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The End of Transmania or the End of Reason?

This weeks Christian Today column looks at the astonishing ruling of the judge in the Maya case.  In some ways this is the most important and signicant story of the year. 
lgbt transgender flag
(Photo: Unsplash/Cecilie Johnsen)

One of the most significant events in the whole of 2019 has come just at the end. It involves, amongst others, a charity development worker, a judge, an SNP politician and JK Rowling. It is significant because I believe it will mark the beginning of the end of the transmania gripping the cultural elites, or the beginning of the end of reason.

Maya Forstater was a charity worker as a tax expert at the Centre for Global Development. She lost her job after she was accused of publishing ‘offensive’ tweets questioning the government’s proposals regarding the Gender Recognition Act, which would allow people to self-identify as the opposite sex.

She took the issue to court and she has just lost her case. In an astonishing judgement, which seems as though it was written by Monty Python, the judge wrote:

“I do not accept the Claimant’s contention that the Gender Recognition Act produces a mere legal fiction.”Rather, her view that humans cannot change sex is “not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”

The facts are quite straightforward. A biological male cannot become a biological woman. XY chromosomes don’t become XX chromosomes. It is in fact as much a legal fiction to say that a man can become a woman, as much as it is a legal fiction to say that a human being can become a giraffe or that the earth is flat! But now a judge tells us that to believe that men cannot become women is “not worthy of respect in a democratic society”. There is, of course, no democracy involved in this.

But the judge is not finished: “Even paying due regard to the qualified right to freedom of expression, people cannot expect to be protected if their core belief involves violating others’ dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for them.”

By that criteria Richard Dawkins, the Humanist Society and many stand up comedians should be banned because they violate the dignity of many Christians and create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating and offensive environment for them. Recently I was in a meeting of lawyers at which the speaker mocked Christianity and presented his case in such a way that it was intimidating and offensive. Should I have sued? Would our judge have said they should be sacked? Or is it only trans activists that are afforded that protection? It seems that only the rich and powerful get to determine what real offence is.

EMJcxIJXkAE-VSXI have a personal interest in this case. One of the key protagonists, Gregor Murray, once threatened to sue me for misgendering ‘they’. Mr Murray says ‘ze’ is not a man or a woman – and gets upset if you use the wrong pronouns. I said I was quite happy to use whatever pronoun ‘zem’ wanted as long as ‘hir’ used my pronoun of identification. I pointed out that my primary identity was as a Christian and I liked to be identified as ‘beloved in Christ’, so as long as ‘xir’ wanted to address me then they should use ‘beloved in Christ’ – although I would on occasion accept ‘beloved’.

Councillor Murray seemed reluctant to grant me my identity and instead attacked me with a series of abusive messages including a suggestion that I needed to go on Grindr. Although abusing and mocking Christians was not enough to get ‘zem’ the sack, when they took on the feminists it was too much even for the SNP. Councillor Murray was compelled to resign after a series of abusive tweets against what ‘ze’ called TERFs.

There is no mention in their policy of ‘girls’, ‘women’ or ‘females’. Women have been reduced to ‘menstruators’. This is progress?

Whilst all of this may be mildly annoying/amusing, it has serious consequences. Gregor Murray was in charge of the education of all Dundee’s children and, as such, sought to ensure that they were indoctrinated into the same confused ideology which was destroying their life, grasp of logic and the English language. As a result, Dundee City Council, for example, adopted a policy of giving free sanitary products for ‘all who menstruate’. There is no mention in their policy of ‘girls’, ‘women’ or ‘females’. Women have been reduced to ‘menstruators’. This is progress?

Maya Forstater stated in court: “In reality Murray is a man. It is Murray’s right to believe that Murray is not a man, but Murray cannot compel others to believe this….while I may choose to use alternative pronouns as a courtesy no one has the right to compel someone to make statements they do not believe.”

It was this statement that the learned judge decided was not “worthy of respect in a democratic society”. Her – and Jordan Peterson’s, incidentally – brave stance against compelled speech was not to be permitted in the UK.

Others agree with the judge. The Human Rights Campaign tweeted: “Trans women are women, trans men are men, non binary people are non-binary..CC JK Rowling”

Others like Amnesty International and Stonewall joined in the pile on.

The reason for JK Rowling being mentioned? Because she had tweeted to her 14 million followers:

“Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?”

Cue threats of book burning. How ironic that when some Christians suggested that Rowling was promoting witchcraft, oh how the progressives laughed – but now it is they who are accusing her of blasphemy and want to destroy her.

Another very brave woman, seeking to defend womanhood, is professor Kathleen Stock, professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex. She made this strong call:

” Women are losing not just their legal and social protections, but we are approaching a situation where women (and men) cannot even legally speak about this loss. I therefore call upon the British Philosophical Association, all learned Philosophical societies in the UK, and all British academic philosophers working in UK departments, to stand up and say out loud — or better, write it down where members of the public can read it: people should be legally permitted to believe that biological sex is immutable and cannot be changed, without fear of losing their jobs. You are philosophers. This is your moment. If not now, then when? 

Where does the Church stand with this call? I for one am fully behind it. I do not want the judiciary to impose upon us their bourgeoisie morality based on nothing more than their personal feelings, Queer theory, and the woke cries of the powerful.

If this ruling is to remain in place, then we no longer live in a free society. If there is no place in a democratic society for those who believe that sex cannot be changed, then there is no place for me. And that society can no longer call itself democratic. It has become an authoritarian society run by a confused and immoral elite.

