- The American Conservative - http://www.theamericanconservative.com -

Archbishop Tutus-For-Lads

Archbishop Justin Welby’s leadership of the Church of England has been pathbreaking. [1]Here’s the latest:

Boys as young as five should be able to wear tiaras at school without criticism, teachers in Church of England schools are to be told.

Male pupils should also be free to dress up in a tutu or high heels without attracting any comment or observation, according to anti-bullying rules sent out by the Church yesterday.

The instructions for the CofE’s 4,700 schools said they should not require children to wear uniforms that ‘create difficulty for trans pupils’.

More:

The CofE rules say children in nurseries and the primaries that make up the majority of Church schools should be free to follow their own inclinations when they dress. They state: ‘In the early years context and throughout primary school, play should be a hallmark of creative exploration.

‘Pupils need to be able to play with the many cloaks of identity … Children should be at liberty to explore the possibilities of who they might be without judgment or derision. For example, a child may choose the tutu, princess’s tiara and heels and/or the fireman’s helmet, tool belt and superhero cloak without expectation or comment.’

From The Independent [2]:

In a foreword to the advice, the Archbishop of Canterbury says: “All bullying, including homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying causes profound damage, leading to higher levels of mental health disorders,self-harm, depression and suicide.

“Central to Christian theology is the truth that every single one of us is made in the image of God. Every one of us is loved unconditionally by God.

“We must avoid, at all costs, diminishing the dignity of any individual to a stereotype or a problem.”

The Most Rev Justin Welby adds: “This guidance helps schools to offer the Christian message of love, joy and the celebration of our humanity without exception or exclusion.”

Well. Certainly bullying of any sort, of any child, is not to be tolerated. But this goes much too far. Earlier this fall, Welby was asked by an interviewer if he thought gay sex was sinful [3]. He memorably replied, “You know very well that is a question I can’t give a straight answer to. Sorry, badly phrased there. I should have thought that one through.”

But he can give a straight answer to the question of whether Church of England schools should allow little boys to come to school in dresses. If you disagree with him, then you are a bully, according to the rules of the Church of England.

Meanwhile, Joshua Sutcliffe, a mathematics teacher who is also an ordained pastor is facing discipline, including possibly the loss of his job, for saying, “Well done, girls” [4] to two students in his class. One of those students is a female who identifies as male. Her parents filed a complaint against Sutcliffe, accusing him of “misgendering” their child. More:

The maths teacher, who is also a pastor at the Christ Revelation church in Oxford, said he tried to balance his beliefs with the need to treat the pupil sensitively.

He claimed he did this by avoiding the use of gender-specific pronouns and by referring to the pupil by name.

“While the suggestion that gender is fluid conflicts sharply with my Christian beliefs… I have never looked to impose my convictions on others”, he said

He said he had apologised to the student, but said he did not consider it “unreasonable” to call someone a girl “if they were born a girl”.

He apologized to the kid for saying what he said. But they knew he was a Christian, and that he doesn’t believe in gender fluidity, even though he keeps his views out of the classroom (this was a slip). Yet his job is now on the line. The school was apparently not a Church of England school, but still, the Church of England ought to be defending this fellow Christian. Even if it had been a C of E school, I suppose under the new guidelines they would still be throwing the poor man to the lions.

UPDATE: Melanie Philips writes, in the Times Of London [5]:

A highly-regarded adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury has quit the inner counsels of the Church of England in protest against an “agenda of revisionism” that she says is promoting “an ongoing and rapid erosion of faithfulness.

Lorna Ashworth resigned from the Archbishops’ Council and General Synod, saying: “We have a liberal agenda because the church is not anchored in the Gospel. There is no more conversation about Heaven, Hell, sin, forgiveness, judgment.

Her resignation illustrates the fissure in the church between liberals and traditionalists which is now threatening outright schism. The immediate flashpoints are gender and gay issues. Last July, the synod voted to ban sexual conversion therapy and to consider special services for transsexual people. A motion to permit the blessing of same-sex marriages has been submitted for next February’s synod but has yet to be adopted for debate.

64 Comments (Open | Close)

64 Comments To "Archbishop Tutus-For-Lads"

#1 Comment By Potato On November 14, 2017 @ 10:37 am

That ballerina did not get those muscled legs from a past as a race car driver (an activity usually carried out from a sitting position) but from the normal ballet workout.

I went to the picture link. I admire him, intensely, for the amount of effort and working out ballet demands from all dancers. (It’s hard to tell much from a still picture, but passing some exam would seem to imply some level of proficiency.) If dancing makes him happy I’m all for it. If he’s any good at it, more so.

