Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Björn Ulvaeus: Faith-based schools should be banned

Abba, forgive him, for he knows not what he says. Just as the pop world loses its king, it discovers its Björn-again Richard Dawkins.

Generations have been indoctrinated by ABBA – morphed into dancing queens with incantations of ‘I dooooo, I do, I do, I do, I do, I dooooooo’; hypnotised as they gaze into their angeleyes. But the group’s Björn Ulvaeus has been seduced by money money money as he proves that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle as the winner takes it all – except the Kingdom of Heaven. Cranmer would never have had Mr Ulvaeus down as an evangelical atheist, but it appears that he is persuaded that any ‘thank you for the music’ is not owed to God.

In Sweden, as in England, there is no separation of Church and State. But ABBA didn’t think to write a song about it when they existed.

Björn Ulvaeus is a member of Humanisterna (the Swedish Humanist Association) which, just like its counterpart in the UK, propagates its atheistic creed aggressively and seeks to undermine the Church-State settlement. In particular, they object to schools with a religious ethos and to any notion of ‘religious indoctrination’ in the education system. Mr Ulvaeus is of the opinion that ‘schools should provide a safe haven from all ideologies, with the obvious codicil that children should learn as much about as many of them as possible from an objective point of view’.

And this objective point of view is, of course, the secular humanist perspective – the ‘neutral’ filter through which the eyes of the child might behold the light. But not too early, for only those who are ‘old enough to think for themselves... should be free to choose their own ideology’.

He does not specify at what age this occurs, and neither does he explain how children will weigh up the arguments on subjectivity and devotion if all they have been taught are the objective facts objectively. But he is adamant that ‘children should be kept away from anything that bears even the slightest whiff of indoctrination. In fact, freedom from indoctrination ought to be a basic human right for all children’.

And Mr Ulvaeus then explains his humanist reasoning for this. He says, objectively and dispassionately, of course, that ‘religious education makes it more difficult for children to form their own views on the world. It puts obstacles in their way that not all are capable of overcoming’.

Secular humanism does not so hinder, for it is an enlightened creed which may easily be overcome.

He adds that any prominent figures who have made remarkable contributions to society did so because they became free thinkers, and this ‘despite, not because of, their Christian schooling’.

Nothing dogmatic about that at all: a teacher could quite happily impart such neutrality to his or her disciples in the sure knowledge that when they are ‘old enough to think for themselves’ they might change their minds about Christian schooling without ever having learnt anything more about it.

Mr Ulvaeus is awfully muddled and confused, and Cranmer rather wishes he had stuck to song-writing. Having made the case against religion in school, he argues that ‘religion has a natural place in their homes and their children grow up with it. And that's fine’.

Why is it?

Surely religious indoctrination in the home may be as corrosive, if not moreso, than that which might be manifest in a school. What if that domestic religion precludes state education? What if it prohibits children meeting and getting to know their peers ‘on neutral ground’? How does he guarantee that the ‘us against them’ divide he ascribes to schools is not inculcated by parents and grandparents?

The belief in the superiority of one religion over another is far more likely to originate in the home than it ever would in a school.

But even if it be taught in a school, let that school be judged by its academic results and the calibre of student it produces – their social maturity, personal morality, the quality of their parenting, their attitudes towards their elders, to institutions of government, and their whole contribution to society.

It shall be seen time and again that church schools consistently out-perform their ‘secular’ counterparts in all of these areas. Education is not about indoctrination: it should be, as Plato advocated, concerned with pointing the eyes of the child to the light in order that he or she might see for him or herself. But the Humanists would negate even that as a pursuit of the darkness.

Just because there is no ABBA does not mean that there is no God.


Blogger Botogol said...

His Grace is disingenuous, the humanists generally object to the state funding of religious schools, not to their existence per se. If a church wants to start a private school, then it has every right to do so, but we object to state schools being put under the control of vicars, rabbis, imams and jedi knights

1 July 2009 at 09:21  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Botogol,

That may be the case.

But Björn Ulvaeus wishes to see an end to all faith-based education, whether privately or publicly funded. He notes: 'Unfortunately the European Convention on Human Rights doesn't permit the banning of independent religious schools.'

And that 'unfortunately' would doubtless also be keenly felt by many if not most British humanists.

1 July 2009 at 09:27  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

I also like the way they don't let the facts get in the way of their arguments.

In Bradford, the top performing schools are disproportionately church schools. Is this because they are all set in leafy suburbs with affluent parents? No ... if it's like my child's, they serve a large sink estate. The other schools on the estate struggle to get anywhere near the standards achieved by the church school despite all other things being equal bar the strong religious ethos.

This is a story repeated throughout the country but conveniently ignored by the fundamentalist dogma of the secularists.

1 July 2009 at 09:38  
Anonymous jim w said...

One could equally object to the indoctrination of children by the secularists who infest the teaching profession. It is too dangerous for education to be in the hands of the state. In Britain it was the second institution after the church to be nationalised. Both have suffered as a result: privatise them!

