On Wednesday, 26th February, Lynda was invited to speak at a Parliamentary Briefing on the subject, Does RSE harm children? The meeting was by invitation only, aimed at MPs and Peers, and was chaired by the Rt Hon Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP. It was not widely publicised and, most especially, my name was not mentioned. Be that as it may, the day before the event a savage attack was launched in The Times, singling out and condemning me for my views on same sex marriage and, though the event had not yet happened and no-one had been sent a draft of my talk, even quoting what I was going to say, with words that were never part of my talk!(https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/pastor-who-links-sex-education-to-abuse-invited-to-speak-in-parliament-0vvtzsjnd). How they knew I was going to speak remains a mystery, but Angela Raynor, shadow secretary for education and current candidate for the position of Deputy Leader of the Labour party, waded into the fray, calling the event ‘extremely concerning’ and clearly attempting to close it down. There followed an even more vicious attack in Pink News (https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2020/02/26/uk-parliament-relationships-sex-education-anglican-priest-anti-abortion-abuse-nazism-jeffrey-donaldson-dup/), and then similar pieces in the Irish press – this time using me to criticise DUP politician Sir Jeffrey Donaldson.
Let us be clear. The event was never in any way planned as an attack on same sex relationships and rights. It was actually about child welfare and protection, and I was talking about health issues – arising in particular from epidemic level STI infection rates amongst teenagers over the last couple of decades, and the promotion of gender fluidity to children below the age of 7, which is medically established as the age at which, left to themselves, children develop a sense of gender and begin to realise what that means. I made the point that, as a society, we have to decide whether our priority is child welfare and protection, or the ideological promotion of ‘new’ values that justify adult behavioural choices and expose children to harm.
For those who would like to read my talk for themselves, the full text is included here: https://vfjuk.org.uk/news-updates/does-rse-harm-children/ But the point to be made is that the opposition had not the slightest interest in anything I might in fact say. Their intention was simply to vilify and stop me from speaking – to ‘no-platform’ me – even to the extent of trying to suppress advocacy of a subject (child protection) that everyone ought to support. How ironic that in the Mother of all Parliaments, famed for its defence of free speech and open debate, opponents should have tried to silence and suppress the expression of ideas with which they thought – but didn’t know – they might disagree. This can surely only be a sign of fear – they know that the facts speak for themselves.
Thankfully, these shadowy aggressors did not succeed – though there were armed police patrolling the corridor outside, clearly posted to deal with any trouble that might occur. Did I feel reassured? No, I felt saddened – that our democracy should have come to such a pass that an individual, who manifestly poses no threat and seeks only to defend and speak out for those who cannot defend themselves, should be singled out for such vicious and knee-jerk attack.
Shame on these self-proclaimed proponents of tolerance, inclusivity and diversity – who attempt so viciously to intimidate and silence those with whom they may disagree. Our recent petition focused on the unprovoked attack on Franklin Graham – but it concerns every Christian. Because increasingly Christians are no longer allowed to voice beliefs in public that may conflict with the new Weltanschauung. Please, if you haven’t yet done so, sign and share our petition calling on Her Majesty’s Government to stop hate speech against Christians, and stop no-platforming.