Mad dogs and Englishmen

Noel Coward’s famous song, Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun may need to be revisited – with a little bit of reworking – in the light of a report in today’s Daily Telegraph. It reports that a British watchdog, its Equality and Human Rights Commission, has a secret proposal on its desk to compel girls’ schools in England and Wales to admit boys who present themselves for admission as girls. Or whatever. God help us. With clearly rabid watchdogs like that roaming the streets they better all say goodbye to the sun. A dark age has arrived.

Is it any wonder that the home-schooling movement is taking off at record speed?

The paper reports:

Girls’ schools would have to admit transgender pupils under proposals being considered by the equalities watchdog. The confidential Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) draft guidance, leaked to The Telegraph, reveals schools could be set to consider admissions of trans students to single-sex schools on a “case-by-case approach”. Schools were supposed to be issued with the first official national guidelines on transgender children in March 2018. However, following repeated delays, it has never been published. However The Telegraph can now reveal details which have never before been made public.

Is transgender madness a bottomless pit?

The EHCR report says that: “A refusal to admit a trans pupil to a single-sex school which is the same as the trans pupil’s sex recorded at birth would be direct sex discrimination. Admitting such a pupil will not affect the school’s single-sex status. 

“A pupil who has transitioned, or wants to, must be allowed to continue to attend the school; to remove them would amount to direct gender reassignment discrimination.”

The document also says: “An admission policy of only admitting pupils in accordance with their sex recorded at birth would particularly disadvantage trans pupils, and would be indirectly discriminatory against trans pupils, unless it could be demonstrated to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.”

For good measure, in case you did not know, these (courtesy of the Telegraph again) are samples of the new language being dictated to us:

Gender-neutral terms | Checklist

Forefathers – ancestors, forebears

Gentleman’s agreement – unwritten agreement, agreement based on trust

Girls (for adults) – women

Housewife – shopper, consumer, homemaker (depends on context)

Manpower – human resources, labour force, staff, personnel, workers, workforce

Man or mankind – humanity, humankind, human race, people.

So, watch your language.

Irish political class defying language, truth and logic

It is a mind-boggling experience to walk through the streets of Dublin these days. Left, right and centre, posters are screaming at us, “Yes to equality”, “Yes to equality”, “Yes to equality”. But when we ask ourselves what does this mean we are confronted with a choice of two very worrying conclusions. The first is that the members of our political establishment  – across all party divides – have no grasp of the English language, nor of the logic which normally guides human reasoning. The second, probably more plausible – since they are all reasonably well-educated men and women – is that they are deliberately attempting to deceive and manipulate the electorate which put them into power, all for some unfathomable reason.

The starting point of their error – or deception – is the fundamental error of thinking that equality, fairness, and justice can be achieved by obliterating or ignoring the differences which distinguish one thing from another.

Men love women in one way, men love men in another way – generally, but not always, in the disinterested love we call friendship. The same is true for women. Arguably the love found in friendship, be it between people of opposite sexes or of the same sex, is the purest and most generous form of love there is. But the love of a man for a woman, given the full complementarity of their sexual natures, is a truly unique expression of love. No other love is like it, in either its form of expression or in its potential consequences. This makes it very special both for them, for the human life which that love can generate and for human society as a whole. This is the only love which generates new love as well as new life, not just the love of man and woman, but the love of children and parents, the love of siblings, the love of uncles and aunts, the love of generations down through the centuries, our love for our ancestors – and for those of faith, their everlasting love for us.

This love is very special. It is special not simply because it is expressed sexually but special because of how it is expressed sexually and because of the potential consequences which its physical expression has. It has its own unique form of communication and which come from both nature and society. Its rules of engagement have been refined and developed over millennia but rest on one constant element – the complementary sexual gifts of male and female. Remove that element from the relationship between two people and we have something entirely different. You may have love but you do not have the raison d’etre for the institution we call marriage.

