Dan Walker, Creationism, and the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is probably one of the best-known broadcasters in the world. It is also one of the world’s most liberal media outlets. That is why the story of Dan Walker is so surprising.
Dan Walker is a Christian, the son of a Baptist preacher. And he is a BBC employee.
It is, perhaps, not unusual to find a Christian working in the BBC. We could imagine him as a gardener, or a cleaner, or an office worker. According to Wikipedia, the BBC employs just over 35,400 people. Surely there are some Christians among them. Dan Walker does not work quietly behind the scenes, however. He is a presenter. Nor is he a presenter for the BBC’s religious show, “Songs of Praise,” which broadcasts hymn singing from quaint old churches, and whose average audience consists of elderly ladies. He is the presenter on the flagship BBC news program, “BBC Breakfast.” The surprises do not even end there. Dan Walker does not work on Sundays, so that he can keep the fourth commandment and worship the Lord. Incredibly, Dan Walker negotiated a contract with the BBC—the liberal, anti-Christian BBC—that allows him to avoid working on the Lord’s Day. Even more surprising, Dan Walker is not a liberal Christian, or even a Roman Catholic, but an evangelical Christian. But the greatest surprise of all is that Dan Walker is a creationist.
It is this, Dan Walker’s creationism, that has attracted the ire of the liberal media in the UK. Among the liberal intelligentsia, creationism is akin to “flat earthism” or “Holocaust denial.” People gasp in horror: How could the BBC allow a creationist to present its flagship breakfast show?
Rupert Myers, a British barrister and freelance writer, who claims to be a Christian, wrote a scathing attack on Walker’s creationist beliefs in the Telegraph in an article entitled, “Dan Walker’s Creationism Is an Affront to Reason, Science And Logic.”1 The subtitle of the article was, “The BBC has done nothing to explain how someone who believes in the literal truth of Genesis can present the news accurately.”
Myers’ article begins:
A news reporter who denied basic facts from the past such as the French revolution, the explosion of Mount Vesuvius, or the Holocaust would surely raise eyebrows at interview. Climate change denial, or a denial of heliocentrism, would be unlikely to find favor at the BBC. And yet they have just selected a creationist to front their Breakfast show.
Myers goes on:
A belief that the earth is between six and ten thousand years old, and that presumably God planted dinosaur skeletons in the ground to give us all something to talk about, goes well beyond the values for which people of faith can demand respect. The only difference between creationism and a church you could set up tomorrow which believes China doesn’t actually exist is that creationism has been around for a longer period of time. Sexism, too, has quite a vintage, but we do not accord it respect for being old…. A belief in creationism may be a religious belief, and we must allow generous margins to the holding of such beliefs, but creationism falls beyond the spectrum. It should be consigned to the bin of unreasonable, untenable, fact–allergic nonsense. Creationists cannot be trusted to report objectively, or to interact reasonably with their interviewees and with the public.
At the same time, Myers writes, “As a Christian, I hope society continues to protect my right to hold beliefs and express them.” However, for Myers, creationism is a toleration gone too far.
I have no idea what kind of Christianity Rupert Myers espouses, but he might want to remember that, while Christians do agree that the French Revolution took place between 1789 and 1799, that the Holocaust took place during the Second World War, and that China does indeed exist, none of these facts constitutes an article of Christian faith. The Trinity, the Incarnation of the Son of God, the bodily resurrection, and the existence of heaven and hell constitute articles of the Christian faith, which, I hope, Myers believes. None of those beliefs is acceptable to the sneering, liberal intelligentsia of modern secularism. Moreover, the truth that God created the heavens and the earth is an article of Christian faith. Indeed, it is the first article of the Apostles’ Creed. While many theologians in the false church deny the historicity of the Genesis account, on which the belief that God created the heavens and the earth is based, the Lord Jesus and the Apostles clearly insisted that the Genesis account must be believed. To professing Christians like Myers, Christ declares, “Have ye not read…?” (Matt. 19:4). Indeed, Christ and the Apostles based fundamental Christian doctrines (original sin and marriage, to name but two) on the Genesis account (see Rom. 5, for example).
