C of E teaching used against a transphobic Christian doctor

C of E teaching used against a transphobic Christian doctor July 22, 2019

SHE’S back, and as usual, she isn’t at all happy.

Image via YouTube/Christian Concern

 Andrea Miniciello Williams, who is involved in the case of Dr David Mackereth – sacked from a government post after refusing to identify clients by their chosen gender instead of their biological sex – has revealed Church of England teaching was used as evidence against him.

Mackereth, 56, has mounted a legal challenge against the Department for Work and Pensions, which dismissed him from his post of a Health and Disability Assessor in June 2018. He was told his reports must refer to clients by their preferred pronouns, regardless of their gender.

Supporting his challenge, Williams declared:

Mackereth famously said that he would not call a six-foot-tall bearded man ‘madam’, and for this he was promptly dismissed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

The DWP position is that Dr Mackereth should refer to patients by their chosen pronoun. Dr MacKereth says that this would go against his conscience since, as a committed Christian, he is committed to telling the truth. He has explained: ‘I believe gender is defined by biology and genetics. And that as a Christian the Bible teaches us that God made humans male or female.

Williams added:

It is very disturbing to see a doctor with 26 years of experience in A & E medicine being forced to choose between telling the truth and his profession. In dismissing Dr Mackereth, the DWP has managed to violate freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion in one go. We rely on doctors telling the truth. Imagine if they were forced to accept a patient’s chosen diagnosis.

Image via YouTube/Christian Concern

But what really put a wasp up Williams’ butt is that the people who sacked Mackereth, above, for his Christian beliefs relied on the Church of England’s position to justify their actions!

Williams, a member of the Church of England’s General Synod, said that:

For me it was another stark reminder of the damage caused by the Church of England’s abandonment of truth.

The evidence deployed against Dr Mackereth included reference to the House of Bishops Guidance for welcoming transgender people, and the Pastoral Guidance for use in conjunction with the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith in the context of gender transition

What is important for Dr Mackereth’s case is that the Pastoral Guidance says that transgender people should be referred to using their chosen name and pronoun. The guidance is therefore that Christians should not tell the truth about the biological sex of a transgender person.

She claimed that member of the tribunal which is hearing the case asked Mackereth about the position of the Church of England as shown in the evidence presented. Mackereth had to explain that he does not agree with the position of the Church of England and that he is not a member of it.

He said that the position of the Church of England was evidence that “cultural Marxism” had entered the Church. He said that the nature of man, as described in Genesis 1, was foundational to the gospel; fundamental to his Christian belief and as fundamental to him as the air that he breathed.

He argued that the majority of the faithful in the Church of England would agree with him and not the bishops.

Williams said:

If he had been a member of the Church of England this would have seriously weakened his position. The muddled position of the established Church on this issue fundamentally weakens the witness of Christians who want to speak and witness to the foundations of Christian truth.

And yet we do not despair. Though no bishops will speak, though the established Church flounders in this, as on many other orthodox matters of faith, Dr David Mackereth does speak. A brave man, unprepared for the media onslaught, untrained both for appearances in the media or the English courts, he stands for Christ exemplifying I Cor 1:27: ‘Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful .’ (NLT).

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  • guerillasurgeon

    “as a committed Christian, he is committed to telling the truth.”
    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Because LOL just doesn’t cut it here. God I’m finding it hard to type I’m still laughing.

  • KenderJ

    “It is very disturbing to see a doctor with 26 years of experience in A & E medicine” …who doesn’t seem to understand how gender works and has an imaginary friend.

  • wannabe

    What is the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) doing relying on positions taken by the Church of England? If the C of E developed its guidelines using scientific sources, the DWP should have quoted those sources directly. Otherwise the rules are little better than theocracy—even if you agree with them.

  • Mike Panic

    That god sure is one supremely confused/schizophrenic monstrosity, holding all those positions at the same time.

  • Duncan R. Bryson

    I read the previous article about this. With the advantage of this one, I think there is more to this case. As an assessor for The Department of Works and Pensions, he would have to consider if a person is eligible for any assistance or support and, if so, to what degree. He would have to consider a person’s physical and mental conditions therefore would be incapable of fully doing so with his self imposed restrictions to his outlook. An applicant should be made to feel at ease during their assessment but some would not and think the “system” was out to get them. A further advantage of forming a rapport with the applicant, is that someone who was faking a condition would maybe let their guard down and could have their case legitimately rejected. I therefore think this is more than the form of address he is prepared to use. As it’s an ongoing case, the department will be unwilling to comment so we are not hearing both sides. The verdict should be more enlightening and I suspect some of the above may prove to be so.

  • Raging Bee

    Since when was refusing to acknowledge and respect a person’s view of him/herself an act of “conscience?” More and more deranged uncaring bigots are abusing that word and twisting it to mean something totally unlike what it used to mean.

  • Raging Bee

    Yes, and if his followers aren’t allowed to be as capricious and loony as he is, then it’s a violation of their “religious freedom!”