Marriage is the name we give to this structure, these rules of engagement which we have created around this unique relationship. Marriage is the name which society and its laws give to this venerable edifice. It is not only there in statute law but also used to be there in common law – when a man and a woman, outside of the laws of society, independently established a mutual sexual bond with each other, we called it ‘a common law marriage’. When two people got married but then discovered that the male partner was unable to perform the “marriage act” our understanding was that no marriage existed. Marriage is no fluffy, luvvie dovey thing. It is a fundamental building block of our civilization.

Society has taken on itself the task of establishing the rules for this relationship because of the multiple implications it has for its members in general and for the flourishing of individuals, generation after generation, who come into society by virtue of the acts of love of its married members. It is not the love itself that demands this. The love of friendship, sexually expressed or not, does not require society to manage it, the love of siblings, aunts and uncles does not require it. The sexual expression of the love of a man and woman does. The management of love is not the business of society. The management of procreation – and many of its consequences – is. That is why marriage exists.

What has happened to create in our world today this demand of a redefinition of marriage which takes from under it the very foundation on which it is based. It is the emergence of another demand, the demand for a social recognition and approval of the sexual expression of the love of friendship between men themselves and between women themselves. This expression of love has been disapproved of in most societies in varying degrees down through history. That is a matter of fact on which we make no judgement. What we can judge is that there is no question but that this disapproval has been accompanied by appalling injustices.

However, the efforts now being made to win approval for this physical expression of love, by seeking to equate it with the love of a man for a woman and a woman for a man, and to apply to it all the structures which nature and society place around that relationship for the protection of families and society, is profoundly misguided.

To suggest, to argue, that maintaining the traditional definition of marriage is to deny equality to two men or two women who want to love each other and be committed to each other’s company for life is a denial of equality is deeply flawed.

The nature of things must always be taken into account when a judgement is being made about the fairness or otherwise of their distribution among people. The different nature of the way in which love can be expressed – as between a man and a woman and between two of the same sex – make the application of the test of equality in this case meaningless. Think of these different forms of expression as a language. They are different forms of communication. We do not need to go into detail. It is obvious. Now consider two people seeking a diplomatic post in a foreign country. They are equally qualified in all respects except one: one of them does not speak the language of the country he wishes to be posted to; the other does. Is the obvious preference of one over the other an unjust discrimination? Is it an unjust denial of equality? No. The reality is that they are not equal in this respect. In the same way the relationship between two men or two women is not equal to the relationship between a man and a woman. Nature, not society has determined that.

The longing for respect, recognition and approval by homosexual people needs to follow a path other than that being pursued at present, the path of redefining marriage. The pursuit of this end can only result in the ultimate destruction of the very thing they wrongly identify as the panacea for the injuries suffered in the past, or which they anticipate in the future.

This tangled web of deceit

How many weasels does it take to sell a people a treacherously flawed piece of legislation? We don’t know the answer yet – and hopefully we may never know.

In Ireland’s marriage redefinition referendum the country’s new Ascendancy – the metropolitan liberal establishment – is relentlessly campaigning to persuade the people of Ireland that the hallowed principles of liberty, equality and fraternity require that they make this change. Of course its proposers are denying that any fundamental change is involved. All this, according to them, is a little tweak to help the country keep up with the modern world.

That is the first bit of weasel behaviour. The weasels and the weasel words are out in force in this campaign. One after another they fall from their lips like honeyed words, feigning compassion and understanding. Deception is the hallmark of this sinister political campaign. Indeed it might be said that nothing more deceitful has confronted the Irish people under the guise of benign and noble labels since the political establishment of another age betrayed their ancestors into an impoverished backwater with the passing of the Act of Union in 1801.

The truth is that this is not about anyone’s equality, nor about compassion or tolerance for difference and diversity – their favourite weasel words. This is about an ideology of identity, a spurious identity which puts sexuality above all other human values, above logic, truth and justice. If this ideology prevails it will end up depriving people of their freedom of thought, their freedom of association, in the name of a specious concept of equality.

