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No to Religious Indoctrination - Comments

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 1 by Neodarwinian

" Teach children brutal christianity so they grow up to be atheists. " Save his soul. " " It's a faith issue. " " Faith schools are community schools. " Christians and atheists have biased views. "

Many views, but just because their could be many answers to this school issue does not mean there just any answer to the issue.

My answer would be a secular school system, but I am not British.

Sun, 27 Nov 2011 21:37:24 UTC | #893701

Quine's Avatar Comment 2 by Quine

When folks point out that I am biased, too, I agree and let them know that I am biased in favor of reality.

Sun, 27 Nov 2011 22:02:39 UTC | #893707

basti2682's Avatar Comment 3 by basti2682

In the Philippines Christian Living Education is a required course in school, wherein even the non-Christians are required to attend and pass.

I would love to see the day we can choose to take it as an extra curricular course.

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 01:24:16 UTC | #893740

Armydude's Avatar Comment 4 by Armydude

Should also include the presence of priests in the military.

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 09:46:35 UTC | #893800

peter mayhew's Avatar Comment 5 by peter mayhew

My kids attending a faith school (all my local schools are CofE schools) was one of the major factors tipping me into changing my allegiance from pseudo-cultural-anglican to humanist. I just can't stand people, who are unable to tell truth from fiction, filling my kids' brains with that stuff. Most of the teachers are well-meaning people who think that Chrsitianity means goodness. But then they pack the whole school off to church and fill them with "you are born sinners" and "you will account to God after death for what you do in life". There are prayer boards in class, to encourage that personal relationship with imaginary friends, and after school there is a club (v. popular) called "Jesus and me". The Ofsted report said something to the effect of "the pupils have a very strong sense of morality and values, as reflects its Christian character". Sure: they are turning out just the way the priests want them to.

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 09:47:53 UTC | #893801

adzcliff's Avatar Comment 6 by adzcliff

A worthy and important cause, but I do have a few issues with the execution.

As a campaign rooted in free-thought, I was a little disappointed to hear Mike speak over the white-haired gentleman (1:43), who's gesticulated point we never got to hear.

I also appreciate that it's much harder to articulate the best arguments in the heat of live discussion, and it's easy to regret mistakes and missed opportunities later, but replying to critics by prepared statement after the event is an unfair playing field - in my opinion.

Also, the manner with which Mike approached his final interviewee was also a bit suspect (the hirsute seated gentleman). Mike clearly knew which points he wanted airing, and set the gentleman up to these in his (leading) questions - although Mike may just have seen this as assistance. I've no doubt the gentleman's views were his own, but it would've been more ingenuous just to ask "Whether he had anything he'd like to share to camera?"

Ooh, and the artwork - it reminded me of the Watchtower pamphlets? Perhaps this was deliberate...

Again though, worthy cause and thanks to Mike and the Notori team for bringing these to the streets. Please accept this as someone who does comparatively very little, criticising someone who's doing a lot more, for not doing it perfectly.

Adzcliff

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 10:00:19 UTC | #893804

Mark Jones's Avatar Comment 7 by Mark Jones

I'm surprised that David Cameron's response to Richard Dawkins's question on faith schools hasn't been highlighted on here yet. Richard asked:

Why do you support faith schools for children who are too young to have chosen their faith, thereby implicitly labelling them with the faith of their parents, whereas you wouldn't dream of so labelling a "Keynesian child" or a "Conservative child"?

To which Cameron responded:

Comparing John Maynard Keynes to Jesus Christ shows, in my view, why Richard Dawkins just doesn't really get it. I think faith schools are very often good schools. Why? Because the organisation that's backing them – the church or the mosque or the synagogue – is part of the community. And it brings a sense of community and the backing of an institution to a school. The church was providing good schools long before the state got involved, and we should respect the fact that it's not just the state that can provide education but other bodies, too.

It's a wholly inadequate response [link to personal blog removed by moderator]. It's all the more galling when the Northern Irish First Minister is calling for an end to the "religious apartheid" of faith schools:

We bring children up in different schools and then we scratch our heads when there's division in society.

Why won't politicians learn from the problems manifest around them every day?

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 10:43:56 UTC | #893811

mr_DNA's Avatar Comment 8 by mr_DNA

"My answer would be a secular school system, but I am not British."

Its a bit complex in the UK. We have faith schools who receive state funding and we have secular state schools. Unfortunately, the state schools are not performing as well as the faith schools. Instead of attempting to fix the state schools the government wants to introduce faith schools to improve the quality of schooling. This puts parents like me in a difficult position. Do we accept an inferior state school ( there are some excellent state schools but they are usually massively oversubscribed ) or sit on our consciences and try and get our kids into a faith school. I have done the latter by sending my daughter to a Church of England. To be fair, they do not insist you are Christian to attend so I don't literally need to lie about not being an atheist to get her in, I just need to keep my mouth shut to keep the peace. its an invidious position and I do resent having to do this in order to give my child the best start in life. To be honest though I don't worry too much about the CofE or Catholic schools. At least I know they will be tolerant of my stance and won't be introducing a creationist agenda into the science room. Also I don't think it is part of my parental duties to tell her what to think ( as opposed to most religious parents) so this way she can get used to interacting with faith heads whilst getting the other side of the argument from me. I know of many atheists whose children have rebelled against their views and become wiccas are pagans because they don't want organised religion but feel they need spirituality in their life.