  • Michael Neville

    So Dr. Mackereth prefers to insult people for no reason to being a “compassionate, loving Christian.” That makes total sense, if you’re Andrea Miniciello Williams.

  • LeekSoup

    I think that’s a bad strategy by the employment tribunal to refer to C of E teaching as if that’s the go to reference work. Judging by the article, that’s not Dr Mackereth’s chosen church, so they may as well have quoted a fatwa or the Dalai Lama. If it was his own church’s statement then it would be difficult to argue with him. There’s a danger here that he could turn around and say this is evidence that he is being persecuted for his beliefs because he is being asked to comply with a version of Christianity he doesn’t identify with.

    I also don’t get why on earth he needed to be presented with any church’s teaching on this at all. He disobeyed a direct instruction. That’s a sacakable offence. It would be in his contract that he has to abide by certain rules and values (or at least it should be referenced). If it’s not in his contract then the sacking was unlawful and the DWP need to sort their contracts out sharpish. If it is in his contract then he can’t complain about it. My contract says that I will abide by the values and working practices of the public sector organisation I work for and I would think that was common across the sector. If the rules came in after he signed the contract then the proper process would be to raise that with his supervisor and explain he could not do that. But no, he just went on with his work doing what he wanted to do regardless.

  • Wisdom, Justice, Love

    Yeah. Silly. But if atheist could not employ fake virtue they would have nothing.

    So we never need to address PhDs and medical professionals as “Doctor” since that was not how God created them right? /s

  • WallofSleep

    “He said that the position of the Church of England was evidence that “cultural Marxism” had entered the Church.”

    https://media.giphy.com/media/pRWXuavSZo17W/giphy.gif

  • It matters because the good Dr was relying on his “Christian beliefs” to justify his behaviour, and using the position of the de facto authority on christianity is an a fortiori argument against his position. It was likely only one reason given among others.

    But yeah, the “I am a christian” defense should fail on its merits for not being relevant to the secular practice of government work, even when the christian teachings on the point at hand are not internally contradictory.

  • Precisely.

  • Unfortunately, I tend to agree. It was his moral conviction that he ought to tell the truth that was his undoing. He associates that moral conviction with his Christian faith, which is fair enough at one level, but which shoehorns his grievance into his barrister’s mission, but makes his rather *strong* argument sound weaker, in the ears of somebody who doesn’t much care for Christians.

  • What insult are you referring to?

  • Your point is a non-point, because you don’t address somebody using gendered pronouns. You refer to them as “you”. You only need to use gendered pronouns when writing up the report about them later, in the third person.

  • If I asked you to acknowledge that I was “born again”, would you?

  • Raging Bee

    What does that question have to do with anything?

  • Raging Bee

    That doesn’t justify or excuse using the WRONG pronoun.

  • Michael Neville

    Referring to a transgender by a pronoun other than the one they prefer is an insult to the transgender.

  • Why is that an insult? I don’t remember learning not to do that when I learnt good manners. What has changed since then?

  • Why, in a medical report, is it the use of a “WRONG” pronoun, for a doctor consistently to refer to a male patient as “he”, and a female patient as “she”?

  • Not acknowledging that somebody is “born again” when that is how they see themselves, would be another example of what you described as “refusing to acknowledge and respect a person’s view of him/herself”.

    I wondered if your conscience would require you to refuse that courtesy, making you (what was the phrase you used?) another example of an “uncaring bigot”, for not pandering to the views of themselves of persons who claim to be “born again”, because you no more believe that some people happen to be born again than Dr Mack believes that some people happen to be transgendered.

    Now do you see what my question had to do with “anything”?

  • Raging Bee

    I wondered if your conscience would require you to refuse that courtesy…

    Insinuation without evidence. Try harder, okay?

  • Raging Bee

    That’s been explained, in plain English. Stop repeating questions whose answers you’re either ignoring or unable to understand.

  • I didn’t insinuate anything. I explained why I asked the question you haven’t answered, because you asked me to explain that.

  • I asked the question once, when you said that the “WRONG” pronouns were being used. I have never asked that question before. You haven’t answered it before.

  • Raging Bee

    The question has been answered before and you know it.

  • persephone

    CoE is still the official state religion, of which the Queen is the head. Religion is still taught in schools.

  • persephone

    I’d probably say, “okay,” and move on. I really don’t care what you believe, and I’ll tolerate most of it, but I’m not going tolerate the intolerant.

  • LeekSoup

    Yes I know. I went to a CofE school when I was a kid and have known lots of people who attend CofE churches. Technically it’s the Established religion so not mandatory and it recognises other churches as also being Christian.

    It depends how the tribunal panel used it, of course. If it was just as an example that you can be Christian and less hateful towards trans people then it makes sense. But the way Minichello is spinning it looks like they used it as a definitive doctrinal statement that he should assent to. Like I said before, I think that’s a mistake and gives him a window for saying he’s being persecuted. It’s also a bit alarming if a wing of the state is trying to define what a ‘true Christian’ believes.

