REV DAVID FAREY: Free will and choice versus reason and restraint
So Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby sees no problem with a boy wearing a dress! This was last week's news from an LBC radio interview. He was being asked about the case of Christian parents taking their child away from a Church school because one of the boys in the class was being allowed to wear a dress at school. They said that it was contrary to their faith.
This is a hot potato at the moment due to the media interest in gender identity and the growing trend of people choosing to change their gender. Due to some schools’ rules there have been protests by pupils such as classes of boys wearing skirts and so on.
Some big stores have also taken the decision to market lines of gender neutral clothing.
The big difference is though that with advances in medical science and developments in surgical techniques it is now possible for people to choose their gender.
There is a condition known as gender dysphoria, where a person experiences severe distress because they feel their gender identity is different to their biological sex.
Having spoken to those who have experienced that distress which is very real and painful I can at least understand the motivation behind their desire for gender reclassification.
My fear is that it is something that is becoming fashionable and can be putting pressure on those susceptible to peer and media’s subtle insinuations.
There are also the arguments about the freedom of choice and that people have the rights to choose. It becomes more difficult though when you are dealing with young people and children whose ideas are still in very formative stages.
To allow them to make solid choices contrary to the normal flow of things before they have the chance to fully form can lead to untold confusion and problems further down the road.
I would argue for free will and choice, but would also strongly urge that choices are strengthened in the crucible of reason and restraint.
Having to argue one’s case and face questioning for a thing helps you to know in your mind whether it is definitely something you want to pursue.
Faith does have some bearing. The Bible does not preach that men and women are the same. We are different.
Our Christian faith does not permit any sense of oppression of one over the other. We have different roles and functions under God and the current questioning of genders is confusing at best and destructive at many levels at worst. I just wish our Archbishop had not dodged the issue with a cheap soundbite that helps no one!