I believe that men cannot become women and that women have the right to their own spaces, sports and societies – without biological men removing them.

What will the Church of England do? The Church of Scotland? The ‘progressive’ evangelicals like Steve Chalke?

As a biblical Christian who believes that male and female do have something to do with biological sex, I am genuinely concerned about the threat to women’s rights. If the woke ‘progressives’ win, it will be the end of reason and the end of freedom in the contemporary West. We will regress to the pre-Christian Greco/Roman/Pagan view of women as sex objects and lesser mortals who need to be kept in their place and dominated by men. I stand with my feminist sisters. Je suis Maya!

David Robertson is director of Third Space in Sydney and blogs at www.theweeflea.com

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9 comments

  1. Please let me share with you what I wrote to Ms Forstater only this evening on Twitter’s Direct Messaging, which she appreciated:

    66
    The following all believe what you believe and lack belief in what you don’t believe:
    Christians, Jews, Muslims.
    Trans-exclusionary radical feminists, the Patriarchy they want to smash (if it exists), biologists, zoologists, anthropologists, almost anybody born before 1970, people with common sense, J.K. Rowling and many parliamentarians including Lord Tebbit and Baroness O’Cathain for sure.
    Evolutionists and Creationists share this belief.
    99

    For good measure, I might have added the judge who ruled in Corbett v Corbett (q.v.) in 1970, that the gist of what we all do and don’t believe, was also in those days the doctrine of English law. Corbett remains good law, except where the Gender Recognition Act applies.

    Para 92 of poor Ms Forstater’s adverse judgment even goes as far as to rule that it isn’t worthy of respect, in a democratic society, for anybody to DISBELIEVE the sheer bloomin’ nonsense about so-called sex change that none of the above believe either (as a rule). Without passing any law to that effect, the Secret Power of Lawlessness has set out to make sex change a compulsory belief, such as we used to have in Tudor times.

    Let us oppose this.

  2. I suggest that there are good grounds for saying that the Judge’s judgement in the Maya Forstater case cannot be treated with respect in a democratic society.

  3. Your link to this ‘astonishing judgment’ turns out to be a link to an article by the complainant so I guess David you have not read the actual judgment. Maya had a consultancy contract with an American non-profit think tank. She had twitterspats, etc, with various trans activists. Her contract was not renewed. She says this was due to these disputes. She tried to claim protection under UK employment laws. To win her case she would need to show that the consultancy contract was, legally, employment; that the reason for non-renewal was what she said about the trans issue; and that her views meant she had a protected characteristic under UK equalities law. The judge looked, as a first step, at the last issue only in detail. Maya argued that her belief, based on scientific materialism, should have the same protection in law as would a religion – which sets a very high bar for employment protection (as many Christians have found). The judge decided her views did not qualify for this level of legal protection under equalities law. We may or may not sympathise with Maya, or want the think tank to give her more consultancy work. But the claim that fundamentalist scientific materialism is entitled to legal protection designed for religion is one that is threatening to religious liberty and not one, I think, that Christians should be promoting. We don’t have a dog in this fight.

    1. Yes Paul I knew what the link was when I made it. And yes I have read the actual judgement and no it does not say what you say it says. The judges comments are very clear – it is not permitted to hold in a democratic society the view that one cannot change sex. That is what he said. Not gender but sex. In other words something that is a biological reality is deemed to be illegal. And yes her view that sex is immutable should be allowed the status of a philosophical belief – because it is. And fundamentalist scientific materialism is ‘religion’ and should be entitled to precisely the same protection as ‘religious’ views. Why would I as a Christian think otherwise? I don’t need special protection from the law. I just need equality. That is precisely what this case is about. You may not have a dog in this fight – but I do – and so should any thinking Christian…

      1. Thanks David for such a prompt reply. I agree strongly that Christians should defend equality before the law (the central argument in my book The Jesus Candidate) and I accept this correction of my remark about a dog in this fight. But no, the judgement does not say that Maya’s view is not permissible. That would be well outside the scope of the court’s power. The question before the court was whether the belief system should enjoy legal privilege – requiring the law to interfere in the decisions by (in this case) a firm over who it buys services from and then (more widely) over private decisions about employment and service provision. There are fairly obvious reasons for the court to stay away from extending the law in this particular case, even if we think her case has merit and of course we share her frustration at some of the nonsense she has bravely confronted, as have you. In the current Evangelicals Now my review of a new biography of Roger Williams refers to his idea of ‘mere civility’ (rather than shared values) as the basis for a working democracy. Equalities law is a blunt instrument; if we are to extend fairness in private decisions about relationships, then we need to recover and promote the idea of ‘mere civility.’

      2. Thanks Paul – but the judgement does say that Maya’s view is not permissible in a democratic society. In order to be ascribed as a philosophical belief in law there have to be five criteria met. Maya, according to the judge met four of them – it was the fifth that was the problem. He wrote (see Paragraph 84), “I consider that the Claimant’s view, in its absolutist nature, is incompatible with human dignity and fundamental rights of others.” He also wrote (see Paragraph 85), “The Claimant’s position is that even if a trans woman has a Gender Recognition Certificate, she cannot honestly describe herself as a woman. That belief is not worthy of respect in a democratic society.” The judge is determining that it is against the law to believe, teach and write the biblical (and scientific) belief that human beings cannot change sex. It’s ironic that you talk about civility in the transgender issue – the last thing the trans activists want or practice is civility! This judgement is a further nail in the coffin of the idea that all are equal before the law!

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