    I suspect someone on the tribunal who doesn’t know very much about religion thought this would be an authoritative argument to use and didn’t realise the potential fall out.

  • If you are unwilling to tolerate the intolerant, you are the intolerant.

    If you are willing to say “okay” to a belief you don’t actually believe yourself and then “move on”, then, whatever else you may believe in, you don’t believe in truthfulness.

    Dr Mack would still have his job, if the state didn’t care so much what he believed.

  • What, about “how gender works”, is it that you consider Dr Mack doesn’t “seem to understand”?

  • This was my question:

    Why, in a medical report, is it the use of a “WRONG” pronoun, for a doctor consistently to refer to a male patient as “he”, and a female patient as “she”?

    As far as I know, nobody has answered that question yet, in this discussion. Please remind me of the answer you say has already been given.

  • KenderJ

    “He has explained: ‘I believe gender is defined by biology and genetics. And that as a Christian the Bible teaches us that God made humans male or female.”

    Biological sex is biology and genetics. Gender is a social construct and is defined differently by different societies. Several countries are in a period of discussing and redefining what gender means in our societies.

    God never made anything, let alone a strict binary of male / female. If the good doctor wants to use genetics, then he should already understand that biological sex and gender, like most things human, is on a spectrum and not an either-or.

  • 1. Does the little that Dr Mack said contradict what you have just said after quoting him, or does it merely stop short of elaborating some of the intricacies that you consider important to mention now?

    2. We know that Dr Mack is a medic, and is using medical language, which he is qualified to do, and under a duty to do accurately. What is your relevant area of expertise?

    3. In case it is of interest, my first comment on the case of Dr Mackereth is here:

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/archbishopcranmer/church_of_england_guidance_used_against_christian_in_court/#comment-4550205588

    It presents my analysis of the facts of the story. It is an attempt to do so in neutral terms. I wrote:

    Dr Mackereth was engaged by the state as a medical expert, to produce medical reports on benefits claimants that stated, inter alia, whether or not each applicant was male or female. He considered that he ought to use the scientific, medical definitions of maleness and femaleness, which are based on sex, rather than any controversial, non-scientific modern definitions advanced by the LGBT faith community based upon novel doctrines of any so-called “gender” different from sex. He expected the state to expect this of him.

    As a health professional and a Christian (a worshipper of “the God of Truth”), he took seriously his moral and professional obigations to use the appropriate definitions and to report truthfully.

    This latest news report reveals that a part of the established church in England has apparently pontificated in the past in support of the LGBT doctrines of gender, in the process either contradicting the scientific doctrines or doing the bidding of a different god (the Father of Lies) rather than the God of Truth, or both. We also learn that the state has involved itself in the resultant Christian doctrinal dispute, in which Dr Mackereth adopts a conservative position, and the C of E – or at least part of it – adopts a revisionist position (with which the state sides, against the doctor).

    Does that analysis sound fair to you? Or is there any wording you think needs amendment, in order to explain the situation without spin?

  • PlatypusPond

    Because a trans man is not female and a trans woman is not male. Duh!

  • Millions of people don’t believe in that dogma.

  • In the medical sense, a trans man is female and a trans woman is male. What other meaning does the word “trans” have but this? Dr Mack has made it clear that he believes that it would be wrong for a doctor to suppress this scientific truth in the context of a medical report.

  • persephone

    That’s not how that works, at all. It’s not logical in a society to tolerate intolerance, for intolerance will end up taking over and destroying that tolerant society.

  • He is using “medical language” as a cover for mis-gendering people. Once it’s established for medical reasons that someone is transgender, the correct pronoun to use when referring to the person is still the one they identify with, because pronouns are part of the social element of gender, and mis-gendering (particularly in these circumstances) is anti-social behaviour. It’s a deliberate attempt to shame and exclude. It’s not a lie to use preferred pronouns.

    If there is no medical reason to identify someone as transgender, then the chosen gender should be used, because why wouldn’t you?

  • Mainstream Christianity has taught that truthfulness is a virtue from the beginning. It teaches the worship a god who is also the god of Judaism who is accorded the title “The God of Truth” in the Psalms. The creeds acknowlegde as Lord one who used the title “The Father of Lies” to refer to the evil one, Satan. It follows that committed Christians are in general terms committed to telling the truth. So, what are you laughing at?

  • Precisely. As I wrote earlier, and elsewhere,

    Dr Mackereth was engaged by the state as a medical expert, to produce medical reports on benefits claimants that stated, inter alia, whether or not each applicant was male or female. He considered that he ought to use the scientific, medical definitions of maleness and femaleness, which are based on sex, rather than any controversial, non-scientific modern definitions advanced by the LGBT faith community based upon novel doctrines of any so-called “gender” different from sex. He expected the state to expect this of him.

    As a health professional and a Christian (a worshipper of “the God of Truth”), he took seriously his moral and professional obigations to use the appropriate definitions and to report truthfully.

