Education

Hounding Tim Farron about gay sex deflects from LibDem vote to abolish faith schools

While the Christian leader of the Liberal Democrats was being harassed and hounded day after day by liberal metropolitan journalists to pronounce on whether he believed homosexual acts were sin (which belief would surely be a mortal sin against liberal metropolitan orthodoxy, and so the end of his political career), all journalistic scrutiny was deflected from the real illiberal Liberal Democrat intolerance of fervent (Christian) faith, which is that they have voted to abolish state faith schools, or ‘schools with a religious character’.

It isn’t couched in such stark terms, but that is most definitely what their new party policy amounts to. A motion in their Spring Conference waffled on so very liberally about how “Religious communities make a valuable contribution to the cultural life of the UK”; and how “religious organisations have played a major historic role in broadening access to education”; and how “There continues to be a place for state schools with a religious character”; and “Where different bodies are allowed to sponsor state schools, religious organisations should not be discriminated against in so doing.” It’s all so deliciously super-duper; so effusively tolerant. But look at the detail:

Where religious instruction, worship or other religious practice takes place in state-funded schools it should not be compulsory..

That is to say, the religious character of faith schools may not be inculcated; the school’s religious ethos may not be reified to the extent that dissenting students might consider it an imposition. This actually turns the current law on its head: since the 1944 Education (‘Butler’) Act, attendance has been compulsory unless parents withdraw their children (and since 2006, sixth-formers have been free to withdraw themselves). The LibDems seek to give all children of all ages the right to withdraw from religious instruction and the daily act of collective worship, which will effectively kill both off. What 12-year-old boy would want to sit and hear someone drone on (and on) about God’s boring rules when the alternative is more cricket and football (it can’t be Maths, or that would be seen as punitive, and so discriminatory, and so illegal).

Currently, the law requires that Religious Education “reflects the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian while taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain”, so Christianity may lawfully be given more time or greater focus than other religions or non-religious worldviews. But the LibDems demand absolute equality: they say RE must cover “all the major religious and non-religious viewpoints”. They haven’t defined ‘major’, which leaves the door open to groups of children campaigning for equality for Jedi (at the very least, what if there is a Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon in the classroom? Why should they be discriminated against?).

The LibDems also want to separate Religious Education from Religious Instruction, thereby isolating an important means of values unculcation. Teachers may teach religious options and choices objectively, but they may not venture into notions of right and wrong, or good and evil, for that would be wrong and evil. It would also become increasingly unlikely, if not intellectually impossible, when:

Teaching and other staff of state-funded schools (other than those who are mainly or exclusively responsible for providing religious instruction) should not be employed, dismissed, promoted, demoted or otherwise discriminated against on the basis of their protected characteristics under the Equality Act.

If faith schools may not discriminate in the employment of staff on the basis of religion – except, that is, for the teacher of Religious Instruction, whose classes no-one attends anyway – in what sense may a faith ethos be reified? What manner of Catholic school is it when none of the staff (including the headteacher) is a practising Roman Catholic, bar the one who teaches Religious Instruction (which no-one attends) and takes the daily act of worship (which eight children attend, and only because their parents make them)? What teachers would agree voluntarily to lead (or even attend) the daily act of collective worship when there’s piles of marking to be done? If the headteacher and RE teacher at a Jewish school may be Muslims, and all the other staff may be of all faiths and none, what credible Jewish ethos may be inculcated into the hearts, minds and characters of its students?

But then we get the ultimate LibDem objective. They want “a new approach to faith schools” which:

Ensures that selection in admissions on the basis of religion or belief to state-funded schools is phased out over up to six years.

This is why humanists and secularists are cock-a-hoop about the proposal. If teachers (and headteachers) in faith schools may not be employed on the basis of faith; if RE must teach all faiths equally and objectively; if student attendance at RI is optional; if student and teacher attendance at the daily act of collective worship is optional; if school admissions may no longer be determined by faith, the school ceases to be confessional in any meaningful sense: its ‘religious character’ is nullified, and we are left with a bog standard ‘secular’ school.

But carry on hounding Tim Farron about whether or not gay sex is a sin. That’s far more entertaining.

  • len

    How many muslim candidates would be hounded over their beliefs?.
    But Christians are a ‘soft target ‘ so these ‘liberals’ are using Tim Farron’s religious beliefs(if he can hang on to them?) as a tool to drag him down.
    These’ liberals’ descend like ravenous wolves to attack anyone who opposes their ‘liberal belief systems.

    • Indeed.
      I wonder how many people have asked the current mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, or whatever his name is, about homosexuality.

      • Badjumbly

        Sadiq Khan has already made his view of homosexuality and homosexual relations perfectly clear. He led last year’s London Gay Pride.

        • Merchantman

          If he wasn’t Mayor I’ll bet there would be a Fatwa by now.

          • len

            The way things are who knows?.

        • len

          Which makes my point rather well.Politicians sell out their religious beliefs for their own personal aims.

          • Badjumbly

            Some might indeed, but my own point was that asking Khan to deliver a clear statement on homosexuality would be a waste of interview time, as he’s already done that.

        • Paul Greenwood

          He is making Boris Johnson look good. Bring back the GLC

        • Dreadnaught

          The Pink vote is nearly as valuable as the Islamic vote(s) vote(s) vote(s)

          • Little Black Censored

            Figures please.

          • Dreadnaught

            You go figure it for yourself.

          • Little Black Censored

            You have lost me. Are you saying that there are nearly as many pinks as Moslems? I don’t see how that can possibly be, but perhaps you have evidence.

    • Coniston
      • Watchman

        Thanks for the link, Coniston. Brilliant article!

    • Paul Greenwood

      Islam resorts to physical violence and Western society is terrified of physical violence although it inflicts it around the world by technological means

    • Dreadnaught

      Its symptomatic of the never had it so good for so little effort generation.
      Shitty point scoring off white men in politics, by a celebrity obsessed tabloid media and the lumpen proletariat.
      Saw a woman being interviewed about the impending general election only to reply that she knew nothing about it; ‘don’t listen to the ‘news’ I only watch reality TV programmes’. ‘Reality’? – gimme strength.
      This is why Democracy and the consequences of losing it are so little understood -(we apparently don’t even teach the meaning of it), yet ask others to prepare to die in defending it.

  • Martin

    One wonders what sort of Christian would rise high in the Liberal Democrat party.

    • Paul Greenwood

      It is not a political party, it is the absence of core values and the assemblage of prejudices

      • Martin

        Paul

        I’d say that was a political party. 😉

  • Watchman

    If Tim Farron had been a bit more astute he would have asked his interviewer what he/she meant by sin and who defines what is a sin. He need not have been cornered if he had referred the question to the infallible Word of God and on that basis asked the interviewer what he/she thought. I thought he was a politician. It highlights the impossiblility of being a liberal and a Christian, though I do wonder how he would define a Christian.

    • Dominic Stockford

      You’ve been reading David Robertson? Haven’t you? If not you should go to weaflea.

      • Watchman

        Hi, Dominic, I’m not sure which part of my rant you picked up on, but I’ve never heard of David Robertson. If the latter part about liberalism and Christianity I read John Stuart Mill some 50 years ago and realised that liberalism was a secular philosophy that couldn’t fit into God’s kingdom.

      • Watchman

        What’s weaflea?

      • Coniston
        • Watchman

          Thanks, lakelander!

  • vsscoles

    Farron’s party has long been one of the most intolerant of any kind of religious belief, and he is its leader. Hoisting and Petards come to mind.

  • What I can’t understand is why this Tory government hasn’t repealed the Marxist Equality Act already, and returned to us some of our basic liberties. It is the single most oppressive and anti-liberal piece of legislation on the books (and that’s saying something), essentially banning all kinds of civil freedoms that we had previously taken for granted. Religious freedom is only the most obvious casualty of this neo-Marxist piece of social engineering.

    Anti-discrimination legislation should only ban differential treatment on grounds which are not relevant to the matter in question. They shouldn’t place a blanket ban on differential treatment on some arbitrary list of ‘protected characteristics’ – what a ridiculous idea. And neither should they shift the discretion over what is and isn’t relevant to the state or courts more than is absolutely necessary – light touch and minimal intervention should be the key, safeguarding the liberty of civil society.

    Of course, it goes without saying that differential treatment on religious grounds is frequently essential in the enterprise of a religiously-based education. The idea that rules which apply to a generic business should apply in the same way to religious places of education is just idiotic, and shows the lamentable state of moral and political discourse in the modern UK.

    • Martin

      Will

      And of course, some of those ‘protected characteristics’ aren’t so much characteristics as behaviours.

    • John

      The Conservatives often say the right things and are, on the whole, slightly more likely to resist the pressures of the liberal mafia. But make no mistake; since David Cameron’s rise to prominence they are going exactly the same way as all the others on this and it hasn’t improved much since he left power.

    • Watchman

      Will, whenever the left pass restrictive or social engineering legislation is it rare for a Conservative government to rescind it. The result is that we have slid leftwards to the point that the Conservatives are almost indistinguishable from Labour or the Dim Libs. Legislation directed at encouraging people to be more thick skinned, to take more responsibility for themselves and abolition of socialised medicine, education and income distribution would be good places to start.

    • Thomas Moon

      If a party can repeal legislation and choose not to then the conclusion must be that they agree with that legislation. Have you any evidence that the Conservative Party is more interested in our basic liberties that Labour or the Lib Dems? I can’t see any.

      • Dominic Stockford

        They aren’t conservative. They are merely Conservative. Ironically, my local Tory branch is fairly conservative, and I would fit in pretty well. That said, they are not in synch with the national or parliamentary party on that.

  • David

    Of all the established parties the illiberal Lib-Dems have long been enemies of faith, especially the Christian faith. I see his public trial by the media inquisition as sad but ironical.

  • dannybhoy

    You’re a Christian, you want to serve your country and make it a better, fairer, more compassionate society..
    Yes, but what to do? What to do?
    I know! I’ll join the Lib Dems and get into politics. The sky’s the limit -especially now Nick’s gone!
    Hang on though, what if the Press asks any difficult questions like; “Where do you stand on gay sex?”
    Hmmm, well I could pretend I didn’t hear the question,
    or I didn’t understand the question,
    or I started to answer and time ran out….
    (Press arrive)]
    Mr Farron, Mr Farron! Where DO you stand on the issue of gay sex??
    Oo- er Ooo -er! What do I say? Erm Erm Erm…
    ^@**BOO-OOOM…!!*”@*
    RIP Tim Farron.

