In a place not far from Australia – over the ditch we call it – New Zealand Christians are, like the rest of the Western world, coming to grips with the fact that one may lose their livelihood simply by refusing to use someone’s preferred name and pronouns.
The latest case involves an unnamed man (it was redacted in the disciplinary findings) who we will refer to as Mr Teacher. According to the background of the case, between February 2021 and 14 May 2021, Mr Teacher “failed to respect the identity of a learner by refusing to call a learner by their preferred name and pronouns”. The summary of counsel’s petition to the New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal is as follows:-
In 2021, Mr Teacher taught a student in his Year 10 mathematics class. During that time, the student was transitioning genders from female to male. The student’s preferred (male) name was recorded on Kamar, the School’s online portal. Mr Teacher refused to call the student by his preferred name and pronouns. Instead, he continued to call the student by his previous (female) name and pronouns. In or around February 2021, Mr Teacher had a meeting with the student during a morning tea break and stated that transitioning was against his religion. The student came up with a compromise and suggested Mr Teacher call him by his preferred name but could use the pronouns she/her. Mr Teacher refused to agree to this and said that “he didn’t want [the student] to go down the path of sin” or words to that effect. Mr Teacher met with (the principal) of the School twice in March 2021 and confirmed his refusal to use the student’s preferred name and pronouns. He told (the principal) that he would not follow his instruction to call the student by his preferred name and pronouns because of his religious beliefs.
In handing down its findings, the Tribunal certainly made its feelings known towards teachers who would dare be led by their Biblical worldview. In various parts it reads as follows [emphasis added in parts]:-
· The balance of the arguments put forward by Mr Teacher are deeply anchored in his ingrained belief in Christianity. The arguments referencing the risk of homosexuality and abortion [being sinful and against God’s design] may well be welcome and normal within the context of Mr Teacher’s private life and views. However, they are disgraceful when used in the present context.
· The balance of Mr Teacher’s arguments [being a lengthy statement in which he quotes Scripture and exposes Satan’s agenda] are borne from unrealistic hysteria and we need not go into them further.
After belittling Mr Teacher’s Christian beliefs, his teaching registration was cancelled because of “serious misconduct” – a fate usually reserved for child abusers, alcoholics, paedophiles and drug dealers. The Tribunal openly considered if they should pursue a path of rehabilitation but decided that because of Mr Teacher’s faith and likelihood of repeating the same behaviour, he was beyond rehabilitation. In only five words, it is plainly revealed what the reprobate mind thinks of God’s truth: disgraceful; unrealistic hysteria, beyond rehabilitation. We would expect such words from a Communist dictator – not from a Tribunal in a free society!
In an article published by The Journal of Educational Sociology in 1935, the following observations were made:
When the Communists seized control of the Russian empire they realized at once that education was one of the most powerful weapons in changing the ideology of the people away from an individualistic to a collectivistic pattern. Consequently, the Soviet Union presents one of the most interesting examples in all history of an attempt to change the attitude patterns of the people through the control of the schools.
Notwithstanding the impact Communism has had on many of the world’s institutions, the template for public education and its accompanying indoctrination began many years before in Prussia (modern day Germany). The Prussian model of free and compulsory education was designed by the Prussian Emperor in order to generate obedient workers and soldiers who would not question his authority. This conclusion was reached shortly after several crushing defeats by Napoleon at the beginning of the 1800’s. Prussia’s political and military elite came to the bizarre belief that the independent thinking and the individualistic spirit among Prussian fighters and soldiers was in fact a root cause and contributing factor to their defeat. Consequently, the Prussian elite began a program aimed at reducing the intelligence and independent thinking in the majority of the citizenry. The goal was to make the bulk of the population compliant servants rather than free individuals who could think for themselves. This goal, they surmised, could only be accomplished via the mechanisms of education by the ruling government.
The educational model was predicated on five points, which were further founded on the desire to take education away from the family and the church. It sought to create:-
· Obedient workers for the mines;
· Obedient soldiers for the army;
· Well-subordinated civil servants to government;
· Well-subordinated clerks to industry; and
· Citizens who thought alike about major issues.
Although the Prussian Emperor may have viewed this model as the basis for necessary military and economic success, it contributed to the most horrific period of world history – the Holocaust. Largely ignored, the evidence confirms that the Prussian system would set the stage for the Third Reich’s success in uniting the German masses to fight for its causes.
Unfortunately, we continue to witness that authoritarians are using the education system and those within it to carry out their evil agendas. In the case of Mr Teacher, it is obvious that many within the education system will not tolerate Christians or their Biblical worldview. Consequently, many children will leave the education system with that same attitude, perpetuating a cycle of anti-Christian behaviour throughout society. Author Paolo Lionni pulled no punches when he expressed his view of government-run education programs in this way:-
Humanity is ill-organized. Geographically fragmented, it is spiritually and mentally even more dispersed by an informational oligarchy enthralling the population of earth with its psychologically programmed media. This curtain of disinformation drawn over our lives makes any betterment appear inconsequential and futile; all progress is reduced to mere news and is quickly overwhelmed by a relentless tide of deterioration, alarm, and crisis. Compulsory universal government psychotherapy is not education. Miseducation of both our leaders and their constituents or subjects is at the root of all our difficulties. Earth is educationally disenfranchised by the innate schemings of a universal ignorance. Nothing short of a complete educational renaissance will serve.
That “renaissance” is unlikely to come until the Lord rules and reigns during the Millennial Kingdom. Until then, let it be said that despite its obvious problems, the government school system is filled with hard-working, ethical and highly inspiring Christian educators who have a positive influence on the children they interact with. That they are able to achieve this within a system which is hostile to Christianity and is based on authoritarian intentions makes their efforts all the more admirable. Pray for them, because they certainly are at the front lines of this ideological war.