Have You Heard the One About the Irish Teacher and the Pronouns?
Have you heard the one about the Irish school teacher, jailed for refusing to address a male student as ‘they’?
It sounds like the latest Irish joke, except that authorities aren’t joking and there’s nothing funny about compelled speech.
While technically Enoch Burke was found to be in contempt of court for refusing to stay away from the Church of Ireland school where he teaches history, it all started when he refused to address a male student who was ‘transitioning’ to female as ‘they’.
There is now an investigation underway, conducted by the school, into Burke’s refusal to address a student by the student’s preferred pronouns.
Mr Burke went to the school to prepare for class in violation of his suspension. He was arrested, dragged before a Dublin court, and jailed indefinitely.
It’s unclear whether the student in question was pleased with they self. But I digress.
Mr Burke told the court:
‘I love my school … but I am here today because I said I would not call a boy a girl. It is insanity that I will be led from this courtroom to a place of incarceration, but I will not give up my Christian beliefs.’
Legal counsel for the school board said it was with a ‘heavy heart’ that they had sought Mr Burke’s committal to prison, but the teacher had continued to attend the school, despite a court order last week.
The school board’s heart may well have been heavy, but their brains are mush.
It’s one thing to ban certain words, but it’s another thing to compel a person to lie, which has been happening across the West in relation to gender fluidity.
We must note that while the influence of the Church of Ireland has waned in the past decade, the influence of religion has most certainly not.
The new religion of Woke now casts a dark shadow over every aspect of people’s lives, especially their words. Blasphemy laws have been reinstated, it is only the sacred cow that has changed.
And Mr Burke, now languishing in a prison cell, is just a few short outraged-mob steps from being burned at the stake, so to speak.
‘Oh don’t be so dramatic! No one will be burned at the stake for using the wrong pronouns,’ I hear you say.
Well of course.
And ‘no one will be jailed for using the wrong pronouns’ is what they said in 2016, when Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan Petersen warned of that very thing.
They were wrong about the progress of identity politics. They continue to be wrong about the escalation of punishment against those who refuse to bow and scrape at its altar.
News of the Irish teacher’s incarceration comes a day after the Catholic Church in Australia instructed its schools that sex was a fixed biological reality and that staff were not to encourage or to assist students to change genders.
The guidance, to more than 1,700 schools responsible for the education of almost 800,000 students in Australia, was a bold move.
Effectively the Australian church has put staff, students, activists and, more importantly, governments on notice that they will not be bullied by gender ideologues into denying objective biological reality.
I have little doubt that activists will now call for government funding to be cut from the Catholic sector. But, of course, governments know they cannot do this.
If Catholic schools suddenly closed, flooding the state system with three-quarters of a million extra students, the state system would collapse overnight.
Enoch Burke’s namesake and fellow Irishman, Edmund Burke, once said that all that was required for evil to flourish was for good men to do nothing.
The Catholic Church in Australia has watched as, both here, and abroad, individuals like Enoch Burke have been persecuted for refusing to bow to the new Woke gender dogma.
They have decided that the time for doing nothing is over.
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