What a breath-taking cop-out – she is a lesbian blatantly toeing her party’s line on sectarian religious schools at tax-payers’ expense and chickening out of facing up to the homophobia these places encourage. Appalling.
You can find more like her – in the crazy house. Gays arent’ immune
Time to cut off every last penny to these indoctinator of hate factories
I have to agree. I might think more if she was to fight to appeal Labours Amendment 70 and force All school to teach Equality and respect.
What is amendment 70?
Have a look here, Father Dermot:
Why should all schools be forced to teach that homosexuality is innate and okay, at the expense of taxpayers who think otherwise? There is much evidence that it is not innate, and even Peter Tatchell admits this to be the case…
There is no evidence that it is not innate.
You keep bleating on about Peter Tatchell but for what point. Is his opinion the only one or just the only one you seem to feel free to use against the rest of us. It’s pathetic and show you up for the stupidity you only clearly have Keith.
You clearly would prefer children to kill themselves that be told who they are is just as nature as anybody else. What is it? Children’s blood what gives you power of some kind, is it?
I suppose that not talking about “it” – i.e. your sexual orientation, so awful that you have to gloss over – provides the means to support homophobia without appearing to be a hypocrite.
‘It’ was her religion, not her sexuality.
Be interesting to hear the original interview as there is room for interpretation of what “it” is in either direction … The entire transcript or audio may make it clear …
Faith Schools should NOT be allowed.
Aren’t we meant to protect children?
Indeed and educate then for a bright future not a damaging and bigotted one.
She already supports the Tory party – is it any wonder that she supports other homophobic organisations?
I too support faith schools.
(So long as not a single penny of my taxes is used to fund them, while at the same time making them fully subject to equality laws.)
Aren’t we trying to push for a separation of church and state?
Just wish it would hurry up and separate already!!
Needs legislation, neither side can do it unilaterally
I debate that to be honest.
How do we deal the the Supreme governer of the Church of England if not by legislation?
They should just follow the law of the land by the state like the rest of us law abiding citizens.
Church and church-goers should pay for themselves if they which to partake of their choosen religious clubs.
Taxpayers should not have to fund them. End of. Follow the law or suffer the same consequences as the rest of us.
@Jock S Trap
I agree with everything you say in that comment. However, to separate church and state will still require legislation due to the legal structures that are currently in place eg that the Queen is supreme governor, bishops in the Lords, the protected status of faith schools etc etc
not very likely though…and you know why…sigh
I think it still a long way off – unfortunately … but I think the time will come when it will happen
Wouldn’t the CofE then just be bought up by American fundies?
Yes, like in Africa and Asia
Surely this is a form of Stockholm syndrome?
Insane people should be prohibited from standing for public office
They are, but they still get through.
Just what we need, another freaking faith school. Don’t be surprised if she opposes marriage equality.
Filling young people’s heads with religious beliefs is a form of abuse. Why should any child have religion imposed on them in their formative years. After all, it isn’t innate, all learned behaviour, unlike our orientation which is immutable.
It should maybe be treated like alcohol and smoking.
In other news, turkey says “I’m all in favour of Christmas, in fact I might just pop out to Asda and get the stuffing now before the rush sets in”
I sent my children to a faith school because I felt a Christian ethos would be conducive to their development. So yes, I support more faith schools and the indications are they often perform better than non faith schools.
The issue, JohnB, is identifying cause and effect. Do they perform well because of what they do in class or because ambitious middle-class parents get their motivated kids into them?
I think it is a bit of both Steve although I suspect having a Christian ethos is a factor in ensuring the school performs well.
What’s the difference between a Christian ethos and a Marduk ethos and a Thor ethos and an Isis ethos ??
They are all myths, and they are the last thing we need to pass on to our children in view of so much hard evidence that the human species is threatened by extinction, i.e. global warming.
Also, with religion’s tract record of creating violence, I would take my chances with the human values found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and with our justice system in the here and now.
Jonpol . . . exactly
There are all myths nothing more nothing less so to speak!
Many people may disagree with you.
Not everyone believes that a christian ethos is beneficial to children.
Faith schools absolutely should be encouraged, so long as they are self funding (and not taking public money.)
And of course if they breach equality laws (by engaging in bible-sanctioned support of racism, sexism and homophobia) they should be shut down.
David, isn’t it a good thing that people can disagree? As for whether a christian ethos is beneficial, I subscribe to the adage in the Bible that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” so emphaticaly I have to say it is beneficial.