Myers wants to believe in God and evolution. He suggests that, if evolution is false, God must have planted dinosaur skeletons in the earth to deceive modern scientists. God created the universe, and then gave us a record of what He did so we would understand. Faith receives God’s record as truth, and then interprets the world accordingly (Heb. 11:3). Unbelief rejects God’s Word, interprets the physical world without God’s Word, and comes to the wrong conclusion. If Myers believed God’s Word, he would understand that fossils were formed after the fall into sin (because we know that death entered the world through Adam’s sin), most likely (although not exclusively) at the time of the great flood of Noah’s day. Observational science does not conflict with the truth of the Genesis account. The philosophy of evolutionism does.
In a sneering article in the Guardian entitled “Dan Walker: It’s Tricky to Trust A Presenter Who Feels God Got Him the Job,” Catherine Bennett mocks both Walker’s Lord’s Day observance and his creationism, which she views as anti-scientific obscurantism:
Had Walker been in the Breakfast studio this week, covering the discovery of gravitational waves, Walker’s refusal to believe in a 13.8 billion-year-old universe or his attempts to convert a physicist, could, after decades of Attenborough, have livened up BBC science coverage as never before.
Then she imagines how a devout Christian such as Walker might conduct interviews:
And even when the news does not conflict quite so egregiously with the final word of Walker’s God, it is likely that any Breakfast guests who fall into various spiritually denigrated categories will be rewardingly aware that their interviewer thinks they are, with all due respect, going to hell.”2
Walker is learning, if he has not already learned, the truth of II Peter 3:3-7:
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorantof, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
I personally find it encouraging that even in the secular, anti-Christian BBC, an evangelical Christian can negotiate a contract not to work on the Lord’s Day. I wish him well, and hope that the Lord grants him wisdom to be a good witness both on and off screen.
The War On Gender Reality
LGBT issues have not gone away, and they will not be going away any time soon. The “T” of LGBT is coming to prominence. Indeed, LGBT has been expanded to LGBTQ2, which, in case you were wondering, means, “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, and 2-spirited”! I would not be surprised if the acronym expanded to include other letters of the alphabet.
Transgenderism is coming to prominence because now “transgendered” people are demanding equal rights and protections under the law; and they have many allies among the powerful to help them. In transgenderism, gender is fluid; gender is considered a social construct; indeed, gender does not really exist. Gender is not a matter of genetics or biology, but a matter of self-identity. A person determines what he or she is. If a biological male feels that he is really a female, he must, according to transgenderism, be permitted to behave like, dress like, and use the facilities (toilet, shower room, changing room, etc.) that correspond to his “gender identity.” Moreover, society must recognize his “reality” and treat him accordingly. This means, among other things, that society must call the man who identifies as a woman by his female name—Georgina instead of George, for example—and society must use the pronouns that “Georgina” prefers (“she,” or even “ze”).
The most famous recent case of transgenderism is Bruce Jenner, who now identifies as “Caitlyn” Jenner. In fact, Jenner’s Wikipedia page now calls Bruce “Caitlyn” and has replaced all the masculine pronouns referring to Jenner (“he,” “him,” his,” etc.) with feminine pronouns
(“she,” her,” etc.). Jenner, by the way, was married three times and has six children by three different women.
Reality no longer matters—how a person feels matters. How a person defines reality matters.
Disturbingly, transgenderism includes children. A little girl who feels that she is really a boy, and is very unhappy unless she is recognized and treated as a boy, is encouraged to call herself a boy, dress like a boy, behave like a boy, and use the boys’ bathroom facilities. Indeed, parents, teachers and fellow students are encouraged, nay, compelled, to recognize the little girl’s “masculine identity.” In the worst cases, hormonal therapy and sex alignment surgery are promoted to “change” little girls into little boys.
In New York City it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity and gender expression in the workplace, in public places, and in housing. “Gender identity” is how a person feels—does he identify as a man or as a woman, for example? “Gender expression” is how a person expresses himself/herself—he could be a man who likes to express himself by wearing a dress, high heels and a wig, for example. “The NYC Commission on Human Rights is committed to ensuring that transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers are treated with dignity and respect and without threat of discrimination.” If you thought that was complicated, New York officially recognizes 31 different genders, a list officials say is not exhaustive! Among the genders in the list are “pangender,” “trans person woman,” “gender fluid,” “non-binary transgender androgyne,” “gender gifted” and “femme person of transgender experience”!3 Similar lists are recognized across college campuses in the US and Europe. In New York a business can face a fine of up to $250,000 for discrimination against “transgendered individuals.” While a person/business will not fall foul of the law if he accidentally “uses the wrong pronoun” to refer to a transgendered person, if he persists in such grammatical sins (calling a “he” a “she,” or a “she” a “he”) he/she/they could face penalties, especially if the transgendered person feels aggrieved that his/her gender identity/expression is not properly recognized, respected, and accommodated.