    This latest news report reveals that a part of the established church in England has apparently pontificated in the past in support of the LGBT doctrines of gender, in the process either contradicting the scientific doctrines or doing the bidding of a different god (the Father of Lies) rather than the God of Truth, or both. We also learn that the state has involved itself in the resultant Christian doctrinal dispute, in which Dr Mackereth adopts a conservative position, and the C of E – or at least part of it – adopts a revisionist position (with which the state sides, against the doctor).

    What the state is doing, is what the state has all-too-often done over the centuries, when suppressing Christian dissent. It has set Christians against one another, a divide and rule tactic. It has endorsed one school of theological thought and weaponised its exponents against that school’s opponents. The Tudors interfered like this far worse than the British governments of the 21st century, although the governments since “we don’t do God” Blair have been re-learning these old tricks of statecraft fast.

  • There doesn’t seem to be any major disagreement between you and me yet about the facts. The appearance of contradiction between what I write arises from different value judgments and beliefs about what is true or false, and what is good or evil, which aren’t of an objective, scientific nature. Do you agree?

    You write, “mis-gendering … is anti-social behaviour. It’s a deliberate attempt to shame and exclude. It’s not a lie to use preferred pronouns”. I might reply that transgendered behaviour is anti-social behaviour. It’s a deliberate attempt to deceive, gaining inclusion fraudulently in the social privileges of a gender to which one does not belong. To use preferred pronouns to facilitate such gender fraud makes one an accomplice of the fraudster.

    We aren’t contradicting one another about the facts. We have different moral values.

  • Please remind me. Who are you saying is being too intolerant to tolerate? Dr Mackereth? How?

  • guerillasurgeon

    I’m laughing because I know that Christianity supposedly teaches people to tell the truth, but Christians lie just as much as anyone else, if not more. And I’m not sure you can really make a distinction between “mainstream” and everyone else. In parts of the world, this guy would not be regarded as mainstream. Probably not even as a Christian.

  • That’s not Dr Mackereth’s argument at all. And it’s certainly not any argument of mine either.

    Whom are you accusing of being a “dullard”, by the way? On what grounds?

  • Gerhard

    To demand the use of a pronoun that is not coherent with physical reality is an insult to the intelligence of any observer of physical reality. To enshrine ignorance of reality into law is evidence for the attempt to the establishment of idiocracy.

  • Gerhard

    It might be helpful to use ones brain to check for ones physical reality regarding ones potential reproductive capabilities, the thing that determines gender. If one were to perceive ones gender based on ones stereotypes of gender roles one should ask oneself if ones stereotypes are in need of change or ones physical appearance.

  • Astreja

    Reproduction is not something that everyone strives for, Gerhard. Non-reproducing individuals contribute to the well-being of their families and society in other ways.

    Gender identity is currently thought to be based on biological and environmental factors, grounded in structural changes to the physical brain. This suggests that it may not be amenable to change, and that at most someone could force themselves to play a different role. I don’t think that’s a particularly good idea.

  • Gerhard

    so what role can you not play as a man or woman apart from giving birth to a child or fathering it? Do you want to imply you cannot play football if you are a girl or you cant take up nitting or cooking if you are a boy or feed baby and change its nappies? What role are you forced to play?

  • Astreja

    I’m thinking more of roles and expectations imposed from the outside, such as a girl getting teased for liking toy cars or a boy unable to convince his parents to let him take dance lessons, and of people who try to act and dress a certain way because others expect them to do so.

  • Anri

    Well, that’s good then.
    Can we then agree that those that frequently tell lies in the name of Christianity are not committed Christians?
    When I find them, should I refer them to you for you to confirm that for them?
    Presumably they will listen, given how much deeper your understanding of their faith is then they themselves, can we agree?

  • Anri

    Transgender people were recognized as real people and their life experience was recognized as being more important than your preference in personal pronouns.
    I’m sorry if this change in etiquette has confused you, but it makes people’s lives much better.

    So, yes, this is a change that has occurred in your lifetime. That does not invalidate it. All changes occurred in someone’s lifetime.

  • The question is not whether those who describe themselves as “transgender people” are real people (of course they are), but whether the state should force the individual citizen to affirm in speech or writing the exotic beliefs nowadays fashionable in some quarters that it is possible to change sex, or to be of a gender that is different from one’s sex.
    The question behind that is whether the state can force anything it chooses, or only certain things, upon the individual. Totalitarians and liberals answer that question differently.
    Effectively, you are answering my “why” question by asserting that a certain change (and a pretty preposterous one at that) has simply been decided during my lifetime. Well, not by me it hasn’t. I still ask why should I express beliefs I do not hold like that.

  • For the sake of what argument would you like me to agree that? It’s actually a complicated question disguised as a simple one.
    But, for the sake of argument, yes. Habitual liars who lie for no good reason aren’t practising Christianity, and therefore presumably aren’t committed Christians.

  • Anri

    For exactly the same reason a different type of bigot should perhaps not call adult black men “boy”.

