Creation, the image of God, and campaigns to ban ‘conversion therapy’
There are campaigns in various countries by LGBT+ pressure groups1 to restrict religious freedoms by seeking to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy.’ These campaigns assume that a person’s ‘sexual orientation’ is fixed at birth, which is alleged to confer intrinsic rights to individuals based upon those characteristics.
CMI affirms the biblical teachings on sex, gender, and sexuality,2 as traditionally understood by the Church, and which are based upon an understanding of who people are as created in God’s image. The divine image includes a volitional capacity, as well as emotional, relational, and rational ones. As human beings we have the capacity to choose what we do with our bodies, and the thoughts we think. Scripture calls us to take our thoughts captive; with God’s help we can be in control of our thoughts and feelings (2 Corinthians 10:5).
We recognise that mankind is created male and female in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), but that subsequently, because of the Fall, that image is harmed to some extent. Some, for example, are born as eunuchs3 (Matthew 19:12) or hermaphrodites, and are equally deserving of dignity and respect. And yet upon all humans there is a calling to live faithful lives in obedience to God’s standards, through the empowering work of the Holy Spirit. Such standards are revealed in Scripture, and are applicable whether one is married or single. Paul writes:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:1–2).
Even with heterosexual relationships there are sometimes hard choices that Christians have to make for the sake of God’s kingdom. In order to avoid risking adultery, some Christians have had to give up loving relationships when a friend and potential partner has chosen to marry someone else.
Biblical creationists hold that human rights have arisen from the doctrine of mankind created in God’s image. Current LGBT+ campaigns arise because there is conflict between traditional religious rights teaching, and secularised human rights that have been stripped of their Christian foundations. As a result, religious freedoms that have been gained over hundreds of years in Western nations are now being removed (see The inhuman nature of secular humanism).
With the Reformation struggle between Catholics and Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries, many non-conformist Christian refugees fled Europe to Britain or America,4 including with the Pilgrim Fathers in 1620.5 In Britain, groups such as the Quakers and Anabaptists had to meet in secret out of fear of persecution from the authorities;6 for example, see John Whiting’s the Suffering of the Quakers.7 Relief came in 1689, when William and Mary signed the Act of Toleration in Britain and Ireland, which gave freedom to non-conformist Christians. Such freedoms extended to the new worlds.
The irony of liberalism is that historically, especially in the UK, many non-conformist Christians have supported liberal politicians because of a perceived commitment to uphold religious freedom. However, liberalism now appears to be moving to suppress those freedoms.8 It has even impacted liberal leaders. In June 2017 Tim Farron, then the leader of the Liberal Democrat Party in the UK, was forced to resign because of his Christian faith. During campaigning he had been grilled concerning his beliefs about homosexuality as a Christian. He commented that:
“To be a political leader—especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017—and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me. … I seem to be the subject of suspicion because of what I believe and who my faith is in. In which case we are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society.”9
We maintain that human rights must include the freedom of Christians to worship and practice their faith. The practical outworking of faith includes the administration of grace to one another through prayer, teaching, preaching, and counselling—these are an integral part of traditional religious practices.
Secular campaigns by LGBT+ pressure groups to ban Christian prayers
In the recent past the loss of religious freedoms has impacted Christians in employment, but it now is evident that traditional Christian practices, such as prayer, counselling, and teaching, are under threat of legal restrictions. Not only does this harmfully impact religious freedom, but it also threatens the rights of vulnerable people to seek spiritual counselling; ironically, these are the very people the pressure groups claim to represent. Women’s rights advocates have also found basic freedoms undermined in some cases. Authors, such as JK Rowling, have faced criticism and harassment for speaking out in favour of the dignity and rights of women. Female athletes have also increasingly found themselves having to compete against biological men who self-identify as women. There is a real danger that the identity of women is being cancelled.