While I am keen for my children to be exposed to other ideologies, I remain convinced that teaching the “right way” has to be beneficial. As a parent and a tax payer, I think taxes should be used to help fund faith schools if that is what parents want. I do not believe the bible interpreted rightly does support racism, sexism or homophobia.
That’s crap, the bible quite clearly does support slavery and sexism that can’t even be argued it goes into the details of how to sell your slave hell it even say’s you can beat your slave aslong as they don’t die in the next 3 day’s. How can that be interpreted any differently
What on earth are you on about, you stupid twit?
” I do not believe the bible interpreted rightly does support racism, sexism or homophobia.”
Homophobia is also believing that same sex sexual expressions of love are morally wrong.
So if you did not get these beliefs from the bible JohnB, I am curious where you did get them from – so to speak.
JohnK: like many terms with emotive connotations, people attach the meaning that suits them. My understanding of the definition of homophobia is that it is the fear of and hatred toward those who engage in homosexual practices. I can categorically say that I don’t fear and I don’t hate anyone because they are gay and (I hope) anyone period!
As for the Bible’s teaching, I believe it does on balance state that homosexual practices are wrong. But even if, as some PN contributors have argued, it does not clearly do so, the only context for a sexual, intimate relationship that I find that endorsed in the Bible is that of marriage between a man and a woman. I cannot see how believing this makes me homophobic?
I try to adopt the general rule to do and uphold what is right and because I believe in the teaching of the Bible, that has to my starting point. If you or anyone can show me attitudes that are unbiblical or unchristian, I hope I will have the humility to change my ways.
The whole point is that your attitudes are biblical and christian, and that you have attached to those words a meaning that suits you, a meaning that is untestable as you well know.
If you are afraid to grasp the entire spectrum of biblical punishments because of personal or social costs to you and your family, why don’t you just say so?
Also, if you have any evidence that any of it is true, now would be an appropriate time to share it with us.
“I sent my children to a faith school because I felt a Christian ethos would be conducive to their development.”
Come on JohnB this is only a partial truth !!!
You sent your children to a faith based school becasue you are Plymouth Breathren minister, and you want your children indoctrinated from an early age into your branch of “Evangelical Fundamentalist Christianity”.
I wish circumstances would enable you to meet my family JohnK and you will see that is not the case. Like most parents I try to teach right from wrong but I go out of my way to encourage looking at other viewpoints (gay folk and people of different religions and none have opportunity to engage with my children). We can only do the best we can for our children but they must decide what they believe etc. and we should love unconditionally.
JohnB . . .
Any school biased towards “Evangelical Fundamentalist Christianity” cannot really engage with the rational, the empirical or the logical tradition of science and philosophy, these systems threaten the very existence of the narrow onto-epistemological view point these schools have chosen as their ethos.
Ignoring the major part of a book supposedly written by God seems to be the only way a religious person can “really engage with the rational, the empirical or the logical tradition of science and philosophy”.
Also, what’s the difference between indoctrinating a child with religion and teaching him that aliens have implanted a receiver in his skull and are manipulating his thoughts?
JohnK: I believe in this case you can have your cake and eat it. “Evangelical Fundamentalist Christianity” as you choose to describe my beliefs can and does “engage with the rational, the empirical or the logical tradition of science and philosophy” as has repeatedly been demonstrated.
““Evangelical Fundamentalist Christianity” as you choose to describe my beliefs can and does “engage with the rational, the empirical or the logical tradition of science and philosophy” as has repeatedly been demonstrated.”
Engaging is one thing, but denigating scientific progress is not quite the same as a postive engagment with the rational, the empirical and the logic of science or philosophy.
What children need to know about religions is that they are based on untestable propositions, and that the only thing they have in common is that they cannot tolerate each other.
Children can learn shared human values without reference to the myths religion.
** the myths of religion.
Schools that are granted permission to tell a child they are wrong and going to hell if they are Gay is NOT educating them it is damaging them.
Cut faith schools, ban them and teach properly so they can have the best life ahead. That is what teacher are supposed to do.
JohnB . . . I understand that you have been apart of the Plymouth Breathren for many years. The Plymouth Breathren is a Cult, and you can get help to leave it. I have posted a link to help below.
If faith schools want to receive public funding then quite clearly they should also be prevented from discriminating against potential students.
Catholic schools have a reputation for gaining good results. Protestant, muslim and atheist students should be just as entitled to attend a catholic school as catholic students (without having catholic dogma taught to them.)
No-one could argue with this if said catholic school was publicly funded.
I think what is taught in schools should be up to the parents and not the state. If parents who send their children to faith schools wish for that faith to be taught then so be it. The world is full of examples of people not sharing the faith sending their children to faith schools because of the standard of education offered.