  • Anri

    Marvelous.
    May I quote you when discussing relative religious popularity?
    When someone tried to point out that the US is a primarily Christian nation, can I suggest that they are erroneously counting people who aren’t really Christians. due to their habits of lying?

    If it feels like a complex subject is being treated simply, well, definitive blankets statements about people of one faith having to behave one way or another do tend to do that, yes.
    The statement “committed Christians do not make a habit of lying” is indeed a simple one. If it is dealing with a more complex reality, perhaps it would be best not to assert it, then?

  • Can I get this right? Do you seriously believe that the state is entitled to punish Dr Mackereth (and myself if the opportunity arises) should he (or I) fail, on demand, to express LGBT beliefs which we do not hold, and which contradict belief he does hold (as do I)? And that the state is entitled thus to lord it over our consciences for the same reason that those who habitually call adult black men “boy” (are there really still such people in your country who do that?) ought not to do that? I’m afraid I don’t see the parallel you are trying to draw.

  • If you ask a too-simple question about a complex subject, out of any sort of context, and I point out both flaws in your question before giving you a not-too-bad, simple answer (out of the goodness of my heart), you ought not to misquote my answer, and denigrate it as a “blanket statement”. (You changed a word of my answer from “committed” to “really”, for example. You asked a blanket question that required a blanket answer, which was my complaint.)

    You may quote me accurately whenever and wherever you want. You ought not to quote me inaccurately though.

    Quoting out of context sometimes amounts to quoting inaccurately. Please bear that in mind.

  • I mean that you appear to employ hyper-skepticism in relation to the claims of transgender people in order to avoid actually arguing on the substance. It’s a dull argument, and not one I’d care to get mixed up in.

  • Moral values not based on facts are not reliable moral values. We are contradicting on the facts, specifically on whether or not the claims of transgender people should be taken at face value(“transgender is a fraud”), and whether or not we should treat their requests for pronoun usage with respect. I obviously disagree.

    Tu Quoque is not a valid argument, so you’ve failed to address my comment, although I’m not sure my eyes can take much more rolling, so please feel free to not.

    That said, your attempt to frame transgender decisions as amounting to fraud is absurd. It amounts to an admission that this is really about preserving conservative notions of gender roles (specifically that there should be “social privileges” afforded to one gender over another), not merely anti-trans. Assuming that a cis-man and a cis-woman would be entitled to the same social privileges (other things being equal), I’m curious as to what fraud you think is being committed? Or perhaps you;d like to elucidate what these privileges they are illegitimately accessing are?

  • Anri

    I asked a blanket question that could have been answered No, one can be a committed Christian and a habitual liar, to avoid agreeing with it. I’m now not sure if you want to agree or not. You certainly don’t have to.
    To put it another way, if you answered with the position you’d like to support, I’m asking you to actually support it. If you answered that way just for the sake of argument, well, we’re having that argument right now, aren’t we?

    I would refer someone to you to allow you to explain the nuances of what you said, should you want to. That’s the entire point of referring someone to you.

    As for the wording change, I assumed it was acceptable due to the impression I have that the bible tends consider commitment integral to real Christianity. If you think this impression is wrong, I’m all ears.

    I do apologize for using quotations to separate an example phrase in a way that may have made it look as if I considered that a direct quote. I should have used italics or something similar. If that was the impression I gave, that was my fault, and I apologize.

  • “you appear to employ hyper-skepticism in relation to the claims of transgender people”

    What you call “the claims of transgender people”, I call the doctrines of the LGBT movement about the modern phenomenon of gender fraud that is assisted by the state and by a minority of medical practitioners whose work is controversial even amongst medical colleagues.

    It is important to understand firstly that your referring to exactly the same thing as me, but using different words, because you have different beliefs from me. Your beliefs contradict mine, and vice versa, so each of us is equally sceptical of the other’s belief. You addition of the prefix “hyper-” to my inevitable scepticism of your doctrine, is emotive conjugation, because you dislike my scepticism of what you would like to teach me.

    You are begging of the question in your wording (because the very wording “transgender people” asserts the doctrines that contradict yours, which are contradicted by Jews, Christians, Muslims, Trans-Exclusionary Feminists, medical doctors who are not specialists in gender-related interventions and many mature people who are none of these but who have with long memories all reject.

    Both LGBT believers and those who contradict them hold beliefs that are not simply scientific facts. How a liberal democratic society manages to continue to function peaceably when there is a clash of such beliefs, with each side sceptical of the “claims” of the other (since you insist on calling such beliefs “claims”), is part of the “substance” we ought to be arguing, not just which set of believers is “right” and which is “wrong”, a question which is not likely to be settled in my lifetime or yours.

  • Anri

    I am saying that the state has a rightful stake in determining if your desire to use a given gender-specific title is more or less important than an often maligned minority group’s desire to not be hurt by their daily interactions with people.
    The state has determined – and I agree with them – that a society supporting equality is better served by you using someone’s preferred title, or none at all, than they are by having what they see as an incorrect label applied to them. In other words, the state feels a person has a better claim to know what title applies to them than do you.