So, it is sadly true that a number of Christians and non-Christians have suffered at the hands of the LGBT+ lobby groups. For example, in 2019 in a case involving Dr David Mackereth’s loss of employment, it was declared by the judge that: “ … belief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others, specifically here, transgender individuals.”10 In response, the Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre, Andrea Williams, said:
“This was an astonishing judgment and one that if upheld will have seismic consequences not just for the NHS [UK’s National Health Service] and for Christians, but anyone in the workplace who is prepared to believe and say that we are created male and female. The teaching of Genesis 1:27 is repeated throughout the Bible, including by Jesus Christ himself. It is fundamental to establishing the dignity of every human person but is, in a bizarre ironic twist, being branded as incompatible with that dignity. No protection is given to beliefs ‘incompatible with human dignity’ and ‘not worthy of respect in a democratic society’.”11
Even secular scholars have raised concerns. Frank Furedi, a humanist and emeritus sociologist at the University of Kent, England, recently noted that trans ideology has become a threat to freedom of thought and speech. He comments that the US-based American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has joined with the trans movement to re-write history and change what it means to be male and female.12 Along with this is a campaign to control speech, which entails the erasure of the traditional male-female view of gender identity.
In British Columbia, Canada, a tribunal has asserted that refusing to use someone’s preferred gender pronoun is a breach of their human rights. This follows Canada’s Bill C–16, an amendment to the Canadian Human Rights Act, which makes it a criminal offence to fail to use someone’s self-identifying pronoun. In Finland, a former government minister, Paivi Rasanen, has been charged with hate speech for quoting the Bible. Legislation to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’ is taking place across the world, which will limit the faithful ministry of the Christian church. In some Australian states there is the threat of imprisonment for offering Christian prayer or counselling for those experiencing same-sex attraction, and even secular doctors fear legal reprisals for acting in, what they consider to be, the best interests of their patients.13
Thinking further about the patient’s own needs, there is now an increasing number of people who bitterly regret taking irreversible medication, or undergoing surgery for the purpose of transitioning, whether as children or adults.14 The sad irony here is that while authorities and pressure groups seek to ban ‘conversion therapy’ in terms of loving prayer or counselling, they are pushing transition surgery for children, which does real lasting harm.
Frank Furedi comments further that the “ethos of transgenderism represents a fundamental attack on the freedom of expression”, and that it actually undermines the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.15 This Declaration recognised that “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion” (Article 18).
The very basis for such secular campaigns is claimed to be human rights but, in reality, it is what might be termed Hume’an rights. This stems from the basis for morality proposed by Enlightenment philosopher David Hume (1711–1776), who believed that the subjective sentiment of sympathy provides the foundation for ethical conduct; a sentiment which comes from passions, and not from reason. “Here is a matter of fact; but ‘tis the object of feeling, not of reason. It lies in yourself, not in the object.”16 It’s clear that Hume did not believe that morality was established objectively from Scripture. Therefore, the modern, secular view is utilitarian. In other words, what is right or wrong is determined in terms of the perceived costs-versus-benefits of following one’s passions; what makes the most people happy or content is deemed right.
This is in opposition to the deontological approach to ethics (from déon δέον meaning ‘duty’), where ethical standards accord with God’s Word and the created order, leading to human rights and human duties. We wonder how the courts, in rejecting this objective biblical basis for ethics, can hope to make sound judgements. On the basis of such subjectivity, is it really surprising that we are witnessing growing confusion in sexual ethics?
Liberal Christians seek to ban Christian counselling and prayers
In the UK some liberal Christians, who claim to be evangelical, are seeking to re-write laws on equality. They want to restrict how other Christians are allowed to pray and counsel in relation to LGBT+ issues. Jayne Ozanne, through the Ozanne Foundation, has recently produced the Cooper Report,17 with support and input from several leading lawyers; she advocates for LGBT+ rights. The report calls for a ban on conversion therapies or practices. Ozanne aims to use criminal and civil law to force compliance, even against religious conscience and personal freedom. Those pushing for such laws often invoke images of electric shock therapy to appeal to emotions. However, in response, we note that although such therapies have been used by the medical profession (psychiatrists) in the past, they are not relevant to Christian prayers and counselling.18
The Ozanne Foundation’s report includes the wish to end “being prayed over as a form of ‘healing’” on the basis that it is harmful. This proposed law would ban such prayers, even when it is the express desire of the ones wishing to receive such prayer and counselling. Of course, Christian believers are called to love and respect everyone, including those who identify as gay or transgender. Christian counselling through prayer must be done in the context of Christian love and freedom, not coercion or manipulation.