I donno. There is an element of theater in ballet, as in opera. I once went to a performance of Tristan and Isolde, the great love story, and the Isolde was…large. Like, very large, in all dimensions. She was even several inches taller than the Tristan, who tended to be stationed on a stairway behind her for their duets. He was maybe half her weight. She was dressed in what I can only call a silver lame muumuu, which looked like the only thing they could get on her. And she was supposed to be this femme fatale. (She had, of course, a glorious voice.) This took a certain amount of….suspension of disbelief. OK.

I imagine that seeing this dancer in a conventional production would be more of the same. It’s ok with me anyway.

#2 Comment By DRK On November 14, 2017 @ 10:46 am

According to the Daily Mail:

[Sutcliffe] later discovered that the pupil’s family had claimed he had not only ‘misgendered’ the pupil but had unfairly given the pupil a disproportionate number of detentions for poor behaviour, though this later claim was not upheld during the investigation.
It is understood that the family’s main concern was that Mr Sutcliffe was picking on their child and they would not have complained about misgendering on its own as they are supporters of free speech.

[6]

So at this point, this is being driven by the school, not the parents. Concerning, because he is basically being punished for a thoughtcrime, rather than a slip of the tongue.

#3 Comment By Joe M On November 14, 2017 @ 4:00 pm

“Central to Christian theology is the truth that every single one of us is made in the image of God. Every one of us is loved unconditionally by God.”

So much for sin, its earthly consequences, and punishment. Taken at face value Welby’s statement is simply not historic theology.

#4 Comment By MichaelGC On November 14, 2017 @ 7:10 pm

Youknowho says on November 13, 2017 at 3:04 pm:

That ballerina did not get those muscled legs from a past as a race car driver (an activity usually carried out from a sitting position) but from the normal ballet workout.

“That ballerina?” Thank you for making my point.

The contours of the female body are different than the male’s and cannot be faked. The female ballet costume was meant for the female form (naturally) and accentuates it. A hulking male frame in the same dainty costume is an ugly travesty no matter how physically fit he is, no matter his “gender identity.” In fact, this example highlights the breathtaking asininity of the transgender dogma.

I’m reminded of a Kurt Vonnegut Jr. short story of a dystopia where people were forbidden to rise above mediocrity. Those who were too smart had to wear headsets that interrupted their concentration with random bursts of noise, beautiful women had to wear ugly masks, the athletic were hindered by weights hanging from them.

PC language and the doctrine of progressive social re-engineers accomplishes even more than that. They instill mental and moral handicaps to stunt the minds of observers so that they see only that which they are instructed to see. At the very least, they are intimidated into not speaking out against stone-cold obvious lies.

#5 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 14, 2017 @ 10:05 pm

Incidentally, in England a “public” school is one run by the Church of England. I forget what the equivalent of an American public school is called, although some of them are named after saints.

I know this because when I was eight years old my family spent a year in Oxford, and my mother enrolled me in a “public” school, not having figured all this out. I therefore spent a year in a school attached to St. Andrew’s parish, Headington, never realizing that several houses down the street from the apartment where we lived, J.R.R. Tolkien still resided. Oh, the school my mother would have meant to enroll me in was called St. Margaret’s.

#6 Comment By Jay On November 15, 2017 @ 4:29 am

Incidentally, in England a “public” school is one run by the Church of England. I forget what the equivalent of an American public school is called, although some of them are named after saints.

Um, no. A “public” school in England is a private school, but not all private schools are “public.” Public schools are subset of private schools (about 200 or so, I believe) that are part of a particular association and endowed in a certain manner.

#7 Comment By Jay On November 15, 2017 @ 4:34 am

know this because when I was eight years old my family spent a year in Oxford, and my mother enrolled me in a “public” school, not having figured all this out.

Not possible. The public schools, correctly described, are all secondary schools. There are (and were) private primary schools associated with public schools that feed into them, but all the public schools are older than eight.

Source: I lived in England for almost five years as an adult, with more cogent memories than an eight year old.

#8 Comment By Oakinhouston On November 15, 2017 @ 8:02 am

“So did a lot of Biblical figures. Jesus never owned a pair of pants…”

The romans of his time believed pants, which were worn by celts, to be quite “effeminate”, probably because they covered the lower legs. Men’s tunics were knee length, with anything below exposed to the elements (*). Only women covered below the knees. There’s plenty of contemporary satirical criticism of romans that adopted that foreign fashion

(*) The long toga of Roman statues is formal dressing only, and, like the formal kimono of the geishas, requires a servant to put on, since the left arm is immobilized by the fabric.

