Scrap guidance to teachers in Church of England schools promoting gender dysphoria among children.

To the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

The Church of England has issued guidance to its primary schools, allowing children to identify as transgender. As a part of normal child development children ‘explore’ who they are. Since time immemorial girls have been tom-boys, wanting to climb trees, play football, and join in the latest ‘action’ games, often involving light sabres, bows and arrows, or guns.   Equally, boys have liked dressing up, while Action Man is as much a ‘doll’ as is Cindy. None of these behaviours mean that the children involved have been trapped in the wrong bodies, and need to be helped or encouraged to change.

Increasingly these days, children and young people get depressed and unhappy.  The rates for diagnosable mental illness in children have in recent years skyrocketed. The causes are many and various, arising from things such as distressing home situations; bullying; sexual, verbal and physical abuse (exacerbated by social media and the internet); feelings of inadequacy… the list is endless. Very rarely are these issues resolved by changing gender – indeed, it is well documented that expression of gender dysphoria is more likely a symptom, rather than cause, of the actual problem. To put it another way, it is a passing phase, which will disappear naturally when the primary cause is addressed – or even more simply, when children mature.

To encourage a child to change gender at an early stage of development, when they are still exploring who they are, is not caring, but is rather a form of abuse. Even putting a child on puberty blockers, while they explore their options, will have physical repercussions that may adversely affect their future development and fertility. Far worse are sex change hormones which produce physical effects, and which are difficult, even impossible , subsequently to reverse.

There are now growing numbers of referrals for children who have embarked on these treatments, but who have subsequently changed their minds. Such children are then faced with distressing, albeit entirely avoidable, treatment – as seen, for example, in the recent case of a boy who embarked on gender reassignment and, as consequence, developed breasts, but who then decided he wanted to grow up as a man. Although still in possession of his penis, he had pronounced female characteristics, which could only be corrected by surgery (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/12-year-old-boy-trans-female-change-mind-years-later-patrick-mitchell-australia-oestrogen-hormones-a7933741.html). There are increasing numbers of such reports, both in this country and abroad.

Inevitably, implementation of the CofE guidance – amounting to prioritizing the treatment of children with what is perceived to be gender dysphoria – will raise questions in the minds of children who are currently untroubled by issues of gender (mis)identity. Children are impressionable, and a sensitive child may well become troubled as result. What of their welfare, and the entirely justifiable concerns of their parents?

The Bible says clearly that men and women complement and complete each other.   The first chapter of Genesis states we are made of the same flesh, but separate and different, and that together we are made in the image of God. By this new guidance issued to teachers, the Church of England is traducing this core and, up to now, unquestioned, doctrine.  Infinitely worse, it is importing onto children adult perspectives designed to enforce ideologically driven social and cultural change, and is yet another example of Christian doctrine being undermined from within the Church – whether by people who are trying to turn the Church away from Christian teaching, or by people too naive or spineless to resist them.

It is implanting in children’s minds ideas they cannot possibly evaluate and assess for themselves, and is accordingly tantamount to brainwashing. Although for a very tiny minority gender identity may be a genuine issue, for the greater number it will not.  But the CofE’s new policy will be destabilizing for all.

For all these reasons, the guidance is wrong and endangers children. It is a form of abuse. We therefore call on the Church of England to uphold the traditional teaching of the Bible and, while caring for all children equally, to encourage normal development aligned with a child’s biological sex.

Sign petition here: http://www.citizengo.org/en/115050-scrap-guidance-teachers-church-england-schools-promoting-gender-dysphoria-among-children

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Response from Lord Ahmed

Response from Lord Ahmed, writing on behalf of The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, following delivery or our petition calling for rejection of the Wilton Park Report calling for global suppression of Christianity.

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We are especially struck by the last two sentences:

“We also take no position on the theological or moral tenets of any particular faith or interpretation of that faith.  We will, however, speak out strongly against individuals and groups who seek to abuse faith through perverse interpretations, which are then used to incite violence and persecute others.”  (Emphasis added)

Exactly who does Lord Ahmad have in mind here?

We have now written and thanked Lord Ahmad for his assurance that the Government is doing all in its power to combat Islamic extremism.

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Uncork the bubbly?

It is a time, it seems, for anniversaries.  Fifty years since the passing of the UK Abortion Act, with its toll of almost 9 million babies.  One hundred years since the Russian Revolution – that also saw the slaughter of millions.  And now, more positively, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, launched after Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg.