The report argues that those struggling with LGBT+ issues have no volitional capacity to make such a choice, thus potentially denying a vulnerable person’s ability and freedom to seek help in a way which they consider beneficial. However, inconsistently, prayers affirming a gay lifestyle are encouraged in the report. Indeed, advocates of LGBT+ rights hold that gay affirmative psychotherapy can be beneficial to help a person to accept their ‘gayness’.19 There is a double standard here, which is borne out of ideology, not reason or evidence. In fact, we would point out that the B in LGBT+ is for bisexual; at least some people identifying in this way may be mentally divided over whether to pursue a heterosexual or homosexual relationship. At what point can a person confused in such a way seek help through counselling to make a choice? The report lacks objectivity. Must such a person only be directed towards affirming homosexual relationships?
This report also exploits people’s fear of the law to obtain the compliance of Christian believers against their own conscience and sound judgment. This is a form of psychological pressure or abuse against the deeply ingrained religious conscience, which amounts to the persecution of Christians. Effectively, the law is being weaponised against traditional Christian believers. Liberal Christians such as those in Ozanne Foundation would happily see other Christians fined or jailed over matters of religious conscience. The end result is that the rights of religious believers to practice their faith according to conscience are being seriously threatened. And this is being done in the name of Christianity and human rights.
In the UK, religion is officially stated as a protected characteristic according to the Equality Act 2010, but this is being undermined by the courts, with hate crime legislation being used to restrict basic freedoms. We are witnessing the rise of ‘liberal’ authoritarianism (which is really cultural imperialism) even by people who wish to be identified as Christians. Ironically, while there is advocacy for liberalism in sexual ethics, there is extreme illiberalism directed towards those traditional believers who wish to practice their faith freely.20
Is LGBT+ orientation fixed?
The proponents of LGBT+ rights assert that some people are born gay, or with a ‘gender’ that does not align with their sex. Thus, they aim to make ‘gender’ and sexual orientation intrinsic characteristics of who people are, and so deserving of protection under human rights law. But what evidence is there for this? The argument boils down to nature versus nurture.
Some philosophers have argued that the human mind is a blank slate, a tabula rasa, upon which one may choose what is written. This stems from Aristotle, with a more recent proponent being that of John Locke (1632–1704) who wrote:
“Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, void of all characters, without any ideas; how comes it to be finished? Whence comes it by that vast store which the busy and boundless fancy of man has painted on it, with an almost endless variety? Whence has it all the materials of reasons and knowledge? To this I answer in one word, from experience.”21
It is certainly true that the science of neuroplasticity recognises the mind may change with experience. The authors of one recent paper comment: “A growing number of research publications have illustrated the remarkable ability of the brain to reorganize itself in response to various sensory experiences.”22 We also recognise that hormonal imbalances and other causes may influence people to have desires that are not consistent with their physiology, and that there is a spiritual dimension to this as well (which is best outlined in Paul’s letter to the Romans).
There are various factors that have been proposed as causes of same-sex attraction, and Eleanor Whiteway notes that many with this experience choose to live heterosexual lives. Referencing Matthew Parris in The Times, she comments that there is evidence that some homosexuals view their active lifestyle as a conscious choice.23,24 Such choice contradicts the campaign statements of LGBT+ pressure groups, but it coheres with the volitional capacity of human beings, which is part of the divine image inherent to mankind.
What about environmental factors that may lead to same-sex attraction? Poor parenting, child abuse, and socialisation, have all been discussed as possible causes. A dysfunctional relationship with one or both parents was proposed as a cause of same-sex attraction by the psychoanalyst Sandor Rado in the 1940s. This proposal involved a triangular relationship between a cold and distant father, an overbearing mother, and the child, but this theory is largely discredited today.
A pertinent factor seems to be sexual abuse during childhood, whereby inappropriate sexual behaviour from a parent leads to same-sex relationships and activity in adult life. A possible related cause is the fraternal birth order effect (FBO) whereby younger brothers within the family are statistically slightly more likely to be same-sex attracted in adult life.25 Some speculate that same-sex attraction may be related to the development of antibodies in the mother’s blood during pregnancy, and that this has a larger impact upon subsequent male children. Alternatively, it may be related to family dynamics, where a younger boy is forced into a submissive role by an older brother.
