The Christian view of life is that sin makes blind fools of us all. In the year before the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1776 Dr Samuel Johnson famously asked: ‘How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?’ The American revolutionaries spoke of freedom and practised slavery. This kind of contradiction is not uncommon, down through history and in our daily lives

Now the Western world is being treated to a plethora of laws which entrench sexual orientation and gender identity. In short, freedom is regarded as sacrosanct in many areas, including the freedom to kill unborn babies, but there is no such freedom extended to those who wish to get rid of unwanted same-sex desires or who are struggling with uncertainty concerning their gender. No attempts will be allowed that will in any way suggest that a person might go against the present fashionable way of thinking.

            In April 2022 the Tasmania Law Reform Institute (TLRI) released its final report on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conversion Practices. Amongst its declared aims are the modernisation of the law, the elimination of defects in the law, and the simplification of the law. Facing one direction, it rows in the other.

            In the second century the Roman emperor, Trajan, refused to respond to anonymous accusations, saying they were ‘a very bad example and unworthy of our time’. Not so the TLRI which admitted that it drew heavily upon them (3.4.1). Verification may be a principle of science but not of modern anti-discrimination law. The approach is wide-ranging to the point of being totalitarian. In the view of the Institute, ‘no domain or area of conduct should be excised from the definition of conversion practices’ (2.7.22). If a person wishes to change his or her sexual desires – as is the experience of thousands upon thousands down through the ages – pastoral counselling is not allowed. Nor is prayer, even if it requested. And the Sermon on the Mount could be regarded as hate speech (see 7.3.3).

            It is not only pastors and counsellors who are in the crosshairs. Any family member who suggests that a child would be unwise to undertake a course of puberty blocker drugs would be liable to a visit from the Thought Police. The American activist, Walt Heyer, knew life as a male, then turned female, then turned male again, and would now do anything to have not made his initial transition from his God-given gender. There are regrets everywhere in this area, and one can only assume that the Institute made a most studious effort not to discover them. Over 80% of those who experience a time where they wish to change their gender come through this desire. The problem here is not the body, but the mind.

Ultimately, the TLRI is tacitly admitting that the LBGTQI approach is so fragile that it must be affirmed or it falls apart. As George Orwell noted in 1984: ‘You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him: you must love him.’ The ‘live and let live’ approach to life has its limitations but it appears relatively harmless compared to this all-consuming alternative. Professing experts are also demanding absolute recognition. Backed by parliamentarians who feel the need to do something, this approach will drastically curb freedoms, dictate morality, and advance a kind of state-sanctioned religion with its own high priests and commandments, to be questioned at one’s peril.

Bring back the amateurs with their common sense understanding of God’s design in all things natural! And resist the yelps for freedom which are essentially fund-raisers for unelected tribunals.

– Peter Barnes