Monday, January 25, 2016

Established religion, again...

Sometimes you read something that shatters any illusion the UK, for all it's apparent Liberalism, is a fair and democratic society. We most certainly aren't and the fight to become one goes on. Today we learn that the forces of organised/established religion have struck yet again on the issue of faith schools. Any fair minded person would have concluded that upcoming changes to the DfE rules on the conduct of faith schools around things like admissions should be about ensuring that (publicly funded) faith schools follow the rules and don't break the law (as they have been doing), especially given the number of horrendous revelations recently about sub-standard Islamic and Jewish establishments. But if that's obvious to you too, then you'd be barking up the wrong tree with this Government. 

The latest suggested amendments seem to be all about ensuring that organisations intent on exposing law breaking and representing disadvantaged parents (religious or otherwise) are no longer permitted to object to the actions of particular schools. The new proposals only allow parents (i.e. individuals) to submit objections pertaining to policies of schools in their locality, and not schools outside of that. This effectively rules out objections made by national organisations either generally or on behalf of parents with "local" issues. The report singles out the National Humanist Association specifically, accusing them of being "vexatious" in their attempts to whistle-blow faith schools not following the rules. Last year that organisation (I'm not a member BTW, but will be joining now) published a report entitled "An Unholy Mess, how virtually all religiously selective state schools in England are breaking the law", which must have certainly vexed the established religious clique; being caught breaking the law is always "vexing" for the criminals concerned, perhaps the Government should consider abolishing all defence lawyers so that we can "unclog" the legal system too? 

This attitude is somewhat unsurprising, the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan (a Christian) says that schools "must teach pupils that Britain is a Christian country" (false!) and that they are entitled to prioritise views of established religion over other beliefs. This sounds to me like Ms Morgan is in favour of preferential treatment for wishes of Christian parents over everyone else, perhaps even indoctrination? Why else would the views of over 40-50% of the population (i.e. non-religious) be specifically called out by her as something to be suppressed? You'd think that being in receipt of such apparently "good news" Christians would  be content to get on with their lives, but no, apparently they won't be happy until everyone else believes their delusion too, and they're going to be "vexatious" in their quest to facilitate the brainwashing of children with the religion of their parents (or someone else's parents so long as they are Christian) and otherwise discriminate against the children of parents who wish their children to think for themselves in a pluralistic, tolerant and free society.

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