#9 Comment By bob On November 15, 2017 @ 1:31 pm

First the obvious. To become the Archbishop of Canterbury there is one irreducible prerequisite: One must be an Anglican. The current clown in this job is precisely that as can be seen by his utter lack of intelligent comments about Christianity.
Second, the teacher who slipped and called a girl a girl, clearly he has flunked that Anglican test. His final act as a teacher before being drawn and quartered should be to simply give scores of 100%, straight A’s to every one of his students. Even ones who can’t do any math at all. If he is asked why he will answer with perfect innocence that in these classrooms there is no such thing as flunking because there is no such thing as a wrong answer. Truth means nothing. Whatever a “student” makes up is right. He should get a Nobel Prize for something invented for this.

#10 Comment By MichaelGC On November 15, 2017 @ 7:09 pm

Potato says on November 14, 2017 at 10:37 am:

That ballerina did not get those muscled legs from a past as a race car driver (an activity usually carried out from a sitting position) but from the normal ballet workout.

I went to the picture link. I admire him, intensely, for the amount of effort and working out ballet demands from all dancers. (It’s hard to tell much from a still picture, but passing some exam would seem to imply some level of proficiency.) If dancing makes him happy I’m all for it. If he’s any good at it, more so.

I’m glad you enjoyed the link. It would add perspective by having a look at a [7] for comparison. Notice how you don’t have to hem and haw around while trying to think of something nice to say about well-muscled legs or how hard the workouts must have been. That’s because she is actually appealing and aesthetic in her own right, a lovely, lithe-limbed vision of airy lightness. The other is a grotesque pretender and an eyesore that should only be seen in a comedy skit. While males certainly do dance in ballet they dance as men. Men (or trans women if you prefer, who are unavoidably men nonetheless) cannot be ballerinas.

#11 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 15, 2017 @ 9:12 pm

The public schools, correctly described, are all secondary schools.

Jay, are you talking about what you call public schools, or what is formally known in England as a “Public School”? St. Andrew’s was definitely called a “Public School” at the time. And St. Margaret’s was not.

A “public” school in England is a private school, but not all private schools are “public.”

And here you make my point for me. At any rate, it is unwise for Americans to talk about “public schools” in England, because the terms just are not commensurate on both sides of the pond.

#12 Comment By Ronald Sevenster On November 16, 2017 @ 3:51 am

The real issue is in my opinion that the utter madness, craziness, and blasphemous folly of this statement by a Christian bishop isn’t recognized at once. What Welby said is so utterly and completely out of line with Christianity, that one would expect him to be forced to resign immediately. The lack of opposition against his outrageous statement indicates that the Church of England is no longer a Christian Church in any true and historical sense of the word “Christian” at all.

What will come next? One can expect everything now, for instance the obligation to use a gender-neutral Bible translation in Church of England services. Completely self-destructive.

#13 Comment By Jay On November 16, 2017 @ 4:43 am

Jay, are you talking about what you call public schools, or what is formally known in England as a “Public School”?

No, I am talking about what are formally known in the UK as “public schools.” I lived in the UK for almost five years and put my kids through UK schools. I think I know all the distinctions. Public schools are all secondary schools and always have been. It would have been impossible for you, as an eight year old, to attend a public school, correctly described, no matter your (not fully-formed?) memories on the matter.

It would also be almost impossible for an American to have been enrolled in one at the time you are probably talking about without a strong perfomance on the 11+ exam or some very powerful social connections, but that is another story.

There *are,* and were, selective primary schools that feed into public schools, usually called “preparatory schools.”

St. Andrew’s was definitely called a “Public School” at the time.

[8] That school is a “voluntary controlled” school, which means that it is 100% funded by the state and follows the national curriculum. It’s association with the C of E is that the C of E (probably the local parish) provides a majority of the board of governors, it has C of E religious education, and can give preferential admissions to communicants (but must otherwise follow the state admissions guidelines).

It is not, and has never been, a “public school,” correctly described. Nor is it, nor has ever been, a prep school.

#14 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 16, 2017 @ 9:50 am

Jay, there may well have been some changes in nomenclature over 50 years, but if you don’t trust my excellent memory (which extends back to when I was 2), my mother remembered and talked about this over many years, and she was an adult long before I was born.

Yes, that St. Andrews, and enrolling in it was quite simple — no admission tests, no hearings before a board, just walk in and sign up. I know it was publicly funded — the C of E is an established state church, remember? That was sort of my point.

And you obscure with a cloud of objections the point that “public school” in England means something very different than “public school” in the USA. Always has, and by your updated personal experience, still does.

The real issue is in my opinion that the utter madness, craziness, and blasphemous folly of this statement by a Christian bishop isn’t recognized at once.

Comes with being an Established State Church. When the state changes, the church changes.