    The parallel seems pretty obvious – one can hold a completely honest and committed belief that black people are inferior to white, and never therefore reach adult maturity. They may quietly believe that to their heart’s content, but will still – and quite correctly – be considered engaging in bigoted and hurtful speech if they give vent to it.
    A person’s level of commitment or reasons for commitment are not central to the argument. A person who does this out of belief in the rightness of their actions and someone who is uncommitted to the belief but merely engaging in the behavior with a desire to cause hurt are treated equally. This is not policing thoughts, but actions.

    (are there really still such people in your country who do that?)

    In places in the US, sadly, yes, this still happens.
    It’s a lot less common than it was. Why do you think that is?

  • The idea that religious groups rejecting the “doctrine” of transgender existence should somehow constitute an argument against societal acceptance of Transgender norms is hilarious (we only need to look at the reaction to mixed-race schools in the american south last century to see parallels).

    Putting them (and the “mature people who are none of these”) aside, the reasoning of TERFs can be dealt with on their own ground (not relevant here).

    The medical establishment is by-and-large in favour of the respectful treatment of patients (This guidance (Link) is relevant, although you could also look at their specific guidance on treating gender dysphoria), regardless of specialisation, but even then, you assert a hyper-sceptical view in dismissing the experts in favour of some imagined “informed majority”. Why would we assume the experts are wrong?

    It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to discover that those who do dissent do so for personal/religious reasons, rather than medical (or even civic) ones (as per the good Dr referenced above). Again, if you are aware of valid medical reasons to ignore someone’s preferred pronoun (rather than to fight against an elaborate conspiracy by individuals to infiltrate the opposing gender’s…eh… something?) please do cite this.

    But this is being charitable to what amounts to an argumentum ad populum. “Lots of people think this, so burn the genetically-male witch!”

    It’s obvious I use the phrase “transgender people” because I accept the proposition that they are both. I’m not sure how this asserts anything that contradicts my own views (accepting that someone is transgender is not the same as accepting that a transgender woman should be referred to with “he/him” pronouns). Medically, being transgender is relevant to the treatment and diagnosis of various illnesses, so being a transgender woman is materially different from being a cis woman FOR THESE PURPOSES. Pronouns have nothing to do with these purposes. Pronouns are about social acceptance of a minority group who do not conform to western gender expectations.

    Hyper-scepticism is an approach to argument that effectively goes “but maybe you’re wrong” without ever offering any reason to think I am, and refusing to engage with actual arguments that I may be right.

    You have yet to put forward any reason these people should be treated differently to how they expect to be treated, apart from your hyper-scepticism about these people’s claims about their gender, so I will continue to view it as such until you reference some adequate reason to doubt their claims. This is only further validated as you attempt to use presuppositionalist language to frame the debate (hey man, it’s only a difference in beliefs man, we agree on the facts, man). It’s all waffle in aid of nothing.

    If this remains unsettled, it’s because of people wandering around with their fingers in their ears shouting “your lifestyle is oppressive to me!” Yeah, they’ll never go away, but society continues to function without their “contribution”. The way a liberal democracy continues is by ensuring forms are adequate to capture all outcomes, and that we have checks and balances on how we treat people so that we don’t marginalize people for no good reason (like requiring medical professionals to treat trans people with dignity and respect, rather than implicating them in some machiavellian plot). Oh, and the idea that “peace” was ever in question is laughable; the only threat to peace in the west at the moment are fascists; LGBT activists are not a threat to civil society.

    I honestly regret wasting my time on this, so I won’t be responding further.

  • Sophotroph

    You might want to actually look up what skepticism is.

    To save you the trouble, you’re not one.

  • Sophotroph

    Wow. That is weapons-grade stupid right there.

    Learn to be a person, then come back and engage. Or don’t.

  • Sophotroph

    Too bad for them.

  • Raging Bee

    That’s because your manners lessons were inadequate. I DID learn to respect other people’s feelings, long before I ever heard of transgender people; so when I did hear of them, I had ho trouble applying my old-school manners to a new (to me) situation.

    So I guess my moral education was just plain better than yours.

  • Raging Bee

    …whether the state should force the individual citizen to affirm in
    speech or writing the exotic beliefs nowadays fashionable in some
    quarters that it is possible to change sex…

    That’s not an “exotic belief,” it’s a known fact. It’s possible, and it’s been done. End of argument.

  • Raging Bee

    Millions of people don’t believe in the “dogma” of evolution. That doesn’t make evolution any less true.

  • Raging Bee

    Mainstream Christianity has taught that truthfulness is a virtue from the beginning.

    So why do so many Christians keep missing — or ignoring — that lesson?

  • That’s a fair question, but one for a different discussion.

