An Anglican vicar in England has resigned from his position after a dispute with his bishop over the handling of an 8-year-old student's gender change, citing concerns that a transgender advocacy group misled school staff.
According to the Daily Mail on Sunday, the Rev. John Parker, a governor at a Church of England school in Essex village, where he served as a vicar for 14 years, resigned in protest after the school "silenced" him when he voiced concerns about parents and students being kept in the dark about their child desiring to change genders. He supported the 8-year-old student's desire to identify as the opposite gender but took issue with the school's refusal to keep parents apprised.
The Daily Mail did not name the school citing privacy concerns.
Parker, 49, reportedly also feared that Mermaids, a transgender advocacy group that had been invited to advise the school, had misled the governors.
He believes, as he wrote in his resignation letter, that children are being "sacrificed on the altar of trans ideology" even in Church schools.
The vicar told the Daily Mail: "I was basically told by my bishop that if I wished to faithfully follow the teachings of the Bible then I was no longer welcome in the Church. It felt very much like I was being silenced by the Church and the school."
Parker asked if the child had seen a psychologist or a medical professional to make sure his desire to live as the opposite sex was genuine or possibly pushed by the parents. Those inquiries were dismissed as were his questions about "pastoral provisions" made for Christian parents and children who might be confused about what was happening at school. The head teacher to whom he presented his concerns told him that they were simply his "personal views" and that she was legally bound by the Equality Act to not inform the student's parents about the gender-transition.
"After the head told us about the plan to allow the pupil to transition, the school suddenly turned into a place where you did not even have the freedom to question things. I felt it was no longer a Christian place of grace and truth — it was a place of oppression," Parker said.
The vicar, who is a scientist by training, was also concerned about a two-hour presentation a Mermaids trainer gave at the school which addressed a wide range of topics. This trainer asserted that it is against the law to deny anyone the use restrooms or changing rooms for the gender with which they identify and that using incorrect pronouns for a trans-identifying child constitutes a "hate crime."
"The presentation was so full of factual inaccuracies," Parker said.
"I am an Oxford biologist by background so I was gobsmacked by what was being said from a biological perspective.
When he tried to ask questions at the end of the presentation about what he considered false claims about both the law and science, he was shut down.
The Mermaids trainer reportedly replied: 'My job is to deliver training. I have done that. I don't have to listen [to objections]."
Andrea Williams, of the Christian Legal Centre, said: "This is not an isolated case and we are going to see more like it if nothing is done."
'Parents have a right to know if and when this ideological movement is in their schools and being taught as fact."
"I believe a real threat is posed to schools from organizations such as Mermaids. They implement a new ideological tyranny — and any disagreement is at best silenced, and at worst, punished."
Mermaids is not only influential in English schools but appear to have great sway over law enforcement.
As The Christian Post reported in March of 2018, police in England interrogated a stay-at-home mom for tweeting her disapproval of sex reassignment surgery for a minor, the child of the head of Mermaids, Susie Green. This interrogation was reportedly part of a human rights "test" case.
Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, who also goes by the name Posie Parker, had tweeted criticisms spanning from October 2016 to August 2017 in reference to Green taking her then teenage male child to Thailand to have his genitals amputated, calling it "castration."
A police officer contacted her twice and arranged a sit-down interview with her, mentioning that if she did not attend she would be considered "wanted." When she inquired what that meant, he responded that should she attempt to leave the country she would be arrested, and that if she happened to be pulled over while driving she would be arrested.
"As far as the transgender ideology stretches I believe it is one of complete submission. Those that even raise questions are silenced with threats and accusations of bigotry," Keen-Minshull told CP at the time.