Forget the Catholic Inquisition, Protestant iconoclasm, or the Salem witch-hunts - there's a new kid on the block. He, or perhaps I should say 'ze', goes under the banner of LGBTQ+ equality, inclusivity and tolerance. It's a faith that will brook no questioning or dissent. But the description of its foundational values as 'inclusivity and tolerance' is an oxymoron – a contradiction in terms – because it's a creed built on denial of equality, on exclusion and harassment of those who dare voice disagreement, and on bigotry and prejudice.
The latest victim to fall foul of this brand of intolerance is a schoolgirl who was unwise enough to challenge the opinion that critical theory takes precedence over biological reality in defining women, after an unnamed female member of the House of Lords was invited into her unnamed private school to talk about transphobia in Parliament.
A not unreasonable comment for the schoolgirl to have made, one would have thought, and a view shared by many women. But after the meeting, when the girls had returned to the sixth form, the teenager was apparently surrounded by up to 60 baying and screaming schoolmates, who swore and spat at her, eventually driving her from the room in tears. Since that time, the girl has felt so intimidated by the bullying and accusations of transphobia, that she has been forced to leave the school, and is studying for her A-levels alone, at home.
At every level, behaviour such as that displayed by the feral mob, who appear to think it is alright to hound a fellow pupil like this, is a disgrace. As too is the attitude of the staff, who might have been expected to step in and robustly defend her, telling her persecutors that all have a right to express honestly held opinions and ask questions – especially where such views are based on science – and that discussion and debate is foundational to a society that values freedom and respect, and upholds the rights of all. But, unbelievably, the teachers appear in the main to have sided with her tormentors, banishing her, before she left, to the library.
This is appalling, or at best spineless, and a travesty of fair-minded inquiry and debate – which, one would have thought, was foundational to education. Former US President Ronald Reagan famously said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." The UK would do well to pay heed.
One of the greatest threats to the freedom of the Western world – apart from Vladimir Putin with his threats of mass extinction – is the attempted rebranding of our culture by the unquestioned and unquestioning imposition of current LGBTQ+ ideology. The schoolgirl hounded from her school was expressing a scientifically backed view against the imposed fantasy of ideologues, seeking to recreate and redefine humanity in terms of what they 'want', rather than what 'is'.
Their unsubstantiated claims are insulting both to women, and to Christians. To the first group, because such claims deny the distinctives of what it is to be a woman, and to experience life as a woman; and to the second, because such an assertion challenges our creation as male and female, made in the image of God, together and jointly reflecting the totality of God.
The self-appointed thought police – in this case the victim's fellow pupils and teachers – dismissive of anything that calls into question their attempted moral rebranding and narrative of gender equivalence, have been vicious in their demands for compliance. If we allow such oppression – and persist in protecting, as so often happens, the identity of the oppressors – then the chaos and violence already evident in society can only grow. We shall lose not just all claim to moral standing, but the values on which our society has been founded. And our nation will surely fall.
Rev Lynda Rose is founder of Voice for Justice UK, a group which works to uphold the moral values of the Bible in society.