their gender identity, to people who have transitioned, and to their families and communities. Pastors will need to teach their flocks the truth about the human person, male and female. They can do this by drawing from reason and revelation, philosophy and theology, psychology and biology. In addition to the resources and talents they already possess, they’ll need education specifically in gender identity issues.

Thrown to the Wolves – What happens when you dare to question the Trans agenda.

David Robertson: Children are being indoctrinated over gender – they should find identity in Christ Read – The Scotsman

WWJD – about Transgender?






  1. Biology: “There is a “vas deferens” (look it up) between male and female.” This was my “O & A level” biology teacher’s humour. Memorable though it is, today, she’d probably be disciplined for it.
    There is indeed a vast difference between male and female reproductive organs.
    Perhaps we need to be emphasising “male” and “female” rather than “men” and “women” language, which seems more open to being hijacked by gender language.

  2. “5) Transgender Ideology is changing and harming the medical and psychiatric professions”

    Drivers in the US health care system are very different from the UK where the driving force is $$$$. Gender dysphoria clinics are very profitable, especially in view of the current social contagion of so-called “rapid onset gender dysphoria” among teenagers.

    However in the UK doctors are heavily regulated by the General Medical Council (GMC) and there are very stringent rules and regulations governing medical practice.

    For example para. 16a of “Good Medical Practice” states, “In providing clinical care you must: a) prescribe drugs or treatment, including repeat prescriptions, only when you have adequate knowledge of the patient’s health and are satisfied that the drugs or treatment serve the patient’s needs. Thee are similar, possibly stronger guidelines, when it comes to cosmetic surgery. Doctors who breach these guidelines may be disciplined including the possibility of being struck off the register.

    Consequently we are still protected to a great extent in the UK from what we see in the US. Currently an individual cannot walk into a doctor’s surgery and demand life-changing treatment on no other basis than “I want it”.

    If the proposed changes to legislation to allow gender self-identification are passed then I foresee a conflict between the Government and the medical profession, because doctors might be compelled to break GMC guidelines. I have already been in correspondence with the GMC about this. At present they are holding fire to see how things turn out, but I and other doctors like me will hold their feet to the fire if they do not take a clear and ethical stand on this (but I think they will).

    Sadly I do not hold out such a hope for the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) which has banned so-called “conversion therapy”.

  3. “At the core of the ideology is the radical claim that feelings determine reality.”

    How odd as that almost paraphrases a proof given by William lane Craig as to the truth of the existence of the Christian God.

    “From this idea come extreme demands for society to play along with subjective reality claims. Trans ideologues ignore contrary evidence and competing interests; they disparage alternative practices; and they aim to muffle skeptical voices and shut down any disagreement. The movement has to keep patching and shoring up its beliefs, policing the faithful, coercing the heretics and punishing apostates, because as soon as its furious efforts flag for a moment or someone successfully stands up to it, the whole charade is exposed. That’s what happens when your dogmas are so contrary to obvious, basic, everyday truths”

    Take away “trans” and this is basically a great description of Christianity.

    This book hasn’t been received without criticism and going by the above review by David presents one side of a very complex issue.

    Anderson is a member of a conservative think tank and previously authored a book against same-sex marriage.

    How interesting.

    1. Maybe not so interesting in the way you’re thinking, John,
      for where is the surprise that a conservative opponent of same-sex marriage should go on to oppose trans-activism? You would smell hypocracy if a former opponent of same-sex marriage were now to be writing a book in favour of it, and rightly so.

      You say that Christian dogmas are contrary to obvious, basic, everyday truths and I suppose it must be so or be made to seem so in a world that takes its liberalism for granted and is in denial about where its obvious, basic, everyday truths came from. It has of course always been a puzzle to those who have stood up to Christianity ‘successfully’ by their efforts, that what has been exposed is a reality rather than a charade.

