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Mandatory religious worship in schools - Comments

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 1 by Alan4discussion

Parents can have their children opt out of UK religious assemblies and lessons if they wish, although multi-religious education on diverse beliefs can be a valuable background to understanding different cultures.

Could I suggest buying them a copy of "The Magic of Reality", if you have not already done so.

Sun, 01 Jul 2012 20:33:17 UTC | #948404

Mehmet Bora Çaya's Avatar Comment 2 by Mehmet Bora Çaya

Even the United Kingdom, a choice likely to be a very nice community dışlıyorlar Turkey. Even if your best friend sees you as the devil.

Sun, 01 Jul 2012 21:19:56 UTC | #948410

Jumped Up Chimpanzee's Avatar Comment 3 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee

e-petition signed.

I do fear, though, that although the vast majority of British parents are not religious, at least not in any organised or committed sense, they really don't care about this issue, and certainly aren't aware of the ideas of secularism or humanism.

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.

It's really hard to see how it's possible to engage the interest of the majority of parents on this issue.

Sun, 01 Jul 2012 21:36:23 UTC | #948411

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 4 by xmaseveeve

HOW DARE YOU? Santa? Not real? Haven't you seen 'Elf'? 'Miracle in 34th Street'? Bloody old humbug you. My emails are blocked just now, but my boyfriend signed! Great petition.

Mon, 02 Jul 2012 00:12:43 UTC | #948415

raytoman's Avatar Comment 5 by raytoman

The UK head of State is religious.

All UK people pay taxes for religion to be propagated and prosper by giving it tax free status for all of it's wealth and charitable (tax free) status for all of the new cash they raise.

The UK is full of houses of worship for all sorts of superstition and Jews, Muslims, Christians attend once at week or more.

Where did you get the stupid idea that there are few religious people in the UK?

Check the number signing the petition. Compare that to the 70 million ish people in the UK.

Now, be very worried.

Check out the World Atlas of Religions. It points out the makeup of the 6 billion religious humans and there is probably a breakdown for the UK.

You have kids?

In Ireland (not in the UK but close) they found all Roman Catholic run Childrens Homes, Boarding Schools and Orphanages had systemic sexual abuse of children. In Holland, another small European Country, they found 10,000 child victims of 800 paedophile Roman Catholic priests - and RC is not even their main religion!

Oh! And religion thrives where people just go with the flow and pretend that it isn't a problem.

Mon, 02 Jul 2012 00:43:38 UTC | #948417

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 6 by xmaseveeve

Sorry, 'on' 34th. Street. I was cut to the core. I think that believing in Santa is an excellent start for a child. Teach the child that just because people tell them 'God' did it is no reason to believe it. With atheist parents, the child would learn to believe through evidence (presents, money left by tooth fairy). Later on, they learn, as a next step, not to trust evidence at face value. Since the evidence itself was magical to them, I think it's a shame to be the Grinch! Lying is not always wrong, unless you are Kant. That's a positive lesson too.

Mon, 02 Jul 2012 06:35:16 UTC | #948436

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 7 by xmaseveeve

Could anyone please translate comment 2?

Mon, 02 Jul 2012 06:56:23 UTC | #948440

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 8 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 7 by xmaseveeve

Could anyone please translate comment 2?

dışlıyorlar....... v. externalize, deport, exclude

According to Babylon translator anyway.

Mon, 02 Jul 2012 07:48:09 UTC | #948445

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 9 by Alan4discussion

Comment 5 by raytoman

Where did you get the stupid idea that there are few religious people in the UK?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/24/religion-respecting-the-minority - Every year, researchers from the British Social Attitudes survey ask a representative sample of British people whether they regard themselves as belonging to any particular religion and, if so, to which one? When the survey first asked these questions in 1985, 63% of the respondents answered that they were Christians, compared with 34% who said they had no religion (the rest belonged to non-Christian religions). -
..
Today, a quarter of a century on, there has been a steady and remarkable turnaround. In the latest 2010 BSA report, published earlier this month, only 42% said they were Christians while 51% now say they have no religion. Admittedly, some other surveys – including the last census – have produced different findings on these issues, usually to the advantage of the religious option. There is also a margin of error in all such exercises. All the same, and particularly since the trends in opinion over time seem well set, it is hard not to feel that this latest finding marks a cultural watershed.

