Will any CofE bishops speak out against Jayne Ozanne's attack on parents?

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The attack by gay Anglican activist Jayne Ozanne on parental rights in her campaign to ban conversion therapy should be a wake-up call to Christians who may be apathetic about the debate.

Ms Ozanne, a member of the Church of England's General Synod, made her comment about parents being "the problem, not the solution" in counselling gender-confused children on The Gathering Podcast, hosted by an LGBTQ+ church in Cardiff city centre. 

She attacked government ministers for expressing caution about including such children in a ban on conversion therapy.

She said ministers "have committed to ensuring that the ban will include, we've been told, transgender people who are twice as likely to be offered (conversion therapy) or to go through with the most horrific forms of abuse". But she said the government has been telling campaigners that the legislation needs to be "very careful" in relation to trans children.

She complained that the government apparently wants to ensure that "parents have the upper hand here". Arguing that parents' rights should not trump trans children's rights, she declared: "Parents, frankly, most of the time are the problem, not the solution."

But what can be wrong with loving parents being concerned about their child harming themselves with puberty blockers and possibly embarking on a medical journey to bodily mutilation and lifelong suffering?

READ MORE: Conversion therapy ban not a high priority for most voters

Ms Ozanne's comment was highly revealing of the neo-Marxist mindset behind the drive to ban conversion therapy. She clearly believes that the growing transgender trend among school children trumps the biblical Fifth Commandment: "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee" (Exodus 20:12 – King James Version).

In her podcast interview she reiterated her view that the government must prevent pastors from praying with people who have asked for help and support to uphold the traditional Christian sexual ethic. 

She said: "My biggest concern is that religious practices, i.e. prayer or deliverance ministry, will not be included in this ban or there will be weasel words to allow those practices because they're seen as only prayer."

"Only prayer!" she remonstrated. "Do you know what it's like to be told constantly for years that who you are is sinful and wrong and needs to change or be suppressed? It is what sent me to hospital and so many others. It causes such deep mental health problems and attempted suicide and even completed suicide. So, we have to ensure that the ban correctly captures these harmful practices."

Again, her attempt to smear pastorally-sensitive conversations involving supportive prayer as coercive abuse reflects the same controlling neo-Marxist mindset that overrules loving parental leadership and makes an idol out of state power.

In a set-back for the Ozanne lobby, The Telegraph newspaper reported on Friday September 15 that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak "is expected to delay a promised ban on conversion therapy following disagreements over how the legislation should be worded".

The paper reported: "Ministers said in the summer that a draft Bill banning people from trying to change a child's gender identity or sexuality would be published by the end of the parliamentary session in November.

"But on Thursday, Penny Mordaunt, the Leader of the House (of Commons), declined to guarantee that it would be brought out by that time."

There is now no political guarantee that Ms Ozanne and her fellow campaigners will get their way if the Conservatives lose the next General Election to Labour, which is becoming increasingly divided on the transgender issue. It could well be that if Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, became Prime Minister, he would be keen to avoid a divisive debate among his MPs and so let the issue quietly drop.

Ms Ozanne is a prominent member of the Church of England with a high media profile as an Anglican campaigner for a far-reaching ban on conversion therapy. Will any bishops be prepared to speak out against her attack on parental rights?

Given the parlous moral state of the CofE, perhaps one ought not to hold one's breath.

Julian Mann is a former Church of England vicar, now an evangelical journalist based in Lancashire.