NUT calls for religious instruction in schools

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has suggested that religious “leaders” – priests, immams, rabbis, etc. – should be invited into schools to provide religious instruction.

I won’t go over the rights and wrongs of the NUT getting involved in this kind of thing or the role already played by religious “leaders” in schools because His Grace has already covered that off more than sufficiently.

However, I did want to put my own personal experience across as a confirmed atheist taught in an all-white rural school.

I was 17 by the time I actually spoke to an Asian.  The town I lived in was exclusively white with the exception of a very pale half (or maybe less) caste family who lived there for a few years and a black family that lived a few doors away from where I grew up for about a year, maybe less.  I lived a very white, very sheltered childhood.

I went to a C of E primary school and a secular secondary school.  At primary school I got into trouble for not singing the hymns because I didn’t believe in God – I made my mind up early and firmly despite having a nominally religious family.

At secondary school I asked my parents repeatedly to take me out of religious education lessons because I wasn’t religious and saw no need to attend them.  They refused and I’m glad they did because religious education is important.  The morals and values that make our society work are rooted in the Christian heritage of England and even if you don’t believe in God, the way the bible tells you to live is generally the right way if you live in England.  It is morally wrong, in our culture, to murder and steal.  It is wrong to treat people badly or to be selfish.  These and other Christian morals and values are integral to English culture and society.

I don’t think it’s wrong to teach children about other religions.  I learnt enough about the major religions to recognise religious symbols and know what does and doesn’t cause mortal offence (although with some, just breathing is enough).  But I do think it’s wrong to provide religious instruction for any religion in schools, whether it’s Christianity, Islam, Judaism or any other religion.  Every child should receive the same type of religious education at school along the lines of “this is Christianity/Islam/Judaism and this is what Christians/Muslims/Jews believe”.  They don’t need to be instructed in adherence of a particular religion in school – that sort of thing is up to the parents of the child to arrange outside of the school environment.  In that respect I very much support the French approach of banning all religious sysmbols from schools.

The point I want to get across is that despite having no faith and growing up in an all-white environment, I haven’t turned into a xenophobic nazi.  Yes, I have robust views on religion but it’s not because I believe that one religion is right and another is wrong.  If I criticise Islam or the actions of a group of muslims then it’s because I think that what they’re doing is wrong, not because of their religion.  If atheists or Christians went around blowing people up or sawing their heads off because they were from a particular religion or country then I’d be equally critical.

I was brought up with a sense of what is right and wrong and that sense of right and wrong was based on Christian morals and values.  Teaching anything other than those basic Christian morals and values is unnecessary and unhelpful and prevents adherents of non-Christian religions from properly integrating with other children and, ultimately, into society.

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  1. axel (1214 comments) says:

    Are all the big religions( and probably most of the wee ones too) not the same? Dont hit each other with big sticks, dont steal each others sandwiches and try and be nice to each other!

    I think we should burn the heretics who drink Diet Coke but that is just me and how I read the book

  2. Wyrdtimes (31 comments) says:

    Faith should be kept out of schools apart from say one general RE lessen a week.

    The governments support for faith schools creates division rather than bringing communities together. Allowing Madrasahs to operate in the “UK” will bring painful returns down the line.

    Christianity – does anyone really believe that stuff?

    As for Islam. I have a big problem with Islam – it is the antithesis of everything I believe in.

    Personally I think we should have a complete moratorium on mosque building – no hang on, a complete moratorium on building of new religious buildings full stop.

    Organised religion – the worlds biggest con.

  3. Mike Schau (1 comments) says:

    Hey I like diet Coke! Yes religion does NOT belong in school, only at home and your place of worship, if any. As for NO religion, you can have ethics and morals without them too. Better I beleive actually. Right, organized religion is such a scam. I woke up not too long ago from Catholcism, now abhor them all (but mainly hate Islam!!)
    Mike in Florida

  4. axel (1214 comments) says:

    Diet Coke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Infidel, you will be burnt at the stake, only those who drink Diet Pepsi or at a push Pepsi Max will be spared.

    Islam is the antithesis? Is it not the same basic thing? What is different aboiut it? Is it not some big guy in the sky saying ‘Be Boring or I’ll kick your arse!’

    Catholicism rocks, it must be great blowing up sheep or is that not the catholics? What is their gig? I’m sure they are one of the Big Guy in the Sky gang but maybe their big guy wears a white dress?

    Hey hold on, are the catholics not the ones with the cool hats?

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