Friday, March 12, 2010

David Laws on faith schools and the Liberal Democrats

Try not to laugh (or weep), but this was posted on LibDem Voice:

As the issue of faith schools has often been debated on this site, and it’s been back in the news with the question of sex and relationship education, we’ve asked David Laws to explain the party’s approach to these issues:

(Note: David Laws was asked to explain the Liberal Democrat approach to these issues)

The recent Government climbdown over sex and relationship education in state funded faith schools has prompted further debate amongst liberals about what role, if any, faith schools should have in English education.

Some liberals argue that in a free society faith groups should be free to deliver a faith education, and that parents should be free to send their children to such schools. These liberals believe that state interference in faith education would be a major infringement of basic liberties.

Other liberals and Liberal Democrats argue with equal passion that faith schools have no legitimate role to play in faith education. These liberals believe that education and religious instruction should not be mixed, and they are concerned that faith schools divide the community on faith lines in an exclusive and divisive manner.

At our Spring 2009 Conference Liberal Democrats debated faith education, and we came to a clear position which I believe reflects the balance of freedoms which it is necessary to reach in this case.
The Conference clearly decided to allow faith education within the state funded sector. It respected the choices that many parents want to make, as well as the success and popularity of many faith schools. I believe that that was the right decision for a liberal party in a liberal society.

Faith schools should continue to be available, and new faith schools can be established.

But the Conference also sought to protect the rights of other citizens/taxpayers, and the freedoms which they can be denied through the approach of some faith schools.

For example, can it be right that a child living in the catchment area of a faith school whose parents want to choose that school for the child should be denied entry to the nearest taxpayer funded school on the basis of a religious test? That is the reality in many communities. Liberal Democrats therefore voted to require all faith schools to have a more inclusive approach to entry – and voted to give local authorities the powers to implement such a policy in a sensitive and flexible way.

Conference also decided that, with the exception of religious instruction, staff in faith schools should be chosen on the basis of ability to teach and not simply on the basis of faith. That is surely right – anything else is unfair both to the children who need the best education, and to the teacher with the right skills.

Finally, what of sex and relationship education? The new Bill makes this compulsory in all state funded schools. And alongside flexibility to teach this subject in a way that takes account of children’s religious and cultural backgrounds was a duty to promote equality and acceptance of diversity. It is that duty to promote equality and diversity that is totally undermined by the Government’s last-minute amendment.
Of course, this action could be defended in the name of “religious freedom”. But is it really acceptable in the 21st century that – for example – a school should be able to teach about homosexuality while at the same time making clear that it same sex relationships are morally wrong, or that hell could await those who find their sexuality defined in this way?

Can we really expect young people to be treated with respect and to gain confidence in themselves if state funded schools are allowed to teach such nonsense?

Liberal Democrats will defend the role of faith schools in state education. But state funded prejudice is not a freedom that liberals or Liberal Democrats should feel the need to justify or tolerate.

David Laws is Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families

So, this is what the Liberal Democrats believe constitutes a ‘balance of freedoms’?

Faith schools which must employ staff (including the headmaster) who do not subscribe to the faith ethos of the school's foundation and must admit students who have neither the interest nor inclination to submit to or follow it?

Faith schools which must subsume their centuries-old religious orthodoxy to the supreme ‘equality and diversity’ dogma?

Basically, you are free to believe whatever you want, but not too strongly?

What do you make of this:

At our Spring 2009 Conference Liberal Democrats debated faith education, and we came to a clear position which I believe reflects the balance of freedoms which it is necessary to reach in this case.

They came to a ‘clear position’?

Don’t laugh.

No. Really. Don’t laugh.

If this policy is ‘clear’, Cranmer is a peanut.

In trying to be all things to all people, David Laws is nothing to nobody. This paradoxical drivel passes no test for clarity, other than to confirm that the Liberal Democrats are two-faced, schizophrenic opportunists who think the electorate are irredeemably stupid.