This was one of the places. There were also these others:-

http://richarddawkins.net/articles/644942-rdfrs-uk-ipsos-mori-poll-2-uk-christians-oppose-special-influence-for-religion-in-public-policy

http://richarddawkins.net/articles/644941-rdfrs-uk-ipsos-mori-poll-1-how-religious-are-uk-christians

Mon, 02 Jul 2012 09:08:37 UTC | #948448

bluebird's Avatar Comment 10 by bluebird

Santa puts 'The Magic of Reality' under the tannenbaum...

Mon, 02 Jul 2012 14:50:12 UTC | #948457

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 11 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Mon, 02 Jul 2012 15:26:29 UTC | #948460

Dr. monster's Avatar Comment 12 by Dr. monster

giving them a light exposure to religion at a young age is a good thing as it innoculates them against its full force. another thing you could try is to give them so much religion that it bores them. I recomend taking them to a grown ups 1 hour+ church service. I'm fairly sure that was the reason i hated church as a child.

Mon, 02 Jul 2012 22:37:11 UTC | #948474

sheepcat's Avatar Comment 13 by sheepcat

dışlıyorlar

Lol, I actually rubbed my screen when I saw this word as I thought the little dash under the S thing was dirt!

I am so dumb!

Tue, 03 Jul 2012 12:47:57 UTC | #948495

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 14 by xmaseveeve

Comment 13, sheepcat,

Lol, I actually rubbed my screen

Ha - I babywiped mine! I still don't understand the post!

Tue, 03 Jul 2012 13:03:26 UTC | #948496

sheepcat's Avatar Comment 15 by sheepcat

Me either, but his English is still better than my Turkish!

Kebab please mate is about all the Turkish I know ;0)

Oh I am going to hell for that one.

Then again?

Atheism is great.

(please could the people of Turkey forgive my crude and frankly a little racist remark I love Turkey... Christmas wouldn't be the same without it)

Doh,

once again sorry to the nation of Turkey!

Tue, 03 Jul 2012 13:21:45 UTC | #948497

sheepcat's Avatar Comment 16 by sheepcat

On a serious note I feel that religion in the UK is a bit like football and politics, people feel a sense of disloyalty if they deny the politics, footy team or religion of their parents.

I don't think that an awful lot of people really give it that much thought, if you suddenly poll them they will simply say the first thing that comes into their head which is what they were brought up with.

I also think a great many people are more likely to say they have a faith than not as they feel it is a little rude to imply that God doesn't exist and if there is one thing British folk don't like to feel it is rude.

Only the British could worry that they might offend a fictional being.

Tue, 03 Jul 2012 13:31:37 UTC | #948498

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 17 by xmaseveeve

I don't care about the language barrier - the message itself seemed cryptic! Hey, at least we all get to have clean screens!

Tue, 03 Jul 2012 13:53:18 UTC | #948500

Jumped Up Chimpanzee's Avatar 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

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 19 by xmaseveeve

Jumped up chimp,

I think that most of the problem is that people, even when they themselves don't believe, hear the word 'religion' as 'morals'. We must raise awareness that atheists can be moral. Yes, a hard slog.

Tue, 03 Jul 2012 15:13:26 UTC | #948504

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 20 by xmaseveeve

Just very briefly, does anyone know how to unblock a hotmail account? It seems impossible. (I did nothing wrong - it was hacked, it seems.)

Tue, 03 Jul 2012 15:38:20 UTC | #948505

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 21 by irate_atheist

Comment 19 by xmaseveeve -

I think that most of the problem is that people, even when they themselves don't believe, hear the word 'religion' as 'morals'. We must raise awareness that atheists can be moral.

The problem is that most people are too dumb to realise that religion is immoral.

Tue, 03 Jul 2012 15:40:42 UTC | #948506

StephenH's Avatar Comment 22 by StephenH

Yep, the UK is a strange old place

Anywhere else where it is a legal requirement to insert fairytale gobbel-de-gook into the minds of young people, when they are supposed to be learning about reality

I do get the Santa story, but then people don't tend to react as if they are badly offended or insulted, when they find out the truth. No embassy burning, flag burning, or attacking people, or flying planes into skyscrapers.

Tue, 03 Jul 2012 20:08:21 UTC | #948521

CarolineMary's Avatar Comment 23 by CarolineMary

We Brits were brought up to respect the church of England, even if we weren't members of it. I am a product of that system. When I was a kid the rules about a daily act of worship were followed. But it is hard to see anything dangerous in getting together to sing a hymn and listen to a teacher either tell a bible story or preach a bit. Things like 'gods watching you, even at the bus stop so line up nicely. '

That's what religion is to most Brits.

