Secular agenda is a Christian’s nightmare
‘What the atheists lack in numbers, they certainly make up for in terms of their influence and boldness. They understand that their beliefs are a worldview they are determined to impose on everyone else.’
The secularist’s dream – and our nightmare – is of a nation whose public life is emptied of all Christian belief.
Hart is on his high horse again – this time over Government plans to force independent schools to teach British values including:
Tolerance of those of different faiths.
The Christian Institute think-tank claims that the Department for Education’s (DfE) plans will have “serious and perverse consequences” and is mounting a judicial review against the six-week consultation process as a result.
Former education secretary Michael Gove put forward proposals to force all schools to “actively promote clear British values” in the wake of the Trojan Horse plot, which revealed a number of Birmingham schools’ involved in efforts to coordinate the teaching of Islamist views.
The government is introducing new standards requiring independent schools not to undermine the values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs.
This is a classic case of the government over-reacting to a perceived problem. They are shocking in their breadth and range and would destroy the independent sector.
They mistakenly advance the principle that political correctness equals British values.
Hart said the changes would result in punishment for any school which has a
Religious ethos, a set of traditional beliefs, or who don’t over promote every minority group’s world view.
Under the plans, private schools, academies and free schools would have much less control over their ethos than ordinary state schools.
The government has denied the Institute’s claim that the reforms would prevent teachers using gender-specific terms like “mother” or “father” – or that Christmas would have to be downgraded in independent schools. A DfE spokesperson said:
The Independent School Standards are designed to ensure every school prepares children for life in modern Britain. We make no apology for demanding high standards and the promotion of tolerance and respect of all faiths and cultures.
Secularists believe parental demand is the driving force behind the enduring presence of religion in schools. Many are now hoping the government’s response to the Trojan Horse scandal could be used to roll back the influence of Christianity, in particular, on education in England and Wales.
Stephen Evans of the National Secular Society said:
The Christian Institute has characteristically over-reacted to the government’s proposals. Throughout all aspects of education there should be an emphasis on the basic values that underpin a free, equal and progressive society.
Schools have long been regarded by some as places where it is legitimate to promote and seek to instil particular religious beliefs in children and young people.
The new standards start to address some of the worst excesses of that, so it’s not surprising that those who want to use schools to promote their own dogmatic beliefs are resisting the changes.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn