29th June 2008

“A child has the right to be introduced to all views, including the secular one. It is not the function of schools to promote a particular religious or political belief.”

Dr Paul Kelley

4 Responses to “29th June 2008”

  1. Bornagain A. Theist Says:

    That it is not the function of schools to promote a particular religious or political view is certainly a fact. Unfortunately, both religious and political views are far too often taught in schools.

    The remainder of the statement is virtually a crime.

    A child, being a child, should be nurtured with truth above all else. To expose a child to any form of religious view is dishonest and abusive. It can and does easily lead the child toward delusional thoughts and ideas. The author, who I will not dignify by using the doctoral reference gives up his own bias with the phrase “including the secular one”, as if it is a concession. These kinds of comments are born of century’s of ignorance. As for children’s “rights”, they are few, but among them is certainly NOT to be introduced to “all views”.


  2. Chris Says:

    This quote is what the school vouchers debate is really about. Conservatives tout a voucher system to allow kids to move to any school they want and carry their public money with them. The purpose is ostensibly to let market forces improve failing schools by having students move from programs that don’t work to programs that do. Sounds great right? Adam Smith’s invisible hand fixing our worst schools. What they are really after is public funding of religious schools. That is the holy grail of the lunatic fringe right.

    I’d like the quote a lot better if it began “A child has the right to be introduced to all views, including the religious one. ” because that would imply that the norm is that the secular view and it’s ok to teach a little religion in the context of history. I’d suggest they begin with a unit on how the bible says you should execute your child if they are disobedient. That ought to personalize it enough to scare the crap out of ’em.

  3. Terence Meaden Says:

    Quite right both of you.

    We have raised the ugly spectre of the religious-teaching of children so many times on Atheistweb.
    This time an author is directing his remarks either at unwanted British government policy which is encouraging the founding of more and more faith schools,
    or at the faith schools which always promote their own beliefs (while at most mentioning that erroneous competing faiths exist), and totally ignore what are the self-evident rational human truths based on scientifically-proven facts—like the origins of the universe, life and mankind without initiation and direction from a superhuman in the sky.

  4. John Sutton Says:

    Unfortunately, even in non-faith schools in the UK the rational-secularist approach to human behaviour is given no proper perspective on the curriculum. I taught in a non-faith school for thirty years. The staff room was always infested with christians. At one point I was advised, by an ordained deputy head, to keep my atheism out of the classroom (I always did) because it might hinder promotion.

    If my fellow atheists in the UK were aware of just how well the faiths have consolidated the conspiracy to foster supernaturalism in all our schools they would be a little more urgent in their demands for change.