A Christian doctor from the United Kingdom who served as a disability benefits assessor lost his job with the British government after refusing, hypothetically, to refer to “a six-foot-tall bearded man” as “madam.”
Dr. David Mackereth, who had worked as an emergency doctor for the National Health Service for 26 years, claimed during a recent tribunal he was removed from his job with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in late June 2018 after being “interrogated” about his personal religious convictions by his boss, James Owen, according to The Telegraph.
The 56-year-old physician said Owen asked him, “If you have a man six-foot-tall with a beard who says he wants to be addressed as ‘she’ and ‘Mrs.,’ would you do that?”
Mackereth said he would not use transgender pronouns and claimed during the hearing he was ultimately fired “not because of any realistic concerns over the rights and sensitivities of transgender individuals, but because of my refusal to make an abstract ideological pledge.”
Determining the use of transgender pronouns would violate his conscience, Mackereth was forced out. He received an email from Owen informing him the NHS “will respect your decision and your right to leave your contract.”
“I am a Christian,” Mackereth wrote back, “and in good conscience cannot do what the DWP is requiring of me.”
Owen, it should be noted, has insisted Mackereth was “at no point” suspended from his job with the NHS, according to the BBC. Rather, the doctor’s former boss claimed Mackereth left his job because he “felt he could not work,” since he would be required to adhere to policies that violate his conscience.
Now, the doctor is suing the government, arguing he is the victim of religious discrimination and harassment over his beliefs and convictions.
“The very fact a doctor can be pulled off the shop floor for an urgent interrogation about his beliefs on gender fluidity is both absurd and very sinister, even more so if it results in a dismissal,” Mackereth said during the court hearing.
He continued, “If something like that happened in a church setting — people being pulled out of a pew, questioned, and then excommunicated — that would be seen as an outrageous example of religious intolerance and bigotry.”
Mackereth even humbly acknowledged during the tribunal that, because of today’s climate regarding sexual ethics, he “appreciates” the fact some people might find his convictions “offensive,” but pointed out that offense “is not a good enough reason to censor my beliefs and coerce me to act contrary to my conscience.”
The concept of transgenderism, he explained, is a “rebellion against God, which is both pointless and sinful.”
He went on to say:
I am, of course, aware that there are men or women who believe they have been trapped in a wrong body, and I do not question the sincerity of their convictions. A small number of such people have always existed. Up until recently, such a belief was considered by medics to be delusional and a symptom of a medical disorder.
It is only recently that transgenderism has been recognized as normal and such delusional beliefs accepted at face value. What is responsible for that change is political pressure, not scientific evidence.
Addressing Mackereth’s case recently on the BBC, anchor India Willoughby, who was born male but now identifies as a woman, pushed back against the doctor’s assertion that his beliefs about sexuality are rooted in Scripture and God’s intentional creation of men and women.
While Willoughby said religion is “a great thing,” so long as it never actually claims any moral authority, the British journalist argued the Bible just isn’t relevant these days and insisted Jesus — if he was on earth today — would be a big supporter of transgenderism.
“I think the issue is that it’s now 2019, we live in a civilized society, and it’s not the days of the Bible,” the anchor said. “You know, I think God would actually be really cool about transgender people. … He’d be changing men into women, women into men — doing all that.”
As for Mackereth, his case is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre. He has argued he believes gender “is defined by biology and genetics. And that as a Christian, the Bible teaches us that God made humans male or female.”
In his correspondence with Owen, the doctor explained that, as a Christian, he is bound to what Scripture says about sexuality. He wrote, “So when it comes to these matters, I think of the great 16th century reformer, Martin Luther, who stated at the Diet of Worms, ‘My conscience is captive to the Word of God. Here I stand, I can do no other. So help me God.’”
He explained to Christian Concern the issue “shouldn’t even be up for discussion” because “you can’t change sex just by having surgery or hormones. It’s not possible.”
“Is it really true that I am no longer fit to practice medicine because I believe that a person cannot change sex?” he asked. “Is transgenderism, as an ideology, underpinning everything — all our medical practice, all our nursing practice, and everything we seek to do?”
Mackereth, now working as an emergency doctor in Shropshire, warned the transgender movement is calling into question the integrity of the entire medical community because “what we are being asked to do in the medical profession is so contrary to sound reason.”
“In this situation, there will be nowhere in any branch of medicine for doctors or nurses or anybody else — nowhere in any branch of medicine, and that’s just medicine, not the other professions — where you can run from this,” he explained. “Either we are going to have to go along with this crazy way of thinking or we’re going to have to get out.”
The fired physician added it’s just “dishonest” to use transgender pronouns in a medical setting.
“There’s no other way of saying it,” Mackereth continued. “And as a Christian, it really matters whether we use language in an honest or a dishonest way. As a Christian in good conscience, I cannot do that because, quite simply, and quite frankly, it’s a lie.”
This story has been updated with an additional statement from Owen.