While it is hard to prove absolutely such links, it is likely that a ban on so-called ‘conversion therapy’ may prevent victims of dysfunctional relationships or even sexual abuse from seeking and receiving help through Christian prayer and counselling.
Another environmental factor discussed by Whiteway is that of socialisation, but again there is uncertainty. Socialisation may also be social conditioning, whether that comes via peer pressure, other cultural influences, or the media. We may note that the mainstream news outlets, and the film industry, portray same-sex attracted people much more sympathetically than they portray Christians who hold to traditional values. While media defenders often respond that they are only seeking to reflect cultural shifts, cultural changes are being normalised through the use of promotional material involving the sentiment of sympathy. This can be manipulative if, as is often the case, it is not balanced.
There are also various biological factors that might have an impact. These include: a possible ‘gay gene’, and other genetic aspects such as hormonal imbalances. However, the so-called gay gene Xq28 is not actually a gene but a genetic marker, as Whiteway points out, and a number of peer-reviewed papers have failed to replicate the original research that claimed to have found a ‘gay gene’ (published in Science26).
Other biological factors may be related to androgenic hormones (primarily testosterone) that affect sexual development in males and females, but in different ways. The concentration of androgen is normally controlled by the SRY gene, which is on the male Y-chromosome, but female anatomy may develop due to a genetic mutation on the gene. Women with this rare condition, referred to as Swyer Syndrome, will not experience puberty, but there is no clear evidence that it leads to homosexual inclinations, or is relevant to the claims of the transgender pressure groups (see Don Batten’s article on genetic differences and transgender with regard to the SRY gene).
Despite the claims of LGBT+ pressure groups relating to the fixity of sexual desires, evidence shows that LGBT+ orientation or identification can be fluid through life, and changeable due to cultural influences. This is shown through official statistics, and other research.27 The Office of National Statistics has compiled data on the incidence of LGB identification in the UK (not LGBT+), albeit described as experimental surveys. Even so, the annual publications show a consistent pattern, which increases confidence in their accuracy. The data show a growth in such identification in the 5 years from 2015 to 2019, especially amongst the age range 16–24 years. In 2015, 3.3% of people aged 16–24 years identified as LGB; in 2019 that number had grown to 6.6%, a figure that is only 1% for those above 65 years. The percentages are higher in London, but lower in Northern Ireland where there is a stronger religious tradition.28 Similar findings have been observed in the USA; a Gallup poll reveals a similar trend with 7.1% of people now identifying as LGBT across the whole population, double that reported in 2012. For so-called Generation Z (born 1997–2012) the number is 20.8% who identify as LGBT, double the numbers from 2017.29
How are we to interpret this data? The growth in the youngest group over a 5-year period aligns with the ongoing promotion of LGBT+ issues in the mainstream media. Perhaps there is also a desire amongst some young people to experiment as part of a rebellion against traditional authority, such as parental guidance. And yet, as those young people get older, they may realise that the experimentation of youth was just a phase and they return to a heterosexual lifestyle.
This article has provided evidence from various sources that the desire to ban conversion therapy in many Western nations, argued for by liberal Christians and LGBT+ pressure groups alike, is misguided and harmful, if not insidious. Such a ban would harm those it claims to protect. It would also undermine the freedom of Christians to practice faith according to their deeply held scriptural beliefs; trying to bind Christians by such a ban would violate their consciences. In this context the practical outworking of faith is for Christian believers to extend love and care towards people in the LGBT+ community through consensual prayer, counselling, preaching, and teaching. Christians should certainly not experience threats of fines and imprisonment, but need to be treated with dignity and respect. There is clearly a double standard inherent within the proposed ban.