      You may be right about William Lane Craig although an ‘almost paraphrase’ must raise curiosity as to how it would differ from a real paraphrase. If my serendipitous discovery is anything to go by there is quite a big difference: In his debates with atheists, William Lane Craig routinely ends his opening statements by affirming that human beings can not only know about God’s existence but can also know God by experience. However, he cautions, “This isn’t really an argument for God’s existence. Rather, it’s the claim that you can know that God exists wholly apart from arguments, simply by immediately experiencing Him…. For those who listen, God becomes an immediate reality in their lives.” I think you’re mistaken.


      1. My use of “Interesting” is this case was supposed to denote that it isn’t interesting at all but entirely expected.

        I’m not sure how else you could possibly describe an individuals personal immediate experience of god other than an instance where feelings are determining reality.

        Craig states it plainly in his “Reasonable Faith” – “Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former that must take precedence over the latter, not vice versa.”

      2. Thanks for the quotation, John,
        and my apologies for the almost-paraphrase jibe. You raise a serious point about Craig’s interaction with his audience: what is the point of him trotting out all his arguments if in the end he’s telling his hearers to go with their feelings anyway, against their better judgement, and against all reason?
        It is, of course, entirely expected that I should say that that’s not what Craig is doing — and we’ll need to bear that in mind when we return to consider When Harry Became Sally — but I want to say now that when Craig does this, he is unleashing a ‘David against Goliath’ cheat on his audience and, IMHO, quite rightly. Craig’s opponents live to fight another day — unlike Goliath — and some of his hearers will be persuaded by his arguments anyway, and some not. The opponents are reduced to singing Atheists don’t have no songs if they want to complain but for the hearers, Craig’s suggestion is, if nothing else, an important safety valve. Enough of us have been caught on the horns of the most trivial dilemma for us to agree that total subjection to pure intellectual reasoning isn’t a rule of life even if it’s a rule of debate. Sometimes, to make a decision, we need to literally toss a coin and if we don’t like the result, take the alternative route.
        You will have to admit that Craig’s ‘Holy Spirit’ offer is bound to sound much more reasonable to someone who believes in the Holy Spirit and I would add that the danger of emotionalism masquerading as the Holy Spirit is a lot less likely at a William Lane Craig debate than at a revivalist rally, for instance.

        Now is Craig making the radical claim that feelings determine reality? I would say categorically and emphatically not (but then I would, wouldn’t I?) The most Craig can be accused of implying is that feelings sometimes run counter to the appearence of reality, but that’s hardly a radical or outrageous claim. To say that being born again will normally lead to a complete change of outlook and of world view, is only, in my view, to put the horse before the cart.


      3. The obvious difficulty with giving credence to these kinds of feelings is that believers of every single religion can give testament to the exact same experience.

      4. Really, John?
        the exact same experience and that obvious?
        I find myself a bit sceptical of that analysis and it’s more than just a feeling. Here — using categories drawn from the first six chapters of 2 Corinthians — is how it works.

        1. People find that they have a new capacity to give and receive comfort and this is, if you like, the entry-level experience of the Holy Spirit.
        2. At the heart of it, whether accompanied with the throes of a crisis conversion or a virtually unconscious change is an anointing that sets the new believer apart for whatever it is that God has for them to do.
        3. Soon the believer finds that they are having a disconcerting effect on other people; as though there is an aroma about them. Only, to some, it’s a fragrance of life unto life and to others its like the stench of death itself. ‘Who is sufficient for these things?’
        4. Our sufficiency and our stability is in Jesus Christ. Spiritual experience might sound as if it’s wild and uncontrollable but it is firmly anchored in a personal relationship with and total dependence on Christ. The Holy Spirit prepares us for service and gives us something to do.
        5. Along with service comes suffering. This too is part of God’s gracious provision for us: it is a spiritual journey but we make it in vessels made of clay.
        6. There is a boldness about some Christians that requires explanation. It is a boldness rooted in the experience of faithful service and rightly so because it is inextricably linked with the task we have been given to do. It is the very opposite of ‘Don’t shoot me, I’m only the messenger’ reluctance; because in the taking of God’s message into all the world, we are ambassadors for Christ.
        7. Which brings us home to the epitome of Christian experience: i.e. Adoption or Sonship. God is a Father to us and we are his Sons and Daughters.