Finally, consider this – there is no such thing as a value neutral school and the issue is what are the values that should underly the ethos of a school. I would much rather as a parent send my child to a school that share my values than rely on the state or whoever to impose what values are to prevail.
“I think what is taught in schools should be up to the parents and not the state.”
Perhaps the subtext here is that you do not want your children taught that homosexuality is not a sin?
JohnK: I teach my children to try to understand and respect different view points. One day they will have to make their own minds and I hope I will continue to love and support them whatever they decide. However, I also believe one is duty bound to teach what is right. While that is more an issue for parents in the home, it is not something schools can avoid. While I may not always agree, I have yet to come across a value-less school.
Since you press on the issue of homosexuality, I would want my children to respect all people (hetero and homosexual). I do not believe it is sinful to be homosexual. I do, however, believe that same sex sexual relations (or any sexual relation outside marriage) are not endorsed by the Bible and would like that as a minimum to be taught in my ideal faith school.
“believe that same sex sexual relations (or any sexual relation outside marriage) are not endorsed by the Bible and would like that as a minimum to be taught in my ideal faith school.” So you love the sinner just hate the sin well we’ve all heard that before.
“Since you press on the issue of homosexuality, I would want my children to respect all people (hetero and homosexual). I do not believe it is sinful to be homosexual. I do, however, believe that same sex sexual relations (or any sexual relation outside marriage) are not endorsed by the Bible and would like that as a minimum to be taught in my ideal faith school.”
I love your “astonishing” contradiction
The reality is that your views are increasingly marginal in 21st century secular UK.
You do not have analienable right to promote the view that same sex relationships are morally wrong.
When are you going to look at your homophobia?
Sexual relations are legal after a certain age.
That is what children need to know….and it should have nothing to do with shame or guilt.
Shame they aren’t allow to make up their own minds on religion. No instead you are forcing your religious agenda on your children. In my eyes thats nothing more than mental child abuse.
Well so long as basic standards are met in subjects such as English, maths, science, 1 (or more) foreign languages… only then should a parents views come into determining what is taught in school.
However just because you want your child taught in a certain way allow you to determine what another child is taught.
If a catholic (or c of E, or whatever) school wishes to receive state funding then they cannot preach their specific values to those who don’t want to hear them.
If you want to determine what your child learns, then you could teach them at home.
What is a state? Is a state devoid of those who make up its societies and communities? If so, then the state stinks – it sounds more like sovietism.
It seems to me that your worship of state (as you believe it to be – i.e. some infallible secular bureaucracy) borders on arrogant insanity.
Catholics (or others faiths) make up the state as much as anyone else. Their schools are partly funded by the state (of which they are members) and the church, which is why they can provide better education. The schools – known for their high standards and better ethos and morality – are hugely over-subscribed for a reason. In that sense, these faith schools are providing a service to the state – providing better (and cheaper) education. Also, contrary to your prejudice, catholic schools are open to others – non-believers or whatever – and do not exist to “indoctrinate” their students. In fact, there’s far more “indoctrination” (of the socialist or so-called liberal) variety in secular state schools
The worship of “Sky Pixies” is rational?
When will you be sacrificing a goat for all us sinners?
Who said anything about worshiping the state?
Well fair enough.
So long as faith schools do not preach their absurd, superstitious, bigotted nonsense to their pupils, then I have no issue with them.
Sadly as can be seen throughout history, religious belief is intrinsically bigotted and undemocratic.
Therefore these faith schools need to be strictly monitored to prevent them supporting slavery, racism, wife-beating etc. These disgusting behaviours are sanctioned by the bible, so clearly these faith schools must not be allowed to preach this evil.
Forcing a faith on a child to satisfy the religious agenda is tantamount to child abuse. They should be allowed to make up their own mind when they feel old enough to do so. No adult has the right to force religion on a child.
Faith schools should be made illegal. They are hotbeds of all sorts of bigotry and misinformation.
Like you then.
Maybe we should make you illegal.
Why are these so-called tolerant ones so authoritarian and legalistic? Maybe you should invest in a mirror and take a long look at yourself… Or try opening your mind a little, so that you actually know something about the subject you’ve set yourself up as the judge of.
O dear Mike
Your Tower appears to be crumbling
Perhaps it was the “Tower of Babble” after all!!!!
Ruth Davidson’s tower is about to take a fall too.
People choices of religious agendas should Never top how others are born and their agendas should never be force onto children.
