Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Why David Cameron wants a boom in faith schools

source: Daily Mail via RichardDawkins cc HumanistsObservingSacre


Last updated at 8:45 AM on 26th January 2010

Some of my favourite comments:

Forcing religion on children is child abuse, probably more damaging long term
than physical abuse. Even if they eventually reject religion intellectually there will always be some remnants in the back of their minds.
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But the Organised Religions practise discrimination against other religions and against the non religious because it is part of their doctrine. Is this a serious report that the Conservatives intend to increase State Funding of discrimination?
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Religion is a great reinforcer of civilisation. It teaches morals and how to get on with people.
- Flippin Heck, Redcar, 26/1/2010 8:36

There is no requirement for any sort of religious faith to be a moral person who can contribute to society. In fact, the opposite is often true - very religious people often feel the need to cut themselves off from the wider world and retreat into their "church", or use their religion as justification for highly immoral acts. Religion is often a great divider of civilisation, even when the religions in question have far more in common than not.

Which just brings it down to a question of is it a good idea to force a faith onto kids, or let them choose when they have the knowledge and maturity to make an informed choice of their own. And the latter is of course the only sensible answer - the former is nothing more than indoctrination.
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Another delusional prime minister on the way, that's all we need.
Why do we pretend to be free and democratic when we have potential leaders like this who openly praise indoctrination and brain washing of our young children in mythology. There is no hope for Britain if we allow people like this to lead us. Better watch out David, the British public might now see you as a "nutter" as Mr Blair once said when asked about British peoples view on mythology, sorry slip of the keyboard, religion.
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David Cameron: a supporter of faith schools 'both politically and personally'
The biggest expansion of faith schools since the 19th century would be encouraged by a Tory government, David Cameron signalled yesterday.
Senior figures in the Roman Catholic Church have already expressed a strong interest in running the 'free schools' proposed by the Conservatives.
Under the plans, faith groups, charities and businesses could apply to operate the new schools using taxpayers' money.
The Tory leader cited his six-year-old daughter Nancy's 'excellent' education at a Church of England school as he declared himself a supporter of faith schools 'politically and personally'.
Labour has been accused of undermining faith schools by overhauling admissions rules and robbing them of the power to select children on religious grounds. 
There are about 7,000 state-run faith schools in England and several hundred more in the private sector, the vast majority of which are Christian.
Education watchdogs say there is evidence that as many as a fifth of private faith schools fail to teach about other religions.

But Mr Cameron said yesterday: 'I support faith schools, I think they have a lot to bring to education.'

'I'm in favour of choice and discretion. I think that actually drives up quality and standards in our education system.
'Faith schools often bring a culture and an ethos to a school that can help them improve. I'm a supporter politically and personally.'
Tory sources say the party envisages the biggest expansion of church schools since the establishment of thousands of 'national' schools almost 200 years ago.
The Conservative plans would be in an Education Bill passed as a priority if the party wins power.
Parents, charities, businesses, universities and other not-for-profit organisations could apply directly to Whitehall to set up the free schools, which would be independent from local authorities.
The blueprint, based on similar reforms which proved hugely popular in Sweden, would smash the state monopoly on school provision.
Malcolm McMahon, the Bishop of Nottingham and a leading figure in Catholic education, said:
'The free schools idea interests me greatly because, of course, that was exactly how Catholic schools were founded  -  by local communities getting together, pooling their resources.'

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