Perhaps we should thank God that these illiberal undemocrats don’t have a hope in hell of ever forming the next Government.

Can you imagine what darkness and devils would descend upon the nation during five years of a Labour-LibDem coalition?

And why does David Laws style himself ‘Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families’?

Who made them Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition?

Liberal Democrats are but shadows to the Shadows: they strut and fret their hour upon the stage, and then are heard no more.

Thank God.

121 Comments:

Blogger D. Singh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 March 2010 at 08:16  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

'Can you imagine what darkness and devils would descend upon the nation during five years of a Labour-LibDem coalition?'

Yes.

Social chaos followed by serious civil disorders: neighbour against neighbour. It will be a time when one's children, wife and home are not safe for violence.

I can see food and fuel prices rocketing. Families being evicted from thier homes. Bankruptcies.

Well, that's what's comin' if we split the vote. This is probably the most important election.

I can understand men voting for the 'fringe' parties. Sometimes a man wants to burn down his city - because he loves it so much.

12 March 2010 at 08:18  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Of all the poor, distorted, redefined, bastardised words in the dictionary of politics, Liberal must be the one which has been most emptied of content and turned to say the opposite of its native meaning.

"Liberal"? Good grief, these people must be joking. In any sane society they would be hauled through the courts under the Trades Descriptions Act.

The question a really liberal mind should be asking is: should the state have any involvement of any sort in education? And a truly liberal mind would answer with a resounding No!

But a Liberal, well that's a different species altogether. I doubt that even Orwell could have made them up.

12 March 2010 at 09:01  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

From what I have seen on Liberal websites and forums, they are full of spite and hatred.

12 March 2010 at 09:12  
Blogger Daily Referendum said...

Does Clegg being a Atheist help this situation? How can a man who has no faith represent the millions of believers in this country? How can he understand the importance of faith schools to many parents?

Is this a Trend amongst the Lib Dems? Do they have a higher percentage of non-believers than the other parties? The Head of My local Lib Dem party Peter Chegwyn is also an Atheist.

12 March 2010 at 09:16  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

They remind me of new age crystal healers and such like. They seem to surround themselves with enigma and mysterious hokum pokum in some attempt to seem super intellectual an elitist. My own subjective opinion is that they form a conglomeration of some of the weirdest mean spirited little twisted f*cks that could ever exist.

It is not right to judge by appearance but in their case there is a definite and strong correlation with a fun fair freak show. I once encountered this nasty specimen while helping out at an election, he resembled a cameleon with eyes pointing to all four directions of the compass at once, and what a total cry baby, piss ant, squabbling little mummy's boy.

12 March 2010 at 09:23  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

I have said this before and I will say it again: When ever you listen to the Liberals on TV all they ever do is highlight what's bad about everything that does not work, but they never offer to shed light on how they would fix it. After reading this post it is hardly any wonder. It's as though six opposing Liberals have drafted something that agrees about nothing.

God they make me sick.

12 March 2010 at 09:31  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

"these illiberal undemocrats don’t have a hope in hell of ever forming the next Government."

Let's hope they don't hold the balance of power in a potential hung Parliament.

The liberal democrats are neither liberal or democratic. They are all things to all men and would collapse under the weight of the own contradictions if we put them under the microscope as we do with labour and tory.

12 March 2010 at 09:40  
Anonymous Fan of Stargate SG1 said...

"hallowed are the ori" or lib dems as we call them.

12 March 2010 at 09:40  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

Cranmer said...
“In trying to be all things to all people, David Laws is nothing to nobody”

He is a politician and that’s what politicians do!

The issue of Faith schools contrasts the freedom of individuals to follow whatever faith they wish and the responsibility of the state to regulate what is taught to children. In principle the Faith schools are unacceptable because they allow children to be indoctrinated by superstition rather than reason and thereby let intolerance and prejudice be taught under the protection of religion privilege. In practice as most are lily-livered CofE Schools and don’t ram religion down the throats of students the damage is not too great. But just consider the horrendous prospect of the spread of Islamic schools (state funded or not), is that something that we can allow to continue?