  • Royinsouthwest

    Who would have thought in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, or even the first decade of this century that there would come a time when as far as the media were concerned gay sex would become the defining political issue? Of course it isn’t for about 98% of the British public, but who cares what then think?

    • Dominic Stockford

      I read an interesting article about the USA. It seems that there it is one’s opposition to the killing of unborn children (sorry, they don’t like the truth, they prefer ‘abortion’ don’t they) that was the defining political issue. Somehow or another Trump worked round it, but his election has had the joy of removing it from ‘things that bar you from public office’.

  • carl jacobs

    The functional state religion is not Christianity. The citizens of the state by and large serve another god. The state will therefore inevitably become beholden to that god and seek to serve it. You can’t hide from this truth by making futile appeals to the historic place of Christianity. That simply doesn’t matter anymore. Nor does it matter that Islam does not get the same treatment. It is not Islam that the new state religion seeks to displace.

    The Catholic School system in the US grew up because the Public Schools were for all intents and purposes Protestant. So follow that lead. If you want religious education you will have to build it outside of the state system.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Who cares about the USA ? Tim Farron is not a Senator nor a Congressman. The US does not even have a national school exam or curriculum. in England things are different so focus on the issues not extraneous detail

      • bluedog

        It takes a particular provincial insularity to declare that nothing outside one’s own limited horizon is of interest.

        • Paul Greenwood

          Tim Farron should be meeting with Trump then to discuss LGBT issues with Princess Ivanka and Crown Prince Jared

    • Coniston

      Or resort to Home Schooling – before it is banned.

  • Badjumbly

    The interviewers who treated Farron’s moral view of gay sex as being of public interest must somehow believe that a thoroughly trained and experienced British MP and party leader might allow his political actions to be affected by his morality. Where did they get such a notion?

    • Royinsouthwest

      Obviously no atheist or agnostic would let their political actions be influenced by any consideration of right and wrong, would they?

      • Badjumbly

        I think they might. My view of politicians is not as cynical as my previous comment ironically pretends.

  • Badjumbly

    Wanting to abolish state faith schools is not intolerant of faith. It’s intolerant of public funding of faith. I assume that faith is capable of surviving the abolition of state faith schools.

    • carl jacobs

      It’s intolerant of public funding of faith

      Well, it certainly is intolerant of public funding for any faith other than the de facto established faith of the modern age.

      • Badjumbly

        Which is? Let me guess. Something that isn’t a religion?

        • Watchman

          Money, the need for adoration, homophilia, climate change and the compensation culture are, among many other things, religions. They are the gods of this age

          • Badjumbly

            Why bother thinking straight when you can bend definitions?
            Because people might notice the bent definitions.

          • Garry Otton

            Well put Badjumbly!

        • carl jacobs

          But that’s the trick, isn’t it? To define your own metaphysical presuppositions as something other than religion. It allows for legal privilege but it doesn’t change the nature of the beliefs.

          The modern age is built upon two assertions.

          1. Man is a morally autonomous being.

          2. All things have immanent cause.

          Those two assertions are both profoundly connected and profoundly religious in nature. You can’t make them non-religious by the expedient employment of an ipse dixit.

          • Badjumbly

            And what are my metaphysical suppositions? Do you suppose you know?
            And what ipse dixit?

          • carl jacobs

            I know of you what you have posted here. And how do you think you present?

          • Badjumbly

            You didn’t answer either of my questions, so I’m not going to answer yours until you do.

          • carl jacobs

            Heh. This ain’t my first time around the block, bub. Answer or not as you see fit.

          • Badjumbly

            I see fit not to give you an answer after you have denied me two. You vaguely allege that I have “metaphysical suppositions” and have commited an “ipse dixit”, but when requested to specify what these are, you ignore the request, making the allegations look unsupported. If you can’t supply evidence, throwing clever-sounding words about is not enough.
            Bub.

          • carl jacobs

            I’ve been around this weblog for over six years. One gets to recognize certain patterns. Like, for example, when there suddenly appears on the weblog two posters I don’t recognize who are making very similar arguments. Those posters will cover the thread with arguments about atheism.

            About 40 minutes ago I opened your Disqus account. It took me all of 15 seconds to find this:

            I’M [sic] not. I’m a gay atheist, you dope.

            Posted here: https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/04/tim-farron-should-do-god-its-a-vote-winner/#

            I’m going to work now. These little incursions aren’t worth the time or effort. You aren’t here to engage. You are here to make trouble. Eventually you will get bored and go away.

            As I said, this ain’t my first time around the block.

          • Badjumbly

            Still no explanation of what you meant by my “metaphysical suppositions” and “ipse dixit”. Just irrelevant bluster to distract from your inability to back up those allegations.

            You didn’t mention the context of that quote. It was my reply to someone styled Grumbledog who claimed that everyone was threatened by gays and atheists, and then called me a dope. So my capitalisation of “I’M” was for deliberate contrastive emphasis, and my calling him a dope was just a taste of his own medicine. No wonder you omitted the context.

          • carl jacobs

            Still no explanation of what you meant by my “metaphysical suppositions”

            It’s not “supposition”. It’s presupposition. And, no, I don’t normally define words I expect you to already understand. Guess what. I don’t feel the need to explain words like “axiom” or “corollary” either. If you really don’t know what a presupposition is, then I suggest you read a book.

            You didn’t mention the context of that quote.

            Well, no, I guess I didn’t –
            other than including the the link from which the conversation was extracted. I don’t post quotes without including the source reference so that people can check the context on their own.

            And whadaya kno

          • Badjumbly

            Ah, you’re back. So this little incursion IS worth a little more time and effort after all.

            A presupposition IS a species of supposition, and my use of the latter word makes no difference to the sense. If you allege that I have presuppositions, you allege that I have suppositions of a kind.

            I was not asking you to define any words. I was asking you to explain what metaphysical (pre)suppositions you think I have. I also asked you to explain what ipse dixit you think I employed. You have still done neither, and I’m not holding my breath. Don’t you think you should support your allegations before you start nit-picking, or is the nit-picking another distraction from the lack of support for the allegations?

            No, you didn’t mention the context of that quote, so anyone who doesn’t bother to click on the link would not understand why I called someone a dope. I wanted to make the reason clear on THIS page.

          • Badjumbly

            I’m going to bed now and won’t return to this page, so I’ll probably never find out what metaphysical presuppositions you think I have and what ipse dixit you think I employed. You needn’t worry about being asked again, but I advise you, in any future attempts at debate, not to make allegations you can’t specify or support.

          • carl jacobs

            Oh and btw. It was not lost on me that you don’t even know why ‘sic’ would be inserted into a quote.

          • Badjumbly

            Of course I do. Had you quoted that whole exchange, the reason for the capitalisation would have been clear, and you wouldn’t have needed to insert the “sic”.

          • len

            Stamps foot and goes into a corner to sulk..LOL.

          • Badjumbly

            No. Insists on a level playing field, or won’t play ball. It’s called reciprocity.

          • Merchantman

            Who’s your ref?

    • John

      Why should the state only fund schools without an element of faith in its ethos? I pay taxes as well. I don’t agree that agnostics and atheists should enjoy the privileged position of a monopoly on state education. Am I less of a citizen because I want my children to go to a church school? There is a reason why they are very popular with parents.

      • Badjumbly

        The state should not fund faith schools for the same reason it should not fund atheist or agnostic schools. If it funds only one perspective on religion, it is guilty of favoritism. If it funds a number of mutually contradictory perspectives, it is somewhere funding perspectives that cannot be true. If it doesn’t fund any faith or anti-faith perspectives at all, it is neutral on faith, and can get on with its proper job of educating all our children on an equal basis.

        All of our state schools are (or are supposed to be) politically neutral, but no-one calls that a monopoly.

        No, you’re not less of a citizen because you want your children to go to a church school. Lots of people want things I don’t think they should have, but that doesn’t affect their citizenship.

        • Coniston

          The assumption here is that a wholly secular school is completely neutral. It is not. It has its own belief system (which it undoubtedly thinks is neutral) about the nature of reality, and which is imposed by the staff, the government or the fashionable belief that ‘everyone thinks like this’. And whether schools today can be called politically neutral is debatable.

          • Badjumbly

            I did not assume or even claim that a wholly secular school is completely neutral. I wrote only about neutrality in the matter of faith, which IS achievable.

          • Anton

            You mean faith in a deity. You will inevitably find you have faith in the truth of certain propositions.

          • Badjumbly

            I meant specifically religious faith, and thought that would be understood in the context of this page.

          • Anton

            But religions are not all the same. The notable atheist thinker Bertrand Russell pointed that out.

          • John

            I lived in France for some time. The secular utopia they call laïcité there began as ‘the state is neutral on religion, for which there is complete freedom of choice, and does not favour one over any other’ but ended up as ‘the state ruthlessly eradicates all expressions of adherence to a religion from the public sphere, no exceptions.’ That’s where consistency in secularism inevitably leads. That’s where the LibDems want to take us. No thanks.

    • Paul Greenwood

      The State should NOT run schools. That is a Prussian ideological position from the days of Frederick the Great

      • Merchantman

        Bit extreme view in my opinion. There has to be a safety net or you will be condemning millions to a life of illiteracy and penury.

        • Paul Greenwood

          No. Education should be by ability and not by money or postcode. The State should not run schools but everyone should be educated by ability and with means-tested fees

    • Paul Greenwood

      There is no reason for taxpayers as a whole to pay to educate the offspring of parents who refuse to pay for it themselves

      • Badjumbly

        Only privately funded education, eh? Is that what you had?

        • Paul Greenwood

          No I did not but today you pay huge sums to get the State education I received

    • Dominic Stockford

      It is the faith of the nation, it is the faith of our constitution, it is the faith on which this country became Great. That belongs, it has a place, it should be here.

      • Badjumbly

        Whether your faith stays around as major national influence depends on whether future generations find it convincing. No constitution can guarantee that they will.

  • Badjumbly

    “Hounding Tim Farron about gay sex deflects from LibDem vote to abolish faith schools.”

