Bible bashers

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  • Bible bashers
  • It’s nice to see that atheism is getting as fundamentalist as some religions

    Yeah, being told you are wrong, and not only that, but you are evil, deluded and bound for eternal torment is pretty unpleasant. The pity of “I’ll pray for you” as if you are some how mentaly retarded and unable to spot the obvious truth in front of you and need someone else to take care of you. This is all pretty annoying and that approach will generally get you short shrift if you are selling religion or double glasing.

    I would not view this as fundamental as I am willing to change my views based on evidence (independantly verifiable, peer reviewd and tested evidence) I am just not about to bow to a guy in a dress because his imaginary friend is bigger than me.

    Not all are like this (Aunt and Uncle are both ordained and how no interest in converting people / brow beating them) but its starting to get annoying and while I wish happiness to all my tolerance is wearing thin.

    Is it “fundamental” to be left alone with your personal beliefs?

    SSP

    duckman
    Member

    Catholic schools were first set up by the Catholic Church to educate the children of the Irish Immigrants to Scotland and the North of England after the spud famine. The Irish tended to gravitate towards Church as a familiar point in difficult times, hence the setting up of Catholic schools.
    If you were not Catholic, why would you send your kids to a school where even the majority of staff are Catholic? Or perhaps the imposition of Christian morality leads to better standards?
    How many of you taking a pop at religion wouldtry to send your kids to the Local Catholic school if the alternative was cartheft comp?

    Premier Icon Mark
    Subscriber

    No.. I’m talking about ALL faith schools.. the ones I can quote verbatim and have inspired my rants of late are actually local CofE schools.

    I’m not singling out the catholic faith here, but ALL faiths that have the power to influence and select intake of schools.

    There’s a high school in Blackburn.. St Wilfreds. It’s a faith school. CofE. It has a great educational record. very popular. The reason it’s so good? It gets to cherry pick 80% of it’s intake from the local middle class parishes on the outskirts of Blackburn. It’s feeder schools are rural not inner city. It attracts very highly skilled and motivated teachers because the intake is so good. I know this as I was a teacher in the same area before I got out. I applied for a job there but couldn;t supply the neccessary religious references. I have an atheist friend with a 9 year old daughter. For the last year she has been a regular church goer with a whole bunch of other parents solely so she can get the vicar to sign the schools certificate of attendance for when she applies on behalf of her daughter to attend the school.

    I have many other examples involving primary school choices and my own kids. My wife is a deputy head (a very good one, headhunted by county to be seconded into failing schools etc.. ) and her career has been restricted as she can’t ever be a deputy or a head in a faith school as these specifically require management to be practicing christians.

    The high school example demonstrates that the high achievement and over subscription of the school based on it’s exam results is down to the fact it is allowed to select 80% of it’s intake on the basis of faith and not ability. It’s is just by chance that the kids who do get in come from outlying middle class parishes and families that have the resources to play the system and get their kids in by, in many cases, faking religious belief.

    THIS is purely the source of my rant. The fact that religions have the power to directly affect the choices available to ALL of society whether we like it or not. And don’t anyone, for a second, try and come back with the argument that the schools religious teachings and christian morality are the reason for the high results. It’s purely a demographic result of having the power to select based on religious or faked religious beliefs.

    Not that i’m against selective education. I went to a grammar school myself and passed a test of intellectual ability to get in. A test that was available to every child in the area regardless of belief systems adopted by their parents.

    Since I’m not going to be so hypocritical as to expose myself and my kids to a belief system I find distasteful just so I can play the system I find myself at a disadvantage when it comes to my choices of how my kids are educated. If I was a believer or a cheat my kids would have a better chance it would seem.

    RudeBoy
    Member

    Interesting to note, that many schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and charitable organisations have been founded and funded by religious organisations such as the CofE. Samaritans, Dr. Barnardo’s, the Sally Army, etc. I’m struggling to think of a long-established major institution like these, that is known for being Atheist.

    And it’s mainly religious-based charities that continue to donate to the upkeep of such institutions.

    If those with faith are thick and stupid (like me), are Atheists selfish and greedy?

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Pantheism seems to have been Einstein’s choice also:

    Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: it transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural and spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity.

    A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestation of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty – it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this sense alone, I am a deeply religious man.

    It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.

    I kind of consider the various organised religions to be man’s way of trying to interpret and explain “unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it”, which have then been corrupted in various ways in the search for power, control, wealth and influence.

