The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, who identifies as a Catholic (as they say in the transgender movement), has told pro-life groups that they are “not in line with society”.

Surely not being a social conformist is something to be proud of? Surely thinking for yourself, and following what you believe to be right, is rather more admirable – and more radical, too – than “being in line with society”?

How many great reformers throughout the ages have “not been in line with society”? Almost every decent social change we enjoy today was pioneered by people who were “not in line with society”.

Campaigners against racism and slavery were “not in line with society”, when established thinking reprimanded them for interfering with trade, business and social order. Florence Nightingale had to battle her way against apathy and narrow attitudes to effect change in the nursing profession.

The Suffragettes were so out of line with what society thought proper that they were subjected to horrible force-feeding by wardens brought in from Victorian mental hospitals – even King George V, at the apex of society, deplored it.

The good and the great of society once thought that eugenics were wonderfully progressive: the notion that the feeble should be exterminated was widely embraced, from Winston Churchill to George Bernard Shaw. The Catholic Church and a few radicals on the Left were alone in resisting the idea.

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