I do not know if anyone here has adopted or natural birth children. I have an adopted son. The quality of their education and their choice of friends is always a pressing concern. The choice for us is either to choose a fee-paying school or a state-funded faith school. As it happened, we send our son to a fee-paying school but not everyone can afford what amounts to over £15,000 per year.
I can well understand why the stricter ethos of faith schools produces better education even though I am against religious education. I can also understand why other gay couples in England who have adopted also have chosen to educate their children in faith schools.
I sympathise with your dilemma. As you say, you are in a position to pay for a decent education but others are not and they face tough decisions. My now 13yo goes to a v.good non religious state school (it happens to be grammar and that is another issue). If he hadn’t gone there and the alternatives were found wanting, we would have seriously considered home schooling him.
The bottom line is every child deserves a decent education and imo parents should have a major say in the type of education they receive. While you won’t share my views on the part religion plays, I do feel in my ideal faith school that children should be taught to understand and respect people with different views and children who are gay or have gay parents should be accepted and valued as anyone else.
“I do feel in my ideal faith school that children should be taught to understand and respect people with different views and children who are gay or have gay parents should be accepted and valued as anyone else.”
You cannot have your cake and eat it.
Moreover, you cannot teach that homosexuality is a sin, and then claim you uphold and equal opportunites policy!!!
“Moreover, you cannot teach that homosexuality is a sin, and then claim you uphold and equal opportunites policy!!!”
Yes you can!
I believe that adulterers are sinners, but don’t believe they should be persecuted for their sin or lose their job over it. I also believe that murder is a sin, but believe that murderers should be treated equally – as in they receive the same sentence!
But, joking aside, the Church teaches that every single person is a sinner, and that no-one should be discriminated against. So, homosexual acts are just one type of sin amongst many others. The difference between homosexual sins and others is that we (in the West) are now being told that buggery or same-sex sex isn’t a sin; though – bizarrely – not many other types of sinner are seeking acceptance in the same way. Never heard of “adulterers Pride” or “thieves Pride” days. Btw, “pride” is the sin of sins!
The Church teaches untestable propositions, doesn’t it?
So Mike . . . which branch of “Evangelical fundamentalist Christinaity do you belong to then?
There is something wrong is calling people ‘sinners’ just because of they happen to fall in love with the same sex.
It’s very sad and ironic how blind you truely are to lifes great adventures just so you can separate, single out and finger point to anything you don’t want to accept.
I accept life and get on with it, it’s such a shame you only spend you entire life questioning it but then isn’t that really your problem? Jealousy of know other can get on with it.
I think you have put it well!
I wonder which of us will get the most number of thumbs down :-)
I understand (I think) why the adverse reaction and however we try to make our point that is always poing to be a possibility.
In my experience sinners don’t like being told they are sinners. The fact is we are all sinners and who is to say which sin is worse than another when compared to the standards of a holy God?
The good news is God forgives sinners who repent!
We have gone a long way from discussing the value of faith schools though :-)
“In my experience sinners don’t like being told they are sinners. The fact is we are all sinners and who is to say which sin is worse than another when compared to the standards of a holy God?”
In my experience there is no difference between this statement, and the lunatic fringe who parade oxford street with placards calling for sinners to repent.
“I believe that adulterers are sinners, but don’t believe they should be persecuted for their sin or lose their job over it. I also believe that murder is a sin, but believe that murderers should be treated equally – as in they receive the same sentence!”
I wonder if the moderation we see among fundamentalists like you is really a sign that faith has evolved rather than an indication that certain tenets of faith have been beaten out of shape by modernity.
Believers are overwhelmed these days by the simple utility of ignoring (or “re-interpreting”) certain articles of faith, i.e. equating disease processes with sin or demonic possession, stoning an adulteress, and you know the rest as well as I do.
And to top it off, the faithful are strictly told somewhere in Deuteronomy (13:1) not to add of take from the word of God.
So let’s face it, you don’t like the personal and social costs that a full embrace of scripture imposes on you.
> You cannot have your cake and eat it.
Moreover, you cannot teach that homosexuality is a sin, and then claim you uphold and equal opportunites policy!!!
My experience of having adopted a child is that fine theories can be thrown out the window. You do whatever works in any given situation and whatever the contradictions.
This is a rather obtuse retort, and an avoidance of the issue I raisied !!!
Childrearing styles is a separate issue
I do understand that faith issues in terms of leadership of a school may be secondary to some parents when considering quality of education etc.
I know that in many areas, the level of education of some faith based schools is significantly higher than many alternative schools nearby.
If accepted in a faith based school, it is possible to elect not to participate in worship or religious elements.
I think there is wisdom in what you say …
… life is full of contradictions and maybe we would all be best advised to make the the best we can of it otherwise we will just burn ourselves out.