    Aha! So perhaps Tim’s evasiveness was just a cunning ruse to keep them asking that question and not another one. Was that it, Tim? Come on, Tim. Answer the question.

  • Garry Otton

    ‘Bog standard secular schools’ did very well in the 19th century. Sadly, they no longer exist. Not wanting to sound like the ‘liberal metropolitan orthodoxy’ Mr Cranmer so despises, can I ask why all our schools have to be run by boring old duffers for whom the Bible is still relevant?

    • Watchman

      Because the Bible is the inspired Word of God to mankind and as He exists outside time it is relevant for now and for eternity.

      • Garry Otton

        LOL. Brainwashed from birth. There’s very little evidence of any of that. Tales written years after the event with nothing supporting what paid scribes were made to put down. Just a load of tosh! I don’t care what you think, but stop indoctrinating more children in Faith schools. We’ve paid too heavy a price with too many lives lost.

        • layreader

          There’s really no point in arguing with people like Garry. They have their own brainwashed view, and nothing is going to alter it.

          • len

            They have been Indoctrinated into atheism.Its part of the school cirriculum now.
            Then they are released into society to carry on the work they have been programmed to do…Sad.

          • Sarky

            Don’t know anyone indoctrinated into atheism, that’s not really how it works. However, i know plenty indoctrinated into faith.
            As for atheism being part of the curriculam, I’ve seen my kids re syllabus and its hardly mentioned.
            Its very easy to blame everyone else for the falling away from faith isn’t it?

          • Merchantman

            The indoctrination you are talking about was what England stood for and had made it a relatively cohesive and low crime society.

          • len

            So they teach Creation in schools to give a balanced view now sarky..Well I never….

          • Sarky

            Pretty sure they only teach facts not fairy stories.

          • Navarth

            Casual sneering references to “fairy tales” instantly inform you that the individual who mocks this wonderful literature is illiterate. Fairy tales, like other folklore, are priceless historical records of human culture and are often moral stories, such as Aesop’s Fables, or even allegorical references to real events.

          • Sarky

            Like the bible.

          • len

            You have a closed mind Sarky.Closed to the Truth unfortunately for you.
            See my post above…

          • Sarky

            Rubbish. How many times do i need to say that i was raised in a christian home, where creation wasn’t even questioned.
            My mind isnt closed, it was opened!!

          • wisestreligion

            The child who has learnt the creation story has more wisdom than the clever adult who has learnt nuclear physics.

          • Sarky

            I learnt it (was raised a christian)
            And i can personally vouch for the fact that your statement is rubbish.

          • wisestreligion

            Well, to test that you could illuminate us with your own revelation of the meaning of life and we could see if it stands the test of time, by still guiding a few billion people over 2,600 years from now.

          • Sarky

            There is no meaning to life. Everyone is on their own journey and more than a few billion people have realised this.

          • Jon of GSG

            Actually, I think that is exactly how it works.. I can think of several people I know who have been indoctrinated into atheism. The indoctrination that really works is that which comes through unspoken assumption.

            Perhaps I can give an example through how RE is taught in primary schools. When I took my PGCE I was told it’s very important to be even-handed in how we present different faiths, not representing any as more or less valid than the others. That is obviously right in one way, but one obvious result of this approach (which wasn’t discussed) is that children of that age will, unless the teacher is very aware and quite clever, interpret “equally valid” as “equally true”. And if they are equally true, then they are all false.

            Add this to the fact that, in a non-church school, God is invariably never mentioned outside the RE classroom – if God were real, surely he would have importance in adults’ lives enough for them to talk about him? – and you have some pretty strong indoctrination going on.

            I might add that we were strongly advised not to share our personal beliefs with the children, but the only study on the subject I know of found that atheistic teachers were something like 50% more likely to share their beliefs with pupils than Christian teachers were. A commonly-cited reason was that the atheist teachers thought their beliefs were “more objective”.

          • Sarky

            Your second paragraph kind of hits the nail on the head. Children arent stupid. They can quite easily work out that not all religions can be true and as you say will then work it out that they are therefore false. Is that indoctrination?? Or a case of ‘out of the mouths of babes’?

            Edit: since when did it become the job of a school to evangelise? Surely that’s the job of the church?

          • Jon of GSG

            I call it indoctrination because the way schools chose to present it tacitly leads to that conclusion – without any relevance to how true any of the religions is. You could present really any two mutually-opposed viewpoints in this way and thus imply they were both false. That wouldn’t say anything about which were in fact false.

            And it’s always been the job of Christians everywhere to evangelise – they are what the church is after all. I’m firmly of the view that schools in one way or another do inevitably inculcate a belief system, and as I say at the moment it is generally atheism. The notion that schools are currently run in a way that treats different beliefs even-handedly is quite wrong, and I don’t see it as the job of our school system to consistently evangelise for atheism.

          • Sarky

            The easiest thing would be to remove all religion from education. Its clearly just taught as a token gesture, so what’s the point??,

          • Jon of GSG

            Well, three reasons, I’d think.
            Firstly because it’s important for people to understand what is important in other people’s lives;
            Secondly because “what’s it all about?” is one of life’s most important questions;
            And thirdly because, as I say, schools inevitably inculcate some kind of belief system, and if we leave religion out then that will be atheism. So it’s not even-handed to leave out religion.

          • len

            Children aren’t stupid.No, given a well grounded unbiased education.
            Children (and adults) have been indoctrinated into a atheistic belief system by our education system, but probably more than that by the wide screen plasma box that sits in the room banging out propaganda day and night.

            Nearly every TV programme is putting out Secular Humanist propaganda.

          • Sarky

            Examples?

          • len

            Falling away from the faith, or perhaps not having ‘good ground’ for the seed?.

            ‘Good ground’ is a receptive mind to Gods Truth, not the closed mind we witness on this blog daily .

            The parable of the sower.

            “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow, but when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

          • Sarky

            And why should it? If they have come to an informed position, who are you to just dismiss what they’ve said?
            From what i have read, Garry has a balanced view that has taken into account the facts, have you?

          • Garry’s view ‘balanced’ and ‘takes account of the facts’! Sarky, puleeeeese!

        • len

          And who’s the brainwashed one now?.
          A product of ‘those cathedrals of atheism'(our education system) unable to think for themselves anymore’.Dumbed down ‘youth is the term I believe?.

          • Garry Otton

            pmsl! With forced praying in all schools. With a third Faith schools in England with dozens more opening under the Tory’s free school programme and in Scotland, up to four unelected religionists on every education committee to ensure the religious establishment keeps indoctrinating children. ‘Cathedrals of atheism? Lol. Maybe the fact there are atheists at all is a product of religionists insisting in ramming it down our throats in schools. I’m a proud freethinker. 🙂

          • No one is a ‘freethinker’. To believe you are shows how little you think.

          • Garry Otton

            Freethinkers have a good long tradition. It would be fun to have some of the deluded train crash victims of religion on here to join us on Facebook’s Secular Scotland to face the public. It should be fun! Scotland has a proud history of the enlightenment and freethinkers including young Edinburgh student Tom Aikenhead who was hanged at the Church’s behest for blasphemy. Calling Jesus a magician. If he was, he wasn’t even a very good one!

          • Garry, why do you say Jesus wasn’t a very good magician? And are you basing your evidence (for which I wait) on these NT books that you dismiss?

          • Garry Otton

            I’ve no evidence for Jesus whatsoever.

          • So how can you say if he was a mani Ian he probably wasn’t a very good one? These are empty sweeping assertions.

          • Garry Otton

            You’ll have to ask Tom. But you lot had him hung for blasphemy.

          • Sarky

            Paul daniels famously gave up his faith when he realised Jesus’s so called miracles were easily replicated tricks.

          • And his disciples presumably were complicit in these and then died for a lie.

          • Sarky

            Ive seen ‘dynamo’ walk on water and produce hundreds of fish from a bucket. I’ve seen countless magicians turn water into wine and that’s just the ones i can think of off the top of my head. You have to also remember that jesus lived at a time when people believed in magic and signs from the gods.

          • Read the link above. To do these tricks they need a team of accomplices to set it up and sometimes lorry loads of props.

            The people were not gullible. The gospel records make this clear.

          • Sarky

            Well its going to say that isn’t it?

          • in so saying it’s clear that people of the past were not nearly as gullible as you are suggesting. You are revealing generational arrogance; we are so enlightened, they were so naive.

          • Linus

            Are you also a supporter of Scottish independence?

            I used to believe Europe would be better off with a united Britain. Now I’ve come round to the SNP’s point of view.

            Isolating an England that’s become toxic and cutting it off from EU markets is the best way of dealing with it. Europe’s New Alliance with Scotland would be modeled on the Auld, only this time the English wouldn’t be able to play Valois off against Habsburg.

            They’re never happier than when they can pride themselves on “standing alone”. So let them become the new Hermit Kingdom – Europe’s answer to North Korea. The way Kim Jong-May is going about setting up her one-party state bears all the hallmarks of a dictatorship in the making, after all.

          • Garry Otton

            Refreshing to read some sense in these columns. We will dump the semi-theocracy of 26 unelected Bishops of the Church of England (not Scotland, Wales or N.I) in one fell swoop. As most of the people on here are retirees, as an independent nation we will be able to keep all the benefits Little Englanders will lose when you buy a home in the sun. But more importantly, Scotland will be a bridge between Europe and the England so hopefully we can build a friendship that will be beneficial to England.

          • Linus

            A short sharp shock would be the most beneficial thing for England right now. A douche écossaise in fact.

            It’s coming. Kim Jong-May has already felt its icy blast, but she has her one-party state to consolidate, so it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good.

          • Anton

            EU is doomed with or without Britain.

          • Linus

            So says the oracle of Delphi.

            You do know that necromancy and divination are frowned on by that imaginary god of yours, don’t you? Start predicting the future and he’ll imaginary fling you into the deepest and most imaginary pit of fictitious hell.

            Ouch! Won’t that imaginary hurt?

          • Anton

            There’s a difference between reading the signs of the times, as you did so well with the Brexit Referendum result, and trying to predict it from the stars or from the entrails of dead animals, aka divination.

          • Linus

            Get it right, poor bigot. “…as I did so well with the Irish Referendum result…” you mean.

