A model of courage in Scotland

Published April 10, 2024

WORLD Opinions

The old adage that the pen is mightier than the sword is more reliable when the pen is wielded by someone who has made herself fabulously rich and famous with it.

With a few tweets, Harry Potter authoress J.K. Rowling may have defeated (in her case, at least) the Scottish government’s new hate crime law. The law is vague enough that it was (and still is) unclear whether it is a crime in Scotland to call a man who pretends to be a woman a man. Appropriately, this law went into effect on April 1. Rowling responded to the law with a series of posts highlighting the crimes and misdeeds of various trans-identified individuals, sarcastically writing, for example, that “Lovely Scottish lass and convicted double rapist Isla Bryson found her true authentic female self shortly before she was due to be sentenced.” Rowling concluded with a declaration that “Freedom of speech and belief are at an end in Scotland if the accurate description of biological sex is deemed criminal” Finally, “If what I’ve written here qualifies as an offence under the terms of the new act, I look forward to being arrested.”

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Nathanael Blake, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. His primary research interests are American political theory, Christian political thought, and the intersection of natural law and philosophical hermeneutics. His published scholarship has included work on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Alasdair MacIntyre, Russell Kirk and J.R.R. Tolkien. He is currently working on a study of Kierkegaard and labor. As a cultural observer and commentator, he is also fascinated at how our secularizing culture develops substitutes for the loss of religious symbols, meaning and order.

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