Ironically, given my beliefs, in my line of work, upholding equal opps policies is a real issue and one I generally support. When looking at age, gender, religion, race, disability and sexual orientation (and I would also add carers and social disadvantage) we need to work to try to ensure equal opps (and non discrimination) for all (and I do try). While some may disagree, I do not believe my religious beliefs are a hinderence in my seeking to achieve this.
“Ironically, given my beliefs, in my line of work, upholding equal opps policies is a real issue and one I generally support.”
Believing you have a right to promote the view that same sex sexual expressions of love are morally wrong, is not in the spirit of upholding an equality of opportunities policy.
JohnK: In my work, I try not to promote my views on sexuality and more often than not the issue doesn’t arise. As a private citizen, I have as much as anyone else to say what I believe to be right or not, and even then I try to do so only when it is appropriate or I am pressed on the matter. While I can see why you think my views can be a barrier to gay folk getting equal opportunities, I do not believe that has happened. I don’t need to blow my own trumpet but actually the opposite has sometimes occured.
JohnB . . . I understand that you think you are doing no harm to others, but what about the harm you are doing to your self?
The Plymouth Breathren (religous organsiation) you belong to is a well known cult. However, you can get help to leave this.
JohnK: Thank you for your concern. This article has many inaccuracies. The first line shows the writer is considering only a small section of PBism, and one no PB member I know would identify with. Also, I consider it far more important to be a Christian and a member of THE CHURCH than a PB member and a member of a church.
I wrote a piece to try to begin answering the question: “who are the brethren?” I did a Google search and it is there still: http://issuu.com/peebs.net/docs/who-are-the-brethren-barber-2001.
Btw, in attempting honest debate I need to make an admission – I do on reflection see possible conflicts arising between believing homosexual practices to be sinful and denying equal opportunities. We can both think of several examples where conflict has occurred. Obviously, as a Christian, I can’t endorse something I do not believe is right and yet I would try hard to give the same opportunity etc. to gay folk as I would to the rest of US sinners.
I have a ‘natural birth’ son via the donation route to a best friend after she asked and we dicussed.
My partner and I mostly brought him up and I refused to let him be taught religion in school, choosing to have material on all faiths that he could look at when he was at an age to decide for himself. It was totally his choice nobody elses. Not mine, not my partner, not his mother or her partners nor the school. His and his alone. He did lots of research, read the appropiate religious texts and finally chose to stay away. Unfortunately he has seen religion at it’s worse on the four years of homophobia I personally suffered which eventually forced me out of my home and place of birth. All this did was prompt him to study to be a human rights lawyer which is why he now is at Uni, all thanks to religion.
All children should have the choice. No religion should Ever be forced
In a bizarre, twisted way, thats something to be thankful for … that he diligently studies and seeks to work with passion in the human rights arena …
Thank you. I am Very proud.
State funded faith schools should not be allowed to determine who should be accepted as a student in terms of their religion (or lack thereof.)
Any teacher or faith school absolutely must abide by equality laws.
We’re all agreed on that right?
David: I agree but with a minor qualification.
I would like to see faith schools take in pupils of all backgrounds and religions providing it is understood that school discipline needs to be followed and school values respected. I have noted that some faith schools, e.g. the RC ones in my area, when taking out of catchment area pupils, give preference to parents who attend RC or other Christian churches. I believe they do this in order to help maintain the school ethos. I think given this rationale this is understandable.
I think all schools should abide by all laws unless they contravene God’s law. (If you lived in German in the 1930′s would you have discriminated against Jews for example?)
“I think all schools should abide by all laws unless they contravene God’s law”
In 21st century UK, it is English law which we abide by, and this does not deem homosexuality as a sin.
Children need to know that they can be good persons without god.
Who is to define ‘God’s law? And what is the justification for belief in the ‘laws’ of a being whose existence cannot be proved as a basis for disobeying the law of the State?
Maybe the belief in God (read Zeus, Appolo, Marduk, Odin, etc.) and the justification for belief in the superiority of so-called divine laws can be understood in the light of the promise of eternal life.
For example, Muslims who, following the laws of Allah (read Zeus, etc.), commit atrocities are explicit about their desire to get to paradise, i.e. suicide bombers.
That would imply that without death, there would be no faith-based religions, and that faith itself is basically a hope of a better life beyond the grave.
Death: the fount of illusions.
The entire thing would be so much more simple if the author of the scriptures (God, Zeus, Ram, etc.) had written as well as Shakespeare or Thomas Paine.
