Government-funded faith schools with a religious curriculum are still pervasive in the UK, where there’s no First Amendment to separate church and state. Today’s Jesus and Mo, called “rare,” takes them on, and came with a note:
“Thanks to this week’s guest scriptwriter Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, for his help.”
And that article links to a Humanist UK piece:
Welby said this in a House of Lords debate on education:
‘A major obstacle to our education system is a lack of clear internal and commonly held values. We live in a country where an overarching story which is the framework for explaining life has more or less disappeared. We have a world of unguided an competing narratives where the only common factor is the inviolability of personal choice. Which means that for schools that are not of a religious character, confidence in any personal sense of ultimate values has diminished. Utilitarianism rules. And skills move from being talents held for the common good which we are entrusted with as benefits for all, to being personal possessions for our own advantage.
‘The challenge is the weak, secular and functional narrative that successive governments have sought to insert in the place of our historic Christian-based understanding, whether explicitly or implicitly.’
Pardon my French, but the man is a dumbass. We all know that moral values, while they may be sustained by religion, almost always originate from secular sources. So much for the new “liberal” Anglican church. Welby needs to read some Plato!
On to Jesus and Mo:
In contrast, reader Graham sent this article from The Evening Standard (click on screenshot to read it):
Ofsted is the UK’s Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, and here’s what they reported (my emphases):
An increasing number of conservative faith schools are deliberately flouting British values and seek to isolate young people from the mainstream, Ofsted warned today in a damning report.
Some religious schools in both the state and independent sectors are spreading discriminatory beliefs that clash with British values. In extreme cases illegal “schools” are being created to avoid teaching the fundamental values of democracy, mutual tolerance and respect.
Launching her first annual report as Ofsted’s chief inspector, Amanda Spielman said inspectors have found texts in faith schools that encourage domestic violence and the subjugation of women, and schools where there is a “flat refusal” to acknowledge lesbian, gay and bisexual people.
She said: “When I see books in schools entitled Women Who Deserve To Go To Hell, children being educated in dank, squalid conditions, children being taught solely religious texts at the expense of learning basic English and mathematics, I cannot let it be ignored.
Guess which religion(s) are involved. No faith is mentioned here, but another report in the paper says this:
The majority of the schools [Spielman] criticises are Muslim, though there are also a small number of Jewish schools which fail on integration.
So, you Brits, Scots, and Welsh, your tax money is going to fund homophobia and misogyny. What are you going to do about it?
Even if the Qur’an says somewhere “this book is true,” which it doesn’t, that wouldn’t make it any truer than the Bible, which avows its own truth precisely as much as does the Qur’an. And although the Qur’an contains a lot from the Old and New Testaments, they can’t both be true as they differ in fundamental assertions, like whether Jesus was the Son of God and whether he was crucified.