            I’m not aware that your bible goes into much detail about the methods used for predicting the future. It lumps all prognosticators of events to come into the same handbasket and sends you merrily off to hell.

            See you there, o damned one. Well, to be more precise, you’ll see me there. It’s your hallucination, after all.

          • Anton

            What you are not aware of in the Bible would fill quite a large book.

            I see I am now favoured with entry in your list of bigots. To what do I owe this honour?

          • chefofsinners

            Like in that song ‘Imagine’.

          • len

            The EU is scrabbling around trying to con enough cash out of the UK to prop iteslf up.
            The UK won`t be saving Europe this time.

        • Royinsouthwest

          Rubbish. Many lives were saved by reformers inspired by Christianity over the centuries. How many lives have been lost as a result of atheism from the French Revolution to Pol Pot?

          • Garry Otton

            Oh dear, that tired old trope about despots like Hitler representing Christianity and Pol Pot representing atheism. Secularism serves to protect religion and freedom of speech if it is properly applied. It doesn’t support privilege. Sorry about that old boy.

          • Anton

            Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot… secular dictators responsible for nearly 100m deaths.

          • Garry Otton

            And Hitler was a Christian responsible for just as many. Silly arguments that detract from the principles of secularism. I suppose you went to a Faith school. Probably a bit late for re-education. Evening classes?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Hitler was in no way, shape or form a Christian. You are full of the most utter tripe.

          • Garry Otton

            Hitler banned the German Freethinkers League and was a Catholic. Like Stalin, who learnt everything he knew in a seminary about power, so did Hitler. He confirmed his belief in Christianity in Mein Kampf and speeches.

          • Anton

            Hitler was baptised in the Catholic church as a baby but never got confirmed nor attended church regularly as an adult. His interest in Christianity was purely political. He once said it was a pity Charles Martel won the battle of Tours in the 8th century and pushed the Muslims back across the Pyrenees, because Islam was better suited to the German people’s martial spirit than Christianity. A man who thinks you can pick religion by its fruits rather than its truths really is secular.

          • Garry Otton

            I think you’ll find I was the one exposing how nonsensical it was to bring this up. It is oft repeated by religionists and they always use it against atheists which you wrongly label secularists.

          • Anton

            it is true that atheists simply deny the existence of any god, ie powerful volitional spiritual being, whereas secularists also believe certain things about man, ie that he is basically good despite history being a tale of blood and people freely marrying because they are crazy about each other and then splitting up.

          • Garry Otton

            Secularism is a political position. It defends the rights to believe and not believe. It fights religious privilege.

          • Anton

            Ah, but believe and not believe in what?

          • Garry Otton

            I’m getting bored now. See you on Facebook Secular Scotland group if you want more of me and BadJumbly. Have fun guys. And Anton… LOL means I was laughing at you. Remember… Google is your friend!

          • Anton

            I’m old enough to remember Lol Creme the musician and to have read of the fast bowling of Lol Larwood, you see.

          • Watchman

            Something from Adolph’s early education must have rubbed off because the presence of the Jews as God’s Chosen People threatened the supremacy of the Aryan race.

          • len

            The SS had ‘God Mit Uns’ on their belt buckles.
            The same SS that burned churches and murdered Christians..
            Hitler was more a follower of Eugenics and Darwinism than God.

          • Garry Otton

            Hitler wrote: “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord..” As a boy, Hitler attended to the Catholic church and learnt much from their thirst for power. In his book, Mein Kampf, Hitler reveals himself as a fanatical believer in God and country.

          • Anton

            He rather airbrushed the fact that Jesus was a Jew, didn’t he?

          • Anton

            I did not go to a faith school and I am an adult convert from atheism. Hitler believed many explicitly counter-biblical things. Anything else I can correct for you?

          • Garry Otton

            I doubt it. You have all the hallmarks of someone brought up in a religious family so sorry if I take what your write with a pinch of salt. Lying for Jesus I think they call it.

          • Anton

            I was brought up by an explicitly atheist mother and a father who had lost Christian faith before I was born. Anything else I can correct for you?

          • Garry Otton

            So how did something so toxic get you?

          • Anton

            I don’t recognise the description; sorry.

          • Jon of GSG

            Choosing the evidence to fit your theory? Irrational I think they call it.

          • carl jacobs

            You think they would have heard of Alfred Rosenberg. Nah. Too much to ask.

          • David

            Hitler representing Christianity ? LOL ! You are utterly deluded. Did you learn your history from a madman ?
            Hitler despised Christianity, preferring Islam. Those Christian leaders who resisted his murderous regime were killed.

          • Garry Otton

            Yes, some ended up in concentration camps.

            After the war the Catholic Church set up over a dozen agencies to help whisk some of the vilest war criminals off to safety.

          • Free speech like ‘I am the leader of the liberal party and I want to keep my thoughts about homosexuality to myself’. He was not free to think never mind speak. And had he said homosexuality was a sin would that have been ‘free’ or would it have cost him his political career.

          • Garry Otton

            No, it would have just proved him to be an idiot. There’s no such thing as ‘sin’, only immoral thinking and homosexuality is natural and never immoral. The problem here is not so much what Farron really thinks of gay sex, but that we have another leader who is prepared to act on faith rather than evidence.

          • Garry, you’re muddled. How do you decide what is ‘immoral thinking’? If there is no God there is no morality only opinions. And how can you possibly say that the homosexual act is natural? What is natural or wholesome about anal penetration? And lesbians need to find a substitute male organ. These are not natural ways to act; they are perverse.

            If by ‘natural’ you mean that to which we are inclined then we must consider pedophilia natural. In fact we should include lying, stealing, adultery, murder etc for it is inclination that motivates all of these.

          • Garry Otton

            Oh don’t utter such tripe, John! Morality has been guided since before Plato. Science has informed us of the normality of homosexuality. You just haven’t kept up and (let’s be honest here, honey…) It’s probably gonna be a bit late for you now 😉

          • But Garry, Plato believed in an absolute being. Most people have. Morality has always existed. Moral absolutes have always existed. But moral absolutes (right and wrong) can only exist if there is someone ‘absolute’ to decree them. If not then morals are only opinions. Yet we know morals are more than opinions instinctively just as we instinctively know there is a God to whom we must answer.

          • Garry Otton

            We get our morals from everything around us. I was discussing the history of thinking and it doesn’t start with the Bible. That is merely a pimple in the grand scheme of history. Christians don’t have a special claim on morality over Buddhists, Freethinkers or anyone else.

          • Garry, again you miss the point. I am not discussing Christian morals I am saying if there is no absolute being there is no absolute right and wrong. Morals are merely the majority opinion. You can say you don’t like my opinion on any ethical question but you cannot say it is wrong. You have no absolute to base such a claim on.

          • len

            If homosexuality is ‘normal’ there would be no human race(Think about it)

          • Garry Otton

            Stupid man. Why is it so prevalent across all species? We don’t really know the purpose. You should be used to that kind of thinking.

          • len

            You didnt bother to think then?.I suppose you are used to someone else doing that for you?.

          • Garry Otton

            I often set my watch on how long it takes a Christian discussing homosexuality to bring up paedophilia. Do you like to bring that subject up after you’ve had sex with a woman, John?

          • If homosexuality is being justified on the basis of natural inclination then paedophilia is the obvious reposte. Though you will note I included other examples. Again, however, you have resorted to sneer and not addressed the substantive point.

          • Garry Otton

            You address my point; I’ll address yours.

          • Inspector General

            In classical times, homosexuality was a young man’s game. Much as it is today. For the older queer man, pederasty was the only option open to him. Not quite what it is today, but that doesn’t seem to stop the afflicted.

          • Garry Otton

            There is little difference between gay or str8. You are determined to construct one in your perverse Xtian way.

          • Inspector General

            Perversely enough, the mentally ill who identify as trans would take exception to your idea.

          • You’ve evaded the question. Please address it.

          • Garry Otton

            Farron was free to speak and he found out what the majority of people think of the fundamentalist Christian view of gay sex. The Lib Dems are probably regretting putting someone like him in the top position, but it’s too late now. I’m voting SNP anyway. I suspect the peeps on here are all UKIP.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Since when were the eyewitnesses to the events ‘paid scribes’ who wrote down the events those who were ‘made to put down’ things? You’re living in la-la land mate.

          • Garry Otton

            You’re living in la-la land if you believe in all that tripe and try to apply it how we live our lives today.

          • len

            Tripe seems to have been your staple diet..Strong meat too much for you?.

        • And children in our liberal divorce-championing abortion-promoting society have a great life.

          • Garry Otton

            Yes, if they leave abusive relationships, enjoy a good guilt-free gay relationship or get a proper sex education to give them a better chance of avoiding an unwanted pregnancy.

          • Inspector General

            “enjoy a good guilt-free gay relationship” isn’t part of brain washing is it…

            By the way, what’s the role of excrement in gay sex?

          • Garry Otton

            The same role it plays in str8 sex I guess. Seeing that the majority who practice anal sex are str8 you’d probably know more than me.

          • Inspector General

            No. One doesn’t mix in those circles. Remember, HIV is rampant in your crowd, not ours. The proof in the pudding, and all that. Hey, did you hear about the medic who’s HIV+ and the NHS are recalling 400 patients he’s seen. Not sure which side he bats for but have a bloody good idea…

          • Garry Otton

            Oh ffs! HIV is an opportunist infection and has spread amongst heterosexuals in Africa to an even greater extent. But does that not count? There are numerous STIs that are dangerous. Playing safe is important and so is promoting safe, creative sex.

            Your comment is homophobic and vile in the extreme.

          • Inspector General

            Oh come on! You fly to this site to groom and it’s YOU who ends up upset! What a turn around…

            Think of AIDS as a gift from God. Yes, it’s true, you people came to the Almighty’s attention. Having seen your crowd bring down Greece and Rome, he’s done us all a favour. One’s only concern about that disease is the innocents it has infected. Repent before it’s too late.

          • IanCad

            Homosexual activity is hazardous to health and should be discouraged. Quite why it is not regarded with the same distain as smoking is an inconsistency that I do not understand.

          • Garry Otton

            You’re obviously not doing it properly, Ian.