        So: all religions have the exact same experience? I don’t think so, John.

      5. Oh goodness . Are this pedantic in person as well John?

        I think you have a very good idea of what I meant – there really is no need to draw up a list of the imagined transformations one apparently undergoes when deep in the throes of a “personal relationship” with Christ ( and if ever there was a more questionable use of the word “relationship” I am not privy to it.)

        The only thing I take from that list is yet another illustration of the “Oh but you see, my religion it different from the others” mantra. I gather that like-minded individuals may feel like skipping down the street when pointed to scripture that presents a written list of what it is that their god does for them but – if you’ll excuse me – I find claims such as those you listed to prove not a solitary thing – though the nature of belief (not just religious) and the transformative effect it can have on an individual is an interesting subject I grant that.

        Lot’s of the faithful point to scripture. Members of Isis had exacting scriptural reference for their practice of throwing homosexuals off roof tops.

        The rules of the board game Monopoly mean more to me than any scriptural command. But that’s just me.

      6. To be pedantic, John,
        I think you’re complaining about how obtuse I am rather than how pedantic.
        Yes, I was well aware of what you meant and spent yesterday crafting a reply (in between doing everything else, you understand.) Then I hit the [Cancel reply] button, slept the sleep of the just, woke about 3 a.m. and wrote down my list. If you’d spelt out what you were hinting at more fully I would have attacked it directly, so thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so now.

        First, kudos for spotting that not all beliefs are religious. However it is a moot point whether or not beliefs are held onto most tenaciously by those who think that they don’t have any.

      7. Once again, John:
        Here’s how it works.
        (I’m talking about the characteristics of Discipleship, as they are listed for us in Acts 2:41-47. I know that you’re not interested but given that it’s you who raised the spectre of a granfalloon of The Faithful finding scripture to back up the most heinous of crimes, you ought to be keenly interested.)

        1. Spiritual discipline starts with baptism and that should, figuratively at least, pour cold water on to any romantic delusions of Christianity being a simple idyll where everyone dances in the street.

        2. The major discipline of Christianity is learning, from which it follows that the primary task is teaching. Since the central subject matter is Christ it is appropriate that the very early church ‘devoted themselves to the apostles teaching‘ because the apostles were his witnesses.

        3. Gathering together is what we do, making fellowship a spiritual discipline in its own right.

        (incidently, we have Scripture that indicates that formerly practicing homosexuals were being welcomed into fellowship and that Scripture endorses their inclusion. [1 Cor. 6:9-11] Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.)

        4. Communion or the ‘breaking of bread is a simple occasion for remembrance and self-examination (or it ought to be.) It’s about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s about a personal relationship with him (and with all due respect to your scepticism, John: what could you possibly know about that?)

        5. The Prayers comprises not only what we generally call ‘prayer’ but also much of the singing of the Church. In our modern world where even the social cohesion of community singing is sacrificed for ‘entertainment’ it might surprise many Christians how important the singing of Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs has been from time to time to keep the church going.

        6. Having all things in common shows a readiness to share which remains part of the general, disciplined readiness of the Church today. This aspect of readiness might be less up front in the affluent West but where ‘famine, peril and sword’ are ever present dangers, people know to be ready.

        7. Lastly, being in the Temple daily in the few years that it was returned to its function of being a house of prayer for all nations stood as the beginning of the church’s mission to preach the Gospel everywhere.