1 July 2009 at 09:56  
Blogger Frugal Dougal said...

So what happened to "I have a dream...I believe in angels?"

1 July 2009 at 10:06  
Anonymous Orwellian Prophet said...

If children should be kept away from anything that bears even the slightest whiff of indoctrination then Secular Humanism is a doctrine to keep them away from. Björn Ulvaeus is advocating the very thing that he claims he is trying to avoid, particularly as he also said that freedom from indoctrination ought to be a basic human right for all children. Every parent influences their child before and during schooling, (not to mention the media) so the avoidance of some form of religious or secular bias seems to me to be impossible.

1 July 2009 at 10:09  
Blogger Gnostic said...

God save us from celebrities with a cause. Unless, of course, that celebrity is Joanna Lumley...


1 July 2009 at 10:18  
Blogger mogsmar5 said...

Your Grace,

Humanism is not a doctrine, it is the belief that all beliefs should be founded on evidence obtained through empirical means. We are all humanists when we come to conclusions based on the observable facts. Thus secular humanism is as 'neutral' a filter as one can get from which for children to observe the world. It allows for them to make up their own minds. Apart from the belief in the importance of evidence, there is no creed of humanism.

The humanist objection to faith schools is not a matter of dogma, is it an inevitable outcome of the belief that children should be able to think freely. Humanism, unlike religion, makes no claims about the world, and so a child brought up humanistically will be unhindered by unproven beliefs. Religion, by definition, cannot prove its claims (many would argue that this is not a bad thing, I am not attacking religion in itself) and so a child brought up in Islam, in Judaism, in Christianity, in Hinduism etc. will be less likely to see the world objectively.

On an aside, Your Grace offers the fact that most 'indoctrination' occurs within the confines of the home rather than the classroom as an argument in favour of faith schools. Surely this instead is an argument against any form of 'indoctrination' at all?

1 July 2009 at 10:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we can safely say that Mr Ulvaeus has brought more pleasure to more people than any member of Swedens miserable national church - though that is not saying much in one of the happiest and least religious societies on Earth.

1 July 2009 at 10:38  
Anonymous chris r said...


"Humanism is not a doctrine, it is the belief that all beliefs should be founded on evidence obtained through empirical means."

If it's not a doctrine, it's certainly a philosophical position. Why should all beliefs be founded thus? The statement itself cannot be verified by empirical evidence, and is, therefore, self-refuting.

God forbid that my children should be indoctrinated at school in the ways of a self-refuting philosophy!

1 July 2009 at 11:01  
Blogger Gnostic said...

There is a gaping flaw in this humanist argument. They seem to be assuming that anyone who attends a church or any other type of religious school comes out the other end a pious, god fearing individual who can't think for themselves.

My son attended primary and secondary schools that were both Anglican sponsored - not through any deliberate choice but because they were local and the most favoured for results. He is secular, so are his friends. Not only were they taught to think for themselves they were also taught self discipline, respect for other people and politeness. That is something that seems to be lacking in this day and age.

Principles and dogma are not the same thing. These schools have to adhere to a national curriculum. All schools teach RE but you cannot make children believe in it without brainwashing them. It seems that schools are too busy churning out government mandated, on message environmentalists who believe in Thermageddon rather than Armageddon.

New religion anyone?

1 July 2009 at 11:06  
Blogger Ray said...

What his grace also avoids is the end product of the drive towards faith as a natural course of life,and that is the slavish adherence and passions it can and does produce. Islam is a religion of no choice, death being the option for "opting out", as it was with Catholism, ( and as it would be again if they could), and imagining that we are safe because the protestant church is such a "nice" civilised religion, you need look no further than the USA where doctors get shot on the street for performing legal abortions.

1 July 2009 at 11:07  
Blogger Botogol said...

@rebel saint - in general they do it by refusing to admit the least desirable pupils: the permananently excluded from other schools, the non-english speaking immigrants and refugess(conveniently, geenrally not of christian parents), the very special needy and so on.

By avoiding the children at the hardest, far end of the spectrum (leaving the secular state to mop up, in a sad reversal of the origins of religious schooling in the UK) they markedly improve the conditions in their schools.

for more on this see here or here

1 July 2009 at 11:27  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

"There is no such thing as a neutral classroom. Schools are not value-free ... to forbid or exclude a value judgement is to assume unconsciously, that the highest value is to have no values." - John White (Flirting with the World).

1 July 2009 at 11:33  
Blogger Botogol said...

gnostic said "you cannot make children believe in it [religion] without brainwashing them"

how true.

1 July 2009 at 11:36  
Anonymous Rudyard K said...

Christian religious schools don't discriminate against non Christian
children or non English speakers.They offer scholarships to needy talented children as well.
Thank God for religious schools!The
education system is in their debt.
Educational standards would be further diminished if they didn't exist.