The primary purpose of education should be to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to society and well as to nurture and advance their own personal talents. The idea that school should be used to advance a particular moral philosophy is wrong. However school should provide a medium where students can discuss and debate the world in which they find themselves and would of course include morality and ethics.

In reality faith schools will not be abolished in the near future. My hope is that the time will eventually come when religion in its current guise will be seen for what it is – just primitive superstition masquerading as serious philosophy, that has only lasted so long because people where unable or unwilling to think for themselves.

12 March 2010 at 09:53  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

What people won't say is that islam has caused this outbreak of division in how religion is included in the school day. Jewish schools are few, as I suspect are Hindu and Sikh schools. The majority of schools are Christian based and that is as it should be. We can tolerate a few non-Christian schools. We cannot tolerate a large and growing number of schools that are based on a religion of hate. And we have put ourselves in a position that prevents us from discriminating against islam. But that is the solution. Get rid of the source of the problem and there is no problem. But then most socialists have no faith and consequently think that all faiths are equally bad. Regardless of evidence to the contrary. God save us from the socialists and muslims.

12 March 2010 at 10:12  
Blogger Nicodemus said...

"My hope is that the time will eventually come when religion in its current guise will be seen for what it is – just primitive superstition masquerading as serious philosophy"

And this blog makes an exellent contribution to the task!

12 March 2010 at 10:13  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Mr Davis,

The state has no 'responsibility to regulate what is taught to children.'

It may have arrogated to itself the right to dictate what children are taught in the schools it funds, but that is because it wants fodder for its own purposes.

It has done it by misrepresenting to the people that it offers education to their children. It offers nothing of the sort; it takes them and tries (with decreasing success) to indoctrinate them so they will perpetuate the slavery of the proletariat.
Don't for a moment think that state schools offer education. How naive can you get.

12 March 2010 at 10:22  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

philip walling

I suppose you would say that the State has no role in the rule of law.

In a democratic society we assign powers to the state. If we don’t like the way those powers are implemented the remedy is in the ballot box.

Education cannot be left in the hands of special interest groups like religions or perhaps you admire the Taliban approach to education?

12 March 2010 at 10:40  
Anonymous It's faith, stupid said...

Mr Davis

"The idea that school should be used to advance a particular moral philosophy is wrong. However school should provide a medium where students can discuss and debate the world in which they find themselves and would of course include morality and ethics."

So we're going to tell our children that they are now going to debate morals and ethics, but we're not going to teach them any morals or ethics because that would be promoting a moral philosophy and tantamount to child abuse.

Are you a "shadow" Liberal Democrat for schools?

12 March 2010 at 10:42  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Davis: 'In a democratic society we assign powers to the state. If we don’t like the way those powers are implemented the remedy is in the ballot box.'

Or civil war as Cromwell and the British colonists elected to conduct.

12 March 2010 at 10:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was a lass, I never had any trouble understanding the difference between the primary school I went to and the Church school.

Probably because the recognised religion was that of the Church of England, of which the Monarch is Head and both schools taught the same thing.

We also had a Catholic school but I think that only received partial State funding and funny thing was, I do not remember parents or children from any of the three different schools having a problem with this or each other. And on balance all the children did equally well.

I suppose the reason it worked was because in those days the focus was on learning the three 'R's and it made common sense to follow the logic of 'why have it complicated, when it can be easy'.

Too many people today are micro managing and losing sight of the big picture.

School is about educating the next generations so they can achieve and contribute in adult life and the world of work.

12 March 2010 at 10:53  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

In his seminal essay 'On Liberty" John Stuart Mill laid down the tenets of classical Liberalism which are plainly very different from the highly illiberal ideas behind the modern Lib Dems,

In it, he made plain that the only basis upon which the State has a legitimate claim to interfere with the freedom of the citizenry to do what it likes, is where there is unequivocal harm to others.