The Obama administration is aggressively promoting “transgender rights” in the USA. US Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently announced a lawsuit against North Carolina because of that state’s so-called “Bathroom Bill,” a law that means individuals must use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate (perhaps, birth certificates and other forms of ID will soon not include gender). The threat behind such a lawsuit is the loss of millions/billions of dollars in federal funding. President Obama issued an order that public schools must accommodate transgendered students—by providing suitable bathroom facilities. There have been cases where teenaged boys who identify as teenaged girls sued for the right to use the girls’ bathrooms, changing rooms, and showering facilities, the protestations of the girls notwithstanding. In another case, the school provided a “gender neutral” bathroom for a transgendered teenager, but he was not satisfied—he wanted to use the same facilities as the teenaged girls because he insisted that he was a girl. Again, the US Department of Education threatens the withdrawal of funding from non-compliant schools.
On May 17, which is apparently “International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia,” Liberal Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced a bill that would ban transgender discrimination in Canada. The problem with these laws is that the definition of hate crime, prejudice, and discrimination remains vague—until it is tested in court. But is it too far off the mark to imagine that a Christian church that refuses to recognize the “preferred gender identity” of a transgendered individual and refuses to allow him/her to use the bathroom of his/her choice will face sanctions?
Some private businesses have voluntarily changed their policy to accommodate “transgendered customers.” The US company Target has stated that customers are free to use the restrooms that correspond to their gender identity. This means, in practice, that a man may enter a woman’s restroom, and, if anyone complains, he can simply say, “I identify as a woman.” Critics of this policy have argued that this makes especially women and children potential victims of sexual predators and voyeurs, not necessarily that transgendered people are sexual predators and voyeurs, but that others will exploit the law to their advantage. For example, there have been cases of men entering women’s restrooms and taking photos with their iPhones, and there have been other cases of little girls being assaulted in public restrooms. The overwhelming majority of women and little girls do not feel comfortable sharing the bathroom facilities, locker rooms, and showering facilities with men. The overwhelming majority of men do not feel comfortable with the idea of their wives, sisters, or daughters being in a bathroom, locker room, or shower/changing area with men. Despite protests and boycotts of such “transgendered-friendly” businesses, the trend continues.
It is tempting for us to avoid these issues or simply to view them with disgust. Who could have imagined that our society could descend into such lunacy and depravity? But we will face these issues soon enough. What will we do when a man who identifies as a woman walks into one of our churches? What will we do when he asks us to recognize his “gender identity” as a woman? What will we do when he asks to use the same restroom as our wives and daughters? What will we do when he complains that we have diminished him by not calling him by his preferred name and pronoun, and when he runs to the government to settle his grievances? Are penalties for non-compliant private businesses—and Christian schools and churches—in the pipeline? Some have, with more bravado than sense, suggested that if they catch a man using the women’s restroom while their female relative is using it, that such a man will need to use the facilities for disabled people! Of course, threats of violence are not the answer, unless you plan to serve a prison sentence for aggravated assault. Christians do not advocate violence against anyone.
Fundamentally, transgenderism is rebellion against reality, which is rebellion against truth. A person refuses to recognize how the Creator has made him/her—as a male or as a female. The first sin was man’s attempt to achieve autonomy—not God, but Adam will determine truth. Thus Adam will be like God, knowing (and determining for himself) both good and evil.
Jesus declared, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” (Matt. 19:4). It seems strange that it is on this truth that the next battle must be fought.
1 Rupert Myers, Daily Telegraph, February 11, 2016; telegraph.co.uk.
2 Catherine Bennett, The Guardian, February 14, 2016; theguardian.com.
3 See the leaflet published by the NYC Commission on Human Rights, www.nyc.gov.