Indoctrination, intimidation and the new ideological witch-hunts
Last month, a remarkably brave young woman became headline news, having been forced out of her school because she dared to question the new State-approved religion.
She committed the blasphemy of asking a visiting speaker (a baroness from the House of Lords) to consider the possibility that biological sex might be real.
For this heresy, the 18-year-old was surrounded by 60 other pupils who verbally abused her, spat on her and physically intimidated her. They screamed abuse at her so loudly that she left and collapsed.
The story is bad enough, but it gets worse. The teacher in charge of the sixth form had initially supported the bullied girl, but then changed her position. She ended up apologising to the bullies that she had not created a 'safe space' for them. She declared that 'hate speech in the school is unacceptable' – thereby implying that the victim deserved to be bullied because simply saying that biological sex is real now constitutes hate speech!
The girl was forced to study alone in the library and eventually left the school. The head justified her actions by saying, 'How can the testimony of an entire group of other students be wrong? I have to support them, too.'
This is the rule of the mob, not the rule of truth, justice, love, tolerance, equality and diversity. This is the Western progressive equivalent of Chairman Mao's Little Red Brigades. Across China in 1966 and 1967, hundreds of thousands of pupils set themselves up as vigilantes to ensure that Maoist doctrine was correctly followed. Anyone on 'the wrong side of history' was to be dealt with.
How did this progressive version of Mao's mob rule come to take hold in an elitist private school in England? Thankfully a teacher at the school, who blew the whistle on this affair, has given us the inside story.
After a visit from the Mermaids transgender organisation, the school adopted the pro-transgender ideology. Mermaids teaches schools that to question transgender ideology is to be a transphobe and to fail in their duty of care.
In the words of the whistle-blowing teacher, "We, as teachers, are effectively being told that if we question trans ideology we are child abusers."
Meanwhile the girls who hounded the independent thinker have been indoctrinated for years. They now genuinely believe that biological sex is meaningless (despite the testimony of their own bodies) and that to believe otherwise is to be evil.
And teachers, instead of encouraging debate, free thinking and intellectual curiosity, find themselves in the role of ensuring that woke dogma is taught, believed and practised.
We have moved from education being about teaching children 'how' to think, to telling them 'what' to think. The disease that started in the upper echelons of elite universities is now being taught in schools and nurseries.
I know of a schoolboy in Scotland who was ordered out of his classroom with several of his friends so that they could receive 'pronoun training'. The parents were not asked or told about this indoctrination.
Even as I write this, I've just been sent a message from a parent who tells me that she recently received an e-mail from the education department wishing her son all the best with 'their' education. Apparently, our educators have difficulty with the pronoun 'his'!
One Scottish primary school set up a pupils' LGBTIQ committee to ensure that the correct doctrines and dogmas are followed. It worked. A minster was in that school teaching about the nativity when they mentioned that Mary was a pregnant woman. A 10-year-old girl interrupted: "You can't say that. Mary could have been a pregnant man."
Or the four-year-old girl who told me that there were no such things as 'boy things and girl things'. She knew this because her nursery teacher had told her. Many of our children may be functionally illiterate, but as far as our educators are concerned, that's ok because at least they know that pronouns matter.
This indoctrination and intimidation is not restricted to schools – although it is particularly harmful there. Last week, the education secretary was hounded off Warwick University campus by trans activists, because he 'incited hatred' by calling women 'adult human females'.
But revealingly the most hate seems to be reserved for feminists who seek to protect women and women's spaces. The transgender activists have witch-hunts against people like JK Rowling, Professor Kathleen Stock, Jo Cherry, and even Germaine Greer. They call them TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists).
To say they are witch-hunts is not an exaggeration. I watched women demonstrators outside the Scottish Parliament being yelled at by men identifying as women 'witch! witch! witch!'.
It is beyond irony that at the same time as the Scottish government is apologising for witch-hunts in the 16th Century, they are enabling witch-hunts against women today. They are introducing a Gender Recognition Act (GRA) which will only increase these tensions and recently Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon refused to answer the question as to what a woman is, while at the same time claiming to be standing up for women!
So, what can the Church do? Not what the Church of Scotland has done, which is not only to back the GRA but to support the removal of a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. We must stand with our feminist sisters on this issue. We must not allow transgender ideology into the Church – it is anti-God and anti-human. Destroying the foundational understanding of humanity as male and female is destructive to all human beings – but especially women and children.
Our response should be that of 1 Peter 3:8-17. We don't repay evil with evil; we are eager to do good; in our hearts we revere Christ as Lord, and we are always prepared to give the reason for the hope that we have, with gentleness and respect.
We point people to Christ as the solution for the dysphoria and identity crisis they feel. The devil sows lies, confusion and hatred. We should be bringing truth, clarity and love. Silence or acquiescence is not an option.
David Robertson runs The ASK Project in Sydney, Australia. He blogs at the Wee Flea.