This is not a campaign to defend the freedom of anyone. It is not a battle for justice or a compassionate response to the suffering of a minority who identify themselves as different. Without a doubt, those are battles that have to be fought and will have to be fought as long as our race’s propensity for selfishness, egoism and enmity persists. We do need laws to help us in this. But this is not that battle. That is another battle.

The battle now being played in Ireland is part of a war raging across the developed world in which gender ideology is the driving force. This is a war in which one side is seeking to impose on the other the recognition and acceptance of an ideology which says that human nature – in all its gloriously rich diversity – is a socially determined thing, a construct, some of whose manifestations – like the sexual differences between man and woman – have passed their sell-by date and need to be re-configured in a new and flexible way.

In this new longed-for vision of human nature, the complementarity of men and women, their respective and inviolable roles in the glorious work of human reproduction is a mere side-show. The institution of marriage considered as a prerogative of this man-woman relationship – and the institution of the family which arises from it – which has evolved in human society for the greater good and happiness of parents and their children, is just an anachronism in our modern world. Sidelining marriage by draining it of its meaning and reconstituting the family into anything you want it to be will help speed its consignment to history.

The destruction of marriage by turning it into an anodyne sentimental bonding of two people of any sex is just a means to this end of affirming that human nature is there for us to do anything we like with it. What this battle is about is not just redefining marriage but redefining human nature itself.

This of course is no new agenda. It has been gestating for at least a century. The sexual revolution, of which all this is but a new phase, has a major part of its roots imbedded in the malign theories of Sigmund Freud who told us that everything we think and do arises out of our sexuality. With the acceptance of the hedonistic philosophy and the denial of human freedom emanating from Fruedian theroy, civilization now needs to be cleansed of the rules and customs of centuries. For the ideologues behind this campaign these are instruments of repression and worse. Marriage, traditionally understood, was just one of them. The “free love” philosophies fashionable in the early twentieth century made a certain amount of ground in destroying it. Not enough, however. Redefinition, which will amount to a virtual destruction, should complete the job for them.

To do this however, language has to be manipulated and weasels have to be recruited to help them do the job. “Equality” was the first victim to fall to weaselhood. Then came the noble concept of “tolerance”.

The hijacking of equality defies logic and reason when we approach it from any normal understanding of how that concept can be understood in the context of human nature as we know it. Of course, if you regard nature as your plaything to do as you wish with it, then the sky is the limit. Logic and reason will not worry you.

Taking nature as we find it in the real world we know that in some contexts we can and should be quite passionate about a very rigourous rendering to each and all in a very even-handed way. But we also know that nature’s gifts to us are not always equally distributed. We know that parents who rigourously distribute their time, attention and resources among their children in equal quantities may not be doing the best for those children. If in doing so they ignore the different needs determined by each child’s intelligence, personality and ability, they may end up doing serious and culpable injustice to some of those children.

The right of a man and a woman to come together and to bond in matrimony by mutual consent is a right based on their complementary but different sexual natures. On this basis they derive their capacity to give to each other their different but complementary sexual gifts and the greatest gift of all, the potential for creating new human life. A desired marriage arrangement, as we have understood it for centuries in law and in practice, where impotency impedes the sharing of those gifts has always been deemed not to be possible – and any contract entered into and then discovered to be affected by impotency has been deemed null and void.

So to drag in the concept of equality to argue for the right of two people of the same sex to marry is turning the word equality into a weasel word – pretending it to be something which it cannot ever be. There can be no right to equality when the exercise of that right is based on something impossible, null and void.

And what about tolerance? The demand for tolerance which is part and parcel of this campaign is not a demand for tolerance at all. It is a demand for social endorsement – which is a totally different thing. With this demand comes one of the most sinister threats to human freedom seen in the developed world since the demise of those tyrannies of the last century, national Socialism and Communism.