          • IanCad

            Garry,
            Not sure if you’ve previously frequented this blog or not, but I must hasten to assure you the political tenor here is, in general, pointed toward the Libertarian/Whig sympathy. As such, few of the regular posters agitate to recriminalize the practice; most however, regard the tendency as perverted, unhealthy, degenerative and something that should be discouraged. Further; the promotion of the lifestyle by the educational industry, the media, and the O – So – Clever may be considered a form of child abuse when it is portrayed to the young as another perfectly valid lifestyle choice.

          • Garry Otton

            It struck me as a bit bizarre but then I realised this was a room full of stick banging old biddies. As for ‘lifestyle choice’….??? WTF!!! Cos kids get a kick out of being bullied? ffs is this what’s being passed round churches today?

          • len

            Health risks alone should make any sensible person avoid this .Let alone anything else.

          • Garry Otton

            Science and modern morality have shaken off the stone age nonsense that betray your generation. Gay sex is common in nature and studies have been conducted to show it manifests in many mammals. I’m delighted people like you are side-lined to the edges of society and given few opportunities to spout your vile and dangerous nonsense. The blood of too many young suicides are on your hands, ol’ fella. You should feel utterly ashamed.

          • Inspector General

            Give us a list then, of other mammals that abuse their own anus, and welcome its (painful) penetration. Suicides amongst the young can be prevented by giving them the full facts. That as young people, they are going through a rapid process of development and it may take a year or two to sort themselves out.

            You post suspiciously like a teacher. There will come a day when practising homosexuals will be barred from teaching. And it can’t come soon enough.

          • Garry Otton

            How do you know its painful? Lolol!

          • Inspector General

            “Pillow biter” one understands is a gay term. The poor sods would be better off with a piece of leather between their teeth…

          • Garry Otton

            Lol. You getting excited, ‘Pop?

          • Inspector General

            One is in little doubt that you mean the best for the young you wish to target and bring to homosexuality. And yet, beyond your keyboard you appear to those around you in real life as a regular fellow. Enjoy while you can, for corrupters of youth as you, internment can be the only solution,

            If this man could fix you so you worked properly, he would. If we can’t, then it’s the bin for you…

          • Garry Otton

            You are blinded by the ignorance of your age. It is not just the young who can be homosexual, I suspect the choice of your words. Certainly young people under 30 are treated to a wider sexual menu on free erotica and meetup sites like xHamster, XTube, UPorn, Grindr, Plenty of Fish, Tinder etc etc. They see what they like and obviously want to experiment. That’s perfectly healthy (if they play safely). It is reshaping our view of sex and sexuality and it’s no bad thing. It is freer certainly than in your day.

          • Inspector General

            Still grooming eh? You are a master at your game…

            In the creation, you find yourself de jure a sterile drone. Enjoy it. You are here for the benefit of on-going generations. If you make a nuisance of yourself, you will ultimately be dealt with. Perhaps the removal of your gonads might improve your being.

            At the end, know your place in this life, wretched thing. Know your place, sir!

          • Garry Otton

            You sound like you’re knocking back the vino tinto.

          • Anton

            You *are* new here, aren’t you? The Inspector drinks malt whisky…

          • Navarth

            However, you’re not talking about science in any rigorous sense. For example, humans are capable of intentionally directing their actions, unlike animals, which in itself renders your facile “gay sex” equivalence an insult to the intelligence and a misuse of language.

          • len

            Our self indulgent society has turned inward and is destroying itself.

            The’ brave new liberal’ world is an illusion fading fast with all the resultant despair.

          • Garry Otton

            So says every religious prat that drives a plane into a skyscraper, murders policemen or guns down shoppers.

          • len

            The more ‘liberal'(only for minority groups) the West gets the more violence you will attract from some religious groups.
            Haven’t you worked this out yet?.

            The West has traded its christian foundation for radical extremist groups…

          • Garry Otton

            Yes of course I’ve worked out the religious are a problem long before that silly old man blew his brains out in the Notre Dame, before Catholics torched a cinema for showing a blasphemous film, or a Christian demonstrated his love for Jesus by pulling out a gun on schoolkids, but long after Tom Aikenhead got hung for blasphemy.

          • len

            Good, then you realise the error of trying to destroy our Christian foundations….right?.
            There is no vacuum in the spiritual world, reject one you get the other.

          • Inspector General

            Look you. There is Christianity and there are other beliefs. Try not to be so ignorant as to be unable to tell them apart.

    • len

      Schools should be run by militant liberals in this free an open society….obviously.

    • Paul Greenwood

      When did they exist ? Before 1902 Local Authorities were not empowered to levy a rate to pay for Education other tan elementary. Forster’s Education Act 1870 created School Boards elected by ratepayers until the Cockerton Judgment challenged that.

      • Garry Otton

        They produced good exam results because religion took a back seat and as we know, the Church had more power in those days and taxed the poor to pay for them.

        • Royinsouthwest

          Exactly how much of a “back seat” did religion take in schools in Victorian times? Are you really claiming that the schools were run by teachers who had no more interest in Christianity that the typical “Liberal” Party member of today?

          • Garry Otton

            It is the past. And the future is Wetherspoons. The Church is dying out with its ageing congregations.

          • Anton

            Plenty good in both Wetherspoon and the Church!

          • Garry Otton

            I’m looking forward to my churches being filled with the spirits of Wetherspoons.

          • Anton

            Your churches?

          • Pubcrawler

            You’ve not been to the Regal on a Friday/Saturday night, then…

          • Anton

            No!

          • Pubcrawler

            Very wise.

          • len

            The Church is growing in the East.
            The West has got fat ,rich ,and self indulgent.Hence our failing society and all the symptoms of corruption and decline.

          • Garry Otton

            Go and live there then.

          • len

            Much rather live among the heathen and preach the Gospel.Thats ‘right here’ in case you missed it 😉

        • Dominic Stockford

          Garbage. Simply utter rot. Both schools in my town had it written into their constitutions that the relevant minister would go in, each and every day, and lead a religious assembly working from a Bible text. That is not ‘a back seat’, that’s up front and centre.

          • Garry Otton

            And the sooner we put a stop to that; the better!

        • Paul Greenwood

          Church had less power. Now a Church School is in name only as the bills are covered by the LEA in return for control of admissions policy

    • Dominic Stockford

      There were no ‘bog standard secular schools’ in my town in the 19th Century (nor I doubt in many if any others). Had it not been for my congregation, and the CofE congregations, putting in their own money and starting their own schools there would in fact have been no schools at all. The actions of the 1928 Education Act forcibly removing those schools from church governance was effectively theft, and was caused by the total lack of any secular schools here. So much for the ‘enlightened secular humanists’ and their desire to educate others.

      • Garry Otton

        You need to get your head out of religious books and research secular schools. There was one in Glasgow and in many cities. They certainly weren’t ‘bog standard’. Christians extracted taxes to pay for setting up an education system. Schools belong to the people; not religionists! The use of interns to lever Christians into power continues to ensure Christian proselytising in schools across the country. And guess what….? It ain’t working! When the churches are finally emptied and more Muslims demand their schools, the government will finally wake up and smell the coffee and hopefully boot the religious out of schools and leave them as a place for learning.

        • Jon of GSG

          Perhaps the point is, as you say, that there was just one in all of Glasgow – they were surely very much the exception, so what Dominic says is true.

          “Schools belong to the people, not religionists” – surely (I’m not trying to be funny) religionists are people too? All too often one hears from people who think anyone professing a religion should be generally ignored on all matters, and that does sound a bit like what you’re saying…

    • Because schools run by these succeed.

      • Garry Otton

        Perhaps why so many end up in special measures.

        • Anton

          Perhaps not. OFSTED is aggressively secular.

          • Garry Otton

            Lol. It doesn’t do what you want, is that what you mean?

          • Anton

            Nope. It treats all religions the same, those whose scriptures call for takeover by force if voluntary conversion fails and those whose scriptures call for people to be given informed choice and left to choose.

            Who’s Lol?

          • Maalaistollo

            Could he be a Lollard?

          • Anton

            Lol the Lollard… any budding cartoonists out there?

    • chefofsinners

      I know a lot of headteachers. Not one of them is either boring or old, or a duffer. Creative, committed, dynamic, hardworking, visionary, selfless, inspirational. These are the words which spring to mind. Most of all, they continue to do what they do despite being pilloried on all sides by ignorant oafs who wouldn’t last five minutes in the job.

      • Anton

        Things have improved, then, because my parents knew many headteachers in the 60s and 70s and concluded that schools were mainly run by quietly competent deputy heads. And when, rather later, I was a Fellow of a Cambridge college we put on a dinner for headmasters and I found it the least enjoyable dinner of many of that ilk.

        • chefofsinners

          Things have improved.
          Cambridge fellows are considerably more dull than they used to be, and are largely avoided by headteachers.

          • Anton

            Good. They needed to.

          • Anton

            Why do you think I am no longer one?

          • chefofsinners

            Not nearly good enough.

          • Anton

            At waffling, true.

  • Paul Greenwood

    Time to privatise ALL schools. The State should not operate schools. As for Religious Schools it is very hard to find a Church of England School that admits only Communicant Anglicans, indeed in parts of Northern England many are predominantly Muslim.

    That in itself causes the principle to be honoured in the breach. If there can be no Church of England Schools solely for Members of the Church of England there should be no exclusively Muslim or Jewish Schools either.

    There is a very real danger that the exclusivity of certain faith schools creates a lifelong affinity which invites nepotism and preferential treatment in walks of life. The legal system for instance is little more than public schoolboys using “code” to intimidate people of lesser education and is class-based rather than representative of society as a whole.

    If there are no Schools predominantly and profoundly representing the values of the State Church all other “faith” schools are divisive and favour minority groups at the expense of the broader population

    • IanCad

      Time for parents – at least those with the wherewithal and the will – to educate their own children. Local councils can be very helpful in that regard. It has never been easier; plenty of resources available and the parent/teachers get an education as well. Very helpful if they re-enter the labour market after the birds have flown.

  • David

    Do we have examples of advanced industrialised countries that give parents “School Credits”, which they can then spend in schools of their choice ? That way we could end the state near-monopoly of education, thus allowing parents to select schools of whatever belief system they wish, including the belief system based on atheism.