Politics North of the Border different.remember cardinal O’Brien and the bishop of Paisley’s recent antigay rants? O’Brien stated that the SNP Govt couldn’t rely on the 800,000(as much as that ?)strong catholic votes if they pushed for gay marriage It’s a win-win for the R.C hierarchy and the Tories if they urge their flock to stick it to the Nats by voting Tory at the next election -”how can we be homophobic they’ve got a lesbian in charge ?” Tories gain seats Govt loses majority , gay marriage dropped,:- communion wine and biccies all round
What a coward!!!
I went to a catholic secondary school and it wasn’t like you might think.
We were never taught gay is wrong that I recall and whilst I endured some bullying (homophobic and otherwise) they did as much about it as any other bullying.
We also had proper sex education from people outside of the school, including condom use etc. and they categorically said there was nothing wrong with being gay and that it’s very common and natural. The quality was there though could have done with more quantity. Many states schools in the area didn’t get this at all.
Also, the headteacher’s son (a year younger than me) is openly gay and she still supports/loves him.
The head of RE all but admitted she was gay as well. And the headteacher and head of RE are two roles where you can only get the job if you’re a practising catholic.
I’m an atheist now and see catholicism as deeply flawed but that school was alright really. I hope the same is true of other religious schools. Guess it all just depends.
Life is full of incongruities, ain’t it?
It’s not these schools that are the worry, but the new US fundie-funded academies, that are really very political.
Isn’t this a moot point anyway? Like the Scottish Conservatives are going to get any power!
Quisling is what she would be called in the olden days
mmmm…as in collaborating with the enemy … :P
A gay person ready to call another gay person a Nzai. Depressing.
I didn’t take it that way… she seems to be betraying the LGBT community, that’s all.
Nobody used the word nzai.
Quisling is perfectly acceptable in English, de Villiers, and is used independently of its WWII context.
Oh dear! I am so OVER conservative ‘queens’! Doubt whether there will be many votes for Ms Davidson, considering the current voting habits of the Scottish people. Such individuals have been culled from my life years ago! Gays who hang around the ‘Church’ are masochists!
Is this person insane or what ,You had better listen well, you do not have a right to be bothering thos e children in schools with any type of religion , they are in school to learn academics, and extra curriculumas of fun electives, their are million different religions in the hetero sectors and most of them are terrorist hate groups, sex pedehilles, associates, like these we are looking at everyday in the news, and causing trouble for parents the community and the kids, religions is a parental choice anyway and you dont have the right to teach other peoples children your eleted man made occultism when all you do is fight as so called religions over which is right and better , none of them is better , except for the gay churches, that do not harm children nor the adults, get it, you had better be putting in place more gay and hetero alliances against racism and bullying and defamation and descrimination and harrassment, and gay mentors and counselors in the falculty or be sued
God Bless her, it is always good to see a gay Christian who wants help from the church to be more involved in teaching children. It seems as if the LGBT community is raising up to become the leaders in religious reforms in many area like education and adoption etc., after all somebody needs to fill these jobs that some churches are no longer doing as a result of their discrimination of LGBT people, so the LGBT people can take over these jobs and do them just as well, if not better. The bottom line is anything to educate the children is a good thing if they are in fact being taught how to be better people who love and help all people.
Some people will sink to any level to garner votes. She’s a disgrace to all three wheeled trikes.
The fact she is going for the leadership is great but on faith schools she is wrong.
Faith schools are divisive and promote abusive behaviour. How is this productive to youngsters who need support and education?
Personally I favour a complete ban on religion is schools as I feel it has no place to vunerable children. Material should be available on all religions but the choice should only be up to the child but only once they are old enough to choose for themselves.
I would have to disagree (what a surprise). I went to a CoE primary school where we had an assembly given by the local vicar once a week and sang a hymn in every assembly, and even by the time we left at 10 years old most of my classmates were making up their own minds quite happily and, on one notable occasion, eating the printed list of Christmas services we were given rather than considering it. Most of them have grown up atheist or agnostic.
Children, in my experience, ignore most of what they’re told by their teachers anyway. It’s what they’re told at home that really does the damage.
Children are usually forced into religion either via schools or mostly via guilt trips via the parents.
There are examples of that, there are also examples of children being inquisitive themselves or also of trying to be like their friends (church based youth groups etc).