1 July 2009 at 11:45  
Blogger dutchlionfrans1953 said...

Why should Christians be forced to pay for State-schools (through our taxes) which do nothing to build the character of the child; and leave them hanging as to right or wrong (everything is relative...absolutes are banned...) except, they are taught that all that is Christian is hatefull and wrong?

If faith-based schools are excempt from receiving State-funds, then let the Chistian parents, who send their children to faith-based schools, be excempt from paying that part of their taxes that go to fund the State-schools and the bad fruits from the State-schools, and be allowed to use it to pay for the schooling of their children in faith-based schools!

Also the State-schools are actually faith based! Because the humanistic Marxist Political-Correctism, is just as much instilling it's anti-christ doctrines and ideologies (starting with the faith-doctrine of the EVOLUTION theory which can not be proven and is therefore a FAITH!) on it's pupils as other schools that are labeled faith-based.

It is actually far far worse: For the State-Schools abuse their position and taxed funds to ENFORCE the State Religion of Marxist Political-Correctism upon the land!

And parents who see the bad fruits of those State schools (even unbelieving parents) and send their children to faith-based schools are punished by the State! For they have to pay more! But they choose to pay more, that their children may grow up with character and a value system that is eternal and has conquered kingdoms!

1 July 2009 at 11:48  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Botogol. Our kids are being brainwashed. You only have to look at the so called science GCSE examination papers for the proof. They contain more political science than real science.

It's scandallous.

1 July 2009 at 12:11  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Your Grace argues that a school should be judged by, amongst other criteria, the attitude of its pupils towards their elders and to ‘institutions of government’. Surely you are not suggesting that these institutions of government—controlled, as they are, by habitual liars—should be treated with the respect due to the pupils’ elders?

@ Anonymous (10:38)— of the happiest...societies on Earth.

I seem to remember hearing, a few years ago, that Sweden was either at the top, or very near the top, of the world league tables for alcoholism and suicide. If that has changed recently, my apologies both to you and the Swedes.

1 July 2009 at 12:17  
Blogger Botogol said...

@rudyard :-) he! he! lots of laughs.

OK, so here's a state RC school at random - you'll note that places are available

- first to "baptised Roman Catholic children" (by which they mean, of course, children of Catholic parents - no four-year-old could be said to have a religion) with a referral form from a priest.

- second category: children of RC parents who for some reason don't have a referral from a priest.

Then, only if they can't fill the school with children of catholic parents will they consider

- third category: children of christian parents, and then

- last category: children of parents of other faiths.

It would seem that children of atheist parents are not eligible at all (they'd rather have a Jedi than a humanist)

So, far from 'not discriminating' you'll see that the entire admissions policy is a hierarchy of faith discrimination...financed by the state.

1 July 2009 at 12:22  
Blogger Yossman said...

I want to compliment you on this excellently written post. Especially the first paragraph was simply a scream. Apart from the humorous tone your argument is strong too! It is utterly annoying to have all these atheists around pretending to be rational, unbiased and objective. It is arrogant and very, very dumb.

1 July 2009 at 12:25  
Anonymous Puritan Preacher said...

@mogsmar5 10:19
Humanism is not a doctrine, it is the belief that all beliefs should be founded on evidence obtained through empirical means.

Humanism is an ideological, political and religious belief that denies the existence of God.
This belief is atheistic dogma, and because it amounts to a theological position it is also a doctrine.

1 July 2009 at 12:35  
Blogger Botogol said...

a doctrine is not necessarily religious in nature

atheism is a religion only in the same sense that not collecting stamps is a hobby.

1 July 2009 at 13:09  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

"It is utterly annoying to have all these atheists around pretending to be rational, unbiased and objective. It is arrogant and very, very dumb."

For god's sake (if you will pardon the pun).

Here we go again. Lets discuss how arrogant, dumb, bias, unobjective, irational and hypocritical this statement, along with most others on this thread, actually is.

First off Atheism, Humanism and Secularism are not the same thing even though it is far easier for the religiously minded to drop them all in the same Atheistic evil doing baby eating pigeon hole.

Humanism can be considered as a process by which truth and morality is sought through human investigation; as such, views on morals can change when new knowledge and information is discovered. In focusing on the capacity for self-determination, humanism rejects transcendental justifications, such as a dependence on faith, the supernatural, or texts of allegedly divine origin.

Atheism can be either the rejection of theism, or the assertion that deities do not exist. In the broadest sense, it is the absence of belief in the existence of deities. It is not the disbelief in god as you would have people belief but the unbelief as there is no active decision taken to disbelieve in god, there is simply a lack of evidence to support the claiments (the religious) position of god, and so the the natural standpoint is to not waste their time actively believing which is the position which is required by the faithful.

Secularism is quite simply the assertion that governmental practices or institutions should exist separately from religion and/or religious beliefs. Which has nothing to do with the unbelief of deities which occur in Atheism and Humanism.

