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Religions on Education committee


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Just when you think the world can get no crazier......

 

Now we are apparently forced to have people who make their living believing fairy stories autocratically parachuted into making education policy.

 

No wonder Councillor Wills walked out of this meeting.

 

And councillor Fullerton declares that she is compromised because of her membership of COS and has to declare an interest but then goes on to prevent a debate on the matter.

 

What was the point in declaring this interest? You really couldn't make this stuff up!

 

Regardless of current circumstances education is of prime importance and she should do her utmost to prevent it being compromised even if it does mean standing up to the law. Archaic laws regarding religions are seldom enforced in this country as they are seen for what they are so I very much doubt there could have been instant legal crisis anyway It would have been nice to see SIC have some principals for a change.

 

Alternatively they could just decide to co-opt a member of the Up Helly aa committee, someone from the big bannock and a member of Shetland archery club. They have as much relevance on an education committee as people who believe in sky gods. Probably more so when I think about it!

 

Religion does three things quite effectively, it divides people, it controls people and it deludes people.

 

It has no place in modern education unless of an historical nature and the SIC should have had the guts to say so. Keep it far away fae wir bairns!!

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Alternatively they could just decide to co-opt a member of the Up Helly aa committee, someone from the big bannock and a member of Shetland archery club. They have as much relevance on an education committee as people who believe in sky gods. Probably more so when I think about it!

 

Or they could appoint me, I despise equally all organised religions that require to be "taught". :twisted:

 

If folk want to believe any any faith, it should be up to them to decide that for themselves at an age when they are mature enough to make a fully informed and reasoned judgement, and its the various faiths and their existing adherents job to "spread the word" of them, not the state's. State and an individual's faith should never meet, to try and educate a minor to one faith, or a specific small section of similar faiths, is no different than the state educating minors in what their political beliefs or sexual orientation and preferences are.

 

Including a broad overview of all larger religions worldwide in a historical or social/modern studies context, fine. But the state has no business sticking its nose in further than that. Education, to be credible needs to maintain a wholly neutral stance on religious, political and sexual preferences, and anything else of a individually personal nature.

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What law is this and where has it come from, why now? Is it a law enforcing religion? It does sound like something dragged up from long ago.

 

I'm already struggling with having Christianity forced on my bairns under the guise of RME or whatever it's called now. Religious education should be completely separate from schools and education...moral education..yes ..understanding of the world of religious beliefs through the cultures...yes, but why ask people what there bairns religion is on enrollment forms and completely ignore what they have stated?

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Did some digging:

 

Local Government {Scotland} Act 1973 section 124

 

"124

Membership of committees appointed by education authorities.

 

Where an education authority appoint a committee whose purposes include—

(a) advising the authority on any matter relating to the discharge of their functions as education authority; or

(B) discharging any of those functions of the authority on their behalf,

the members of such committee shall, notwithstanding the provisions of section 57(3) and (4)(a) of this Act, be appointed in accordance with this section.

(2)

Subject to the provisions of section 59 of this Act, an education authority who appoint a committee such as is mentioned in subsection (1) above shall secure that—

(a) at least half of the persons appointed by them to be members of such committee are members of the authority; and

(B) the persons appointed by them to be members of such committee shall include the three persons mentioned in subsection (4) below.

(3) Subject to the provisions of subsection (2) above, an education authority may appoint persons who are not members of the authority to be members of a committee such as is mentioned in subsection (1) above.

(4) The three persons mentioned in subsection (2)(B) above (who shall not be members of the education authority appointing such committee) are—

(a) one representative of the Church of Scotland, nominated in such manner as may be determined by the General Assembly of the Church;

(B) in the case of the education authority for each area other than Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands and Western Isles, one representative of the Roman Catholic Church, nominated in such manner as may be determined by the Scottish Hierarchy of the Church; and

© one person or, in the case of the education authorities for Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands and Western Isles, two persons, in the selection of whom the authority shall have regard (taking account of the representation of churches under paragraphs (a) and (B) above) to the comparative strength within their area of all the churches and denominational bodies having duly constituted charges or other regularly appointed places of worship there."

