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Caroline Farrow. Facebook
London

UK Catholic journalist may face prison for misgendering teenager

British police are currently dedicated to fighting "microaggressions" such as "misgendering" people on social media. Meanwhile, out of the 44 police forces, 42 have recorded a rise in knife crime since 2011.

Published: March 20, 2019, 7:32 am

    Moreover, for every 100 000 people in London, there were 168 knife offences in 2017-18, with separate figures, from the mayor’s office, showing that young black and minority ethnic teenage boys and men were disproportionately affected, as both victims and perpetrators.

    Instead of focusing attention on the real problems facing law enforcement, police have been hounding Christians. A British Catholic journalist, Caroline Farrow is being investigated for allegedly “misgendering” someone in a tweet.

    Farrow was contacted by authorities after making an appearance on a TV programme Good Morning Britain, in which she engaged in a debate with a transgender activist, Susie Green, who has a trans child. Farrow allegedly referred to Green’s daughter, Jackie, by the wrong pronoun after the broadcast in September last year.

    In a series of tweets, the journalist – a mother of five – revealed that the police approached her because she “needed to be interviewed under caution for misgendering Susie Green’s child”.

    Farrow pointed out that, since the police announced that they would be taking action against her, online trolls have been sending her and her family, expletive-laden and sexually violent messages.

    But the police have remained highly concerned about Farrow’s alleged “misgendering” instead and have simply ignored the transgressions against the Farrow family.

    It appears that doxing children, inundating the family with death threats and threatening a journalist with a prison sentence for “misgendering” – or some would say accurately gendering someone – is fully justified in the eyes of British law enforcement to prevent hurting someone’s feelings.

    Conservative Party MP Sir John Hayes recently warned that “the ‘golden era’ of religious liberty may be coming to an end.”

    He explained:”Religious believers are, once again, facing increased pressure to restrict their faith to the ‘private sphere.’ We now see regular, and increasingly unapologetic, persecution of Christians who remain committed to biblical teaching, refusing to bow to liberal, secular orthodoxies.”

    Gordon Larmour, a Scottish evangelist, was arrested in July 2016 after he answered questions from a gay teenager about the Christian view on homosexual practice. Larmour referred to the Book of Genesis and stated that God created Adam and Eve to produce children.

    Larmour’s response angered the young man, who called police and told them that Larmour had made “homophobic” remarks. Larmour was arrested and charged with behaving in a “threatening and abusive manner aggravated by prejudice relating to sexual orientation” and “assault.” In January 2017, Kilmarnock Sheriff Court found Larmour “not guilty” after Sheriff Alistair Watson established that the evidence against him was unconvincing.

    Larmour told the Scottish Mail on Sunday: “The police didn’t listen to me. They took the young homosexual guy’s side straight away and read me my rights.

    “I feel they try so hard to appear like they are protecting minorities, they go too far the other way. I want to be able to tell people the good word of the gospel and think I should be free to do so. I wasn’t speaking my opinions — I was quoting from the Bible.

    “I think the police should have handled it differently and listened to what I had to say. They should have calmed the boy down and left it at that.

    “In court the boy’s friend told the truth — that I hadn’t assaulted him or called him homophobic names. I had simply answered his question and told him about Adam and Eve and Heaven and Hell. Preaching from the Bible is not a crime.”

    Many of those accused of allegedly breaking the law, had made public proclamations of Christian sexual ethics. A free speech clause, tabled by Lord Waddington as section 29JA in the Public Order Act 1986, assures however that public criticism of gender is lawful. The police have ignored that nevertheless.

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    • Alan Ned Sabrosky

      “If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you
      are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may
      be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime
      investigation.”

      That you have to print this statement – and I understand that you do – says how far away we have moved from the 1st Amendment’s intent, and this appalling story shows where we are going. What a travesty!

      • Sönke Zürner

        Agreed. But that commenting remains an option at all should be gratefully acknowledged. The spread of censorship seems unstoppable. It always gives me a thrill to see any site with a Disqus option. Thank you Free West Media! It is important to know what the people think, not just the ‘progressive’ liberal media.

        I’m curious what laws apply to constrain free expression in the US, such that their enforcement would involve investigation by “authorities.”

      • Pat Enery

        Research who funds this immorality. Don’t forget who owns the Media. That is why you see such a statement being posted here. The goal is to rot us from within.

    • Sönke Zürner

      Two things: First, Farrow should inform herself a little more of the spirit of the Gospel, rather than the letter of the Law. Scripture (Jesus) enjoins us to love our neighbor, nay our enemies, as ourselves. The over-riding, brand-new, world-transforming, teaching of the New Testament is the law of law and the forgiveness of God’s grace. Using Scripture to sanctify one’s prejudices is unworthy of a disciple of Christ. If one is not inclined to play identity politics and participate in what the Germans call “gender-maintstreaming,” then opt out on some other basis. Christian faith can never preclude tolerance.

      Granted, loving on’s neighbor does not mean we are obliged to flattering or give in to their every whim. The enjoinment to love is, after all, aspirational. Every new day reveals how spectacularly we fail, and must fail, as imitators of Christ. Whence, we are all miserable sinners. Cast your stone.

      The real question becomes, is the eschatological morality of the Sermon of the Mount applicable to life in our fractured, pluralistic world? Or any actual political regime and state of society. Or is it not rather the case that unlimited inclusion, as Christ characterized the Kingdom, would spell suicide for an actually existing state? And this being the case, wouldn’t we need to draw a sharp distinction between the order of the Kingdom, and the order of our governments? Such that Christ’s teaching is not only useless for the rule of law, but anathema to it? As the state has the monopoly on legitimate violence, so the Church has the exclusive office and obligation to grant absolution to the repentant.

      Properly understood, the teachings of Christ are the enemy of any political regime. They are perverted when they are adopted as policy. If the Catholic Church teaches us anything surely it is this.

      Secondly, I am astonished that the police would involve themselves in such a thing. The British must have a far better funded force than the US. Which ought to be good news, but, as we see, leads to gross over-reach. Welcome to the world of progressive totalitarianism and the culture of fragility. The future looks bleak for freedom of expression.

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