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 11:14:54 UTC | #893815

Zeuglodon's Avatar Comment 9 by Zeuglodon

Comment 2 by Quine

When folks point out that I am biased, too, I agree and let them know that I am biased in favor of reality.

Just ask them why the bias causes a problem - odds are you won't get specifics. Being biased should make no difference unless you can point out precisely how the bias distorts the logic of the argument, in which case it is more sensible to dismantle the argument itself (e.g. by pointing out hidden assumptions or invalid reasoning). Otherwise, accusing others of bias is a red herring.

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 12:36:23 UTC | #893835

snail-12's Avatar Comment 10 by snail-12

One of problems with teaching religion in schools is that religious ideas are often comparitively simple and teaching of religious ideas often begins at a very early age. In comparison science can be difficult to understand, it takes several years before science is introduced to the curriculum and it doesn't really reach the level of teaching critical thinking and topics important for understanding the natural world, such as evolution, until A level (17-18 year olds).

As a result of this a religious perspective on the world is often formed in children before they are taught what we really know about the universe and given the tools to properly evaluate ideas on the basis of evidence. This problem is compounded by the presence of compulsory worship, this begins from the moment children arrive at school and helps to establish the impression that religious belief and practice is normal, after all, everyone, including adults in positions of authority, are doing it. So even if the children have not formed their own religious belief, religion is familiar to them, thus priming them for religion when they are able to understand it.

Comparitive religion is perhaps an important subject to enhance understanding and tolerance between cultures. Religious literature and art as well as the history of religions are important topics however I think perhaps these subjects should only be introduced after children have an adequate grounding in science and critical thinking to be able to deal with religious ideas properly, after all religions are potentially dangerous memes evolved over thousands of years to be successful in spreading themselves between brains. Surely children should be protected from them until they are old enough and educated enough to make informed decisions.

I think religious education should be introduced much later in schools and important scientific concepts introduced earlier. Religious worship should have no place in schools.

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 13:54:25 UTC | #893860

labman's Avatar Comment 11 by labman

Living near Chelmsford I wish I had known about this beforehand.

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 15:11:28 UTC | #893879

sunbeamforjeebus's Avatar Comment 12 by sunbeamforjeebus

I wish I had known of this event,I live close enough to Chelmsford to have gone along to give some support.I liked the posters and would like to know if any are available to buy.I can think of several assemblies I attend where these could be put to use.Interesting that the bishop could only answer with an old chestnut when asked if one faith were true does that mean all the others are false.The chief rabbi was asked the same question recently and replied that 'there are many paths to doG'.Is that a yes or a no? Who knows and frankly who fucking cares?

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 15:25:23 UTC | #893882

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 13 by drumdaddy

Good job.

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 17:45:34 UTC | #893919

mysticjbyrd's Avatar Comment 14 by mysticjbyrd

Comment 8 by mr_DNA :

"My answer would be a secular school system, but I am not British."

Its a bit complex in the UK. We have faith schools who receive state funding and we have secular state schools. Unfortunately, the state schools are not performing as well as the faith schools. Instead of attempting to fix the state schools the government wants to introduce faith schools to improve the quality of schooling. This puts parents like me in a difficult position. Do we accept an inferior state school ( there are some excellent state schools but they are usually massively oversubscribed ) or sit on our consciences and try and get our kids into a faith school. I have done the latter by sending my daughter to a Church of England. To be fair, they do not insist you are Christian to attend so I don't literally need to lie about not being an atheist to get her in, I just need to keep my mouth shut to keep the peace. its an invidious position and I do resent having to do this in order to give my child the best start in life. To be honest though I don't worry too much about the CofE or Catholic schools. At least I know they will be tolerant of my stance and won't be introducing a creationist agenda into the science room. Also I don't think it is part of my parental duties to tell her what to think ( as opposed to most religious parents) so this way she can get used to interacting with faith heads whilst getting the other side of the argument from me. I know of many atheists whose children have rebelled against their views and become wiccas are pagans because they don't want organised religion but feel they need spirituality in their life.

Academic achievement on standardized tests are hardly an argument for faith schools, and against secular schools. If all the faith schools were suddenly converted to secular schools, I guarantee that the students in said school would do just as well if not better than before.

Isn't that just an argument for selfishness? "To hell with progress, as long as my kid gets to attend the better school!"

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 18:49:41 UTC | #893942

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 15 by Mr DArcy

The Bishop's point of view:

"You can't prove Jesus doesn't exist therefore I'm going to tell people that Jesus walked on water! And you can't prove me wrong!"