    Premier Icon Mark
    Subscriber

    It’s nice to see that atheism is getting as fundamentalist as some religions

    I make no apologies for the fact I am proactive in that respect. I am not benign in my pursuit and promotion of atheism in the same way that no religion is. The difference is I would love to be but while organised religions continue with a policy of ‘conversion of the heathen’ and it’s continued unwanted interference in the lives of the rest of us by restricting choices and the influence of political issues, then I’ll give as much preaching as I get.

    Fundamentalist is a little aggressive in light of how it’s often used interchangeably with ‘terrorist’. I’m not going that far.. so I prefer the term ‘proactive atheist’ 🙂

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    We didn’t get our kids into the nearest primary school to us because it’s a catholic school and we’re not Catholic. Denied access because of religion.

    We wouldn’t be able to get our daughter into the best school in the town because we don’t live in the right area. Denied access because of money.

    What’s the difference?

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Fundamentalist is a little aggressive in light of how it’s often used interchangeably with ‘terrorist’. I’m not going that far.. so I prefer the term ‘proactive atheist’

    🙂

    I always think Richard Dawkins looks one rant away from strapping on an explosive waistcoat.

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    are Atheists selfish and greedy?

    no, but perhaps they don’t have the same need to flock together as religionists ? Indeed, perhaps the flocking is the important part and the made-up-god bit is just an excuse ?

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    perhaps the flocking is the important part and the made-up-god bit is just an excuse ?

    Amen to that Brother Simon 😉

    The sharing of common experiences and beliefs is, I’m sure, in-built into humans. It has great upsides, but also great downsides.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Rudeboy, there have been plenty of other institutions set up by philanthropists which aren’t specifically associated with religion. If many of these “long-established” places seem to have an overtone of religious faith, it’s because until relatively recently in our society religion was extremely powerful and failure to conform with it would result in you being persecuted or marginalised. The chances that you could become rich or influential enough to set up a school or a hospital would be pretty slim if you wore your lack of religious belief on your sleeve.

    Interesting that faith schools are mentioned. Mark makes some very valid points but then again not all faith schools give their pupils an academic advantage. Anyone who went to one of Reg Vardy’s “Academies” and was taught that evolution and creationism were “equally valid perspectives” would come out pretty disadvantaged if they wanted to pursue a career in a scientific field.

    Premier Icon Mark
    Subscriber

    Money is equal. Having it or not does not depend on belief. The fact you don’t have it today does not preclude you having it tomorrow. In that respect it is much more within your power to change the situation and get the extra money required for a private education than it is to change your beliefs.. unless of course you fake it, as many do.

    But if you want to have a debate about the education system and how money influences choice I can be just as vociferous on that topic too.. Doesn’t make either of them right though and pointing out a flaw elsewhere in the education system doesn’t by default justify the other.

    Both are an injustice.. lets fix them both! 🙂

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Interesting that faith schools are mentioned. Mark makes some very valid points but then again not all faith schools give their pupils an academic advantage.

    I know a lot of people who are gutted that the Church of England is funding a new academy in our town. It means that they won’t be able to use their CofE church-going as a reason to get their kids into the good Catholic school in the town anymore, and the school being funded by the CofE is currently the worst in the town.

    Money is equal. Having it or not does not depend on belief. The fact you don’t have it today does not preclude you having it tomorrow. In that respect it is much more within your power to change the situation and get the extra money required for a private education than it is to change your beliefs.. unless of course you fake it, as many do.

    I could much more easily get my kids into the catholic school on the other side of town than I could get them into the non-Catholic school almost next door. It’s pretty difficult to find the extra £200,000 I’d need to move house.

    But if you want to have a debate about the education system and how money influences choice I can be just as vociferous on that topic too.. Doesn’t make either of them right though and pointing out a flaw elsewhere in the education system doesn’t by default justify the other.

    Similarly, pointing out that a school uses religion as a way of keeping itself as a nice school doesn’t mean that all religions are bad.

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    Similarly, pointing out that a school uses religion as a way of keeping itself as a nice school

    if it’s practicing a form of cultural apartheid then I wouldn’t class it as “nice” 🙁 Paradoxically it’s the less well behaved children that need more money and effort spent on them while the well behaved and bookish need minimal intervention

    Similarly, pointing out that a school uses religion as a way of keeping itself as a nice school doesn’t mean that all religions are bad.

    Not bad as such, just that religion has an automatic “its religion, there for you must respect it with out question” If schools were excluding black or gay children it would be quite reightly delt with using discrimination laws.