We continue to affirm that mankind is created male and female, but because of the Fall a tiny number of people are unable to consummate marriage. Scripture has always taught that such people are eunuchs, and equally deserving of dignity and respect. Nevertheless, there is a very clear biblical calling for all Christian believers to live lives of holiness towards God, because the human body is created to be a temple of God’s Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Sexual activity, then, is restricted to monogamous marriage, between one man and one woman. Those who are single are called to celibacy, and all Christians need to lovingly include single believers in the Church family.
Of course, none of us as believers attain perfection in this life; at times we fall into sin. The way forward is then through repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation—and Christ has wonderfully made a way for forgiveness through His sacrificial death and resurrection.
Within this Gospel-focussed aspect it is important to make a stand for truth in the face of ideology. One man who dissented against the anti-Christian communist regime in Russia in the 20th century was Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn. In an essay published in 1974 at the time of his arrest, he called for Christians not to submit to the official lies of the state in spite of the threat of imprisonment and violence.30 We can see that the current direction of policy in Western nations is to restrict the freedoms of religious believers, especially Christians. This applies both in terms of what can be said, and even includes Christian prayer and counselling. As society takes ‘pride’ in being increasingly tolerant in matters relating to gender and sexual orientation, there is a real danger of fundamental freedoms being removed.
References and notes
- LGBT+ = lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, etc. Return to text.
- This gets very confusing. There are essentially two sexes, male and female (although due to genetic conditions rarely some are born as eunuchs). Gender relates to the grammar of languages, whereby words maybe masculine, feminine or neuter. But this grammatical terminology has been imported into the discussion by pressure groups and adds to the confusion. People are now said to have a sex and gender. If one’s sex aligns with gender then a person is said to be cis-gender, if it does not align, then transgender. Return to text.
- A eunuch is someone who is unable for physical or psychological reasons to consummate marriage. Return to text.
- It is estimated that several thousand Protestants were killed following the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of 1572 in Paris alone. We recognise that Roman Catholics also suffered persecution at the hands of Protestant states during this time. Return to text.
- The Pilgrim Fathers sailed across the Atlantic in 1620 to escape the struggles over religious freedom in Britain and Europe. In the late 18th century, freedom of worship was ratified in the American Constitution (1788). The First Amendment stated that: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Its purpose was to avoid the establishment of a state church, which enabled freedom of worship in the United States. But more recently it has been re-interpreted so as to remove all religious expression from public life. But even so, it granted religious freedoms. Return to text.
- For example, in the 17th century a Meeting House of Anabaptists was established in a forest at Loughwood, on the border between the counties of Devon and Dorset, in England. It was so located that the congregation could escape to the neighbouring county if discovered. Return to text.
- Whiting, J., Persecution exposed, in some memoirs relating to the sufferings of John Whiting, and many other people called Quakers, 2nd ed. London, James Phillips, pp. 234, 271, 1791. The list included an ancestral relative: “Thomas Sibly, Anne King, Joan Coggan and Hannah Seawood, of Crewkerne, were committed to prison [at Ilchester], for meeting, by William Hellier, of Coker, Justice, the 14th of the 5th month, [July 1684] and discharged at Taunton Assizes by judge Montague [the next moth].” See also; Besse, J., A Collection of the Sufferings of the people called Quakers, Vol. 1., Luke Hinde, London, pp. 638–643, 1753. Return to text.
- The problem is that, as a political philosophy on its own, liberalism is incoherent if taken to extremes. The consistent liberal must give freedom to those who would take away the freedom of others. Over the centuries libertines have campaigned for greater sexual freedom, more recently for rights for homosexuals and transsexuals to live without fear of the law. However, that campaign has moved to a place where it cuts across the rights of religious believers to teach and preach according to their conscience. Return to text.
- Elgot, J. & Stewart, H., Tim Farron quits as Lib Dem leader, theguardian.com, 17 June 2017. Return to text.
- Christian Concern, Doctor’s biblical belief ruled ‘incompatible with human dignity’, christianconcern.com, 2 October 2019. Return to text.
- As reported by Collett, A., Christian GP who was sacked for refusing to call transgender woman ‘she’ takes his case to High Court, premierchristian.news, 13 February 2022. The case is being appealed to the high court in England. Return to text.
- Furedi, F., ACLU’s rewriting of history shows just how dangerous the insidious march of trans ideology has become, rt.com, 29 September 2021. Return to text.