When you stop mixing these three things up you may manage to come across as slightly less arrogant, dumb, bias, unobjective, irational and hypocritical.

1 July 2009 at 13:19  
Anonymous non mouse said...

So Botogol, what do you want?
Should a faith school have to spend all its time defending its faith against children and parents who don't want them to teach the faith?

Or would you like the children to learn things like: doceo, docere, docui, docui, doctum = to teach.
In that situation, would you let them provide a general education that includes the traditional approach to Religious Knowledge in their faith?

Frankly, I wouldn't let my children go to a moslem or hindu or jedi faith school no matter who funded it. At this stage, I'd even keep them out of a humanist one.

1 July 2009 at 13:19  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Apologies, biased*.

Thought I should pick that up since if I left it that would probably be the one part of that post you would focus on.

1 July 2009 at 13:21  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Perhaps what you should settle for non mouse would be to send your children to "school" without any prefix, just simply a well run school that doesn't discrimate, only teaches any who come through it's doors by applying a policy that all children coming through the doors are treated equally.

And if you really want to put any form of indoctrination(which is what teaching them to believe something in an unquestioning manner that has no emperical facts is) on to the children then you do it in a religious institution of your choosing (be it church, mosque stonehenge whatever) which should also not be funded in any way shape or form by the taxpayer as well as receiving no tax breaks that any other business (which is what organised religion is) would receive.

1 July 2009 at 13:28  
Blogger Yossman said...

There we go again indeed. You state: '[atheism] is the absence of belief in the existence of deities.' I have to correct you: atheism is the belief in the non-existence of deities.

Any statement we make concerning the nature of reality will always involve presuppositions which are in fact beliefs. Beliefs are formed on the basis of either correct or wrong information.

As such atheism is a belief. It is itself based on other beliefs, such as your notion that 'there is simply a lack of evidence to support the claiments (the religious) position of god'. There is no such lack. Look for recent achievements in philosophy of religion by theistic philosphers like Plantinga, Craig and others.

I'm sorry for using the words I did ('arrogant and very, very dumb'). Yet the utterances of Björn called for some indignation.

Your explanation of secularism is a non-sequitur as the statement itself is either a belief or based on one.

This is all I am going to write about it. I have work to do as an employee ;-)

1 July 2009 at 13:35  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

As do I but I take a moment for healthy debate on my lunch.

You are muddying the waters somewhat with your notion of "belief".

I say again that Atheism is not an active belief that there is no god. I am an atheist and I can catgorically say that there is no evidence which has been given to me that can be attributed to your god and could not be explained in time by something else. I will admit that there are other people that will take their grasp on Athesim to mean something else but at the end of the day that is because an atheist is not a group made up with common rules, it is a loose term to describe someone that does not have an active belief (or faith may be a better way to describe it as the very notion of having faith dictates that it is not based in fact, where as to believe something is correct or incorrect needs some sort of factual evidence in order to form the belief).

I think it was Grayling that said trying to get atheists to think together is like trying to herd cats, or something to that effect.

But I fail to see how you can find my explanation of the defination of Secularism as a non-sequitur argument? There is no belief involved here that is simply what Secularism is, look it up. Or am I to understand that your argument is that all the definitions to all words in our language is nothing more than a belief of our definitions being true so I may as well be saying flippity floppity floo since none of the words I have used have a definition that can be proved to be fact?

1 July 2009 at 13:46  
Anonymous no nonny said...

I went to a couple of RC schools, even though I was Protestant and my father professed atheism. Nobody there forced Catholicism on me, though I learned what it was about. I also learned all the atheist arguments as I went along.

Later I went to a Grammar School, and they made me take RI "Because it's the law; and it's good for you." It was. Bible Study tied in with Literature, Language, History, Latin, Geography, french, and Music. Neither did RI conflict with science, particularly as science seemed directed to the welfare of mankind. And the beauty of the hymns we sang at assemblies and at Christmas has provided lasting happy memories, as did the Scriptural readings.

I stayed agnostic, though; for a long time. It was life that made me see things in perspective - life, and the advantage of all that study. I have come to thank God that He gave me the opportunities He did to develop an unshakeable faith. And I would wish that any other child should have the same chance to develop an open mind and heart as well.

But the Enemy makes it harder and harder, doesn't he?

1 July 2009 at 13:49  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

It's is probably worth adding in reply to comment about arrogance.

As an atheist I cannot catagorically deny the existence of god. However I can say, based on evidence of all other things and the evidence provided by the claiments for having their faith in god that the likelyhood of a god in the way that has been described to me is highly unlikely. But I do not have the evidence required to say there is no such thing as a god, so I go on by not bothering to actively deny everything that tells me there probably isn't (And no, that does not make me agnostic, and please don't start citing Pavlov next).

I don't really think this is a very arrogant position to have.

Although being on the other side of the fence and telling me that there is without a shadow of a doubt a god and I am wrong to not believe in him 100% and that your position is the only true position?