Do not doubt it. Those behind this campaign, if victorious, will be sending people to prison in the not too distant future for refusing to endorse forms of behaviour that they consider contrary to the best interests of individual human beings and society at large. It will not be because they do not tolerate those behaviours, it will be because they will not bake cakes to celebrate those behaviours, or refuse to turn up to take photographs of them, or even express the opinion that they disapprove of them. Such expressions of opinion are already labelled as “hate speech”, and punishable in law.

Last week, the O’Connor family in Walkerton, Indiana, was targeted with death threats and online harassment that forced them to close the doors to their Memories Pizza restaurant. The O’Connors’ story started when a local news reporter asked if they would theoretically reject service for a gay wedding ceremony. The owner, Kevin O’Connor, said that while the restaurant serves all customers, they would not be able to participate in a same-sex ceremony. Militant gay activists subsequently targeted the family with death threats, viciously negative online reviews of the restaurant, and other harassment — forcing the O’Connors to close the business they had owned for nine years.

Needless to say, many gay people were themselves outraged by the treatment of the family. Courtney Hoffman wrote in a note to the O’Connors: “As a member of the gay community, I would like to apologize for the mean spirited attacks on you and your business. I know many gay individuals who fully support your right to stand up for your beliefs and run your business according to those beliefs. We are outraged at the level of hate and intolerance that has been directed at you and I sincerely hope that you are able to rebuild.”

Likewise, Buz Smith:  “My partner and I have been together almost 27 years. The Democratic Leadership hi-jacked the Gay community many years ago and continue to spew the intolerance of religion as they promote the tolerances of their choices.” However, a spokesperson for the pro-same-sex marriage organization Human Rights Campaign refused to issue a public statement about the treatment of Memories Pizza by gay activists.

In two high-profile cases, military chaplains have been punished for citing their religious beliefs during private counselling sessions and other official events, sparking questions about what military chaplains are allowed to say in the name of faith. Capt. Joe Lawhorn was punished for making references to the Bible and distributing a handout that cited the Christian scriptures during a suicide prevention seminar at the University of North Georgia.

This is all before the Irish – if they vote “yes” in their referendum on May 22 next. Indeed it has already arrived in that part of their island under UK jurisdiction – with the Ashers’ bakery case in Belfast.

Tim Black, deputy editor of the libertarian online journal, http://www.Spiked.com, ruefully comments:

It is a miserable irony today that those who think of themselves as liberal are actively trashing liberal ideals. Of course, they don’t experience their illiberalism as illiberalism. Quite the opposite. As far as they’re concerned, they’re riding on the right side of history, battling bigotry and hunting down hate wherever they suspect its persistence, and leading us all into an ultra-nice rainbow-coloured future. They’re the tolerant ones. They’re the progressives. They’re the good guys.

And yet in their zeal to fight discrimination, often with the law at their heel, they have turned their professed liberalism into its opposite: an unwitting illiberalism, in which key liberal tenets, from freedom of conscience to its corollary, freedom of association, are trampled over in the headlong rush to create a society in their achingly right-on, gay-marriage-supporting, transphobia-fighting image. The road to intolerance, it seems, is paved with do-gooding intentions.

Liberal principles, he says, have been routed by identity politics. Religious freedom, the freedom to act according to one’s conscience, is now considered a problem, an omnipresent threat to the increasingly state-enforced “recognise’n’respect-me” politics which is now predominant. For too many, the idea of religious freedom merely generates a series of worrying questions. What if individuals have the wrong beliefs? What if individuals refuse to associate with those they profoundly disagree with? What if individuals – cue gasps of horror – think gay marriage is wrong? Judgement and discrimination, all part of the exercise of a free conscience, terrify those cleaving to some vague notion of non-judgemental pluralism.

There is intolerance in the world, gross intolerance. There are many people who do not accept the principles of a common humanity and a right to freedom of speech and freedom of thought. There are those who feel they have a right to coerce others rather than a right to persuade. For the most part this derives from ignorance and a lack of education. By all means let us tackle this and work together to advance our civilization. This new “tolerance” is a cure which will be worse than the disease, where the right to freedom of thought, personal judgement and the judgement of conscience, is hopelessly confused with a lack of respect for persons as human beings.