    Excluding on the grounds of religion is allowed and it is not questioned as religion seems to sit out side the normal scope of the law and is beyond question.

    I say question everything and don’t respect people just because of the funny clothes they wear or what they do on Sunday mornings. I no more respect a stranger on a mountain bike than I do a Bishop or Iman. Deal with people as people and not lables or classifications they give themselves or we impose on them*.

    SSP

    *That last bit goes for the religious as well as atheist ones befor eone side or the other claims it!

    Premier Icon Mark
    Subscriber

    Mike…. Well.. I think religion is fundamentally a bad thing so I’ll have to disagree with you there. I think the world would be a better place without religion.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Excluding on the grounds of religion is allowed and it is not questioned as religion seems to sit out side the normal scope of the law and is beyond question.

    I agree with that, by the way.

    I think religion is fundamentally a bad thing so I’ll have to disagree with you there. I think the world would be a better place without religion.

    I see it more as people using religion to justify doing bad things, rather than religion being bad in and of itself.

    mudshark
    Member

    I’m a bit confused about the school thing – don’t have kids so partly why I guess. These schools that only allow kids in with specific beliefs – are they funded by the relevant church? I think that must be the case but if so then why can’t they choose who attends?

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    I’m a bit confused about the school thing – don’t have kids so partly why I guess. These schools that only allow kids in with specific beliefs – are they funded by the relevant church? I think that must be the case but if so then why can’t they choose who attends?

    They’re only part-funded by the church.

    I think academies are a bigger scandal, but most of the education system is in a mess.

    RudeBoy
    Member

    No school can discriminate on grounds of religion. It is illegal. Only schools for children with special needs can be ‘selective’ and impose specific entry requirements. If your child is denied a places at a faith school, complain.

    Of course, they will probably be able to have a ‘perfectly legitimate reason’ why your little bastard angel wasn’t selected..

    IanMunro
    Member

    No school can discriminate on grounds of religion.
    Of course those of a religous persuasion would argue that’s it’s god’s will as to who get’s in 🙂

    RudeBoy
    Member

    Actually, I may be talking complete bollocks!
    Bloody confusing laws on discrimination in education.

    Seems to be a right minefield. But I’m pretty sure faith schools (with the possible exception of private ones) have to open their entry to children from other/no faiths.

    I still agree with Mark on that one, though. Take religion out of the classroom, unless it’s in the context of comparative religious education.

    mudshark
    Member

    Are other groups allowed to fund schools?

    Are there schools set up for other religions, say Muslims?

    duckman
    Member

    Mark,I was basing my post on the factthat up my way the Catholic schools (no CofS)have feeder primarys, they take placing requests from Catholics outside their catchment, but in the main they take what they are given without choosing.Still the best inner-city school I taught in.

    RudeBoy
    Member

    Are there schools set up for other religions, say Muslims?

    Yes.

    mudshark
    Member

    OK, so religious organisations look after their members in various ways including funding schools for them. They prefer not to let kids into those schools who aren’t part of their organisation. Got to say this all sounds fair to me!

    Premier Icon Mark
    Subscriber

    Except they are only part funded by the churches.. And only to a very small degree. All the teachers in faith schools are on the public payroll. I know as I was one. I was allowed to teach in a CofE school as a teacher but was not able to apply to be a deputy or higher. The upkeep of the buildings is funded by the local authority too.. That all comes out of the public purse and accounts for over 90% of the schools budget. So our tax is paying for these schools to exist. If they were fully funded by the church they would be classed as private. They are not. They are still state funded schools and we are all paying for them to exist.

    So.. these 90% state funded schools are allowed to discriminate their intake of not just the children but also the staff. The teachers job list (known as the white list) that is circulated by each local authority every week to all schools lists all schools vacancies apart from those from the private sector. The requirements for being a deputy or headteacher at every catholic or CofE school are laid down in that list and without exception the church schools stipulate that to be a deputy or a head teacher at their school you must be a ‘practicing’ christian. They each require that when you submit your references with the job application that one of the references MUST be from your church.

    That, without question, is discrimination on the basis of religious belief sanctioned by the state. Apparently it is perfectly legal.

    brilliant rant!

    The reason religious people provoke unease amongst normal humans is that we can’t predict what course they will take next.

    If they are prepared to believe all that jessus godd allah etc stuff, then we have no evidence at all that that they will respond rationally to other issues.

