‘If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear’, wrote George Orwell. Nearly 75 years ago Animal Farm was published. Famously, its author, George Orwell, believed that real liberty must involve the freedom to call out lies.
We live now in an age of unprecedented gender confusion. Activists for trans rights want to change the way we speak, and change the way we think. We are told to address men as if they are women, women as men, or people (who demand it) as ‘non-binary’. A new faith is being imposed by force.
Of course those who are suffering from real gender confusion should be treated with respect and compassion. But all too often Christians stop there. We fail to challenge the false teaching that is causing confusion.
The theory that binary is bad and that we can construct our own gender identity is an attack on humanity as made in the image of God, male and female. Attacking humankind made in the image of God is an attack on God himself. It is an assault on the authority of his Word.
That is why this is a conscience issue. We learn from history that Christians in every age face pressure to speak words that are untrue. Some give in, but others are willing to die rather than speak untruth.
In the Early Church, there was the demand that the Christians say the words ‘Caesar is Lord’. Of course they were also allowed to say ‘Jesus is Lord’ (alongside Caesar). Many could and did rationalise the compromise. Others were willing to die rather than compromise.
We need to stand firm. We can stand in unity with all those of different faiths, or none, who see from nature that boys cannot be girls and men cannot be women. We can stand in unity with those who demand freedom to speak the truth and refuse to be bullied into going along with nonsense.
People like Jordan Peterson, Professor of Psychology at Toronto University believe that when it comes to being told to tell lies: ‘There’s only two alternatives… One is silent slavery with all the repression and resentment that will generate. The other is outright conflict. Free speech is not just another value. It’s the foundation of Western civilization’.
Atheist commentator Douglas Murray observes that most people know in their hearts that gender ideology is nonsense but they feel forced to play the game and tell lies. He recalls life in communist countries: ‘…those who travelled a lot behind the Iron Curtain or lived behind it often commented on the needless things they were persuaded to agree to lie about.
‘People often wondered: Why am I being made to agree to this next implausible thing? And the answer really was: Because it’ll demoralize you further, and it’ll make you less willing even than you were before to think of yourself as an individual with any worth’.
He’s right. When we are all forced to play along with something that we know is not true, something as basic as having to say that boys can really be girls, it degrades and demoralises us all.
George Orwell warned that ‘in a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act’. Today, freedom must include the freedom to say that a man cannot be a woman. A boy cannot be a girl. A ‘trans woman’ (biologically male) is not a woman however he ‘identifies’.
My new book, Gender Ideology: What Do Christians Need to Know? explains in simple terms what is going on and how you can respond. It aims to help you become more confident in the truth that we have been created male or female. It will equip you to protect the next generation from believing lies that lead to lasting physical and emotional harm.
Let’s stand together on the side of truth!
Gender Ideology: What Do Christians Need to Know? (Christian Focus Publications) was released on 8 November. Sharon James is also the author of God’s Design for Women in an Age of Gender Confusion (Evangelical Press, 2019).
This article first appeared in the Evangelical Times.