Mike Towers’ comments above illustrate the potential destructiveness of faith schools. Note the blithe arrogance with which he assumes that his definitions of ‘sin’ (which is not ‘wrong-doing’ – it’s offending an all-powerful invisible spirit whose existence can’t be proved) – represent objective reality, and that any challenge to this is ‘bizarre’ because it doesn’t accept his offensive and arbitrary moral equation between physical same-sex love and clearly destructive behaviour like stealing, murder, or adultery. Inculcating these attitudes in children plainly encourages social bigotry and an irrational supernaturalist dogmatism about moral values. Many faith schools clearly nurture this mentality and Mike Towers clearly approves of them for it; as a liberal (philosophically, not party-politically), I believe that such schools should be allowed, but that they should not receive a penny of public money. Schools funded by the tax-payer should reflect the inclusive and pluralist ethos of the secular and democratic state, and not promote sectarian supernatural belief or give preference to children whose families subscribe to them. If you want to promote irrational nonsense, kindly pay for it yourself.
I agree about the potential that you mention. I think its important to recognise that this is a potential, however. Not all faith schools will act in such manners, some will be very liberal and honest about varied views and teach along lines that are unprejudiced and full of integrity. That said, some may not. On balance, I think I prefer a separation of religion and state and that includes a separation of religious bodies from education (that does not mean there can not be religious education – I feel that having some reasoned philosophical and balanced debate that is rational and consider varying mindsets of all faiths and none enable and equips young people to be more rational and make sensible and appropriate judgements for themselves)>
I agree that some faith schools are relatively free of repressive indoctrination but, as I think you suggest, it should still not fall to the tax-payer to fund institutions which support any particular religious belief as received truth. And of course I agree that children should be taught about religious belief as an aspect of sociology and history, and encouraged to debate it critically. Education about the human race would scarcely be complete without it.
Believing that faith is an essential component of human life can mislead us into thinking that only religious faith provides good things like strong communities, ethical behavior, and spiritual experience; and that only religious belief can remedy anti-social behavior like greed, hatred and fear.
Belief systems are generally uncontaminated by evidence.
I have nowhere suggested that faith is an essential component of human life (though it can be unavoidable – I have to operate on the assumption that the bus will turn up). But it is very widespread and influential and so it is important to learn about it and teach children about it. We can of course be as sceptical about it as we like.
I should have made it clear that the Tories likely believe that faith is an essential part of human life… not you.
I thought your initial comment was excellent:
“Note the blithe arrogance with which he (Mike Towers) assumes that his definitions of ‘sin’ (which is not ‘wrong-doing’ – it’s offending an all-powerful invisible spirit whose existence can’t be proved) – represent objective reality, and that any challenge to this is ‘bizarre’ because it… ”
Also, I agree that religions should be taught as a sociological phenomenon, stressing that belief is ‘sanctified’ by something other than evidence, and that it continues to be one of the most pervasive causes of conflict in our world.
I heard a discussion today and I didnt have an answer to it, would be interested in others opinions.
If einsteins theory is in doubt due to the experiments suggesting there is particulate travel faster than the speed of light, and given that it is a fundamentally believed fact of physics that nothing can travel faster than light (a certainty the scientists have told us). Is it not the case that science is built on “faith” i.e. faith on supposed facts, which sometimes later turn out to be untrue or inaccurate. The discussion centred round the einstein theory debate of today but also mentioned the fact that most people are taught in school about the protons, electrons and neutrons of an atom and accept it as true – but who has seen one? In the same way who has seen God? I couldnt answer it, and I dont know what I think about it. Be interested to here what others think
I presume the discussion was centered on this news item:
It was indeed …
Frankly, I’m as surprised as you are, especially since the results of the tests are so consistent.
It’s like finding a turtle on its back on top of a fencepost, sunning itself in the middle of the countryside, isn’t it?
I’m reminded of a quote I read years ago:
“Intolerance is the natural concomitant of of strong faith; tolerance grows only when faith loses certainty; certainty is murderous.”
— Will Durant, “The Age of Faith” (1950; reprint, Norwalk, Conn.: Easton Press, 1992), 784
Of course, Durant was explaining how in the Dark Ages Catholic public executions of so-called heretics, scholars and fornicators alike, were justified by the certainty that actually burning to ashes people destined to burn in hell for eternity was a small price to pay to protect loved ones from the same fate.
As for physics, I seem to remember hearing that the scientific method was never meant to put us in touch with certainty, except the certainty that the world is full of surprises.
Thanks for your thoughts. Interesting quotes!
The comparison of science to faith I found the most difficult thing to reconcile in my thinking about this …. be interesting to see what the outcome is …
I was sorely tempted to comment on the comparison of science to faith, and I’m ‘certain’ I would have made a complete pedant of myself :)
…then this popped up on a site I visit sometimes:
Although Cambridge English is a wee bit of a challenge for me, I focused on the attitude and got a chuckle.
