Carys Moseley comments on the importance of David Mackereth’s case.
The case of David Mackereth, the doctor who is taking the Department of Work and Pensions to court because he refused to be forced to use preferred transgender pronouns is bound to be a landmark case on freedom of conscience among medical professionals and generally public sector workers in the United Kingdom.
Whilst being courteous and stressing that he is not out to attack individuals with gender problems, Mackereth has been completely unapologetic in his maintenance of clear Biblically-based Christian truth on the fact that God created people male and female, and that it is impossible to change this in reality. This is the basis upon which he said he would refuse to call a six-foot bearded man ‘she’. It should not require much courage to refuse to lie in such an obvious way, but we live in a society steeped in cowardice.
Telling the truth about sex now a conscience issue
Mackereth’s case shows how telling the truth about who is male or female is now a matter of conscience for doctors. Frankly it should have been decades ago, but not enough doctors had the good moral sense to oppose the opening of Charing Cross Hospital Gender Identity Clinic back in 1966. For years, doctors complained about the NHS performing ‘sex-change’ surgeries, and one urologist even resigned from Charing Cross Hospital in the late 1980s because he found it unjustifiable that men who fantasised about being castrated to become ‘women’ were part of the same queue for urological treatment as men with genuine physical needs for surgery.
Those who know the history of Charing Cross Hospital will know that it was an unnamed administrator who backed up transvestite psychiatrist John Randall’s work at the Gender Identity Clinic he founded there with transsexuals and transvestites, referring them for surgery. Actual doctors always hated it as a travesty of true medicine.
UK Civil Service impartiality has been undermined
The Department for Work and Pensions argues that refusing to use preferred transgender pronouns amounts to ‘unwanted conduct’ and ‘harassment’ under the Equality Act 2010. This is twisting the meaning of harassment beyond credibility. As a result there is a very serious danger that the government’s understanding of the concept of rights and dignity now rests on the duty to lie. This undermines the credibility not only of the Department for Work and Pensions but of all government departments and especially government lawyers.
This January, the head of the National Audit Office warned that the traditional requirement for impartiality within the civil service had been undermined by the practice of government ministers having a say in the appointment of senior civil servants. As government lawyers are civil servants this begs a question about them too. It is obvious that the legal advice given to the DWP about David Mackereth been given by those with a vested interest in changing the law so that ‘misgendering’ becomes seen as harassment, just as for example in Canada.
Maintenance of human dignity is at stake
As we can see then, the Department for Work and Pensions clearly has a huge problem with respecting created human dignity if its lawyers argue that refusing to lie about sex undermines human dignity is tantamount to ‘harassment’.
In his opening statement to the employment tribunal panel in Birmingham, David Mackereth said:
“What I object to is being forced to do violence to language and common sense, in a ritual denial of an obvious truth, for the sake of an ideology which I disbelieve and detest.
“The very fact a doctor can be pulled off the shop floor for an urgent interrogation about his beliefs on gender fluidity is both absurd and very sinister.”
For doctors – and also entire societies – to maintain human dignity, they must be free to identify and object to violations of it. They must be free to say things such as ‘transgender ideology is lying nonsense and I really detest it’. They must never be subjected to petty-minded government bureaucrats and pen-pushers with no medical training who are in thrall to a mendacious ideology.
Why doctors with a conscience are vital
In this case the demand for ‘politeness’ (using preferred pronouns) is being pitted stubbornly and stupidly against the requirement to be truthful about sex. This puts people’s subjective feelings and fantasies above any regard for the physical reality of their bodies. It is well-known that many people regret undergoing any degree of gender transition and want help to return to live as members of their sex. Medical doctors are one of several types of professionals who should be able to help them with this. However in order to be of real help to these people, doctors have to be free to tell the truth without fear of being punished. The same is true of all other professionals.
In addition medical professionals need the right to tell the truth about sex in order to conduct all kinds of medical research to find new ways of healing illnesses and conditions brought to their attention . This is something that is sorely needed in the field of gender dysphoria.
How good is press coverage of the case?
Press coverage of the Mackereth case makes for interesting reading because it gives some suggestion of the extent to which news outlets understand its importance. The Telegraph and the Daily Mail both gave it fairly comprehensive coverage, so that readers could understand exactly where Mackereth was coming from.
The local BBC coverage for Birmingham and the Black Country ran a headline entitled “Dr David Mackereth: Trans pronouns ‘denial of obvious truth’” and was fairly balanced if rather more brief than the seriousness of the case would call for. However it is rather telling that the BBC website relegated the story to local news, which makes it much less visible if you land on the BBC news front page.
Even the Mirror has reported the case in a sober manner, something very interesting given that it is not known for its serious coverage of those who are critical of transgenderism. Fleet Street must be really scared of this case. One wonders why. Perhaps it is because unlike many non-Christian critics, Mackereth is absolutely unwavering, and over the course of several interviews has shown that he really will not tolerate any nonsense from journalists. It is very important in this respect that he told off Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan when abused interviewed by him.
Mackereth confronts Piers Morgan over false Biblical interpretation
Morgan offered a piece of Biblical interpretation (one that was obviously disingenuous and easily disproven as such) as a means of countering Mackereth’s stance. He argued that given that Mackereth maintained his stance based on the Bible, therefore he should be stoned to death for ever having had adulterous thoughts. He did not take seriously Mackereth’s attempt to explain that all human beings have fallen short of the glory of God and therefore ‘deserve to die’, but that we can be saved through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Mackereth confronted Piers Morgan and told him that if he were to talk to his patients the way Morgan talked to him, he would be hauled in front of the General Medical Council. In other words, he would be liable not only to be sacked but removed from the official register of doctors.
Mackereth is right, and Christians need to follow his example here by being far more confrontational to all the seemingly normal ‘allies’ the transgender movement has. Morgan’s behaviour has been consistently vulgar and abusive towards Christian interviewees invited to discuss sexual ethics for long enough now. This latest interview proves that he really does prefer to collude with lying about who is male or female to valuing doctors who have a conscience. His attitude is unconscionable and simply does not constitute a genuinely valuable contribution to journalism on these issues, as journalism has to be factual or it is completely worthless. ITV should stop tolerating his behaviour and attitude.
India (Jonathan) Willoughby’s blasphemous false teaching
In the same interview a male-to-female transgender activist journalist going by the name of India Willoughby, formerly Jonathan Willoughby, was interviewed in a friendly manner by Morgan. The stark contrast between how the two interviewees were treated showed journalistic bias. Willoughby took the opportunity to offer some clearly false and groundless Biblical interpretation about Jesus.
Willoughby claimed that if he were to come back today, Jesus would not turn water into wine, he would turn men into women and women into men. This is clearly a blasphemous statement, and as such it could be treated as a form of religious hatred aimed against Christians and others.
The implications of the words is that God’s creation is not good. It is reasonable to suppose that practical implications of such false teaching could be to teach that Jesus would castrate men and give them plastic surgery breasts, fake genitals and facial feminisation surgery. Also, Jesus would supposedly give young women ‘chest binders’ to crush their breasts, testosterone injections, hysterectomies and beards.
When prominent trans activists and their ‘straight allies’ in the press tell us loud and clear what our religious beliefs about Jesus and the Bible should be, we have no right to remain silent or turn a blind eye to transgender activism, be it in the workplace, in churches or in school. It is based on lies, it is abusive and it is blasphemous, and as such it must be completely defeated. We need to do this so that people can be freed from the grip these lies have on their lives.