    I also find it all rather sad that children, who so much require us to teach them morals and way of thinking, are being indroctrinated the world over. I work steadily to un-do all the christian stuff imposed on my own child through the state education system. What I find alarming is the depth of belief of some of my little girls friends. I have on a few occasions needed to make made it quite clear to them (if this topic ever comes up during playtime at our house), that they are in fact being deeply deluded. It comes as quite a shock, but I remember my own childhood and find it quite disturbing that until I was old enough to know better (perhaps 11 or 12), I too though there might be something behind it. Wisdom only comes with age, and it’s deeply wrong for children to suffer this stuff.

    I found it most uplifting when I burnt my school bible shortly after that age!

    duckman
    Member

    [The reason religious people provoke unease amongst normal humans is that we can’t predict what course they will take next.]Thats funny, I was going to do a bit of marking, teach last period, then get the train home(too frosty for bike just now)I would suggest in the 20 plus years I have been a Christian,I have generally behaved in a pretty normal fashion. So what is your solution Carrot? Pehaps ban anybody who has ANY profession of belief from positions of responsibility? Come to think of it, burning a bible just to display your rejection of the Christian faith is not exactly what I would call rational behaviour.

    Premier Icon Mark
    Subscriber

    Pehaps ban anybody who has ANY profession of belief from positions of responsibility?

    I’d settle for allowing the rest of us with no belief in a deity to have the same access to those positions of responsibility that currently exist only for people of ‘faith’.

    Come to think of it, burning a bible just to display your rejection of the Christian faith is not exactly what I would call rational behaviour.

    That would be symbolic… something religion is not averse to doing on a very regular basis.

    simonfbarnes
    Member

    That would be symbolic… something religion is not averse to doing on a very regular basis

    even if the thing being burnt is human 🙁

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    I’d settle for allowing the rest of us with no belief in a deity to have the same access to those positions of responsibility that currently exist only for people of ‘faith’.

    Seems fairy muff to me.

    Premier Icon yoshimi
    Subscriber

    IME of Catholic schools, If a place is available and that place is requested by and child, whatever religion they come from, they cannot be refused – FACT

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Control of religious schools goes deeper still than public funding and control of the entry requirements. The Governing bodies of church schools are directly controlled by the Parish priest who interviews and recommends (in effect final say) of who sits on the body. More and more control over curriculum, budgets and personnel is being handed to Governing bodies.

    mudshark
    Member

    So the schools are party funded by the religious organisation – why do they have so much power over who is allowed entry? I guess some agreement exists with the state that in return for funding they get control over entry? If that’s the case then blame the government not the religion.

    mountaincarrot – does it matter that the default position of many schools is that they teach Christianity as if it’s reality? My schools took that approach and can’t say that I’ve been negatively affected in anyway. Actually, I’m glad of it as I have knowledge of something that, rightly or wrongly, has played a part in this country’s history and continues to have influence. Maybe I’d be more fearfull if I didn’t have the knowledge I have?

    duckman
    Member

    Those positions of responsibility, what,3 Deputes and one Head Teacher per school? Seems fair to me in a school that openly claims to be a faith school. Taking into account your views, would you really want one of those posts anyway Mark?
    As for the symbolic burning of materials, which religion does on a regular basis. This thread was started about Christians, a few of us have dipped in, does anything posted suggest that we spend our time burning rock cd’s or blowing up the abortion clinic?

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    As for the symbolic burning of materials, which religion does on a regular basis.

    I think Mark meant symbolism in general, rather than burning things.

    Communion is symbolic. Except when Catholics do it when the wafers and wine turn into human flesh and blood, obviously.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    I’d settle for allowing the rest of us with no belief in a deity to have the same access to those positions of responsibility that currently exist only for people of ‘faith’.

    Is this the start of your campaign to be the next pope? 🙂

    I think some discrimination on religous ground will need to be allowed, otherwise we’ll see churches being sued because they didn’t give the vicar’s job to a Stanist*.

    *I mistyped Satanist, but I liked the idea that someone would worship Stan, so I left it.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    not all faith schools give their pupils an academic advantage.

    I can certainly vouch for that – the Catholic school I went to had a far lower academic standard than the school I would have gone to otherwise. Partly due to the fact its location was such that it picked up a lot of thick non-Catholic kids in its catchment area, partly due to the fact that there were two far better single sex Catholic schools very close by which the brighter kids tended to get sent to. IIRC the boys version was fee paying though, and we were poor.

    Didn’t really do me any harm in the long run, as I wouldn’t have got into a better university than I did, but I suspect I might have enjoyed life a bit more without being in mixed set classes in the first couple of years with some real thickies.

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