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Comment: It’s time to put vulnerable people ahead of religious interests, Mr Gove

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  1. It’s time to remove ALL state funding from religious schools.

    They might provide decent education in terms of academic subject but the poisonous hatred and stupidities that catholc, jewish, muslim, anglican schools promote under the guise of their religious beliefs (i.e. superstitions) should NEVER be fuinded by the public purse.

    1. Dan Filson 22 Feb 2012, 6:55pm

      I think that is a bit sweeping. I disapprove of state-funded religion-based schools, but I would not my school propagated ‘poisonous hatred or stupidities’ save for the theism of the Christian faith.

      1. Dan Filson 22 Feb 2012, 6:56pm

        .. would not say my school …

        1. If a school is allowed to teach pupils that being gay is “wrong” then that IS poisonous hatred and stupidity. It gives a green light for bigots to express their bigotry and destroys the self esteem of those who fall into the “undesirable” category.
          As for getting good academic results – religious schools are operating a social filter which means they get to choose pupils who are likely to be successful academically. Interested parents want to send their children to a good school. If those parents have made commitments to get the child in, then they have already shown an interest in the academic success of their child. A child that is encouraged by parents to study and work hard at school is likely to succeed. That in turn generates a positive feedback cycle where the school is seen to succeed, interested parents show more of a preference, the school can be more selective and so on.

          1. James Pittman 2 Mar 2012, 4:09pm

            I came out in a Catholic all boys school and they were actually rather supportive. They were brilliant on pastoral care! Of course I agree with you, any school, faith or otherwise, should not be allowed to teach pupils that being gay is wrong and something should be done about that ASAP! But suddenly removing faith school funding is completely unfair to the students who attend these schools. In Croydon (where I went to school) the religious schools were just as comprehensive and often not at all choosy about their student intake. Though this is just one person’s experience, perhaps I was lucky. I think if ofsted are going to start thoroughly investigating this area they should also have some sort of solution up their sleeve. Meanwhile I think ALL teachers in ALL schools should receive diversity training. And appropriate intervention should be directed to not just teens, but young children in primary schools in order to prevent discrimination later on.

  2. Great article! I wrote a piece that touches on the same issues in the Guardian recently. http://tinyurl.com/6s775y6

    It’s a shame that people can’t seem to seperate gay romance and relationships from gay sex and that therefore children are still learning that ‘gay’ is something dirty and shameful

    1. The problem is actually that anti-gay religious bigots do separate gay sex from loving gay relationships and gay romance.

      1. No they don’t.

        To them being gay is intrinsically evil.

        The catholic and muslim and orthodox jewish cults regard homosexuality as an ‘abomination’ – no ifs, ands or buts about it (especially no butts).

        Which is why it is abhorrent beyond measure that as taxpayers we are funding their hatred.

        A religious parent who wants their child to receive a religious education should be paying for that in its entirety.

        1. I think you misread what I wrote dAVID.
          To anti-gay bigots loving gay relationships don’t count all they never recognise them but they only refer to gay sex acts.

        2. Here, Here! Well Said.

          If you ask me these so called Hetrosexuals and superstitious bigots – think about gay sex way too much – me thinks they ‘doth protesteth’ too much – or maybe they just haven’t evolved enough to be capable of loving ones own sex.

    2. Anthony Carter 22 Feb 2012, 11:21am

      Are you really arguing that gay sex is “dirty and shameful ?”

      1. I think what Tom’s trying to say is that homophobes class gay relationships as “all about sex to the exclusion of everything else”. It would be rather like classing all straight relationships as being about dogging and swingers parties and holding up Calligula as the standard bearer for anyone attracted to the opposite sex.
        All things in moderation, right?

        1. And religious homophobes use the buybull’s declaration of homosexuality as an ‘abomination’ to condemn ALL gay people (in the same manner as they used the buybull to support slavery for 1800 years).

        2. The most sinful thing heterosexuals do is to stop people from loving. How are they going to explain that to God when they go knocking on heaven’s door?

      2. No, that sex is dirty and shameful… Gay or not (or at least that’s the impression children are given).

        Flapjack has it right. I think when people think of ‘gay’ their thoughts should turn to valentines day and weddings as much as they do rimming.

