- Religion in schools
i thought education was supposed to be secular unless it was some sort of religious denomination school ie “xyz Catholic primary” or whatever.
Nope: all state schools in the UK are required by law to have a daily act of collective worship, which is broadly Christian in nature.Posted 3 years ago
We are a country that has a Christian history and tradition – our laws, contracts, values and morals are all rooted in that history even if the population is largely agnostic or atheist. I’m an atheist, I’m actually from several generations of atheists and have never been baptised or christened. I’m definitely, certified, not a christian. But I recognise that I’m an atheist within a christian tradition and my views and values are part of that, as are the laws I have to adhere to and the social contracts I make – such as marriage, family structure and fidelity, and the business contracts I make – such as loans and interest. So I’m a different kind of atheist to an atheist from atheist from any other tradition.Posted 3 years agojoolsburgerMember
Just give it a swerve unless it will upset your lass – Only you know. I’m as atheist as it gets but I still went to the nativity every year because one of my lads was a wise man or whatever. British religion isn’t really religion it’s more like a way to use nice churches so they don’t become flats and get better funding for certain schools.Posted 3 years ago
I only go to church for weddings and funerals
hows that different to the service your daughter is taking part in? Its an occasional social obligation – if the school were requiring her to be in church every sunday that’d be something different. But its easter, its a one off and theres probably some chocolate involved
And why, for the sake of balance, are you not equally going to mosques, synagogs and hindu temples for weddings and funerals too? 🙂Posted 3 years ago
I don’t have a problem with religion, I see how it gives a lot of people comfort. I just don’t like the way school seems to assume that the kids are Christian without actually teaching them that belief is a choice, in the same way that they could chose to be Buddhist etc.Posted 3 years agotinribzMember
Relax, from what my kids tell me Secondary schools are pretty much inline with your agnostic views (presumably not the catholic or Churchy academies though). For primary does it really matter? At that age the pros out weigh the cons, and most kids are in two minds about Father Christmas still.Posted 3 years agocbikeMember
Consider it a life lesson in politeness. eg taking off shoes at other people’s house’s, respecting them if they say grace at mealtimes. Sometimes you have to do stuff to keep other people happy even if they believe in imaginary things.
I played Tambourine once in a service because I wanted to and I thrashed everyone at the audition.
Keeping kids out of stuff because of “religion” is as daft as religion in the first place. And you don’t have to go to every thing your child is in. That’s a good life lesson too.Posted 3 years agocoffeekingMember
We live in an “officially” Christian country. By default it’s the primary religion of most people (in some variant). Not really surprising it’s “taught” as default.
I went to christian schools, religious Scout groups etc. I learned very little (of Christianity, or other religions), it didn’t interest me and I didn’t see any relevance to real life or any interest for me. Same applied to all of my friends. Why worry, any half-sane child will make their own mind up when it actually matters?Posted 3 years ago
I think it does very much matter that a child is being indoctrinated in this manner. Going to a service is fine maybe but reading out a prayer is a step too far imo. Imagine a muslim being asked to do this or a catholic in a c of e church.
Its not indoctrination though is it?- its participation in a social occasion – the OP says himself, he attends church services when the occasion calls for it, my muslim friend attend church services such as weddings and funerals when the occasion calls for it – they don’t find it a big deal. School is practice for life isn’t it?Posted 3 years ago
Well the very fact that people think you can have a “default” religion based on country of birth is pretty sad imo. It highlights why I wont allow it for my son. If he decides for himself to be a god botherer I suppose it would be different but he aint going to default to anything.Posted 3 years agocfinnimoreMember
I always remember “RE”being a doss subject but the most significant stuff i learned in school was in “SE” and “RE”.
Maths, English, Science…pah. Mrs. Walker and Mr. Volwerk educated me in morality. Showed me genocide and horror. They taught me “humanity” and it’s been far more constructive than long division or d=v/t.
Decade since and i remember my lessons in living far more than lessons in “learning”.