The O’Connors, the McArthur family of Ashers’ Bakery, Captain Joe Lawhorn, and many more, have shown no disrespect for people. I am sure that in other circumstances they might die defending the rights of their fellow human beings, gay or otherwise. They are Christians and this is the ethic of their faith. They should not, however, be forced by unjust laws to endorse and approve of behaviours contrary to what they know to be the law of nature written in their hearts.

Getting income equality in perspective

Stop talking about income equality. Explain it. This is a start.

For all those who get themselves into a frenzy about income inequality, Ross Douthat makes this interesting observation in an interview in The Kenyon Observer:
The income gap between the richest 1 percent of Americans and the rest of the country rose faster in the late 1990s than it did in the late 1980s. But nobody in their right mind would prefer the economy of the late 1980s to the economy of the late 1990s: The former featured a slide into recession; the latter featured robust wage growth across the board and historically low unemployment rates. If income inequality were the crucial issue, we’d look back on 1998 as a dreadful year, and 1991 as a great one. But wages and widely-shared growth are actually the most important issues, so we remember 1998 as a lost golden age, its rising inequality notwithstanding.

The interview is here.

Born to kill?

More of the infuriating madness to which the Late Late Show exposed us was the subject of Charles Moore’s column in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph. But as he sees it, all this is not just madness but is also bad and very dangerous.  He wrote:

 Last week, I appeared on the panel of the BBC’s Any Questions? in Guildford. We were asked whether we thought women should be allowed to take part in full front-line combat roles in the Armed Services. I said I didn’t think that it would be an advance in human civilisation if women abandoned their traditional association with peace and started killing people as men do.

This did not please the questioner, an intelligent student from the politics department of Surrey University, or her supporters sitting with her. They thought that the only question was the ability of the woman – if she was fit to fight, fight she should, and no one should stop her.

Afterwards, I reflected on the oddity of the situation. It did not seem that the student and her colleagues were particularly interested in military matters in themselves. They also did not seem the sort of people who, in other circumstances, would be at all keen on people killing people. I could imagine them protesting against militarism. Yet here they were, pushing for a woman’s right to kill.

Why? Because of Equality, of course. It gets you into strange situations.

(Read the full article in the Telegraph)

Goodbye Liberty, Equality and Fraternity

For more than two centuries the three pillars of western democracy have been Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Enshrined and balanced in the rule of law as we know it, they have been the handmaids of our evolving civilized world.  Crucial to their influence, however, is that word “balance” because if any one of them becomes distorted the house which they support will come tumbling down.

We are now in crisis, because that very act of distortion is being perpetrated before our very eyes – the pillar of Equality is day by day assuming gross characteristics which have already begun to cripple its two siblings, Liberty and Fraternity. Someone else can draw up the catalogue – Obama’s Mandate alone will provide ample illustration. Suffice here to draw on one authoritative source which lists a frightening scenario of injustice which, in the name of Equality, is now threatening any number of citizens in any number of states who treasure their Liberty and their Fraternity.

Britain’s Coalition For Marriage has sought an expert legal opinion on the perceived threats to freedom of conscience in the destruction of marriage now promised by the British Government. Add to that similar threats in the public policies of the USA, France and Ireland – to name just three. If you take away freedom of conscience you destroy, not only Liberty itself but one of the foundations of Fraternity, respect for the individual conscience of my brother.

Concerned that worries about gay marriage and freedom of conscience were too narrowly focused, the C4M commissioned a legal opinion from leading human rights lawyer, Aidan O’Neill QC. Mr O’Neill was asked to give his expert advice on a series of scenarios related to legalising gay marriage which took the focus beyond places of worship and ministers of religion who conduct weddings. They added hypothetical cases which dealt with the impact in the workplace, in schools and in other areas of everyday life which they felt had been been overlooked.