    • Sarky

      Wouldn’t work. Most parents dont give a stuff about ‘belief systems’,
      All they want is a school within walking distance.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Well, sort of. They want a school within walking distance but really they want the school within walking distance to have good discipline and a healthy moral ethos, which they understand as coming far more strongly from ‘faith schools’.

        • I have a friend who sent their children to a faith school, because it was an academically good school and had strong moral values etc. They told the children to ‘just ignore the God bits’.

          • len

            ‘Just ignore the God bits’ .
            Sounds like some sermons today?

          • chefofsinners

            Where do they think those strong moral values came from?

          • I had this discussion with someone else who wanted their baby baptised so they’d grow up ‘with Christian values’ but had no intention of ever going to church. I think there’s still a secular mindset that somehow associates good, wholesome British values with a nostalgic, residual idea of what the CoE is. These moral values are, of course, separated from any idea of the morally challenging side of Christianity. Whether it makes me feel good is the guiding principle.

      • carl jacobs

        Most parents dont give a stuff about ‘belief systems’

        Heh. Right up until some tries to teach a belief system said parents don’t believe in. Then they care. A lot.

        In fact, Sarky, most people don’t recognize their own belief system as a belief system. They simply know when it is being contradicted.

        • David

          Quite.
          Most are so myopic, immersed in what they call “normal” behaviour, they are unaware of the spiritual forces that have shaped present 21st century western normal behavioural standards.
          The biggest irony is to listen to aggressive atheist types deny the distinctly spiritual Christian roots of the “good” behaviour that they always endorse.

      • Anton

        You think most people would be happy with an Islamic school within walking distance?

  • Royinsouthwest

    If Gladstone were around today, would he be seen dead in the (not so very) ) Liberal Party? The same thing could be said about the Labour Party of which it was said that “it owed more to Methodism than to Marxism.” Neither the founders of the Labour Party, nor the Labour voters of my grandparents’ generation, would be seen dead in a party that despises their values.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Hounding Tim Farron about gay sex also deflects from LibDem Party policy to murder unborn children, Sorry, of course, can’t say that in this appalling world, ‘give choice to the mother’.

    • Rhoda

      She made her choice when she got pregnant.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Quite so.

  • CliveM

    It is possible to be against faith schools and be a Christian. Personally I approve of them, but I do remember from my youth just how bad school assembly was.

    • Mike Stallard

      I had a chat with a man who had the pleasure of being educated by the Christian Brothers in Ireland. He spent half an hour demonstrating how they smacked the boys in their care in special ways. Sometimes specially invited boys would go from Northern Ireland to Scotland for “a party”. Some of them never returned. That is what he said. I have no means of checking the truth.

      • Dominic Stockford

        I had dealings with Christian Brothers who ran a school in Plymouth. Terrifying stories from the pupils. At least one ‘Christian Brother’ ended up in jail. Fact.

  • Inspector General

    Well done Cranmer, for exposing that awful crowd of unrealistic dreamy oddballs for the intolerant blighters they be. The superb irony, which the Inspector is qualified to comment on as he knows many of this ilk, is that the typical Lib Dem supporter, indeed, the very people they try to recruit, are middle class white couples who are savvy enough to send their children to Church of England or RC schools.

    Here’s a tip for everyone. Never known to fail. You are introduced to a fellow, the conversation might skirt onto asylum abuse, race or Islam, and he becomes visibly uncomfortable. You got yourself a Lib Dem man there every time. Just ask him and he’ll confirm. They’re all closet racists with a guilt complex over it!

    • Dominic Stockford

      There is one thing though, we won’t have to put up with LimpDems in heaven…..

  • Inspector General

    The problem with man is that he is not a terribly nice animal (most commentators here excepted) and there really is nothing stopping an atheist regime taking over, taking a dislike to you personally, and throwing you into a cell in the basement. Then after a few weeks of utter darkness, two men enter your cell. One holds you down while another shoots you in the back of the head. So much for justice under Joseph Stalin and his secular gangsters.

    No. Man needs a moral code to live up to. One derived from Christianity is the best you’ll ever have. You certainly can’t trust man on his own. If anyone here can find a better model than Christianity, do say…

    • Paul Greenwood

      Homo homini lupus est

    • Anton

      O Inspector, Christianity is not a moral code. Christianity is about how to be changed so as to be able to live up to God’s moral code. God’s moral code is in the Old Testament.

    • Coniston

      There is a Christian morality, but it is not a set of rules. Rules of morality are guides to choosing the best means of pursuing a fixed goal (or telos) of human life. Without a fixed natural telos (the true end or purpose of human life) there is no measure by which the good or evil of desires or actions can be judged. Teleology is the belief, based on reason, that there is design, purpose, or finality in the world, and that no complete account of the universe, the nature of man or morality is possible without reference to final causes & purposes. These are given by Holy Scripture and Revelation.

  • Mike Stallard

    Ten years ago our Comprehensive School used to come for an annual carol service to the local parish church. Then it sort of got restricted and became a “concert”. Then the behaviour got so very bad that it was cancelled.
    Now they all have a different name for the school and new uniforms so that’s religious education dealt with. They also have a Christian Meeting after school sometimes too.

    • Dominic Stockford

      A local primary school (originally started by our church, but now state) had its Christmas Carols in our enormous church. 500 plus people used to come, and I got to speak to them for a few moments. After two years I was suddenly told that they were doing a ‘play’ – inevitably it was utterly unsuitable for a church. That was the end of that. They then had their ‘anniversary’ which didn’t coincide with the date we began the school, and whitewashed the congregation (which had paid for the building and running of the school for over 70 years out of their own pockets, and run it, and managed it) into the briefest comment “the school met in buildings behind Christ Church for a while…”. I nearly ranted, but what good would that have done? The world hates Christ, and those who follow Him.

      • Sarky

        Really? My youngest kids primary school has a carol service at the local cofe church. The younger children still perform a nativity play at it and shock of all shocks, the vicar does a sermon!!! Its not even a church school.

  • chefofsinners

    Great news! Labour is going to build 80 milllion new schools for £300,000. They will only open on bank holidays, of which there will be 366. No, er, 80 million I think. Funded by tax cuts for the poor.

    • Maalaistollo

      Black humour?

    • Don’t forget the 80 million new police officers who will be protecting these schools for £8 per annum.

      • chefofsinners

        Pay rise on the way, then.

      • len

        A policemans lot is not a happy one…
        Might have been a good wage a few centuries ago?.

    • Anton

      With lessons in basic arithmetic.

  • chefofsinners

    It is not just the Liberals who are bent on removing children from their parents and educating them uniformly in secular values. The mainstream consensus is to feed them a constant stream of predigested opinion masquerading as fact. Deceive and overwhelm them with the illusions of change and the need to keep up. Feed them ancient sophistries endlessly recycled and repackaged. Entertain and distract. Thus will they be set on the blissful pathway of unquestioning obedience to the secular orthodoxy. Avoid at all costs giving them the intellectual tools to unmask the truth, and if they ever come close, tell them it’s fake news.
    Church schools are a threat to this agenda and must be destroyed.

    “Gosh, all the children have mental illness. Why could that be?”
    Because the soul of man finds no rest until it rests in God.

    • David

      Well said.

      • Anton

        It used to be called Bread and Circuses.

  • Pubcrawler

    If I thought the odds would shorten that might be worth putting a few quid on with a view to trade.

  • chefofsinners

    22% of all Nobel prize winners are Jewish, while only 0.2% of the world’s population is Jewish. Not bad for a massively persecuted minority. It’s almost as if there was some kind of supernatural force at work.

    • Anton

      The (written) Law of Moses is behind why, when the Jews were permitted to leave Europe’s ghettos two or three centuries ago, they contributed to Western civilisation beyond all proportion to their number (see The Golden Age of Jewish Achievement by Steve Pease). The Jews had retained a high literacy rate, and the study and discussion of Mosaic Law were staples of their conversation. This provided the equivalent of a university education, for Europe’s first university, at Bologna, was founded specifically to extract the wisdom from Emperor Justinian’s 6th century Digest of Roman Law following the discovery of a copy after the Dark Ages. (Other universities are in a family tree deriving from Bologna.) The Jews got a better education because they studied a better legal code, the only one with divine wisdom in it. Every other socio-legal code grew up in parallel with the society it regulated, but Mosaic Law was given whole to the ancient Israelites at the start of their life as a nation. Because a socio-legal code is the backbone of a society, permeating every part of life, it kick-started Israelite national life. (Arts and technology reflect only the intelligentsia and the wealthy sectors of a society.)

      The latest generation of Western Jews, brought up mostly in secular Jewish households – which do not study Mosaic Law systematically – do not perform so well, judging by admission to elite universities; see the section titled The Strange Collapse of Jewish Academic Achievement in Ron Unz’s 2012 essay The Myth of American Meritocracy (available online, when I last looked).

    • …. or the Lizards.

      • carl jacobs

        The most important question is “Which country has produced the most Nobel Laureates?”

        • No, no, no. Look instead for which country has most Nobel Laureates per capita.

          • carl jacobs

            That could be reasonable – so long as appropriate weighting coefficients are constructed to account for the economic vitality that pulls otherwise successful candidates into those areas of the economy that inhibit the ability to compete.,

          • Have you swallowed a dictionary recently, Carl?

          • carl jacobs

            What’s wrong with “appropriate weighting coefficients”?

    • 65.4% of Nobel Prize Laureates identified Christianity as their religion.

  • Royinsouthwest

    As I stated in an earlier comment the views of politicians on subjects like sex would not be regarded as a major issue by the media in the past.; not even in supposedly much more censorious and repressive times.

    Many people, probably the majority, would have thought that the religious views of the candidates were not particularly relevant because most of the questions that politicians have to deal with are not ones of morality. If the governor of the Bank of England were to pray for guidance on the setting of interest rates that would be fine. However I do not think anyone could possibly say that a rate of say, 1.5% was right and a rate of 2% was immoral. Nor do I think that there are definitive, divinely approved rates of VAT, income tax, corporation tax etc.

    Nowadays the sphere of “religion” has contracted even in areas that were previously regarded as moral issues and that of politics has expanded enormously. The attitude seems to be that not only should religion be a “private” matter having no effect on anything, not even your own behaviour if that is not politically correct, but everything is a political matter and that politics should determine everything from whether or not climate change is a danger to what “gender” a child has.