Well I think we can both probably agree on which is the more arrogant position to take, or would that just be a "belief"?

1 July 2009 at 13:52  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I object to The State operating schools at all. It is a Prussian policy to produce cadres for the Army and is alien to the traditions in this country of Church and Cathedral Schools operated autonomously and without central State interference.

The destruction of English education and schooling proceeded from the 1944 Education Act since when 97% of ALL Education Secretaries have been from Public Schools including the current one.

The destruction of Grammar Schools was typical of the homogenising and bureaucratising tendencies of The State and is why Sweden is a basket case. Not everyone can become a multi-millionaire by writing songs and travelling the world via tax havens, others have to have diversity and choice and individual rights of conscience free of State Indoctrination

1 July 2009 at 13:58  
Blogger Yossman said...

@ TheGlovner

Okay, one more comment (for me this is not lunch. My time zone reads 14:50).

On secularism. You stated the following: 'Secularism is quite simply the assertion that governmental practices or institutions should exist separately from religion and/or religious beliefs.' Your word 'should' betrays a moral ought. Every moral statement involves beliefs.

My use of the term 'belief' is taken from the normal vocabulary of philosophers. It is important to note that every worldview is based on beliefs including the atheist worldview. Atheist usually fail to do so.

It goes without saying that this is not the same as adhering to an organised religion. One's beliefs will dictate one's actions. If you believe that no god exists, you will act as though he doesn't, wouldn't you? If you believe he does in fact exist and have come to the conclusion that his true identity is revealed in the Bible, you become a Christian. Acting otherwise would be foolhardy. (Which is why I am puzzled that so many Christians in fact do live as though God did not exist).

1 July 2009 at 14:00  
Anonymous Rudyard K said...

Botogol,you could hardly expect the RC school not to have an admissions heirarchy. Would you expect the atheists to be first on the list? It is unlikely that atheists would want their children to attend a RC school anyway.Your comment indicates the high demand for these schools and there are just not enough.There is obviously a great dissatisfaction with the State sytem and unless there is a significant improvement the demand will increase.It's all very well singing the praises of the state system but the truth of the matter is that given a choice most parents
would opt for a school with an emphasis on discipline and academc achievement.

1 July 2009 at 14:02  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Humanism, unlike religion, makes no claims about the world

Oh but it does. That is the whole nature of "humanism" because it elevates "humans" to a celestial plane and makes them the centre of all moral laws and values.

It is the triumph of the Super-Ego

1 July 2009 at 14:03  
Blogger Colonel Smedley said...

The Church of Sweden disestablished early this millenium.

1 July 2009 at 14:08  
Blogger Botogol said...

@Rudyard - I don't mind the RC church running exclusive schools for the parents of religious children. I feel sorry for the children but it is clearly within the bounds of acceptable activity in a free country - but I don't think the state should finance them to do so.

@Voyager - I don't mind the state running schools. However I would object to a state monopoly on schools, and I do object to the state harrying private schools the way it does to create a near monopoly.

I'd like to see education provided by a voucher system where the state provides every child with education vouchers to be spent at the school of their choice. The value of the voucher would be enough to purchase an education at the local state schools (Children with special needs would be given vouchers for larger amounts, similar to the way they can be funded now)

State and private schools would then compete to attract parents' custom, charging, if they wish, more than the cost of the voucher. They could be profit or non-profit making.

Churches would be free to run schools, just as anyone else could.

1 July 2009 at 14:26  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Well, Glovner - I can't accept your prescription. I don't see excellence in a British school that indoctrinates children into believing that they should ignore the traditions of their people, when the very language they speak is a product of their religious tradition.

Such a place would be barren, devoid of all the richness that makes life worthwhile. Anyone of my own constitution would fail to learn there, because learning would be pointless and disconnected from both context and experience. It would be of very limited and crude empiricism - the toe-stubbing variety.

Furthermore, I would not send children to any institution that demands unquestioning acceptance of anything - 'science' (=knowledge) or faith. Education is about developing enquiring minds, I think. To accept that everything is black or white, correct or incorrect - and that because some teacher says so - is to learn not to think. That's the closing of minds.

Christian Faith is not about not thinking; but it does include acceptance of the impossibility of knowing everything, or of knowing anything perfectly; it is also about considering the wisdom of seekers after truth, throughout the ages. I therefore cannot join you in dismissing Christianity along with Islam or Celtic paganism.

For someone who is so uncompromising about correctness, your etymology strikes me as incomplete. Your definition of secularism, for example, is a recent re-inscription of a word that was not originally about government. In its Latin manifestation, the word 'saeculum' referred to the period of a human generation, its age or its times; in another extension it could also refer to a long life of about a hundred years, and therefore a century (that sense transmuted into the French: siecle). In a later ecclesisatical (yes, Christian) sense, 'saecularis' referred to the things of this world, the temporal - which is the aspect you have appropriated to your narrower purposes.