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1973/65

 

 

The National Secular Society is calling for: " ...not only for an end to “faith schools†but the removal of religious representatives from local authority education committees. This would make schools more responsive to the views of atheist and other non-believing parents."

http://www.secularism.org.uk/nss-calls-for-end-to-state-funde.html

 

Jonathon is not alone...

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Absolutely disgusting "law" in this day and age, and quite shocking to be honest that it was included as late as 1973!

 

Well done Cllr Wills, 100% spot on this time.

 

Religious education is already scarily prevalent in our lasses school, lets hop this doesn't lead to it becoming even more so..

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I'm already struggling with having Christianity forced on my bairns under the guise of RME or whatever it's called now. Religious education should be completely separate from schools and education...moral education..yes ..understanding of the world of religious beliefs through the cultures...yes, but why ask people what there bairns religion is on enrollment forms and completely ignore what they have stated?

 

We are the same. I get really annoyed having to give a counter perspective to the christian doctrine that gets shoved down wir peerie lasses throat at school. Thankfully she can tell me that her and a lot of her pals question the idea of christian jesus and god amongst themselves when they are being made to do jesus stuff in class.

 

It seems that this is a common response amongst a lot o bairns so why do schools continue to confuse their minds wi this jiggery/pokery stuff?

 

This is not the point tho. I don't want to be influencing her one way or the other. I would prefer for her to make her own choice when she is old enough to look at it all objectively, that's if it even ever comes across her radar. She can then deal with it in what way she see's fit. But not when she's an impressionable minor. That's just not right in my opinion.

 

I don't even want to be discussing chritianity with her at this age but it seems I have to because of what goes on at school.

 

The only option they give you is to remove the bairn from all religious education but who wants to do exclude a bairn from her class? If it was fair then you would have to ask for your bairn to be included not excluded.

 

There's a million more important things for her to be thinking about in this stage in her education.

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It's a funny old world. I was raised a Roman Catholic. Sent to an RC primary school, but there was no RC secondary near us, so I went to a "mixed" secondary. This was in the late 70's, early 80's. The reaction in the secondary school though - in the Highlands - was strange. They didn't know what to do with us RCs during Religious Education, as this "mandatory curricular subject" was taught by Protestants, from the King James bible. Those of us who admitted to being RC or were known to be, as in my case, were shut in an empty classroom for the period and told to do our homework. No one to supervise us, or teach us. Then in 3rd year, I started going in to these lessons to find out the secret as to why we should be barred. Always one for a debate, I waited a few weeks until a teacher stated in the class that "only those who are of the Protestant faith, follow the literal word of the Bible and have been born again in the light and love of our Lord Jesus Christ shall know Heaven". That was it for me. I asked this rather rabid young teacher

whether this meant all those who follow other branches of doctrine, or sects

or religions would go to Hell. You know, Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, folk who have dedicated their lives to good over being a Modern Studies and part-time RE teacher? "Yes" he smirked. So I asked him where evil came from. "Satan". I asked whether he meant Lucifer, and why he referred to the Arabic, likely Muslim, name for him. He warned me for cheek but agreed it was Lucifer. I then launched into a discourse on how, if he believed every literal word of his good book, evil was created by God. It tells us that God created Lucifer as an archangel. That angels and archangels, unlike Man, have no free will. Therefore, to become evil, God must have planted those

seeds. Furthermore, if Lucifer was the sum and source of all evil, as he alleged, this makes him God. A God of evil, as God is a god of good, if his

logic was correct. I told him this was proclaimed a heresy by the Church and that people had been burned or persecuted for such Dualistic beliefs. I asked how this Dualistic view sat with being a born-again Christian and good Protestant? At this point, he was apoplectic and began screaming abuse so loudly that the head of his department, who had been next door, came in to

find out what was going on. Rather bizarrely, I was deemed to blame for the froth around the teacher's mouth (literally), and I was castigated for being in a class where I "didn't belong". There was no other mention ever made. I think they were embarrassed by the whole affair. I never went back to the neo-Masonic "class" and the teacher avoided me ever after. Not that they'd likely have had me back!

 

That was the day I decided I had been right about religion, and that unless it is an informed choice by the individual, it can harm and divide in the wrong

hands or minds or mouths. For instance, I have recently heard a tale about comments made to children at the summer Christian kids camp, which I hope are untrue or exaggerated. Because, if not, things have not changed at all and what was said is repulsive and disgusting in its lack of morality.