    2. Hi John, I think you’re the same John that I’ve popped up beside in the Irish referendum discussion and John K too. ? And here I am again. I like your analysis of W L Craig quote, suggesting that you could replace the word ‘trans’ in reference to that quote with Christian. That’s sharp of you. But it would only be helpful if the agenda in question in the quote was a ‘good’ agenda and that the agenda of the Christians you refer to was a ‘bad’ agenda. This is a battle, and if both sets of views are sincerely held by either camp in question then the battle cry has to be “may the rightest group win”! Be that moral ‘right’ or factual ‘ right’ and really it should be both unless you think facts and morals can be purely subjective. Calling in the experts cannot suffice because opinions and findings change all the time. If it is government opinion then we are in a dangerous place, they are only people. If we consult popular opinion then we are still on dangerous ground because we should think for ourselves and never follow the masses. Look what happened in Nazi Germany. The masses can be sincerely wrong. I’m not going to defend all Christians and actually I haven’t even read that book reviewed. But you cite W L Craig whom I believe is of very sound mind. But ultimately Christian opinion, teachings and beliefs do not come from man. We conform our thinking to the Bible and try to grow increasingly like Christ, having the ‘mind of Christ’. So the battle lines are drawn at the point between BELIEF (that there is a God, that the Bible is God’s word, Jesus taught us how to live, died for our sins, rose again, is coming back to judge the living and the dead) AND UNBELIEF (that man is the highest life form and answerable to nobody except those who can put us in prison etc). The real element at stake is ‘truth’. That is the question. Is God real and if so Who is He? It would seem very reasonable for Christians to shut up and stop causing trouble (a battle) by going against the grain. But if we really believe what we believe is true, how could we shut up? Don’t we care about the lives and destiny of so many people? Is it only about telling people what they can and cannot do? Or is it something more? Jesus is often cited as a peaceful figure and Christians are often asked to be peacemakers. But Jesus also said “I have not come to bring peace but a sword”. Letter to the Hebrews says “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” I say with confidence John that there is another voice to be heard. The voice of God himself. Christians are only trying to be his witnesses, imperfectly. Because there is only one perfect, God. Today if you hear His voice do not harden your heart. I say this fervently. With tears. May you find Him. Best x

  4. Hi David,

    Andrew Wilson recommended this talk by Carl Trueman on the same subject:

  5. Never ceases to amaze me when Christians are happy to use science when they think it supports their point of view but then flagrantly and gleefully disregard it when it comes to something such as evolution and they happily fall back on to their superstitions.

    1. Mack,
      I congratulate you on being so easily amazed. You will, of course, be able to give us an illustrative example of flagrant and gleeful disregard for science and the superstition I am supposed to fall back on. It’s always nice to get down to specifics, don’t you think?

  6. Hi there

    Very interested to read your thoughts on the contradictions in transgender thinking, thus:

    “ It holds that the real self is fundamentally separate from the material body, yet insists that transforming the body is crucial for personal wholeness. It attaches a notion of authentic gender identity to stereotypical activities and dispositions, yet it grows from a philosophy holding that gender is an artificial construct.”

    This echoes some of my own thoughts on the matter yet it does seem to me that you’re in danger of calling into question some of the key tenets of your own belief system by writing this. Surely Christianity “ holds that the real self is fundamentally separate from the material body“ yet at the same time that the transformation of Christ’s “body is crucial for personal wholeness” (= salvation). Our souls can only be saved if we believe that one body was transformed.

    Also, although you point up an apparent contradiction or paradox in the trans position (the first point quoted above) doesn’t your faith depend – isn’t it founded on – an equally rationality-defying proposition: namely, that Jesus is both man and God, mortal and immortal, dead and alive? I’m sure you will argue the case for this proposition very subtly and persuasively, and I have a lot of respect for what I take to be its mythological force. But wouldn’t it be more helpful to the transgender debate if instead of just identifying a paradox, you sought to explore it, as I assume you have done regarding your own faith?

  7. I guess transgenderism is a modern example of the old enemy of truth – Gnosticism.

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