Can Christians ignore right and wrong? They should, says ‘Labour Trans Equality’

8, February 2024

By James Kennedy

Today I spotted a strange claim from a Labour Party sub-group, who seem to think a new law on ‘conversion therapy’ should stop Christians from having a view on “what is right and what is wrong”.

A significant portion of my time is spent scouring through documents others have written about ‘conversion therapy’.

Not about actual therapy, I should be clear, but about the sorts of things they think ought to be classed as ‘conversion therapy’. Even when they very plainly are not.

As we keep saying, those pressing for a new law claim there are abusive practices taking place against LGBT people in churches up and down the land. But genuine abuse is already illegal. Instead the new law they envisage has far broader implications, targeting behaviour most people would not consider abusive.

Foremost in some campaigners’ minds is the ordinary work of churches – prayer, preaching and pastoral care. Others want to make it illegal for parents to disagree with their children’s chosen identity. For others still, a new law is really about compelling clinicians and schools to automatically affirm someone’s gender identity.

Time and again, these viewpoints can be found in the propaganda put forward by LGBT activists. Sometimes you have to read between the lines, but, more often than not, it is bluntly stated for all to see.

In January, Labour Leader Keir Starmer said his party would “implement a full, trans-inclusive, ban on all forms of conversion therapy” if it won the next General Election. It isn’t a good direction of travel. Labour has often caveated their comments about a ban, offering promises of protection for parents and pastors. Though unconvincing, at least they showed they were aware of the problems. Now the rhetoric has grown more uncompromisingly activist in tone.

But it was when trawling through Labour Party documents that I spotted this unusual claim, written in bold text, from ‘Labour Trans Equality’, a group which appears to have been set up to oppose gender-critical feminists in the Labour Party:

“There is … no basis for asserting that banning conversion therapy will constrain a person’s ability to seek support from appropriately qualified and experienced people from within their faith community. Albeit this comes with a very clear proviso.

“In our view exploring ones [sic] conflicts and uncertainties about ones sexual orientation or gender identity as a person of faith must be done with someone who is an appropriately qualified and experienced person, from within ones faith community who is trusted and whom doesn’t have a fixed ‘Agenda’ about what is Right and what is Wrong.”

It doesn’t take long to spot the problem there. ‘It’s fine to give religious guidance’, say the activists, ‘so long as you don’t have a fixed view of right and wrong’. Well that counts out pretty well all the religions of the world.

This proposal of what would be acceptable religious guidance under a conversion therapy ban was given in response to the Government’s consultation on proposals for a law in 2021/22. Once again it is an LGBT activist group declaring what is right and what is wrong for Christians to believe – and what is wrong is Christians taking a view on ‘what is right and what is wrong’.

It defies all reason. We don’t all live in an ethical vacuum where each and every person can float around doing whatever they please, whenever they like. That’s certainly not how ‘faith’ works. Religious belief isn’t just an extra bit of information stuck in a person’s head like a fact memorised from an encyclopaedia. Religious belief transforms how we see everything, from the ground up, it is a whole worldview and framework for life. And yes, religious belief therefore necessarily involves deciding what’s right and wrong.

When this supposed “person of faith” goes to a trusted member of their “faith community” seeking help over “conflicts and uncertainties about ones sexual orientation or gender identity” – what does Labour Trans Equality expect?

Would it look something like this? ‘You think you might fancy Geoff the organist, Derek, but you’re not sure about the Bible’s teaching on leaving your wife and children? Well I couldn’t possibly say whether it would be right or wrong. Here at the Church of Eternal Equivocation we like to remind all our parishioners they are free to do whatever they like, safe in the knowledge no one will ever try to tell them what’s right or wrong.’

See also: House of Lords to debate Bill that could criminalise Christians and parents

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