by Grania Spingies
Although most Americans correctly regard Europe as a fairly secular place with far lower levels of religiosity than the US; countries within Europe often find that there are still people in positions of power who find this immensely annoying and pine for the imaginary halcyon days of yore when European nations all bent the knee under the One True God.
It’s easy to do, so long as you forget such terms as The Dark Ages, The Wars of the Three Kingdoms (not a Middle Earth saga) and countless other wars and misery and ignorance that characterised the period.
The UK Secretary of State For Education Nicky Morgan has published new guidelines that states that contrary to a recent High Court ruling that atheism and humanism had been excluded unlawfully from the school curriculum; schools do not have to teach non-religious world views and should let students know Britain is “in the main Christian”. Interestingly, the inclusion of material on non-faith perspectives is an issue that had a very high public support level (over 90%) even amongst people of religion.
The Telegraph reports a spokesperson for the Secretary saying:
“Nicky has had enough of campaign groups using the Courts to try and force the teaching of atheism and humanism to kids against parent’s wishes.
“That’s why she’s taking a stand to protect the right of schools to prioritise the teaching of Christianity and other major religions.”
The whiff of imaginary persecution is strong in this one. Damn those humanists and their dastardly underhanded tactics of resorting to law courts to gain equality.
Religious schools have welcomed the guidelines (quelle surprise).
It is possible that eventually the Secretary will change her mind once she realises that everyone in the UK does not feel threatened by the inclusion of material on non-religious viewpoints. She used to be of the anti same-sex marriage persuasion, voting against it in 2013 but changed her mind a year later when it transpired that her constituents did not agree with her. If she comes to understand that the public consensus is in favor of including material on Humanism and Atheism, she may come to see the light.