10th May 2010

“Church schools, although funded almost entirely by the taxpayer, still seek control their own admissions arrangements – which usually favour children of church-goers before anyone else in their community. This sends off a message – not of care for the most vulnerable – but of being a self-serving club that cares first and foremost about its own.”

Jonathan Bartley, Ekklesia

17 Responses to “10th May 2010”

  1. Greg Says:

    Even if religious schools were privately funded I’d still be worried – the children just don’t stand a chance against such an organized onslaught of indoctrination.

    Plus there is the question of curriculum. How can one sit idly by while creationism is being taught as though it were accepted science?

  2. GodKilla Says:

    I don’t get his point. It’s not ‘giving off a message’ of being a self serving club, it’s clearly demonstrating yet again that this is exactly what these cults are. Can there be any doubt left amongst free thinkers and honest followers of organised religion that this is the case? His example is a mild one, I’d suggest that the fostering and encouragement of fundamentalist extremism is the ultimate (and most abhorrent) expression of self serving behaviour.

  3. PEB Says:

    This sounds like it could have been written by an atheist. Jonathan Bartley is a co-director of a group called “Ekklesia” – a christian think tank (now there’s an oxymoron). He recently wrote an article called “Who would jesus vote for?” and is a regular contributor to two of the three remaining christian TV and radio shows we have in the UK that nobody listens to.
    He won a year long battle to get his son who has special needs into a church school which is why he is complaining about faith school admissions.
    This is as self-serving as you can get.

    He also wrote in the same article “Church schools should be leading the way in taking the most vulnerable children”. I would say the exact opposite. These kids have enough problems without labelling them as sinners, threatening them with hell and teaching them fairy tales.

  4. Bornagain A. Theist Says:

    It is horrible. Three of my grandchildren attend a catholic school. It is very heartbreaking for me to know that they are being indoctrinated daily. All religious based schools should be monitored and no creation courses should be allowed to be taught regardless of how they are funded. Even if a school is fully funded privately, their curriculum should have to comply with standards that exclude the teaching of creationism in any form.


  5. PEB Says:

    As if we didn’t need another reason to be concerned with a new conservative government in the UK then this is what David Cameron thinks of faith schools:

    “I think faith schools are an important part of our system, I support them and I would like if anything to see them grow,” he said. “I think faith organisations bring often a sort of culture and ethos to a school that can help it improve and I’m a strong supporter personally and politically.”

  6. Atheist MC Says:

    One reason to support a Lib/Con coalition as David Laws (the LD man) would almost certainly get education minister and the plans to ease restrictions on setting up private schools would go (I hope)

  7. PEB Says:

    Let hope so AMC. Also, if David Miliband becomes labour leader then could we potentially have our first atheist prime minister in 5 years time?

  8. John Says:

    Do you not think that with the latest pendulum swing of da’bush and da’blair eras to religion that when the swing swings back to less that we all will see and hear a bigger thud? With each swing away, religion gets less hold of weaker minded souls.

  9. PEB Says:

    Scrap what I posted earlier. We could have a atheist prime minister shorty according to the latest news. 🙂

  10. Htka Says:

    My fear would be that someone like yourselves would get some say about where my grand children go to be taught.Man some of your ideas are so self centered. Why not focus some of those efforts toward something good in the world.Come up with something positive once in awhile. I smile and wonder sometimes, can any of you watch a football game and not turn the TV off ( when they get in a huddle ) for fear they may be planning a plot against you. Your looking for a perfect world. It just doesn’t exist. Lighten guys, we live on this earth for a short time only. Live as best you can. Believe what you want and give your brother the freedom to do likewise. We all have different mentors, who am I to tell you who yours should be. HTKA says” Live and let live”

  11. Holysmokes Says:

    Unfortunately children are not given those same allowances. Why should you be allowed to FORCE your religion down their throats?

  12. Mike W Says:

    I seldom find cause to take issue with the quotations on this site but this one I do. While church schools do accept some public money, most are primarily funded via tuition. I have paid that tuition and I have served on boards having oversight and can attest to the public contribution being exceedingly small. As far as favoring our own, absolutely! Just as in a depressurized airliner, we need to see to our own survival before we can hope to be of any help to others.

  13. PEB Says:

    How very Christian of you Mike. I hope your school teaches survival of the fittest also.

  14. Atheist MC Says:

    Mike W
    Here’s the danger. tribalism of any stripe is an abuse of children. Their minds are there own and as such they should have access to all sources of information, supplied without fear or favour.
    If, the culture and/or religion you cherish is right for them, they will embrace it as you do. If they find your culture / religion facile and irrelevent they will find their own philosophy. That is their right as human beings. Respect it.

  15. solomon Says:

    When one believes theres no god, one will think that they can get away with mischiefs or sins or wrong doings.This is a dangerous scenario. In other circumstances religion is the cure. Religion is no danger at all.It should be taught early to children.

  16. Mike W Says:

    I didn’t mention being christian. I am not. Nor am I jewish. I simply said that 1. very few, if any, church-based and/or private schools are publicly supported in any substantial way, and 2. yes, as in any endeavor, being selective is essential to success and survival.

    This quotation is 1. inaccurate and 2. pointless. It is well-below the quality that I have come to expect from this site.

  17. Mike W Says:

    One more thing: I was not concerned about religious indoctrination in these schools. My children knew the difference between science and faith before they started school and we talked weekly if not daily about keeping each in its place. I sought out and secured a safe, peaceful, well above average education for which I paid in full while my tax money was used for the education of others. I chose private school because I had a say in what was taught and how it was taught. The little songs and prayers were a very, very small price to pay.

    I don’t underestimate the destructive power of religion but considering the state of the public schools in this country, I think I definitely chose the lesser of two evils.