If Mr Laws and Mr Clegg wish to run an election campaign based upon such an assertion, then so be it, but honesty compels them to make clear to the Public that they regard Christianity and other faiths as having such a malign impact on Society that the State does indeed have to intervene as a last resort.

I suspect that their deviousness and wishing to be
" all things to all men" will not see that happen.

David Cameron could usefully challenge them on this in plain terms during the election debates.

I should also be interested to see some activity from the Bishops on this subject. They have been very quick to argue that the BNP should be excluded from election debates on Church property, yet, whilst having no truck with that party, I have to say that the greater danger to the faith, on this evidence, comes from the likes of Mr Clegg and Mr Laws.

12 March 2010 at 10:56  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Mr Davis

Implicit in what you say is that education is synonymous with indoctrination or instruction. Education proper can be provided by any body or organisation.
Real schools have nothing to do with special interest groups (other than groups with a special interest in education).

Your opposition to the 'Taliban' approach to education rather proves my point about confusing education with indoctrination: you prefer state indoctrination to Taliban indoctrination, whereas
I would rather no indoctrination.

12 March 2010 at 10:56  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Quite right Mr Sewell,

There's nothing liberal about Liberals; but then there never was. Their idea of freedom is the freedom to be a liberal.

The current lot are state socialists, in the same way of thinking as Labour, only their MPs are not as fat, and slightly better dressed, but they're more off the wall because they know they have little chance of being elected.

Their only asset is Vincent Cable, but there must be something wrong with him otherwise he wouldn't claim to be a Liberal.

12 March 2010 at 11:04  
Blogger English Viking said...

In what way is this inane PC twaddle any different from the tosh that the Con and Lab party promote?

A constant undermining of the only true faith, Christianity, supplanting it with weird, Middle-Eastern and Indian cults, and a promotion of sexual perversity to boot.

I suppose it is only to be expected when parties are led by perverts, liars, thieves and fraudsters, and the average MP is no different, and the sheep keep voting for them, because one pile of poo is slightly less smelly than another pile of poo.

12 March 2010 at 11:07  
Anonymous It's faith, stupid said...

philip walling

I think that Vince is actually even better at appearing all things to all people than the others.

He also has a better than average grasp of finance and was able to land a few blows against Brown while gorgeous george was still finding his feet.

12 March 2010 at 11:11  
Blogger D. Singh said...

From: Christian Values in Education (issued before the bill)

Through the many changes in Government policies on education in the UK over the past decade, we are now experiencing perilous times. Not only is Christian religion being gradually removed from State education but stipulation on admissions to Faith Schools and state regulation in Home Schooling is being sought. The Scripture says

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”[Proverbs 22:6]

This truth is seemingly being acknowledged (albeit inadvertently) by our political leaders, but with determination to instruct children in the way they should not go. Influence on education legislation is being sought today by a coalition of secular campaigners, gay rights activists, transgender organisations, trade unions and ‘progressive faith’ groups through the ‘Children, Schools and Families Bill’ currently before Parliament. Their attempt to remove all religious liberty safeguards in existing equality legislation was defeated recently in the House of Lords. May it be, through prayer and the Lord’s blessing upon the endeavours of many who fear His
Name, that their intentions will be overturned again concerning the education of children.

In the year 2000 ‘Section 28’, which prevented the promotion of homosexuality
in schools, was removed from education legislation. This was a beginning of a
political agenda against the Christian faith being upheld in the state school
curriculum and being recognised in daily school life. It is still a legal requirement to hold a daily religious assembly, which is predominantly Christian, in schools. This is rarely attended to on a daily basis, deviations into assemblies based on other faiths do occur, and it is now reported in the press that schools are beginning to apply to local authorities to ignore the law and hold no religious assemblies at all. It is a well reported case in the religious press of the little girl who was reprimanded by her teacher for speaking to another pupil about her Christian beliefs. The headmaster supported the teacher by saying that a child should not be allowed to state faith as fact. This is the mindset that has come into education that will attempt to cause the teaching of the Scriptures to cease. What is very alarming is the increase to which wrong is to be taught, but pupils must decide what is right for themselves. The draft guidance stresses that SRE “should provide children and young people with information abut their right to confidential advice and support‟. No reference is made to the role of parents in this respect.