Tue, 03 Jul 2012 20:34:35 UTC | #948524

mr_DNA's Avatar Comment 24 by mr_DNA

Yes but its a funny thing. Most people don't go to church weekly, just for Christmas, weddings and funerals. But religion is never discussed in the work place, it's considered off topic. So you might know somebody for years and then suddenly find out they are an atheist as is the case with my sister in law. I don't even know if she realises I am an atheist! Its just something that doesn't come up. I have no idea which of my friends are atheist and that says a lot about how private faith is in the UK. So I find the surveys done by the Guardian and RDF which suggest non belief is actually a large group quite believable.

Wed, 04 Jul 2012 09:51:31 UTC | #948545

epeeist's Avatar Comment 25 by epeeist

Comment 5 by raytoman :

Where did you get the stupid idea that there are few religious people in the UK?

Well you could try the 28th British Social Attitudes Survey on the subject. 50% of people were of "no religion" and of the rest some 56% never attend a service or meeting. Only 14% attend weekly.

Wed, 04 Jul 2012 10:26:18 UTC | #948547

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 26 by irate_atheist

Comment 23 by CarolineMary -

But it is hard to see anything dangerous in getting together to sing a hymn and listen to a teacher either tell a bible story or preach a bit. Things like 'gods watching you, even at the bus stop so line up nicely. '

Difficult to see what is dangerous with 'believe what I say because I believe it' and teaching children lies alongside explicit instructions not to question authority and think critically.

Yeah, really difficult that. If only we had examples from history of the problems caused when large groups of people believe dumb things and follow ignorant fanatics, because they are unable or unwilling to see through the collective bullshit.

Wed, 04 Jul 2012 10:27:51 UTC | #948548

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 27 by Ignorant Amos

I find the generalisations on the importance of religion here about the 'UK' and 'we Brits' a bit disconcerting. In Northern Ireland and to an only slightly lesser degree, Scotland, people know what religion each other are from an early age. Ones safety depends on it. The sectarianism in both these places is palpable and ignorance can be fatal...literally.

Wed, 04 Jul 2012 10:27:57 UTC | #948549

Jumped Up Chimpanzee's Avatar Comment 28 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee

Comment 23 by CarolineMary

We Brits were brought up to respect the church of England, even if we weren't members of it. I am a product of that system. When I was a kid the rules about a daily act of worship were followed. But it is hard to see anything dangerous in getting together to sing a hymn and listen to a teacher either tell a bible story or preach a bit. Things like 'gods watching you, even at the bus stop so line up nicely. '

I agree that on a superficial level, not much harm may be done by singing hymns etc. But the problem is that it still indoctrinates children to believe that religion is something to be respected without question, something that they carry with them into adulthood. This is precisely what religious organisations aim to do by taking control of education. It gives people a very blinkered view which can cause problems on more serious issues.

For example, I was watching a debate on TV the other day about the court decision in Germany that circumcision of children for religious reasons should be illegal. There was a journalist on the programme who was neither Jewish nor Muslim (presumably she was either a Chrisitan or atheist) but nevertheless she was outraged by the courts decision to interfere in the traditional practices of the Jewish religion.

Now surely there has to be something seriously wrong with someone who makes the effort to go and appear on a TV programme to support the rights of others to mutilate the genitals of a child! Only religion (or unthinking respect for religion) could drive someone to this kind of extraordinary behaviour. I have no qualms in branding such people as suffering from a form of mental illness.

Wed, 04 Jul 2012 10:44:09 UTC | #948551

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 29 by Ignorant Amos

Sectarian riots in the UK last year.... and here's a video of loving Christian children in the United Kingdom last year.

Wed, 04 Jul 2012 11:20:26 UTC | #948553

sheepcat's Avatar Comment 30 by sheepcat

The key to kids minds is not in what they are exposed to but in how.

If you spend plenty of time engaging them with the way the world works and explaining from an early age that they shouldn't blindly believe anything they are told then they will do fine.

Just last night my daughter pointed at an advert for Mayonnaise and said "huh,lies eh daddy, it probably tastes like poison" to which, after I stopped laughing I pointed out that it probably was quite nice but not perhaps any better than any other brand.

School won't teach your kids to think, that is your job, it will just teach them what they need to know to pass some exams.

Wed, 04 Jul 2012 15:56:57 UTC | #948559