In his poem, The Four Quartets, T S Eliot famously said, ‘humankind cannot stand too much reality’.  People have debated his meaning ever since, but perhaps most obviously the words resonate with our inability to experience, enter into, and maintain ‘truth’, carrying within that our predisposition to sin.  Two of these anniversaries are surely testimony to the delusion with which we willfully deceive ourselves.  For example, you can ‘legitimately’ take the life of an unborn child, because it’s not a human being till it’s born; equally, you can ‘legitimately’ tear down and destroy the beliefs and structures on which society is built, with all the human slaughter that entails, and forcibly reallocate resources … in order to impose a class system that will allow equality and fairness for all.   Who are we kidding?  The rationale for both testifies to the human capacity to reconstruct morality, elevating self-interest and self-justification over truth in order to avoid responsibility for what we do.  As Eliot hints, if we really acknowledge the truth, how could we live with ourselves?

The third anniversary, however, is almost diametrically opposed to this delusional mindset, because it demonstrates the courage of the human spirit to reach out to truth, no matter what the cost, while confronting the evil we have allowed.   Luther’s stand against the sale of indulgences – Medieval Monopoly’s Get out of Hell card – flew in the face of Catholic hegemony that asserted its right to put a price on salvation.   The monk’s rediscovery of grace, coming like the unwelcome announcement of prohibition at a beer festival, was a direct challenge to the ecclesiastical power brokers of his day, who insisted that entry into heaven was entirely dependent on good works, and that the eternal and inescapable inadequacy of believers meant they had to pay.

For many, this view of the gospel had meant existential despair  – at the very least death meant a long stay in limbo, at worst, eternal damnation.   Whatever you paid, nothing was certain.   Luther’s cry that salvation was by grace and not merit came, therefore, like the inrush of life restoring water at the end of a long and terrible drought.   Yet many who eagerly embraced this ‘new’ understanding would pay the ultimate price with their lives.

Today we are once again attempting to re-define the gospel, with a whole new set of ecclesiastical ‘indulgences’ that determine who can and cannot enter heaven.   According to the reframed Bible, ‘In’ are all those people who advocate non-judgmental, indiscriminate love – which is another way of saying every lifestyle and every belief system is now approved.  ‘Out’ are all those who hold to what is branded a literal understanding of the Bible.  Thus ‘religion’ is approved, provided only it endorse the reconfigured morality of the secular State, with any and everything else branded hatred, intolerance, and bigotry.

Yet more self-delusion, it appears, to justify behaviours that in any other age would have been branded sin and apostasy.

Disintegrating families; what seem almost daily reports of sex grooming scandals and abuse; soaring mental health problems … we see the results all around.  Medieval Monopoly’s Get out of Hell card has become transmuted into what for many today is a one-way ticket to hell on earth.

We are in urgent need of another ‘reformation’.
 

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Songs of Innocence… Destroyed

A recent Panorama report has revealed data from 38 of the 43 police forces of England and Wales showing 30,000 reports of child-on-child sexual assault in the last four years, marking a 71% increase. They further revealed that 2,625 offences – with 225 alleged rapes – occurred on school premises, including primary school playgrounds, while reports of sexual offences by children aged 10 and under went from 204 in 2013-14 to 456 in 2016-17 (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/oct/09/child-on-child-sexual-assaults-soar-police-figures-reveal).

Now some people argue that this is just a case of better reporting – ‘twas ever thus,’ they say.   But this does not seem substantiated by the facts.   Certainly children have always shown a healthy interest in what were once coyly termed ‘the facts of life’, but adolescents of the 50s and 60s were obsessing more over their pimples and wanting to be ‘hip’, than they were about sex. Sure, there were reports of the odd illicit kiss being stolen behind the bicycle shed, but that was usually as far as it went. So no, the truth would seem to be that children today are being prematurely and unhealthily ‘sexualised’ – not just by social and cultural pressures via television and media, but by the very education programmes ostensibly designed for their protection in schools. Which programmes, combined with the obsession to teach tolerance and diversity as a means of reinforcing British values, seem to have become a vehicle for indoctrination into the rebranded immorality and promiscuity so enthusiastically being pushed by adults with the power and determination to influence policy.

