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(LifeSiteNews) — Regular readers of this column will know that on the whole I am not optimistic about the ability of whistleblowers, independent journalists, and advocates to successfully combat gender ideology in the public school system on either side of the Atlantic.

The transgender movement has captured the institutions, and although there has been some encouraging pushback in the U.K. and elsewhere, the Overton Window has moved backward inches at most.

As Matt Walsh noted after the release of his documentary “What is a Woman?” the most disturbing discovery he made was the extent to which young people had accepted the basic premises of gender ideology.

With that gloomy proviso aside, I will note that there has been a number of encouraging stories of late. The most recent was just reported by Patrick O’Donoghue in the Sunday Times, who notes that in response to parental feedback (gasp!) the idea of a “gender spectrum” will be removed from the Irish school curriculum:

A lesson plan that would teach junior pupils that gender identity is ‘experienced along a spectrum’ has been dropped after consultation with the public.

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) agreed to change a ‘learning outcome’ in a draft for a new curriculum for social, personal and health education (SPHE), according to papers seen by The Sunday Times.

The original proposal aimed to help students ‘appreciate that sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression are core parts of human identity and that each is experienced along a spectrum.’

The final specification for the curriculum, which is yet to be published, references a wider range of characteristics as determinants of a pupil’s identity. It will no longer teach that gender identity and expression are on a spectrum.

The NCCA conducted the consultation “on the draft junior cycle SPHE curriculum through 10 focus groups in five schools with 56 pupils and 22 teachers” and concluded that “the most common cause of concern related to references to gender identities within the draft specification. A number of parents who responded to the survey… pointed out that gender identity is a highly contested and sensitive topic.” This response prompted the NCCA to cut a portion of the material parents objected to from the new curriculum.

At the Irish media outlet Gript (one of the only media outlets consistently alerting parents to what was going on), John McGuirk warned that while positive, this change will not prevent educators from teaching gender ideology regardless.

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UPDATE (26th January 2023):

Enoch Burke is facing severe fines of €5000 per week if he backs down in his stand for the truth about gender ideology.

SIGN: We stand with this brave Christian in his defense of the truth 

Burke is facing a daily fine of €700 if he does not obey a court order barring him from attending the school he was fired from. 

Having spent 108 days in jail last year for his refusal to abide by the court order, he was officially fired last week by the Church of Ireland (Anglican) Wilson’s Hospital School in Co. Westmeath, Ireland. 

Responding to High Court Justice Brian O’Moore’s decision to fine the teacher €700 per day from Friday unless purges his contempt of the court order, Burke told reporters that the judge “wants to fine me for the profession of my religious beliefs.” 

“What has become of us as a nation, to fine somebody for their religious beliefs?,” Burke asked. “We’re at a time in this country where people are at their wit’s end, with the cost of everything as we know...and Brian O’Moore, a judge of the High Court, has sat down and said to himself that not only will you have to pay for all those things, but you now have to pay for your religious belief.”  

“He’ll make you a pauper for the profession of your religious belief,” Burke added.  


The teacher declined to answer questions on whether he would continue to attend the school and face significant fines, or purge his contempt of court.  

An Evangelical Christian who taught German, history and politics at the school for four years, Burke has consistently maintained that to use transgender pronouns would violate his religious beliefs and that his subsequent suspension by the school, and the court orders against him, were therefore unjust. 

Jailed on September 5, 2022, Mr. Justice Brian O’Moore released Burke on December 21st, despite the teacher’s unwillingness to purge his contempt of the court order barring him from the school’s property. 

Mr. Justice O’Moore said today that he hoped the prospect of paying almost €5000 in fines every week would “end his (Burke’s) utterly pointless attendance at a school which does not want him on its property”. 

The judge warned however that the fines could be increased if they do not have the desired effect.  

Burke was fired by the school last Friday and has shown up at the school grounds for work each day this week, despite being arrested and released on Tuesday. 