Faith Schools in the state system of education have increasingly come under attack from politicians by accusation that the ethos of such schools nurtures social
division and intolerance in society. Such accusation may be behind the Liberal Democrat leader’s comment mentioned in the previous article. There is no evidence to support the accusations, but they are hated by many who sit in Parliament. Because there is evidence of higher academic achievement in Faith Schools they are envied. Politicians have put down the success to the manner of selecting the intake of pupils. This reason is given by the government for specifying the intake process Faith Schools must now adopt. It is feared that the underlying reason is to try to undermine, by way of this regulation, the religious ethos of Faith Schools and gradually bring them into line with teaching and practice in other state schools.

12 March 2010 at 11:28  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Home Schooling is another area of education the government is seeking to influence, through the Children, Schools and Families Bill, by introducing registration and inspection. The reason given by the government is that children may be subject to abuse or inadequate education unknown to the authorities. Since many parents have chosen home schooling for religious purposes it is most likely that the government wish to approve the teaching being given. That is, it must embrace the legislation for state schools. The reproof of the little girl for speaking of her faith as fact could readily be applied to home schooling. This has recently happened in Sweden where a home educated child has been removed from her family because the truth of the Scriptures was being taught as fact. In the consultation document on the proposed legislation the question is asked “Do you agree that these proposals strike the right balance between the rights of parents to home educate and the rights of children to receive a suitable education?” Of the 4,833 responses only 4.8% agreed and 93% disagreed. An open letter appeared in the Guardian newspaper on the 11th January 2010 signed by parliamentarians, academics, teachers, medical practitioners and over 1,000 parents. The following is an extract from the letter. “We believe that schedule 1 of the Children, Schools and Families Bill represents an unacceptable imposition of state control over families. Although it is aimed at children educated outside the school system, it has implications for all families. If enacted, the bill would – for the first time – transfer responsibility for a child's education from the parents to the state. A change in the law is unnecessary. Parents are already required by law to provide an education suitable to the age, aptitude and ability of their children, and to any special educational needs they may have. Local authorities already have the power to take action if parents do not do this.” Thankfully some politicians have upheld the above in parliamentary debate on the bill which is shortly to go before the House of Lords. The apostle’s exhortation to the believers in Thessalonica in their time of peril was “Pray without ceasing”.[1 Thessalonians 5:17] May we do the same, praying that the Lord might appear and stop the proposals which are contrary to the Word of God and preserve the responsibilities of parents to their children.

12 March 2010 at 11:28  
Anonymous circus monkey said...

Are they kidding? A liberal society? Britain 2010? One thing is clear, not only are the Liberals confused about almost everything but they are entering Humpty Dumpty territory where language is concerned where words mean what they say they mean, not what they actually do mean. On second thoughts - maybe that should be Orwellian territory.

12 March 2010 at 11:29  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

It's faith, stupid

Education doesn’t consist simply of “teaching”. Allowing student to discuss morality and ethics without the stifling grip of religious prejudice is the way forward.

Why do you believe that your faith gives you some special insight into morality? Oh of course god told you! Well what about all the other gods past and present what did/do they say?. The notion of god is so ridiculous that I cannot believe that grown ups are still discussing it.

philip walling said...

“Implicit in what you say is that education is synonymous with indoctrination or instruction. Education proper can be provided by any body or organisation.”

That’s not what I said! Of course education has nothing to do with indoctrination whereas it is the divine purpose of religion.