For example, what would be likely happen to a Church of England chaplain working in the state-run National Health Service who, while conducting a wedding service in his parish church, preached that marriage is only for one man and one woman? If his NHS bosses found out about this would he be disciplined for breaching NHS diversity policy?

Mr. O’Neill’s view is that under the Equality Act 2010 the NHS managers would have proper grounds for justifying disciplinary action, even if the chaplain was preaching in his own church outside work time. Furthermore, the situation would be the same for any chaplain employed within the public sector, such as armed forces chaplains or university chaplains.

What about a primary school teacher who is asked to use a storybook about gay marriage called King & King? This book is recommended by local authorities and by gay rights charities. Would a conscientiously Christian teacher who says using the book conflicts with her religious beliefs about marriage be threatened with dismissal unless she backed down?

O’Neill says yes, she certainly would and that the school would be within its legal rights to dismiss her if she refuses to use the material.

What about the case where parents ask for their child to be withdrawn from school lessons on the history of gay marriage, for deeply-held religious reasons? The parents might say that they have a right to withdraw their child under European Convention on Human Rights. But the school might refuse to accept this pleading that it is under a legal duty to promote equality.

O’Neill’s legal opinion on this is that the parents do not ultimately have a right to insist that their child be withdrawn from such history lessons, and that the parents “will have little prospect of success in challenging the school’s insistence that their child attend” the lessons.

How would that scenario play out in schools which are explicitly designated as “faith schools”? He said: “If the school in question were a faith school, or otherwise one with a religious ethos within the State sector in England and Wales, this would make no difference to my answer”

Then there is the case of fostering. Take a couple which applies to be foster carers. They tell social workers they are motivated to care for children because of their Christian faith. On hearing this, the social workers ask them whether they support gay marriage. The couple says they do not, and the social workers halt the application because of equality and discrimination policies. O’Neill confirmed that a local authority fostering agency would have legitimate legal grounds for acting this way.

This opinion can be backed up by a judgement already handed down by a British court. In February, 2011, Eunice and Owen Johns, a Christian couple, married almost 40 years, were deemed by the High Court to be no longer eligible for fostering children aged between five and 10. They were deemed unsuitable, in law, to do so any longer because they were unwilling to promote a homosexual lifestyle to a child. Neither Mr nor Mrs Johns had anything against gay people but they were not in favour of sex before marriage, whatever an individual’s orientation.

Mr. O’Neill was asked about a case where a church hires a council-owned community centre each week for its youth club. The church website states that it will only conduct opposite-sex marriages. Someone complains to the council, and while the church can’t be forced to conduct gay weddings, it is stopped from hiring the community centre. “Yes”,  he says, the council would be within its legal rights to do this.

Then there is the question of state employees in registry offices. At present a local authority can decide to accommodate the religious beliefs of one of its registrars by not designating him or her to be a “civil partnership registrar”. Other registrars within the local authority’s team are sufficient to provide the service to the public.

Mr. O’Neill’s view is that if gay marriage becomes law, “that kind of adjustment to accommodate a registrar’s particular beliefs would no longer be an option for any employing authority because there would then be only be one system of marriage (rather than, as at present, a distinct civil partnership regime for same sex couples)”.

Going back to schools, the O’Neill opinion also considers the impact of redefining marriage on teaching. It says that the law will require that children learn about gay marriage in sex education lessons. This is because Section 403(1A)(a) of the Education Act 1996 imposes a duty on the Secretary of State “to issue guidance” ensuring that pupils “learn the nature of marriage and its importance for family life and the bringing up of children”. If gay marriage becomes law then “its importance for family life and the bringing up of children” must be taught as part of sex education.

So there you have it. Equality trumps Liberty every time. Goodbye Liberty, and it is quite clear that the Equality which will prevail in this brave new world will be of the Orwellian variety: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”.

(This post also appears on MercatorNet’s Conjugality blog).