  • There is a difference in meaning between the phrase “a real Christian” and the phrase “a committed Christian”. Certain teaching within Christianity asserts that there is an inner difference between a true believer and anybody else, including a hypocrite or a temporary believer who is outwardly Christian as well as somebody who is not a Christian in any sense at all. If Christianity is true, then such a person can be referred to as a “real” Christian. If Christianity is false, then there are no “real” Christians in that sense, only persons who are committed to the whole tissue of lies that is called Christianity.

    Since truthfulness is a Christian ethic (though not unique to Christianity), then obviously a habitual, needless liar isn’t committed to that faith, or he would behave differently.

  • You’re right. Believing things in general doesn’t make them true. You or I believing that some people are transgendered does not make this true either.

    Those who believe the evolution narrative often consider it to be a scientific theory, parts of which can be tested (in theory) by conducting scientific experiments.

    The LGBT trans metaphysical doctrine, that some people are female souls trapped in male bodies and vice versa, isn’t a scientific theory that can be tested experimentally. Rather, this doctrine is an article of faith, uncannily like the Christian doctrine of regeneration. Your belief in that trans doctrine doesn’t make it true, and my unbelief in it doesn’t make it false, any more than an individual’s belief or unbelief in the Christian new birth affects the truth or falsehood of that doctrine.

  • Are you seriously saying that it is possible for an individual *mammal*, a *placental mammal*, such as a human, actually to *change sex*, and that this has been *observed*? When? Where? Where published?

  • Let us conduct a thought experiment. If Bruce/Kaitlin Jenner, whilst wondering abroad alone, was killed by a very large and nearby bomb, and a small fragment of his central nervous system was scraped off a tree forty yards away and sent away for analysis, in order to determine the sex of the unknown victim of the explosion, what would the pathology lab say he was? A man, or a woman?

    You are expounding a dualistic metaphysical model, of a female ghost in a male machine. (The brain is part of the machine. It isn’t the ghost.) You are entitled to play such philosophical games. Nobody, not even the state, is entitled to crush all dissent from the fanciful conclusions arising from such airy-fairy, mumbo-jumbo speculations.

  • Astreja

    The pathology test in this case would be insufficient to fully describe Jenner’s life experiences.

    And life experiences are, as a rule, much more valuable to an individual than the component parts of their physical bodies. Just drop it and let people live the lives they want, as someone else’s gender identity only affects you if you’re considering an intimate relationship with them.

  • Raging Bee

    Are you actually admitting you have no idea what we’ve been talking about here? Clearly you’re just another 69pig-ignorant 69bigot pretending to know “the truth” while proving he knows nothing. You’re not worth our time. Perhaps you should go back to your parents and demand they give you the basic education they should have given you decades ago. This is a blog, not a special-ed facility.

  • Raging Bee

    …that some people are female souls trapped in male bodies and vice versa…

    No one is saying that, and you know it. If you can’t deal with the real world without deliberately misrepresenting what you hear, then there’s no point in trying to talk to you.

  • Raging Bee

    Well, until you actually man up and face the issue, you have no credibility.

  • The state has determined – and I agree with them – that a society supporting equality is better served by you using someone’s preferred title, or none at all, than they are by having what they see as an incorrect label applied to them. In other words, the state feels a person has a better claim to know what title applies to them than do you.

    Whether the state has the authority to determine that (in theory) is disputed.

    Secondly, also challenged is the *method* of reaching and promulgating the particular decision affecting Dr Mackereth (not me).

    Thirdly, I’m not sure that Dr Mackereth wasn’t given the accommodation you imply he was, of circumlocution in order to avoid the use of third person pronouns altogether.

    And finally, the state as a whole hasn’t determined what you say it has. Rather, one particular public authority has attempted to introduce a working practice which affects staff members in the same role as Dr Mackereth was, apparently without statutory authority for this innovation.

    Your comparison of calling grown men “boy” and calling men women doesn’t strike me as apt.

    I’ve had plenty of conversations about why race relations in the USA are so bad with Europeans, Americans and Africans in my circle, at different stages of my life, without coming up with a satisfactory explanation. I don’t think political correctness helps the problem.

  • I don’t want to talk about that issue here. I want to stick with this issue.

  • Raging Bee

    Tough shit. You have no credibility and nothing decent or intelligent to say, so you don’t get to dictate what we get to talk about.

  • That is the gist of what many people do say. If that isn’t how you would put it yourself, you are welcome to express the relevant idea in different words of your owwn choosing.

  • Now we see the violence inherent in the system. And this from one who boasted, “my moral education was just plain better than yours”.

    All the same, could I please have the missing citation, of the actual sex change you say has happened?

  • I doubt we’ll ever have pathology tests that will be able fully to describe the life experiences of deceased persons.

    You have touched upon the worst sort of gender fraud, though. Maybe you’d like to talk about that, on my blog since that’s one of the few places it’s mentioned. I have been aware of that problem for 20 years or so.

    Stop gender fraud!
    https://johnallmanuk.wordpress.com/2017/07/08/gra/

  • I’ve been accused of being a hyper-sceptic, and of not being a sceptic at all, on the same day.