12 March 2010 at 11:30  
Anonymous Robert Eve said...

Thank God indeed!!

12 March 2010 at 11:51  
Anonymous It's faith, stupid said...

Mr Davis

I do not recall anyone saying that morals or ethics should not be discussed. Where do you get that idea from? But how can they be discussed if they haven't been taught in the first place? And who is going to teach them if they run the risk of being called child-abusers?

12 March 2010 at 11:59  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Mr circus monkey,

or Alice in Wonderland?

Mr Davis,

Where do you think these "morality and ethics" come from that you are going to teach free of "religious prejudice"?

12 March 2010 at 12:14  
Anonymous Tony B said...

>Daily referendum said:
"How can a man who has no faith represent the millions of believers in this country?"

Presumably in a similar way to the way in which people with faith represent the millions of non-believers in this country?

12 March 2010 at 12:36  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Davis really is a product of 18th century Enlightenment and post-Christian thinking. CS Lewis wrote in The Poison of Subjectivism:

‘Until modern times no thinker of the first rank ever doubted that our judgments of value were rational judgments or that what they discovered was objective. … The modern view is very different. It does not believe that value judgements are really judgements at all. They are sentiments, or complexes, or attitudes produced in a community by the pressure of its environment and its traditions, and differing from one community to another. To say that a thing is good is merely to express our feeling about it; and our feeling about it is the feeling we have been socially conditioned to have.

‘But if this is so, then we might have been conditioned to feel otherwise. ‘Perhaps’, thinks the reformer or the educational expert, ‘it would be better if we were [conditioned to feel otherwise]. Let us improve our morality.’ Out of this apparently innocent idea comes the disease that will certainly end our species (and, in my view, damn our souls) if it is not crushed; the fatal superstition that men can create values, that a community can choose its ‘ideology’ as men choose their clothes.’

In the opening chapter of The Abolition of Man, Lewis asserts that the purpose of education is to teach genuine truth and virtue to students, and to reinforce such teachings by the cultivation of the appropriate affections that would shape genuine human character and simultaneously protect young people from banality and corruption. Modern education, however, was bent upon debunking objective truth and virtue and the emotions that fortified them.

Consequently, Lewis, who could not remain silent about this important matter, takes up the task of debunking these modern debunkers. Issues of such magnitude needed exposure and correction, not only to preserve educational heritage of the West, but also to save its young charges and the society they would inherit and lead from destruction.

So Lewis begins with the frightening theme of mis-education as it was manifested in two real textbooks used in teaching English literature in the upper schools in Great Britain. The first work he discusses under the pseudonyms of Gaius and Titius and calls The Green Book. The second he refers to only by its author under the assumed name of Orbilius. Both books pretend to teach lessons in literature, when in fact what they are imparting is faulty philosophy and facile literary criticism in which the whole of human culture — ethics, theology, politics, and so on — is at stake.

In The Green Book, for example, Gaius and Titius argue that all sentences presumably expressing objective value (e.g., “The waterfall is sublime”) are really about the emotional state of the speaker, and not about anything real in the world, whether it be a waterfall or anything else. But the consequences of this instruction in “emotivism,” as it is properly called, are huge. What The Green Book teaches is that all apparent statements of real value are in fact subjective and trivial, even though the average schoolboy or schoolgirl will not necessarily at the time draw this conscious philosophic conclusion. Nonetheless, an essential assumption or a basic attitude is instilled in the heart of the student, which some ten years later, “its origin forgotten and its presence unconscious[,] will condition him [the student] to take one side in a controversy which he has never recognized as a controversy at all” (p. 20).

12 March 2010 at 12:38  
Blogger D. Singh said...

In other words, what a young child is taught early on has a mysterious way of shaping that child’s heart and essential vision of life. Plato certainly recognized how impressionable students were as well as the incredible power of narrative and musical education, prompting him to censor heavily what stories and songs could be taught to his future guardians and political leaders (The Republic 3). Horace also observed how significant childhood influences were in shaping adult perspectives, as did St. Augustine, who quotes Horace’s memorable line that, “new vessels will for long retain the taste of what is first poured into them” (The City of God 1. 3). This is all quite similar to the biblical proverb that advises parents to “Train up a child in the way he should go, [so that] even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22: 6, NASB).