Oh - and I can't help thinking it's a bit arrogant to require proof that God exists... when you can't prove that He doesn't.

Now I have other things to do, too.
But there should've only been one 'docui' above (typo).

1 July 2009 at 15:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Religion - as a faith - should be taught in Sunday School or each religions' equivalent. Religions as a subject should be taught in secular schools.

Faith-based schools are divisive and enourage separateness. In a multi-cultural society, such as ours has become, they do nothing to foster social cohesion.

We should move to a system whereby faith schools receive no public funding.

1 July 2009 at 17:56  
Anonymous Orwellian Prophet said...

@anonymous 17:56
It is multiculturalism that does nothing to foster social cohesion because it breaks down national identity. Faith based schools do not encourage separateness; they are just a manifestation of existing cultural fragmentation. Each culture seeks to preserve itself in perpetuity and gravitates to its own ghetto. The communities live parallel lives and tend to avoid interaction with people who are different and with whom they have little in common. Meaningful integration and social cohesion is unlikely unless we can all agree on and ascribe to a British monoculture.

1 July 2009 at 19:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To base ones understanding of the universe on observable facts, is as stupid as basing it on the contents of, for example, The BBC.

Wholly because we can not trust our own educational, scientific, or media establishments anymore then we can trust our established or otherwise religious authorities, TO TELL THE WHOLE TRUTH, even as they know it.

My understanding of the cosmos, and all that go's with it, is founded on a deep DEEP DEEP distrust of everything not coming from my own common sense and personal experience.

I firmly believe in virtually NOTHING whatsoever. However I very much believe in the very likely existence of a creator, or father/mother of creation.

This because to me the potential existence of some kind of external creator is perfectly logical, if not so much a completely obvious fact of life.

Is not clearly obvious that ALMOST everything is designed and therefore CREATED by something or somebody?

Therefore it is perfectly logical to assume that EVERYTHING is designed, and therefore CREATED by something or somebody.

Just because we have not been told properly or worked out the precise who, what, how, when, or WHY, does not mean that we are now, and have always been on our own, in this as good as infinite universe.

Surly the odds that this planet, and all that lives on it, existed and still exists purely by chance, are TRULY ASTRONOMICAL. Especially without some form of outside influence, nurturing, protection and/or creation.

Some may prefer to believe that their continual existence is equal to winning a national lottery 100 times in succession. However this type of understanding must surly lead to a sense of highly understandable insignificance and mind numbing insecurity.

However REAL scientists( Dawkins certainly not being one of them, at least in public anyway ) are not so confident about anything. Especially during these 'quantum physics' days. However idiot humanists like Dawkins are seemingly religiously certain in their atheism, to a point of pointlessly destructive dogma.

Dawkins and his ilk could not possibly be sure that their religiously held humanism is ultimately a good thing for humanity. It seems that being good for anything, is not even within their thinking.

So, which people are really displaying the blind ignorance of politically inspired indoctrination?

Answer; plainly humanists, and such like.

Who really has the spiritual or otherwise interests of ordinary people at heart?

Answer; very few living on this planet, as is clear for all to see.

Who is really interested in absolute TRUTH, rather then highly dangerous dogmatic THEORY?


Not any form of socialism or real socialist, as by definition truth and socialism can not exist and prosper at the same time.

At The heart of all forms of SOCIALISM is an absolute need to control the human mind by stealth. Thus to control the material and spiritual existence of common humanity.

The ONLY people who have an interests in achieving such an incredibly nasty thing, are our own RULING CLASS ELITES.

Which is why, socialism was invented, and has long since been promoted, by our own RULING CLASS ELITES.

This in almost exactly the same manner, and for exactly the same murderously insane reasons, they also invented or quickly subverted ALL established RELIGIONS, including humanism.

Atlas shrugged

1 July 2009 at 21:31  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

"in general they do it by refusing to admit the least desirable pupils" - Botogol

Utter BS! Come to the large sink estate in Bradford that my child's school serves. If they refused undesirable children it'd only have 50 pupils not 450! Instead the school is massively oversubscribed.

Of course, if you're saying that children of Christian parents are generally more desirable and help lift a school and it's attainment, then it begs the question, "why is that"? Of course your prejudices would mean that it can have nothing at all to do with the reforming nature of Christian faith.

1 July 2009 at 22:13  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The State is amoral and evil, it seeks to enslave and control. Thomas Hobbes was right - it is Leviathan.

There is no legitimacy in The State operating schools and determining exactly the framework and values teachers must implement. It has rendered teaching a form of social work cum prison warder.

There is a complete sterility about anything The State touches and it demeans human dignity with its oppressive ideological rigidities.

1 July 2009 at 22:25  
Blogger David Keaveny said...

I wonder if Mr Ulvaeus ever considers the irony of his popular beat combo's name, given that Abba is an Aramaic term for father, hence Romans 8:15, "but you have received a spirit of sonship in which we cry, Abba, Father!"?