    Mark Steyn, the Canadian commentator, has a video in which he gives his thoughts on this tendency.

    The Politicization of Everything
    https://www.steynonline.com/7776/the-politicization-of-everything

    • David

      Thanks for the link – a useful commentator. Enjoyed that. His accent sounded UK derived, not Canadian ?

  • James60498 .

    Tim Farron may be unsure as to whether gay sex is a sin, but the Tory Party has no doubts over the matter.

    http://www.citizengo.org/en/63242-we-call-former-tory-mp-andrew-turners-immediate-reselection-and-reinstatement-candidate-isle?tc=ty&tcid=35145495

    • Anton

      There is more to the IoW situation than what he said in that classroom, if you check the media.

      • IanCad

        I have to wonder if the waters of the Solent harbour some kind of poison as it seems a huge proportion of the IOW’s Conservatives are smitten with the curse of Sodom. Or at least that’s how it appears to me when the Council Conservative group leader Dave Stewart proudly proclaims – “Island Conservatives are fielding several candidates in the Isle of Wight Council elections who are gay —-”
        Given the generally accepted estimate that only a mere 5% of the population bends toward same sex attraction I cannot but wonder whether heterosexuality is frowned upon by the Tory leadership of the island.

        • David

          Preferential treatment, as in so-called “positive discrimination” for female candidates ?
          Might just be a local level unofficial, unwritten policy ?

        • Royinsouthwest

          I think the most detailed survey gave a figure much less than the one you quoted, about 2% if I remember rightly.

          • IanCad

            Oh Dear! What do those IOW Conservatives really get up to in their isolated little world.?

          • wisestreligion

            Even less. A massive ONS survey in 2010 of 200,000 Britons showed only 1.6%. This is never mentioned by BBC and media as they dont want to disturb the folklore figure of 10% in the public mind. That figure was produced way back in 1940s / 50s by polyamorous sexologist Alfred Kinsey, an early Progressive.

        • Inspector General

          3% Ian. And of those, maybe 10% are activists. The rest just get on with it. Half of the 3% would be Lesbians, and barely a squeak from them…

          • betteroffoutofit

            Oh, Inspector — haven’t you noticed all those screeching Feminasties? That’s what large numbers of those are about – whether Marxism was made for them, or they were made for Marxism. And what with all their traditions of harrassment and bullying, and their viciousness towards those who disagree, they’re as active as anyone.

            Re their activity, consider the example our present poet laureate.I learned of her here on ABC, some years ago. At school, our young have to study her filth – and I was nauseated to see what they must they must read. Bare enough, but writ loud.

            Overall: at least the guys of the persuasion can sometimes be funny; the female of the species is deadlier throughout.

          • Inspector General

            Yes, that man. Of course. When one patrols PN for the public good, there is little input from the lesbians. The few female names that do appear are likely to be mentally ill men in a frock.

            It must be that the female homosexual is most comfortable under the banner of feminism not homosexuality. Makes sense. They don’t have to put up with selfish drama queens that gay men often are, and can eye up the straight girls with a view to turning them at the same time.

            How could one have been so stupid not to realise!

          • betteroffoutofit

            Thanks, IG!
            btw – One reason I’ve sussed these types is that I’m not a man!!! I know about their sub-banner activities because they necessarily reveal themselves to those they view as potential victims, who thus learn how the system goes. However, lez-be-friends often tend to fool the men, even as Don Juans fool women.

          • Inspector General

            Ah, a lady. Greetings, Madam.

          • Mary Ann

            Lesbians are not condemned in the Bible, its sexual discrimination against men. That makes a change.

          • Inspector General

            This sexual discrimination against women business. It’s a feminist invention from the 1960s. Previously, women enjoyed the protection of men. It had always been that way.

      • Navarth

        The real issue here is freedom of speech and the likelihood that ethical disagreement with homosexual behaviour, and even medical science, will be considered extremism under the Equality Act in the near future. I’d expect Spiked to run a piece.

  • len

    I suppose there are ‘markers’ throughout time when society moving in a circle (like a wheel) has turned at the top and is on the downward path.
    We in the West are definitely on the downward path, how much further we have to descend is anyones guess.
    There is a point when God’ gives people over’ to their own selfish, destructive, natures.
    I see that happening now throughout society.
    To be villified for holding Christian values is’ another marker ‘which reveals how far we have fallen.
    I find it astonishing that I have seen so much of this happen in my lifetime. The descent of society seem to be increasing rapidly.
    We are now at a time that has happened a few times before, always just before Judgement falls.

    ‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for
    light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for
    bitter.’ (Isaiah 5:20)

    • David

      We must pray that for the sake of the remnant that the true Christian faith survives in these islands and throughout the west.
      Remember too that the enemies of our faith are weaker than they appear, and certainly weaker than God.

      • len

        The remnant of Christians true to Christ the Living Word of God will survive as they have done throughout history, but as always it will be through persecution.

    • Mary Ann

      You confuse holding ‘christian values’ with a belief in a mystical being, it is perfectly possible to care for the sick and the poor without needing a god. The idea that being a Christian makes you a better person than someone who is not, is arrogant.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    I found His Grace’s retweet of this link to Stephen Hough interesting http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p051djgl from a series

    Breaking Free: Martin Luther’s Revolution, a week-long season of programmes that explore the Protestant Reformation and its consequences for the society, religion art and culture of today.

    Mr Hough is a renowned concert pianist who used to blog on the Telegraph on a wide range of matters, including gay matters.

  • Busy Mum

    I would be interested to know whether any secondary schools actually do uphold their obligation to conduct a daily act of collective (Christian) worship.
    My C of E primary does, five days out of a five, every week.
    My C of E secondary achieves 4/5.
    My three secular secondaries achieve 1/5 – but they are not Christian assemblies by any stretch of the imagination, just whole year-group extra PSHE sessions.
    Our 14-forever ‘sixth form’ college achieves 0/5.

    • Little Black Censored

      On great difficulty in enforcing the law is the scarcity of teachers who are either competent or willing to arrange Christian worship, even in some purportedly Church schools.

      • Inspector General

        If requested, little black thing, one is sure local Christian priests would make themselves available to hold worship. The law is the law, and inability to abide is no excuse. qv queer cake business.

        • chefofsinners

          Try a private prosecution, Inspector. See it taken over by Queer Starmer’s old chums at the CPS, then dropped as ‘not in the public interest’, then costs awarded against you.

          • Inspector General

            Yes, you’re right. The law is the law except when it shouldn’t be law…

            Here’s an update on Asher’s Bakery. It might be grand to think that these days no man is beholden to another man’s doing if he does not want to….slavery otherwise, isn’t it…,

            http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/05/03/despite-court-ruling-christian-bakery-still-wont-bake-a-gay-engagement-cake/

          • Royinsouthwest

            By taking over a case that they have no intention of pursuing the CPS is really guilty of conspiring against the person(s) bringing the prosecution. There should really be an inquiry into the cases where that has happened and action taken against the people responsible. Of course that won’t happen. The Legal Profession takes care of its own and a high proportion of “our” Members of Parliament were lawyers before becoming (full time?) politicians.

          • Anton

            Crown Persecution Service

    • Sarky

      Why are you so concerned??
      Do you think this tokenism will churn out little christians??
      The problem is christianity in the UK just cannot compete with all other things in kids lives, it’s just not cool. Is this the fault of schools?? Or is it that the church has seriously dropped the ball whilst suffering from its biggest identity crisis ever?
      Don’t blame schools, try looking a little closer to home.

      • Busy Mum

        It’s not tokenism – it’s the law. Since when were schools allowed to pick and choose which laws they obey? Funny how schools bend over backwards to comply with all sorts of other laws but then ignore this one. Funny how OFSTED would have a fit if schools ignored some of their diktats but are quite happy to collude in this particular lawbreaking.

        Being a Christian need not prevent children doing ‘all the other things in their lives’. If it prevents them doing wrong things and encourages them to do good things, all the better.

        Christianity was never meant to be cool – by trying, and failing, to make it so ([email protected] etc), the CofE is simply serving mammon, rather than God. (When you talk about the church, I assume you mean the CofE?)

        • Sarky

          You can dress it up all you want, but it is tokenism.
          Would you prefer it to done badly just because it’s the law? Or not bother?

          • Busy Mum

            It would be better if the law was upheld, even if the majority of children were withdrawn from assemblies. That may prompt a review of the law – fine.

        • Mary Ann

          It is not necessary to be a Christian to learn morality.

      • Mary Ann

        Children are better informed these days.

  • I’m from Barcelona

    Meanwhile there’s a coup being plotted…

    http://ecclesandbosco.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/when-bishops-away.html

    • chefofsinners

      Eccles needs to get saved.

      • I’m from Barcelona

        I just bookmark them.

      • Cardinal Eccles is saved.

        • Cressida de Nova

          He will never make Cardinal. His inclinations are too traditional. It does not include the Protestant musical canon ” let’s wave asparagus and offer little cupcakes to Jesus” style thing.

          • … nor readings of the Koran or services for Masons.

  • Manfarang

    Religious education should take place at Sunday schools.

    • chefofsinners

      But where would they learn all about the blessed religion of peace? And the even more blessed religion of secularism? They might become intolerant…

      • Manfarang

        What have you learned about the religion of peace?
        RI in schools was largely a waste of time as can be seen by today’s indifference to religion. Churches are there to spread the word and they will have to that by their own efforts.

        • Sarky

          Nothings changed since i was at school. I hated RE, my kids hate RE and dropped it like a hot stone as soon I/they could.
          Don’t those campaigning for more RE realise it’s doing more harm than good??

          • Jon of GSG

            I did too! I came bottom of the class once in the Scripture exam (as it was) – my parents were delighted.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Yes – well I didn’t bomb out – but I didn’t want to take it. My teacher told me to stop all the nonsense and get on with studying properly. The law required it, and anyway it was good for me.

            So I did, and I gradually realised how Scripture (which means ‘writing’) fitted in with everything else we studied – regarding, e.g., the searches for knowledge and truth, or the uses of symbolism. So I developed respect for the Wisdom of Ages. However, I continued for years claimng to be an agnostic, while consciously seeking a cure for my inly blindness.