Teachers are important.Posted 3 years agojekkylMember
Who cares, you think too much. Your kid will grow up believing whatever they want to believe. I was brought up Catholic and went to a Catholic secondary school, am now an aethiest. If anything you should be thanking them because being exposed to that BS daily will make them realise that it is BS a whole lot quicker.Posted 3 years agodeadlydarcyMember
I went through years of this “indoctrination” in Irish catholic schools. What kids go through in CofE here has nothing on what we went through. I don’t believe a word of it now. It took me till my early teens to realise it. Nor, as far as I could ascertain, did any of my friends in university. Nor as far as I can ascertain do any of the ones I’m still in touch with now. I’m not saying “indoctrination” is a good thing, far from it, but in organised hypocrisies such as Western European Christianity, we tend to come out the other side of these things ok.Posted 3 years ago
Going to a church service to see what daft shite they get up to would be participating in a social event. Getting a person who is non religous to lead the prayers is a step too far and if you struggle to see that going to the odd funeral or wedding is different I guess discussing the matter with you is a waste of time.Posted 3 years ago
Going to a church service to see what daft shite they get up to would be participating in a social event. Getting a person who is non religous to lead the prayers is a step too far and if you struggle to see that going to the odd funeral or wedding is different I guess discussing the matter with you is a waste of time.
this is when I start to feel embarrassed about being an atheist. I actually feel shame when I read nasty crap like thatPosted 3 years agocoffeekingMember
Well the very fact that people think you can have a “default” religion based on country of birth is pretty sad imo. It highlights why I wont allow it for my son. If he decides for himself to be a god botherer I suppose it would be different but he aint going to default to anything.
“The Church of England is the established church in England. It retains a representation in the UK Parliament and the British monarch is its Supreme Governor.”
I don’t believe any other religion has this in the UK?
70something % of the population considers themselves Christian in some form.
I’d say these things make this the default religion of the UK. It doesn’t mean it’s one you might want, or it’s right to have a default. But it IS the default.Posted 3 years ago
So I am very agnostic about religion. I want my kids to learn about religion but not to be taught that one way is the right way. I think it is really important for kids to understand religious believes but have the choice about what they do, or not believe.
Why is it then that at primary school they just default to Christianity? Sure they learn about the other religions but it is almost assumed that unless they have other beliefs then they must belief in Christianity.I have to take the morning off work on Friday to go and see an Easter service in church because my eldest is performing in it. That has pissed me off as I only go to church for weddings and funerals, I’d rather use time off to ride my bike (I’d rather do lots of things before I choose to go to church) She has to read prayers. I’m not going to prevent her doing it as I don’t want her to be singled out as the only one not taking part but I see no evidence of her being taught that this is just one version of what people believe.
Am I unreasonable? I did speak to her teacher about it and she share my views but this doesn’t translate into the classroom.Posted 3 years agoonehundredthidiotMember
Lots of older schools were built using “christian” money to educate the poor and so by default have some sort of religion attached to them, obviously not so much now in a broadly secular society. Last school, obstenstably non-denominational but in a christian way. Did have imams, rabbis etc coming in to talk to the assembly (which ironically always ended with a nice sing-song) and went to sammy ling (sp).
I ignore th egod part but like the be nice to each other “rules” for life, which lets face it is pretty much what reiligion is, with a bogey man for the bad and a reward for the good, and an opportunity for the shysters to fleece the gullible.Posted 3 years agopolyMember
Nope: all state schools in the UK are required by law to have a daily act of collective worship, which is broadly Christian in nature.
well I don’t know what you guys do south of the border – but certainly this is NOT the law in Scotland. From franks’ CoS reference I assume he is in Scotland.
The Education (Scotland) Act 1980 (s8) recognises that historically it has been the practice for religious observance to be practiced within Scottish state schools; and permits local authorities to continue the practice provided that parents have the ability to “opt out”. Scottish Government guidance is that any child whose parents have opted out should receive worthwhile education in its place.
In order for a local authority to chose not to provide this blanket approach it has to poll the entire electorate. Inevitably that makes it easier to continue than contemplate the alternative. There is no requirement for the activity to be daily. Scottish government guidance is for at least 6 times per annum. Parents have a right to withdraw their children which should be made clear and with sufficient information to base the decision on. The reality will almost certainly be different. I know of schools where if your child is not participating they should not attend school, and others where the activity they will be given is not of educational value. I’ve not tested it at our school as my son doesn’t want to be “the only kid in the class who doesn’t go”.
