UNITED KINGDOM, November 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – British state school students as young as four are being taught to question their gender by a non-profit transgender advocacy group called Gendered Intelligence. Meanwhile, a parents group and members of the public have condemned the optional program while, in the United States, the country's biggest Protestant denomination has warned that transgenderism poses as big as theological challenge to Christianity as Arianism did to the early Church.
“Thousands” of public-school children from ages four to 11 in 20 schools have received a visit from Gendered Intelligence's founder, Jay Stewart. The Daily Mail reported that Stewart asked Year Six boys in Hotspur Primary in Newscastle to describe the “girlish” things they do, while girls were asked to relate their “boyish” activities. Stewart, who looks male, then identified herself as a “trans man” but said she had been “assigned female when I was born,” apparently meaning she had been conceived a female somewhat earlier than her birth.
Stewart told the Mail, “It's important to be teaching children in schools they can be anything they want regardless of the gender that they were given at birth.” She claimed that the content was always age-appropriate and positively received.
But child psychologist Dilys Daws told the same newspaper: “What can get confused is that children who just happen to be unhappy at the moment [are] actually fixing on this being about gender, when it might be to do with a relationship with a parent.”
Margaret Morrissey of the lobby group ParentsOutloud said the program is being seen by children too young for gender issues. “We're in danger of frightening children and making them feel they ought to feel like this.”
Comments on the Mail's website were mostly opposed to the program, characterizing it as a waste of time and ideologically motivated. “Oh please,” said ItsNotAllAboutYou. “This should be the last thing on the list of 'valuable' learning activities for our precious children, stop wasting time, money and resources on PC low priority matters.”
On the other hand, Davedav declared, “Sounds like a good idea to stop bullying and promote understanding.”
The homosexual Pink News website quoted Stewart defending her program as a counter to bullying. “We need more open discussions and debates about gender diversity in schools as awareness grows in society. This is a crucial step in ending transphobic and gender related bullying. Young trans people suffer prejudice, and even violence, at school, college and university. In turn, they experience high levels of poor mental health.”
But, as former “transgender” Walt Heyer argues, mental problems do not go away for so-called “transgender” people when treated as if they were really a different sex from their natural one – nor do they go away if they get plastic surgery to reshape their genitals. And psychiatrists such as Toronto's Dr. Joseph Berger have repeatedly urged schools to leave transgenderism alone in early grades. “It's a delusion,” he told LifeSiteNews.
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A conservative Christian voice in America, the Family Research Council, also took a dim view of transgenderism in schools. Peter Sprigg, senior policy fellow, told LifeSiteNews, “The idea of teaching students this young about transgenderism is extremely disturbing. It is bad enough to teach it to adults or teens, but teaching children at the age they are coming to understand gender and their own gender identity is very risky.”
Sprigg said there is “a real ideology behind it that sought to deny reality, in particular to deny there is a fundamental difference between the sexes, that it is a social construct.” Sprigg countered that transgenderism is more accurately “a social construct that had no grounding in reality” and is bound to disappear as a result.
In October Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, told a workshop on transgenderism preceding the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) annual conference that what had begun as minority sexual dysfunction had grown into both a “comprehensive moral revolution” and “the kind of theological challenge that the church faced in the Trinitarian and Christological controversies of the first [few] centuries.”
He was followed by scholar Owen Strachan, president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womenhood, who said transgenderism is the tip of a philosophical system he called “constructionism,” opposed to Biblical Christianity's “essentialism.” Constructionalism teaches that human beings can make of themselves whatever they want, while essentialism teaches that we must remain as God made us.
Strachan explained that it is not an accident that God made humanity male and female, but His plan. We should stick with the plan, he advised. “We, unlike the culture, are not asking our little boys to change,” he said. “Many boys simply need a father who takes notice of them.”
A third biblical scholar, Denny Burk, told the workshop that Christians must show transgender people love – and Biblical truth. “Our first response [to transgender individuals] should not be outrage; our first response should be heartbreak.” But abandoning biblical teaching to make “trans” people feel more comfortable would not be loving. “We aren't being loving,” said Burk, “we aren't being compassionate, we're not leading them to Christ when we in any way diminish the authority of Scripture.”