            Fast forward to a decades or so later: one day, while struggling to understand what the devils (aka people) I knew were doing with their various lives, I remembered a quote (not sure which, actually) from the Bible. I looked it up, and realised “Oh THAT’S what they were talking about! THAT’S why they said we should ‘behave in such-and-such way.’ ” I took to checking the gospel much oftener after that – admitting then that I did believe, indeed know.

            So much has happened since to confirm that, and I still study and learn from our Scriptures.

            Doubtless you consider yourselves wiser and brighter than me in every way. I’ve come to see that we lifelong students must be this way because we never could learn enough in the first place . . .

          • Sarky

            One of my memories is of my RE teacher declaring she didn’t believe in dinosaurs because they werent in the bible. She immediately lost the whole class.

          • Mary Ann

            My worse one was the form teacher who said ” people who aren’t Christian or Jewish are heathens and all heathens are wicked.

          • IanCad

            You are correct Sarky. We had an RE teacher (wonderful man) who was handicapped, and was referred to as “Creeping Jesus” by the nastier part of the class. The only time I can remember his lessons being discussed outside of the classroom was when we were taught about the construction of the Ark of The Covenant. The information that it was made out of shittim wood resonated greatly with the more scatologically inclined of the class who ran it into the ground.

          • Mary Ann

            Look back at history and also today, how many people have been killed over the last 2,000 years because they belonged to the wrong sect of the religion of Abraham.

          • Anton

            How many then, and how do you calculate it?

          • Anton

            I’m not one of them, Sarky. School religion delayed my conversion by many years, I reckon.

        • Rhoda

          Christianity spread very well in the first two centuries after the crucifixion without the “help” of RE lessons.

          • Mary Ann

            People were far more superstitious in those days.

          • Anton

            Really? Today they believe that human beings are basically decent despite history (still) being writ in blood and divorce increasingly the norm. THAT’s superstition.

  • Albert

    The trouble with secularists is that, for the most part, they are too ignorant of religion to hold a rationally justified view not only on religion but on secularism. And as a result of this ignorance, their liberalism becomes illiberalism.

    • Manfarang

      The part of the UK where interest and knowledge of religion is greatest is the part with the greatest separation of church and state.

      • Albert

        That’s probably true, but that means knowledge of religion is likely to be gained as a result of a prior (uninformed) commitment: the separation of Church and state. (Not that I am saying it is impossible for an informed person to support the separation of Church and state.)

      • IanCad

        Also goes someway towards explaining why Christianity has more vibrancy in the USA than it does over here.

    • Linus

      The problem with Christians is that despite your own god’s injunctions against judgment, you spend your lives doing little else.

      Judge not lest ye be judged. And you have been. Not by your fictitious god of course, but by those who see you for what you are.

      Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees indeed. No wonder you and those like you have been forced to the margins of society. You preach non-judgment and then you judge. You preach chastity and then you abuse children. You preach meekness and then you go for your enemy’s jugular. The world despises you not because the world is despicable, but rather because you are.

      There’s more than enough folk wisdom and common sense in that collection of myths you call “the bible” to be able to hoist you with your own petards. You have indeed reaped what you have sown. Go deal with that sequoia-sized log in your own eye before criticising the motes of dust in the eyes of others.

      • Albert

        Linus, you really are a wally. There’s nothing in Jesus’ teaching against what I have said. Acknowledging that someone is ignorant is hardly what Jesus had in mind. Consider all the passages in the Bible about discernment and wisdom.

        As for the sins of Christians, yes we are sinful people. But that’s not because we’re Christians. It’s because we’re people. Thus the kind of argument you use appears somewhat misanthropic – which is ironic, because I perhaps you think of yourself as a humanist.

        • Linus

          There you go again. What is the word “wally” if it’s not a judgment? An elderly person’s judgment, granted. I haven’t heard the term since the 1980s and had to look it up to remind myself of the exact meaning. But a judgment made by a geriatric brain is a judgment nonetheless. It’s exactly what a Christian shouldn’t do. Shame on you.

          Of course you feel no shame because your religious delusion makes you shameless. You can judge and condemn to your heart’s content because in a very real sense (ie. the sense that as it’s your delusion, you get to make up its rules and internal “logic”) you are god, so you can do what you like. You know what Jesus had in mind because you are Jesus. As he only exists in your mind, you get to decide what he thinks. He’s your sock puppet and moves at your command.

          It’s a pattern with you, this desire to have others under your control. I too must bow to your judgment, meekly accept it and acknowledge you as the source of all truth, mustn’t I?

          I’m sure you dream of that happening. You dream of the whole world falling at your feet and acknowledging your delusion as the ultimate truth. Well, dreams are free and I can’t stop you dreaming. But I can roll my eyes and laugh at your shameless narcissism.

          By all means keep on judging me. And I shall keep on judging you. But there’s no hypocrisy in my judgment as I do not pretend to follow a belief system that forbids it. My judgment is based on what I know of the world and is open to revision as and when I obtain new knowledge. Yours is fixed and rigid as it proceeds from your narcissistic delusion. As such there’s no point in talking to you because your kind of mental illness can’t be patiently reasoned away. But if I can demonstrate to others what religion does to a human mind – which your cooperation in so freely revealing yourself as a classic religious obsessive makes so very clear – then perhaps they may pull back from the brink. There but for the grace of common sense go they. Let’s hope common sense wins.

          • Albert

            The irony is Linus that you think claiming some kind of victim status gives you some kind or moral or intellectual credibility. There are two problems here: firstly, it doesn’t work if you misuse it (I called you a wally for goodness’ sake); secondly, claiming victim status doesn’t count for anything, unless the culture has been influenced by the crucifixion. Without him, it’s Nietzsche all the way as far as society cares…

          • Linus

            What is “victim status”? It’s a pejorative term used by those who seek to harm others. They use it as a means of trivializing and pouring scorn on their targets’ objections to being attacked.

            In other words what you’re really saying is “Poor little you worrying about such a harmless term as ‘wally’. You’re clearly overly sensitive, which only goes to show how weak and feeble you dirty gays are. So shut up and let real men like me tell you what to do.”

            If that’s not a judgment, what is?

            Of course in the real world you can judge as much as you like. Judgment is a part of our basic human behaviour. We have judgment therefore we use it. I have never claimed an objective right not to be judged. That would be nonsense. Christian nonsense, in fact.

            No, I don’t care whether you judge me or not. What I’m pointing out is your blatant hypocrisy in judging me when the religion you claim to follow specifically commands you not to judge.

            Do as you say but not as you do, eh?

            You really must be a priest. There’s one law for you and another for everyone else.

            Woe unto you, scribe and Pharisee. That white-washed tomb of yours reeks of the festering decay your true lord Satan has in store for you. Or would have if weren’t yet another figment of your overactive imagination.

          • Albert

            Linus get a grip. Do you not know that we are judge angels? (1 Cor.6.3) Pointing out that someone is uninformed is not contrary to biblical teaching. You just keep banding this stuff about because your purpose is to shut down people who disagree with you without you having to answer them.

            P.S. I don’t bother to read you very long posts.

          • Mary Ann

            Calling him a wally is not a Christian thing to do.

          • Mary Ann

            Wally is an insult, “A silly or inept person” Oxford English Dictionary. A judgement.

          • Albert

            It’s a fond comment in my opinion. But if you want to create a situation in which any secularist can just shut down criticism of them on the grounds that Christians are not allowed to make judgements, then I can only assume you lack confidence in your other comment that, secularists don’t believe in it because they have worked out that it makes no sense.

      • Mary Ann

        They praise the Bible and condemn the Koran but great chunks of them are the same. But of course they both worship the same god.

        • Anton

          You’d like to specify those “great chunks”?

          Both books assert a supreme deity who created the universe, and obviously there can be only one such. The difference between the books is about the personality and actions in human history of this deity.

    • Mary Ann

      There are plenty of secularists who have a far better understanding of religion than those who believe in it, a lot of non believers are highly intellectual, they don’t believe in it because they have worked out that it makes no sense.

      • Albert

        I would have thought a more sober comment would have said:

        There are plenty of secularists who have a far better understanding of religion than some of those who believe in it.

        You then say

        a lot of non believers are highly intellectual, they don’t believe in it because they have worked out that it makes no sense.

        Would you care to name some?

  • President Trump is about to disturb the hornet’s nest.

    President Trump should soon sign an executive order protecting religious liberty … “The language is very, very strong,” says the source.

    That version upset liberals, who called it “government-licensed discrimination,” says Politico. The LGBT lobby quickly protested. The order protected anyone who acted on the belief that only a man and a woman can be married. It also protected the beliefs that male and female are biological facts.

    The abortion lobby also reacted. The executive order’s idea of religious freedom included the belief that human life must be protected from conception on.

    An organization that acted on these beliefs would not lose its tax exempt status. Even businesses could act on such beliefs without loss ….

    Predictably, the ACLU threatens to sue. The group fears the order “would allow religion to be used as an excuse to discriminate.” They prefer religion as a target for discrimination.

    https://stream.org/trump-expected-to-sign-religious-liberty-executive-order-thursday/

    • Mary Ann

      Male and female are not always biological facts, sometimes the sex of a baby can be difficult to determine, sometimes babies are born with both male and female genitalia and sometimes with none.

      • Jack appreciates this but intersex humans are extremely rare and are very different from those who have a clear sex at birth and, because of a claimed “gender identity” issue, inconsistent with their natural sex, want to artificially change this through hormones and bodily mutilation.

  • Typhoon Tina

    The biggest sin by far concerning relationships is adultery.
    Being faithful to your loved one instead of promiscuous.
    It isn’t an accident that the ‘left’ have been promoting promiscuity.

    • Mary Ann

      Tell me, who on the left has been promoting promiscuity. Your source of information.

  • May the Fourth be with you.

  • len

    IF you are going to ‘do God’ in politics make sure that you have the kahunas to carry it through.

  • Mary Ann

    I think it is right to abolish religious schools, they are divisive. Catholics in one school Prodestents in another and Muslims in a third. It is perfectly possible to teach morality without the need to bring religion into it. If parents want their children to go to church or a mosque they can get of their backsides and take them there. The children of Britain should integrate, they should not be separated by religion.

    • CliveM

      Who are you to decide who my children interact with? When I start telling you, you can start telling me.