Indeed, these insights were not lost on Lewis who complains not only about the effects of bad philosophy, but also about how the cheap kind of textual interpretation practiced by Gaius and Titius (and Orbilius) fails to instill in students the right kinds of insights and responses to “the grace of great things.”

As Lewis puts it, Gaius and Titius, while teaching him nothing about letters, have cut out of his soul, long before he is old enough to choose, the possibility of having certain experiences which thinkers of more authority than they have held to be generous, fruitful, and humane (p. 23). ...That is their day’s lesson in English, though of English they have learned nothing. Another little portion of the human heritage has been quietly taken from them before they were old enough to understand (p. 25).

The real problem with this bad philosophy and poor literary analysis, according to Lewis, is not just that students are exposed to wrong ideas and inept interpretations. Rather, the result of this poor instruction overall is that it produces students with uncultivated souls which is our second theme. Lewis refers to those with uncultivated souls rather colorfully as “trousered apes” who, for example, can never think of the Atlantic Ocean as anything more than so many million gallons of cold salt water. He also uses the memorable expression “urban blockheads” for whom, he says illustratively, a horse is never regarded as anything more than an old fashioned means of transportation. However, good philosophy and literature, rightly taught, should make young people capable of recognizing the true glory and excellence residing in such tremendous realities as oceans and animals, not to mention the rest of life and creation.

But then it occurs to Lewis, laying aside his hermeneutic of charity, that Gaius, Titius, and Orbilius may specifically wish to produce “trousered apes” and “urban blockheads” through their scholarly efforts. As Lewis puts it, “They may really hold that the ordinary human feelings about the past or animals or large waterfalls are contrary to reason and contemptible and ought to be eradicated. They may be intending to make a clean sweep of traditional values and start with a new set” (p. 25). If this is the case, then these thinkers are presenting philosophical rather than literary ideas. Consequently their books deceive parents, students and school administrators who expect to find within them the insights of professional grammarians rather than the misleading notions of amateur philosophers (p. 26).

12 March 2010 at 12:38  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Ah! I see what you mean. What you actually mean is "how can a man who has no faith be expected to give the millions of believers in this country the sympathetic and special treatment that they constantly demand"

Now it makes sense.

12 March 2010 at 12:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I direct you all to Iain Dale who reveals that the newly selected Lib Dem Candidate candidate for Gravesham, who is attracting attention as she is an adult film producer, actually records on her website that she support Labour!

You can't make this stuff up!

12 March 2010 at 12:50  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”[Proverbs 22:6]


I'm afraid this is the guiding mantra for all those who believe in indoctrination of whatever type - religous, political or whatever. In the meantime what are those of us who believe in educating children so that they have the skills and knowledge to make a free choice meant to do?

Perhaps it is worth noting that many who have made the most lasting and deepest contributions to religous (and political) thought usually developed their ideas in an environment which differed radically from what they proposed.

12 March 2010 at 12:54  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

English Viking has it right. Keep on saying it until the dumbos in our three main parties get it:

"A constant undermining of the only true faith, Christianity, supplanting it with weird, Middle-Eastern and Indian cults, and a promotion of sexual perversity to boot.
I suppose it is only to be expected when parties are led by perverts, liars, thieves and fraudsters, and the average MP."

Actually, I suspect many of us would like to see the 'Dept' of Mis-education and indoctrination abolished altogether.
I seem to recall the fact that our children were, certainly in the basics, never so well educated as in Victorian times - producing wonderful architects, engineers, missionaries, entrepreneurs, statesmen/women, and above all, an enlightened Christian conscience - all without something called State Education.