 

But I must also say that, in my teens, I had the privilege to get to know the

father of my best friend. He was a minister, and quite possibly the most wise and intelligent man I have ever met. To each of the points I would make to

him about Genesis being cribbed from the Sumerians, the cross and resurrection/the font/the sign of the cross/communion from the cult of Mithras/Sol Invictus, my outrage at the Cathar, Albigensian and Manichaean pogroms, the Inquisition, the corruption of something good for man's greed and power, that Jesus was a fundamentalist Jew, not a Christian, he would smile and say, "I know". He would not argue those points. He accepted them as he accepted that, as a former highly decorated soldier and man of extreme

violence, the Church had given him a new life. This man, like many others,

devoted himself to good works. I mean that. He did it because, although he knew the shams and fallacies and frauds that the Church is based on, he truly believed it could do great good and so stood for something better. As a minister, that was what he stood for as well.

 

So to all those out there who, like my younger self, rail against the Church in whatever form, and decry it's purpose, I have to say that this man showed

me that in the RIGHT hands, mouths and minds, it collectively is an

exceptional institution that can stand for something better.

 

Which is not to say I necessarily think the minister should be automatically allowed on to the committee. But then again, I have issues with certain councillors being on any such committeer!! Can a man who has spent his life serving his community in another way, be any worse than some of the self-serving articles that often occupy Council seats on a far more temporary basis? Hmmmmm?

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Curriculum for excellence

RME {religious and moral education} - experiences and outcomes

 

 

"Learning through religious and moral education enables me to:

 

• recognise religion as an important expression of human experience

• learn about and from the beliefs, values, practices and traditions of Christianity and the world religions selected for study, other traditions and viewpoints independent of religious belief

• explore and develop knowledge and understanding of religions, recognising the place of Christianity in the Scottish context

• investigate and understand the responses which religious and non-religious views can offer to questions about the nature and meaning of life

• recognise and understand religious diversity and the importance of religion in society

• develop respect for others and an understanding of beliefs and practices which are different from my own

• explore and establish values such as wisdom, justice, compassion and integrity and engage in the development of and reflection upon my own moral values

• develop my beliefs, attitudes, values and practices through reflection, discovery and critical evaluation

• develop the skills of reflection, discernment, critical thinking and deciding how to act when making moral decisions

• make a positive difference to the world by putting my beliefs and values into action

• establish a firm foundation for lifelong learning, further learning and adult life. "

http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/Images/rme_experiences_outcomes_tcm4-539887.pdf

 

 

When I trained as a Primary teacher {91-95} the 5-14 RME Document had 3 parts which had equal time & importance allocated:

Christianity

Other World religions

Personal search

 

I believe that RME has an important place in the curriculum; learning about All the different religions and faiths: beliefs and practices, festivals and rites of passage etc. as well as encouraging critical thinking and exploration, encouraging development of positive moral values and tolerance.

 

Religious Instruction and / or Observance, in my personal opinion, has no place in schools today, I believe that is up to parents and guardians.

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For instance, I have recently heard a tale about comments made to children at the summer Christian kids camp, which I hope are untrue or exaggerated. Because, if not, things have not changed at all and what was said is repulsive and disgusting in its lack of morality.

 

My 9yo went this summer, I had misgivings but I place as much emphasis on "freethinking" as I do on "atheist" so she went with my blessing.

 

She was explicit on her return in explaining that she was greatly distressed that I would be going to hell along with her little brother, amongst other things.

 

Now, the terminate with extreme prejudice part of me suggested getting in the car and going to Sumburgh to have a frank discussion with the people who pupport to be "Christians" that run this camp. The hearts and minds department of Jambo6's (Top Secret) military operations won the day though and decided we have a year to rectify this indoctrination. On the upside she has shown no inclination to go to sunday school since then so perhaps she's done some private cogitation and drawn her own conclusions.

 

As to the OP - Mr Wills is right. He is a lot of the time but chooses to express himself like a naughty schoolboy, which unfortunately undermines his point of view. Walking out of the meeting in this case is not atypical and I really wonder what he thinks it achieves, apart from giving the Shetland Times something to gleefully dwell upon?

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