This is madness. If nothing else, these shocking figures demonstrate that children can neither assimilate nor cope with the sexual laissez-faire being promoted by adults.  By definition, children have enquiring minds. We want them to apply their learning and to explore – how then can we be surprised when they do, when from the age of six we teach them the A to Z of sex, devoid of any kind of moral differentiation? So masturbation becomes healthy ‘self’ expression… anal sex a means of avoiding pregnancy… and so on.

Are these really the lessons most of us want to teach our children?   Are they the lessons we should be teaching our children?

Placing all the emphasis on sex, while failing to teach children how precious they are – and how special the gift of sex is – is nothing short of abuse. It comes from adults who want to legitimise their own personal inclinations and promiscuity.   Children don’t need to learn about unsavoury sexual practices like fisting or sunflowering – and if you haven’t come across the terms yet, look them up on the ‘Sextionary’ section of Respect Yourself, the sexual resource currently being put out to children and young people in Warwickshire (https://respectyourself.info). Rather, children need to be taught true respect – first for themselves, and then for others. And, as a part of that, they need to be able to identify perversions, and taught how to avoid them.

The truth is that we are failing as a society to protect and prepare our children, and, as a consequence, they are suffering. Teaching young people restraint is not unhealthy repression and denial of their human rights. Rather, it is giving them space to develop safely and in their own time, protected from the unhealthy and sometimes unsavoury excesses of certain adult desires.

 

 

 

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Oath Breakers!

What is an oath?   True, the word is sometimes used to denote a profane or offensive expression, but the meaning we normally have in mind is that of a formal declaration, pledge or promise, made before God, of allegiance or loyalty, or to fulfill a pledge. It commits the one swearing to future action, and incurs penalties if broken.

For example, before taking their seat in Parliament, MPs swear before God an oath of allegiance to the Monarch. The practice was formally introduced during the reign of Elizabeth I by the Act of Supremacy 1563, but it has its origins in Magna Carta, agreed on 15th June 1215, which begins by acknowledging the nation’s Christian foundation and primary allegiance to God. It is therefore, at base, an undertaking made to God, and the penalty for breaking it, until fairly recently, was death!

Similarly, prior to ordination, priests are called under oath to affirm and declare their belief in the faith as revealed in Scripture and set forth in the creeds, ‘and to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bear witness’.   Again, it is an undertaking under seal to God.

By way of variation, but also sharing the character of an oath, the BBC is self-avowedly ‘dedicated’ to God   The Latin inscription set in stone over the entrance to Broadcasting House proudly proclaims, ‘This Temple of the Arts and Muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors of Broadcasting in the year 1931, Sir John Reith being Director-General….’

But in modern day UK, does any of this really matter any more? After all, society has moved on, the argument goes. We’ve outgrown all the mumbo jumbo and superstition that characterized those earlier, primitive times, when it was thought that all this stuff mattered. We’re better, more sophisticated and caring … more tolerant of each other now. True, we still like a bit of tradition and pageantry, but at base that’s all these words are – nice traditions that lend a bit of gravitas to life.

It’s a bandwagon whose giddy heights even the Archbishop of Canterbury has recently attempted to scale. Never mind his oath to uphold the faith as revealed in Scripture, he would appear now to share the view that the Bible needs ‘reinterpreting’ and ‘reapplying’ in order to fit it for purpose in the modern world. When recently asked whether he thought gay sex was sinful, for example, he memorably stated, ‘I don’t do blanket condemnation …’ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41460222).

A wiser course of action before answering would surely have been to consult God, because in one fell swoop he dismissed the clear teaching of Scripture, trivialized ‘sin’, and thereby rendered entirely meaningless Christ’s death on the cross for the redemption of us all. Not bad going for one interview, when you think about it, because he effectively ripped the heart out of Christianity.

With respect, this will not do. Whatever narrow and uncomfortable fence on which His Grace chooses precariously to sit, Scripture is the eternal word of God, who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It is not, therefore, the Bible that needs to change to align it with the world, but the world that needs to repent and be conformed to God, as revealed in the Bible. Only that way is there hope for sinners – which includes us all.

But to return to the question of oaths.   Every time someone swears an oath before God, they are solemnly committing themselves to perform what they have undertaken, and to follow Him in faithfulness and obedience.   To renege on that oath is betrayal and treachery: it is treason, and will incur to the full the penalties attaching to the offence.   It will bring judgment.

Saying later that you didn’t mean it, or didn’t realize what you were signing up to, is irrelevant. An oath once taken – whether you’re an MP, member of the clergy, or even the BBC – is binding for life.   It matters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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