  • Gerhard

    Her comment was indeed weapons grade stupid, to think you need to get your body changed to be allowed to play with dolls or cars. To think you need to change your body to comply with gender stereotypes is a stupid as one can get. What have all the feminists been fighting for all those years to overcome gender stereotypes?

  • Moral values not based on facts are not reliable moral values.

    How are moral values ever based upon facts? How can moral values ever be either reliable or unreliable?

    We are contradicting on the facts, specifically on whether or not … should … and whether or not we should …

    Shoulds aren’t facts. They’re shoulds, more formally know as ethical judgments.

    Tu Quoque is not a valid argument.

    What Tu Quoque invalid argument of mine are you referring to, seeking to establish what proposition?

    I think you might understand my thoughts on transgenderism in general if you read “Stop gender fraud!” on my blog. If you want a general discussion about that, my meme that transgenderism is a form of social fraud, to which I do understand you take exception, but which you have not yet established the right to label “absurd”, I invite you there.

    Stop gender fraud!
    Should a bloke be allowed to know if his “girlfriend” (or “bride”) is also a bloke?
    https://johnallmanuk.wordpress.com/2017/07/08/gra/

    Is there anything you don’t understand yet about my thoughts on the matter under discussion on this page, to do with Dr Mackereth?

  • Anri

    Whether the state has the authority to determine that (in theory) is disputed.

    And the disputed is currently settled in favor of “yes”.
    This may, of course, change.

    Secondly, also challenged is the *method* of reaching and promulgating the particular decision affecting Dr Mackereth (not me).

    What is the alternate method suggested?

    Thirdly, I’m not sure that Dr Mackereth wasn’t given the accommodation you imply he was, of circumlocution in order to avoid the use of third person pronouns altogether.

    I’m not implying but rather suggesting that Dr Mackereth should have used the title and pronouns the person he was applying them preferred rather than insisting that his preference took precedence.

    Your comparison of calling grown men “boy” and calling men women doesn’t strike me as apt.

    I’d be happy to hear the substantial distinction you draw here.

    I’m going to float an idea you may accept or not: if you were to find the comparison apt, that would tend to cast this behavior as open bigotry, wouldn’t it? And thus believing it was right and proper would make one a bigot, wouldn’t it? Would you find it difficult to admit to bigotry? Would that tend to effect your thinking on this point?
    Just something to consider.

    Many people justified bigoted racial behavior with an appeal to a god-mandated “natural order” or some such.

    I’ve had plenty of conversations about why race relations in the USA are so bad with Europeans, Americans and Africans in my circle, at different stages of my life, without coming up with a satisfactory explanation. I don’t think political correctness helps the problem.

    Assuming you believe the Civil Rights Movement improved things, how would you distinguish between that and what you are calling “political correctness”?

    For comparison, I’ve lived in the Gulf South and the Midwest for all of my life, exclusively attended public minority-majority schools, worked a variety of menial jobs, and always lived in urban neighborhoods. I’d be inclined to think I might just have a slightly better perspective on the subject of racism in the US and how it manifests.

  • Anri

    If Christianity is false, then there are no “real” Christians in that
    sense, only persons who are committed to the whole tissue of lies that
    is called Christianity.

    But if you believe Christianity to be true, this distinction disappears, doesn’t it?
    Do you?

    Speaking for myself, I believe that a Christian, true, committed, or otherwise is merely one who accepts Christ as their savior. As I cannot tell the truth of this state externally, I am willing to take someone on their word when they claim to be one.
    I suspect we’re getting to the point where brain imaging could perhaps distinguish between true faith and affected faith, but until and unless that becomes commonplace, I’ll have to just go with considering people being Christian when they tell me they are.

    That said, I have met consummate and habitual liars who called themselves Christian, often using terms such as committed, true, faithful, or devoted in describing their faith.
    If you do not believe this to be possible, I was suggesting people like this be referred to you for correction.
    If you do, then I don’t think we have a further dispute.

  • Traci

    It’s a deliberate attempt to deceive, gaining inclusion fraudulently in
    the social privileges of a gender to which one does not belong. To use
    preferred pronouns to facilitate such gender fraud makes one an
    accomplice of the fraudster.

    That is slander, which is a sin…”Christian”

  • Who do you consider is being defamed, with what false allegations that might harm his or her reputation, by the use of the words you quoted? Even if the words are interpreted out of context, that is, let alone if interpreted in their actual context?

  • Gerhard

    have a look at

    https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/news/canada/free-speech-activist-lindsay-shepherd-on-her-twitter-ban-your-instincts-should-not-be-to-celebrate-333729/

    and try to make sense of the story. Why do you think this man Jonathan Yaniv calling himself now Jessica want to access girls bathrooms to help them with tampons and why did he want to have his balls waxed?

  • Gerhard

    https://spectator.us/yaniv-scandal-end-product-trans-activism/
    shows us the inevitable consequence of LGBTQ ideology