- Smethurst, A., Doctors fear conversion therapy ban will deny treatment to vulnerable patients, theage.com.au, 2 February 2021. Return to text.
- See: Holt, A., NHS gender clinic ‘should have challenged me more’ over transition, bbc.co.uk, March 2020, and Beal, J., Trans surgery ‘a conveyor system with no questions’, thetimes.co.uk, 29 June 2022. Return to text.
- Furedi, F., Ruling that correct pronoun usage is a human right for trans people makes a mockery of freedom of expression, rt.com, 7 October 2021. Return to text.
- Hume, D., A Treatise of Human Nature, (Ed, Selby–Bigge, LA.), Book III, Of Morals, Part I, Section I, Clarendon Press, Oxford, p. 469, 1888. (See also Section II, p. 470, “Morality, therefore, is more properly felt than judg'd of; …”). Return to text.
- Commissioned by The Ozanne Foundation, ozanne.foundation/cooper_report, October 2021. Return to text.
- Although we note that such practices as Electroconvulsive therapy are used for severe depression by the medical profession. Why is there no campaign to ban these potentially harmful treatments for depression? Rudorfer, M.V., Henry, M.E. & Sackeim, H.A., “Electroconvulsive therapy”, in: Tasman, A., Kay, J., Lieberman, J.A. (Eds) Psychiatry, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, pp. 1865–1901, 2003. Return to text.
- See for example: American Psychological Association, Practice Guidelines for LGB Clients, apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/guidelines, 18 February 2011. Return to text.
- O’Neill, B., The Thought Police are here, spiked–online.com, 1 February 2022. Return to text.
- Locke, J., An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Philadelphia, Kay and Troutman publ., 1847, Book 2, Chap. 1, Section 2: All ideas come from sensation or reflection. On the other hand, Plato believed that the mind of each person pre-existed in spiritual form, thus carrying with it a pre-existing imprint. Return to text.
- Voss, P., et al. Dynamic brains and the changing rules of neuroplasticity: Implications for learning and recovery, Front. Psychol., 4 October 2017 | doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01657. Return to text.
- Whiteway, W., Scientific insights into the causes of same-sex attraction, Faith and Thought 58:4–18, April 2015. Return to text.
- Parris, M., Who’s totally gay? There’s no straight answer, The Times, 21 April 2013; https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/whos-totally-gay-theres-no-straight-answer-9dj0wc5qdqd. Return to text.
- Bogaert, A.F. & Skorska, M., Sexual orientation, fraternal birth order, and the maternal immune hypothesis: A review, Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology 32(2):247–254, 2011. Return to text.
- Hamer, D.H., Hu, S., et al. A linkage between DNA markers on the X-chromosome and male sexual orientation, Science 261(5119):321–327, 1993. Return to text.
- For example: Bailey, J.M., Vasey, P., Diamond, L., Breedlove, S.M., Vilain, E. & Epprecht, M., Sexual orientation, controversy, and science, Psychological Science in the Public Interest 17(2):45–101, 2016 | doi:10.1177/1529100616637616. Return to text.
- Office for National Statistics, Sexual identity, UK: 2015, ons.gov.uk, 5 October 2016. Also: ONS, Sexual orientation, UK: 2019, ons.gov.uk, 27 May 2021; ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/culturalidentity/sexuality/bulletins/sexualidentityuk/2019. Return to text.
- Jones, J.M., LGBT identification in U.S. ticks up to 7.1%, news.gallup.com, 17 February 2022. Return to text.
- Solzhenitsyn, A., Live not by Lies (translated by Solzhenitsyn Y.), The Aleksandr, Solzhenitsyn Center, solzhenitsyncenter.org/live-not-by-lies, 12 February 1974. ““For violence has nothing to cover itself with but lies, and lies can only persist through violence. … It demands of us only a submission to lies, a daily participation in deceit—and this suffices as our fealty. And therein we find, neglected by us, the simplest, the most accessible key to our liberation: a personal nonparticipation in lies! Even if all is covered by lies, even if all is under their rule, let us resist in the smallest way: Let their rule hold not through me!”(Emphasis in original). Return to text.