Why in the 21st century this is still the case is a good question, but if you thought that the state was independent of the church you aren’t looking very far. Sadly despite the scottish government’s vocal commitment to removing sectarianism from society they have done little to address it.Posted 3 years agoJunkyardMember
but like the be nice to each other “rules” for life, which lets face it is pretty much what reiligion is,
Yes but not the gays or women bishops …just the ones we approve off.
You are a parent make your choice, some will agree some will disagree.
Personally i think the slow move to a less religious society is a blessing but its a slow journey.Posted 3 years agobarkmMember
We had similar issues at junior school. I simply politely declined and asked them to make alternate arrangements for my son. The school made various huffing noises about having to provide staff to look after my boy whilst the rest of the school went to church, but it was done.
To be honest we’re the indifferent type of atheists as a family and we’ve raised both our boys to be objective and open minded and come to their own conclusions in good time. But I was pretty upset at the time about the general assumption that all the school children were by default Christian and that it would be ok to spend a morning in church, rather than at school. If the school had approached it differently, it probably would not have raised my ire quite so much.
To its credit,the school goes to great lengths to accommodate other religions, not so much those without a faith.Posted 3 years agoTheBrickMember
70something % of the population considers themselves Christian in some form.
Its only really 70% though because it what people default to because of things like the OP is talking about. I don’t think most people really think about religion, but when they are asked in a sense they think, “Well, I was christened”, or “My primary school was CoE”, or “I guess I kind of believe in something” and because cultural default is Christianity that is the box they tick, because they don’t think are are not bothered. Many of these people may not believe in God or if they “believe in something”, that does not mean they are Christain, its just something they haven’t thought about or don’t think about much and just plump for the easy answer because they are not bothered. They may have some vague believe in a higher power this does not make the christian. A better question(s) might be:
1. Do you believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God, and he was sent to earth and he died to cleanse humanity of all our sins, that he rose again then ascended to heaven. That this shows God love for humanity as he sacrificed his son for humanity.
(This is my understanding of Christianity please correct if I am wrong)
Then a second question:
2. Do you believe in some form of higher being, or God, that there is someone or thing “above” us in some way?
I strongly suspect you would get a lot less than 70%. answering yes to #1.
Religious freedom is very important, and for many it offers great comfort, direction and community. In the OPs case he should just go and treat it as one of those going to see the kids things, but it is not right that the state should be funding religious schools and that if no one asks send them to a Christian church as default. It should be an after hours club if you are interested, that not to say schools should not teach about different religions, more teaching will occur to christianity due to the nature of history but this is different to being taken to church by the school.
Its also very sad that moral philosophy in frequently only taught within the context of religion, because it makes people equate morality with religion. Its not helpful for people to believe that the only way to morals are through religion, in fact personally I would say religion can (not does, can) hinder moral philosophy for some people due to immutable facts within their faith. This is definitely not the case for all religious people as many are very open to debate. The problem lies when a society at large associates morality and religion too closely. This can be seen by the fact that the church has some default seats in the house of Lords, primarily to offer moral guidance. This is not to say that it is a bad idea to have some seats reserved for those whose main concern when considering legislation should be that of morality and society; but it is bad when that view point comes solely from that of a religious perspective, and only one religious perspective.
[/End waffle]Posted 3 years agoTheBrickMember
P.S. From a personal point of view it would not so much aggravate me that my child was being taken to Church in terms of a cultural education but that they were being take to Church as an act of faith. Which given the fact that the op mentions that his child is doing a reading of prayer would suggest it is, I would not feel it to be right to ask someone who is not of faith to give a prayer. There is a massive assumption here that the OP child has not found God and he just does not know about it.Posted 3 years agoseosamh77Subscriber
From my experience catholic schools aren’t about indoctrination. They are about moralization. Nothing wrong with them. And tbh outside of primary school the catholic bit is virtually non existant. And even at primary schools its not the main focus. They even taught us about other religions and to respect them.
Now that’s my experience of schools from the 80s and 90s. I’d imagine it takes even more of a back seat these days.
If people end up overtly religious they are getting it from their home IMO.
Basically this is a complete non issue.Posted 3 years ago
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