11 September 2010

Faith Schools Menace - no question mark.

The UDA target Richard Dawkins
I've finally got round to watching Richard Dawkins' programme "Faith Schools Menace" on Channel 4. It's really rather good, and quite persuasive. I would probably class myself among those who thinks Richard writes better than he presents or interviews, but I thought this was a good demonstration of the disasters we are setting ourselves up for if we allow religions to control the education of our children.
I still don't think Richard quite "gets" Northern Ireland; the majority of the State schools are really very secular, although this can't be said for the Catholic Maintained Sector. Furthermore, the divisions in our society don't stem so much from the educational sector as from the home environment. That said, it is crazy that so many people insist that their children have segregated education, and the spokesmen from the Orange Order and the Catholic Maintained Sector were positively sinister. Choices in education are, apparently, a fundamental parental human right - and the children don't matter at all. That seems to be the message.
Children do need to be educated together; they do need to learn about religions other than those of their parents. Perhaps then more of them will realise that religion itself, generically, is false. That we owe no allegiance to mythical space pixies and messiahs, but to each other.
May that day roll on.


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