1 July 2009 at 23:41  
Anonymous no nonny said...

David Keaveny - yes! I've also been wondering about their inability to extend their perceptions outside the box at the beginning of the alphabet.

They thus don't recognize the completeness in which the Father (Son and Holy Ghost) is the Alpha and the Omega.

2 July 2009 at 00:44  
Anonymous churchmouse said...

Right, Orwellian Prophet. And when you say "Meaningful integration and social cohesion is unlikely unless we can all agree on and ascribe to a British monoculture," that is, of course, precisely what they're trying to force onto us.

If I translate the model into a microcosm, I come up with the image of a 'householder' of a beautiful and ancient house. A foreign government invades, and commands him to take in all the beggars, criminals, illiterates, and migrants who've decided they like the look of his house better than anywhere else.

Then they tell him that those people know more about exploiting his property than he does - so he, and his descendants - must relinquish it to the rabble. Henceforth the householder and hiw family will all conduct themselves according to the standards of beggars, criminals, illiterates, and migrants.

2 July 2009 at 02:45  
Blogger Brad said...

The Colonel is correct. Sweden separated church and state on January 1, 2000. The state does still give some money to the churches through taxes but they're no longer liked constitutionally and their royal family can now be any religion-or none.
The Scandinavian monarchies still connected to the Lutheran church are Norway and Denmark. Finland is linked to the Lutheran and Finnish Orthodox churches; Iceland is linked to the lutheran church. All of these countries have started discussing disestablishment to some degree.
Trivia question (I'm foreign): what does "bog standard school" mean?

2 July 2009 at 03:36  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

The philosopher Anthony Flew has disacarded his atheism.


2 July 2009 at 08:43  
Anonymous Orwellian Prophet said...

@Brad 03:36
The term 'bog standard' is an informal english expression.
A bog standard school is one that has no special or interesting qualities.

2 July 2009 at 08:48  
Blogger Botogol said...

@ rebelsaint - a good test would be see how many children they have accepted in the last (say) five years, who have been permanently excluded from other schools, and whether that number is more or less that than the non-church schools in the borough.

willingness to accept childen like that will have a significant impact on the atmosphere and resutls of the the school, and might be a good test of the christian ethos.

2 July 2009 at 09:35  
Anonymous Rudyard K said...

On reflection I think that the only hope of restoring Christian
values to Britain is by a massive increase in Christian Schools. The demand is there and with David Cameron's intention of promoting homosexuality in the stae schools it can't happen soon enough!

2 July 2009 at 11:00  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

@Rudyard K

Sorry? "Promoting" homosexuality?

What madness are you talking now? There is no promotion going on, understanding maybe and acceptance which can only be a good thing.

But promotion would imply that they are trying to "make" homosexuals which really isn't the case.

2 July 2009 at 12:35  
Blogger D. Singh said...

The Equality Bill

Clause 143(4) compels public authorities to ‘promote understanding’ of sexual orientation.

The government estimates that implementing the provisions will cost £1 billion per year and £70.9 million spent annually.

The Institute of Directors has said that those figures are grossly underestimated (Press release, 19 Jan 2009)

2 July 2009 at 13:07  
Blogger dutchlionfrans1953 said...

TheGlover: Who has aenestesized you? Can't you see that the public-schools are promoting homosexuality? In the Netherlands, betrayed by our own politicians, government, media etc., the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture & Science, who is also in charge of homo-'emancipation' - more truthfull job-desciption 'HOMO-PROPAGATION' - ordered his school-inpsectors to visit all schools (including the Christian schools) to make sure the kids are taught that homosexuality is normal. Well, anyone who has not been blinded, can see that NOTHING IS NORMAL WITH A MAN STICKING HIS EXTENSION IN ANOTHER MAN'S SEWER-PIPE!

This has nothing to do with homo-emancipation, but with homo-propagation. The homo-made statistics say that 10% of the population is homosexual. Since this is a blatant lie, the government does it's very best to make this lie come true. They do this by brainwashing the schoolchildren lies, and by filling public services like the police with homosexuals, that are hired because they are homosexual rather than good material for the job!

The time is coming that we must say: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! WE WILL TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK FROM THE LOONATICS AND TRAITORS THAT HAVE BEEN RUNNING OUR COUNTRY FAR TOO FAR INTO THE SEWER! We did not become the Great Nation we once were by loony politicis like this! We used to have morals. Honesty was a virtue! Homosexuality was banned and rightly so! Any and every civilisation that allowed homosexuality a place has perished. And so will ours if we let it continue of this course!

I want to invite FREE people everywhere to get a dose of courage and inspiration by watching the excellent videos made by Bob Basso, playing the role of Thomas Paine: We The People Stimulus Package

This video on YouTube has been so popular that Obama called him personally.. He said that he was very disturbed with the video and invited him to the White House.