He has until 2pm GMT on Friday to officially purge his contempt before the court or the €700 daily fines will begin to be applied. 

Mr. Justice O’Moore admitted today that it was not “immediately attractive” to jail the Christian conscientious objector again as he theorized that Burke had exploited media attention surrounding his imprisonment last year for his own ends, while the judge also considered the schools suggestion to sequester the teacher’s assets to be futile. 

Prior to his imprisonment, Burke told the High Court that “transgenderism is against my Christian belief.” 

“It is contrary to the Scriptures, contrary to the ethos of the Church of Ireland and of my school,” the teacher added. “I love my school, with its motto Res Non Verba, actions not words, but I am here today because I said I would not call a boy a girl.” 

“It is insanity that I will be led from this courtroom to a place of incarceration, but I will not give up my Christian beliefs,” he insisted. 

Burke also promised Mr. Justice Max Barrett on September 7th that he would “never leave Mountjoy Prison if in leaving that prison I must violate my well-informed conscience and my religious beliefs and deny my God. I consider it commendable that I chose to obey God rather than man.”


Irish teacher Enoch Burke has been arrested and jailed after refusing to use a transgender student's preferred pronoun, "they", in the classroom.

This insane step by Irish authorities must be called out for what it is: the unhinged intimidation of an educator by demented ideologues.

Please add your name to our urgent message to the High Court today.

SIGN: Enoch Burke must be freed immediately as an educator who upheld the truth

Burke was suspended by his school for refusing to use the transgender pronouns of a student, even confronting his principal about the irrationality of the situation, and defying a subsequent court injunction barring him from performing his teaching duties.

He is now in Mountjoy Prison, Dublin after being brought before a judge on 5 September who found Burke to be in contempt of the injunction by attending work after his suspension.

Burke, who told the High Court “I am here today because I would not call a boy a girl”, made clear that he would not abide by the injunction because it would violate his conscience as a Christian.

“Were I to obey the order of the board of management and the order of the court, I would have to accept that sticking by my belief in male and female is wrong,” he said. “It is not something I will do. It is in violation of my conscience."

“Were I to go into the school and bow to something I know to be manifestly wrong, it would be a shame and a disgrace on my part,” he added.

This defiant attitude has now prompted Burke's arrest and imprisonment in an Orwellian debacle that should send warning signals to the watching world.

Mr. Justice Burke ordered Burke be "committed to Mountjoy Prison and remain therein until he purges his contempt or until further order of this court.”

Defending himself, Burke replied: “I cannot purge my contempt by holding my Christian beliefs in contempt."

Burke hugged his father and brother before being taken away by Gardaí to Mountjoy Prison.

Please share this petition with as many people as possible - it's clear that leftists will not tolerate dissent on this absurd issue unless we all push back.

SIGN: Enoch Burke must be freed immediately as an educator who upheld the truth

Thank you.


Irish teacher jailed after refusing to use transgender pronouns - LifeSiteNews

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“There certainly does not seem to be an active prohibition on teachers telling students that their gender is a choice – all that is happening is that teaching this will no longer be a requirement of the curriculum,” McGuirk noted. “If you are someone who thinks, for example, that there are certain schools with activist teachers who see their job as less to educate your child than indoctrinate them, then I would suggest that your sighs of relief here be short lived, and not a substitute for vigilance.”

McGuirk’s conclusion echoes my concern about any successful pushback against the LGBT agenda of Western governments:

Just because a government is, for once, backing away from doing active harm, do not mistake that for the government doing good. This particular issue is not going away.

This victory is, however, a reminder that vigilance and pushback can pay off in tangible ways and that harm reduction is a real possibility. It is also a reminder to Canadians that in virtually every other country where gender ideology is prevalent, there is an actual debate unfolding in which politicians are very frequently forced to listen to the concerns of the public.

But as Jonathan Kay noted on Twitter in response to the news: “Looks like Canada will be the last domino to fall.” That, of course, depends on what he means by “fall.”

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.