I know that if I try and lay out an argument on whether science is (in some ways) a faith itself, I will get it completely wrong …
I can see the credibility of the start of an argument in that direction, but on deeper examination I am not convinced that it is likely to hold water.
That said, I found your article interesting and I found this NYTimes article very interesting (although I am not sure I can agree with the author entirely):
Yea… Paul Davies concludes:
“…the laws should have an explanation from within the universe and not involve appealing to an external agency. The specifics of that explanation are a matter for future research. But until science comes up with a testable theory of the laws of the universe, its claim to be free of faith is manifestly bogus.”
It’s a corker, but the tendency to interpret any bit of mystery in the world as proof of a divine and transcendent being is all too human.
Ongoing scientific discoveries can inspire awe and a healthy sense of surprise, and perhaps that is the type of spirituality we can nurture …sort of a faith that more and more coherence will be discovered.
My personal hope is that science will somehow extend the life of our distressed planet, and that the onslaught of conflicting religious beliefs will cease to exist before humanity does.
As for traveling beyond the speed of light… a hoax?
Thanks for Paul Davies’s article, btw..
…..Just what is it with women. Homophobia is far more extensive amongst women including Lesbians than amongst men. Then we come to their inherant irrationality and lack of cognitive logic. Without women most of the worlds religions (with the exception of Islam) would collapse completely in a few months. Go to any church of any denomination any day of the week and the majority of those worshiping the sky fairy are female. Then the rationality thing….a Gay … supposedly… woman wanting to lead one of the UKs leading homophobic organisations, The Tory Party, is such an unbelievable contradiction. The fact that she is a Lesbian is irrelevant as the hetties and breeders seem to get a kick from the whole Sappho thing, but that she is a lesbian touting for organisations who wish to teach homophobia is unforgivable. The older I get, the more Misogynist I get as I witness women sliding further into the brainless abyss.
Unless you are a woman, your ironic irrational rant was actually funny, paddyswurds!
…..obviously you wouldn’t know irony or rationality if it came up and bit you on your fat ugly ass….. Sounds like you are neither a man or a woman…??
Charming, tolerant, understanding comment, with an appropriate element of self awareness and reflection … not!
1) Most church attendees are women beacuse most church attendees these days are older people, and women have longer life expectancies. At my church we had three male parishoners die in the space of a year and we’ve had one female parishoner die in about 3.
2) One can lead an organisation in any direction. Maybe, just maybe, she wants to lead both the church and the Tory party forwards and away from discrimination.
3) I imagine we’re sliding towards you into that abyss?
…..Typical lesbian/female double speak
Ruth Davidson for Scottish Tory Leader!
It is not compulsory for someone to be an atheist and Marxist in order to be a supporter of fair rights for those in same-sex relationships.
I went to an Anglican (CofE) primary school in the 1990s when Clause 28 was in operation and not once were we told that homosexual activity was wrong.
The most recent nationwide source on religious belief was the 2001 census, in which over 75% of people were a part of a major religion (whether it be Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Sikhism or Islam,) so it is surely right that the government devotes a small proportion of its education budget to providing faith schools as an environment for parents with religious belief to send their children.
“The most recent nationwide source on religious belief was the 2001 census”
This is incorrect. The most recent nationwide survey, the British Social Attitudes Survey published in 2010, found that 51% of the population have no religion.
George: can you advise how to get hold of the results of that survey (preferably online)? While the Census data is limited in scope and of course a lot has changed in 10 years, it is often the best we have when it comes to people’s beliefs. Unfortunately, by ticking Christian (or whatever) on a form does not tell us if the ticker is an outright zealot or purely nominal.
75%, a decade ago! What absurd figures and totally out of step with the reality of today! Religion and religious attendance are collapsing throughout the western world!
My experience was the same. I went to a CoE school that I’m pretty sure I remember defying section 28. My also christian secondary school definitely did.
Anna, when you say 75% of people identified with being part of whatever religion, that doesn’t necessarily mean they believe. The UK has one of the lowest rates of regular worship and attendance in the EU, if not the world.
I went to a catholic school in my formative years during the 50s and early 60s and we were told that only catholics went to heaven. Since then, I’ve been against faith based schools being funded by tax payers. I’m now an avowed atheist, happy to be so.
I believe it is unlikely that the principle aim of any faith school is to educate.
There is only one tiny Buddhist school in the whole UK, in Brighton, but this is the only semi religious philosophy that is compatible with modern scientific knowledge of quantum theory.
If children were taught to meditate instead of judging and fighting, we would have a much more pleasant land.