This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← Mandatory religious worship in schools

Jumped Up Chimpanzee's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee

Comment 3 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee

My sister, who has 3 teenage children in school, recently quizzed me about something she'd seen I'd written on Facebook in a discussion started by the National Secular Society. I explained to her that I was a member of the NSS, and then had to explain to her what secularism was and what we campaigned for. Even though I know she's an atheist, she thought it was very weird that people were worked up about the issue and driven to campaign against religious privilege. The whole "New Atheist" movement and secularism were completely off her radar screen, and she had no interest in learning any more about it.

Further to my post above, last night by sheer coincidence my other sister, who has a child starting school next year, asked me about secuarism (again, she'd seen my comments on Facebook and had no idea what it was). I explained to her and her husband what the NSS campaigns for and about the problems state funded faith schools create with regards to privilege, discrimination, etc.

While my sister and brother-in-law have no firm religious beliefs and don't go to church, and certainly had no counter-argument against my opinions, I could tell they were very reluctant to fully agree with my position. I think like many people they still regard religion as something to be respected and also they have the idea that religion in education is just the way things are - it's not theirs to reason why.

They were also both under the impression that inner city schools have banned children from wearing crosses while allowing Islamic children to wear the burqa. I wonder which newspaper they read? ;)

Then my sister asked me if Muslims are Christians or if they believe in Allah.

It's a long hard slog.

Tue, 03 Jul 2012 14:25:09 UTC | #948501