        There’s nothing wrong with kids knowing about valentines day and weddings (perhaps best to hold off on the whole rimming talk for a few years though)

        1. Anthony Carter 22 Feb 2012, 2:40pm

          I think you’re wrong. I don’t think think children are taught that “sex is dirty and shameful” but that GAY sex, specifically, is dirty and shameful. You referred not to sex in general but, again specifically, to “gay sex.” Many religious bigots are happy to accept “gay romance and relationships” on condition that we stay celibate. I know you’re trying to say that there’s more to being gay than having sex (or rimming!) But the fact is we do have sex, and this is neither “dirty” nor “shameful.” In the world of the internet most people know exactly what we do, and I don’t believe it freaks most of them out.

          1. My family is quite religious (Catholics on the one side and protestants on the other), there definitely seems to be an emphasis on shame and sex for heterosexuals as well.

            My mother, now an atheist, is still a massive prude thanks to her Catholic upbringing.

            Religious attitudes to sex traditionally can be summed up as:
            Sex is necessary for procreation and not to be enjoyed, ergo and therefore if you are enjoying it, whether straight or gay, you should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

            All of which explains the Pope’s views on condoms and the other religions insistence of no sex before marriage, as well as the argument against “gay marriage” and condemnation of single parents.

            Quite a lot of the world’s problems stem from religious prudery not just homophobia.

          2. But remember, we don’t do anything they don’t also do and more.

  3. Belief without evidence schools or faith schools as they are called should not be government funded.
    Religious education is an oxymoron.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 22 Feb 2012, 1:32pm

      Totally agree with that. How about a Coalition to Defund Church Schools at Taxpayers’ Expense” petition, primarily supported by those of us, gay, bi, transgendered or straight who are not religious or don’t subscribe to the bloody creationist nonsense and the agenda of a religious cult that tries to re-write scientifically proven facts? I can just hear the victim card mantra, religious freedom being attacked.

  4. Depresses me intensely that we waste so much time, money and effort arguing over superstitious fairy tales from a time where myth was the only answer to what science and understanding knows today. When can we consign the anachronistic ramblings of the bronze age to the dumpster of history where it belongs.

  5. Robert in S. Kensington 22 Feb 2012, 12:28pm

    What can one expect from a bloody Tory? Gove needs to be replaced. I wonder if he’s signed the Coalition for Marriage petition?

    1. Replacing the Education, Health and Home Secretaries, though arguably necessary, might be a tall order for the PM, all at the same time.

    2. vversatile 22 Feb 2012, 3:18pm

      The rules on faith schools were actually set in place by the last Labour government I’m sad to say.
      Let’s not forget that Tony Blair, Ruth Kelly et al were rather keen on them.

  6. How is it that even when Gays Foster and Adopt the unwanted children of ‘Sanctioned’ hetro lust – we are still shameful and dirty and our equality is tainted – But these irresponsible breeders are ok about us helping to clear up their mess – ‘the future is family’ – my ass!

  7. George Broadhead 22 Feb 2012, 2:11pm

    According to Wikepedia, Michael Gove
    was raised in the Church of Scotland, now worships in the Church of England, and regularly attends St Mary Abbots church, Kensington, London.

    It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that he puts religious interests first.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 22 Feb 2012, 2:35pm

      I also noticed it says he’s part of a group of up and coming conservatives who are “modernisers on social issues”. I’ll believe that when he supports marriage equality.

      1. Dr Robin Guthrie 22 Feb 2012, 3:14pm

        “modernisers on social issues”

        I think by that they mean, “drag the UK into the 1950’s!”

  8. Yes LGBT students will suffer but the children of LGBT parents will suffer too. So will the nieces/nephews/grandchildren/friends etc of LGBT people, in other words LOTS of children! I wish these people would ACTUALLY think of these kids instead of just wailing ‘think of the children’ as a front for their homophobia!

  9. Really good article, Adrian

    Very interesting and thought provoking.

    I agree some of the governments approaches to LGBT issues eg homophobia in sport, whilst welcome appear to be window dressing rather than tackling the deep rooted problems in society.

    In terms of religious organisations involvement in education, my preference would be for a separation of state and church – so religious schools should be disbanded. However, I am more concerned about the likes of the Emmanuel foundation who technically are not a religious organisation but are funded by millionaires who have strong links to the Christian Insititute and endorse an extreme creationist agenda. They have excellent academic results – but their support for equality and fairness must be questioned.

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