Watch also the other videos of 'Thomas Paine.' George Washington credited his book 'Common Sense'with the Revolution. Now we are in dire need of a 2nd Revolution. Thomas Paine (resurrected) in this video asks Americans, "HAVE YOU BECOME A NATION OF COWARDS?" Watch him as he lays out our nations problems AND what we can do to solve them. Powerful rendition of Thomas Paine himself. This video was produced by FUNBOBBASSO on YouTube. He is to be commended for this great work (and rendition).

The Second Revolution

Thomas Paine on to Washington

Open Letter to President Obama

In our nations where the owning of a weapon is forbidden, in violation of God Who gave us the right to own and use weapons in self-defense, we must FIRST get our right back to own a gun, and to use a gun in self-defense. For as I wrote earlier: Anti-gun laws are not stopping criminals! They stop victims to stand up for themselves to defend their bodies, families and properties against criminals, sice the police surely can and will not do so (too concerned with their own bodies...and wellfare...they wait outside until the crime has been done..)

2 July 2009 at 13:10  
Anonymous Frank Gomar said...

Since his apparent studies were in the banausic fields of 'business' and law, Björn Ulvaeus seems about as far from being a proper humanist as one can get.

2 July 2009 at 13:30  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Wow, how very christian and loving of you.

2 July 2009 at 14:02  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Looking at Mr Ulvaeus's face, I think I can see what Darwin was getting at.

2 July 2009 at 14:20  
Anonymous len said...

Judging by the tortured expression on Mr Ulvaeus`s face his humanist views don`t seem to be bringing him much joy.

2 July 2009 at 20:46  
Anonymous Libertator said...

Well I've seen a LOT of accidents, some funny, most nasty, but one thing they have in common, the result: CHAOS. Humanists, or evolutionists, take a look around at the wonders of this planet, now say "It's all the result of an accident!".

2 July 2009 at 21:04  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

It's all the result of many accidents over a massive amount of time.

So what? Will I be struck down now?

2 July 2009 at 21:11  
Anonymous Liberator said...

Mr Glovner. Your comment speaks volumes. and in answer to your question, I hope not.

2 July 2009 at 21:28  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

So do I, but if I am I will put it down to a freak accident rather than some devine intervention.

3 July 2009 at 06:08  
Anonymous Rudyard K said...

@ TheGlovenor
An adult heterosexual's response to the homosexual act (as so graphically but unnecessarily described by dlfrans1953 )is abhorrent and repugnant.

It is an outrageous concept that school children should be subjected to this type of information and overrides the boundaries of common decency.

Most parents (even atheists) would be opposed to this and are powerless to protect their children because they don't have the funds for a private school education.

Same sex ersatz marriage, and homosexual education has no place in a Christian based society.It attacks the very foundation of Christian ethics.

3 July 2009 at 06:09  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

"An adult heterosexual's response to the homosexual act (as so graphically but unnecessarily described by dlfrans1953 )is abhorrent and repugnant."

I would disagree with this, i'm an adult heterosexual and my response is simply, it ain't harming me and in my opinion people are what they are to some extent (nature and nuture have a role to play but being that homosexual acts are found in the animal kingdom I am more prone to put that one down to nature) and you ain't going to change people to be something else by telling them about it.

White people many moons ago would find black people "abhorrent and repugnant" if we told children about them in school and taught them to accept them mearly as people would that mean that the children would become black?

I think at the end of the day you are confusing the Adult Heterosexual response with the Adult Heterosexual having been indoctrinated with closed minded abhorrent and repugnant values response.

3 July 2009 at 07:21  
Anonymous Rudyard K said...

The Glovenor:
Most people would find the described act an unsuitable discussion topic for children.

You might consider discussing this with your therapist!

3 July 2009 at 11:59  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Hear, hear, Rudyard K.

Childhood should be free of that kind of distress.

3 July 2009 at 12:48  
Anonymous Liberator said...

Mr Glovenor.
One hopes you survive to attribute it to whatever you like.

3 July 2009 at 18:26  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

"Most people would find the described act an unsuitable discussion topic for children."

I am hardly advocating discussing it after story time before nap time whilst drinking their milk in Primary 3.

But at secondry school when they become young adults and the requiree to understand the different things happening in the world.

"You might consider discussing this with your therapist!"

Don't have one, never needed one. Thanks for your concern though.

3 July 2009 at 23:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Religion should be taught at schools, along side cultures of other countries - in my opinion schools should not be religious, catholic, christian, muslamic, islamic ect. and Children should not be christened.

People should have the choice to choose thier own faith - when they're old enough to do so.

My parents never christened me - I'm 17 now, and have no religious preferences, think my parents made a very good choice, as i have a opinion to all faiths, since I don nuteral't follow one my self.

It's a bit time this sort of thing is question, religion is in my opinion for the church/mosk ect.ect. and not for the school - but i think to understand religion you need to be taught about it from a nuteral pov.


23 February 2010 at 21:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only problem with being a Humanist is that you can only depend on humans.

25 May 2010 at 21:05  

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