Friday, 13 June 2014

Trojan horses: beware of G(r)eeks bearing 'British values' .....

Whatever the underlying situation may be in Birmingham Schools - and a brother priest has something very interesting to say about the way this issue has been (mis)represented [here] - surely the suggestion that our children should all be instructed in something called  'British values' is one of the most ludicrous comments of all.
What might those values now be? I would hate to attempt a contemporary definition - those attempts I have seen read like something from a health and safety manual .... or worse ... 

Peter Hitchens has some interesting comments about the way in which our society has been largely content, even enthusiastic, to sell its heritage, its values and its traditions for a mess of pottage .... the bread and circuses of modern living - while successive Governments (with public acquiescence) have undermined that most characteristic 'British' value of all, the belief in liberty .....
"...More than that, we are a society which has an established Church, the Christian Church of England, and a country in which the churches, especially the C of E and the Roman Catholics, did much to set up schools for the children of the poor. They did this when the state was more or less uninterested in doing so. Thanks to various treaties between church and state, in which the Churches were in a strong position because of the work they had done, the state conceded large freedoms to the churches, especially the freedom to continue to maintain schools in the state system, which had a religious character and which are allowed to choose many of their pupils on a religious test.
In my view the Church of England were diddled, because the promise they extracted in return for ceding control of many schools, that all state schools would have a ‘broadly Christian’ daily act of worship, and that the national faith would be taught as such in schools, has been comprehensively broken. I use the word ‘comprehensive'deliberately,. The creation of vast new American-style high schools has made  it far easier for these obligations to be shelved, forgotten or bureaucratically obstructed .'We just don’t have a hall big enough. We can’t fit it in to the timetable. We don’t have the qualified teachers', etc.
I’d be very interested in a survey of how many non-RC state schools actually deal with the Christianity question. I think it would show that most pupils could get through their school careers without ever encountering anything resembling organized Christianity ,as a living faith.
 Now, one of the things I really like about Muslims is that they are not having any of that. They value their faith, they believe in it, and they see it is one of their main duties in life to pass it on, undiluted, to their sons and daughters. ..."
Read it all here 

And as for the historically insular secularists who argue that the so-called 'Trojan Horse' affair displays the need for the abolition of all state-funded faith schools, the answer from the Church should be this: 'Fine, but can we have our money back, please - with interest?'

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