(Doh)

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 18:59:40 UTC | #893946

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 16 by aquilacane

They need a transit initiative or NOTORIBUS.

I'll see if I can hack B.I.G's lyrics, later.

Tue, 29 Nov 2011 00:08:34 UTC | #894020

mr_DNA's Avatar Comment 17 by mr_DNA

BlockquoteBlockquote

Comment 14 by mysticjbyrd :

Comment 8 by mr_DNA :

"My answer would be a secular school system, but I am not British."

Its a bit complex in the UK. We have faith schools who receive state funding and we have secular state schools. Unfortunately, the state schools are not performing as well as the faith schools. Instead of attempting to fix the state schools the government wants to introduce faith schools to improve the quality of schooling. This puts parents like me in a difficult position. Do we accept an inferior state school ( there are some excellent state schools but they are usually massively oversubscribed ) or sit on our consciences and try and get our kids into a faith school. I have done the latter by sending my daughter to a Church of England. To be fair, they do not insist you are Christian to attend so I don't literally need to lie about not being an atheist to get her in, I just need to keep my mouth shut to keep the peace. its an invidious position and I do resent having to do this in order to give my child the best start in life. To be honest though I don't worry too much about the CofE or Catholic schools. At least I know they will be tolerant of my stance and won't be introducing a creationist agenda into the science room. Also I don't think it is part of my parental duties to tell her what to think ( as opposed to most religious parents) so this way she can get used to interacting with faith heads whilst getting the other side of the argument from me. I know of many atheists whose children have rebelled against their views and become wiccas are pagans because they don't want organised religion but feel they need spirituality in their life.

Academic achievement on standardized tests are hardly an argument for faith schools, and against secular schools. If all the faith schools were suddenly converted to secular schools, I guarantee that the students in said school would do just as well if not better than before.

Isn't that just an argument for selfishness? "To hell with progress, as long as my kid gets to attend the better school!"

Oh yeah absolutely I'm not proud of myself but then I didn't create the system but I'm not going to martyr my childs education because of my own atheist stance. I quite agree academic performance is not a good reason to keep faith schools, especially as the problem is partly created by non religious parents like me opting out of the secular schools because we worry about the quality of education they offer. As I hinted at in my peice, its a choice between the top school which is a fantastic secular school but which she has more chance of getting into Hogwarts, a good CofE and a really under performing state school. I have made my choice based on the same choice every middle class parent does, what is best for my child. As an ex teacher I am going to look at the quality of teaching and the environment first and fore most. I did take a look round and I was satisfied that there was not much God related stuff on the walls and I have to balance that against the good teaching. It was a long way from being 'happy clappy'. Incidentally, there is a catholic school we are not considering because it is not performing very well.I have taught supply in most of these schools so I know them all pretty well. On last point is; many of us attended our faith schools ourselves and rejected religion, going to one does not equate to conversion. I do believe everybody should be aware of other peoples beliefs and that is why we do need an end to faith schools but that can only happen with legislation and we are further than ever from that.

Tue, 29 Nov 2011 10:07:16 UTC | #894072

bronze's Avatar Comment 18 by bronze

RELIGION IS AN ABUSE OF THE NATURAL WORLD ,LEAVE OUR CHILDREN ALONE,KEEP IT OUT OF SCHOOLS.

Tue, 29 Nov 2011 17:02:09 UTC | #894138

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 19 by Stafford Gordon

I was not born a sinner! How dear anyone even suggest such tripe? LEAVE THE CHILDREN ALONE!

Tue, 29 Nov 2011 21:03:17 UTC | #894187

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 20 by Stafford Gordon

Comment 18: Bronze.

I made my contribution before seeing yours.

Tue, 29 Nov 2011 21:06:16 UTC | #894189

Corylus's Avatar Comment 21 by Corylus

Comment 19 by Stafford Gordon :

I was not born a sinner!

Me either. I had to work very hard at it.

Even now, I have a tendency to dreadfully underachieve.

Tue, 29 Nov 2011 21:10:24 UTC | #894190

bronze's Avatar Comment 22 by bronze

DID GOD ASK MARY IF IT WAS OK TO MAKE HER PREGNANT OR JUST TELL HER AFTERWARDS. WAS THIS THE RAPE OF A MORTAL WOMAN BY A SUPERNATURAL GOD.?

Tue, 20 Dec 2011 18:55:19 UTC | #901454

bronze's Avatar Comment 23 by bronze

The church will have a hand on your shoulder at least twice in your life,when very very young, after your mind,and when very very old,after your money.

Mon, 26 Dec 2011 14:46:56 UTC | #902770

bronze's Avatar Comment 24 by bronze

Belief in the Bible displays the same intelligent as opening a 500 year old Medical book when you're ill, and thinking " right, now what do they recommend"

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 19:53:30 UTC | #909293