12 March 2010 at 12:59  
Blogger D. Singh said...

TBNGU

'In the meantime what are those of us who believe in educating children so that they have the skills and knowledge to make a free choice meant to do?'

Do what you have always done: send yours to the bog standard socialist state comprehensive and out at the other end meet the 'trousered ape' and 'the urban blockhead' on the street corner.

12 March 2010 at 13:02  
Anonymous Mikec said...

This is not about religious schools, it is about what religion may be taught in schools, Lib Dems and NuLabour was the POLIGION of Social Humanism to be taught, where there are absolutely no absolutes, and morality is relative....

The Cullen enquiry locked away some of its findings for a hundred years, but at the centre of the Dunblaine shootings was a pederast ring which would appear to have included politicians in very high positions in the government.

It is the most phenomenal hypocrisy for any MP of any party to dictate what morals and ethics should be included in school curricula until their own act has been cleaned up and the criminals purged from their midst.

12 March 2010 at 13:02  
Anonymous It's faith, stupid said...

English Viking

May I ask, will you be venturing out on May 6th to the least smelly pile of poo? Or will you be sitting at home with your gas mask on?

12 March 2010 at 13:06  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

tory boys never grow up said...

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”[Proverbs 22:6]
I'm afraid this is the guiding mantra for all those who believe in indoctrination of whatever type - religous, political or whatever."

Why "afraid". Yes Christians teaching their children on the Proverbs principle do engage in indoctrination. The teaching of doctrine is an essential part of the Christian faith.
Nobody is compelling you 'Tory Boy', to do the same. You have a free choice in the matter - but of course you must bear in mind that what you you sow, or not, in spiritual nurture (for your children) that you will reap.
The choice is yours !

12 March 2010 at 13:09  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

D Singh

Given that you believe schools are for indoctrination rather than education your response was only to be expected, and has been duly filed under bigot. I think you will find that both Stalin and Hitler would have supported the sentiment of Proverbs 22:6.

12 March 2010 at 13:13  
Anonymous Stewart Cowan said...

Mikec,

"The Cullen enquiry locked away some of its findings for a hundred years..."

Indeed, but another possible explanation as to why is that the massacre in Dunblane was 'allowed' to happen in order to train the public to hate guns and bring in an almost total ban with little opposition.

Pitchforks it is then.

12 March 2010 at 13:17  
Anonymous Stewart Cowan said...

English Viking is right.

The Lib/Lab/Con Party is promoting false religions and perverse and degrading sexual behaviour like ones who are demon-possessed, for no other reason than to force everyone to live by their definition of 'equality' (and satisfy 'EU regulations').

They have become drunk on 'equality' and 'diversity' so much so that they can no longer focus in on reality.

Of course, it is happening all over what was Christendom, because it is part of the same global agenda.

The main parties will never again be allowed to answer to 'we, the people'. How can they still expect us to waste our vote on them?

12 March 2010 at 13:25  
Anonymous Mikec said...

I agree Stewart, but if that is so, then there are 16 dead 5 year olds whose blood cries out for justice.

There can be no justifiable reason to withhold any information as to what happened there and and why.

Any damage done by teaching religion in school is insignificant compared to this savage act of mass murder in an infant school.

To then sweep the matter under the carpet and then try and dictate morality etc is just priceless....

12 March 2010 at 13:28  
Blogger D. Singh said...

TBNGU

‘Doctrine’ means teaching.

12 March 2010 at 13:31  
Blogger D. Singh said...

TBNGU

I've filed your post under 'Evolutionay Process, Next Steps, Trousered Ape'

12 March 2010 at 13:35  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Singh, your ignorance and prejudice appear to know no bounds.

12 March 2010 at 13:50  
Anonymous Mikec said...

It is not a matter of piles of poo - It is an overflowing cess-pit which is past its empty by date....

We would be better off having a lottery for seats in Parliament, at least then we would get real people instead of (un)professional politicians.

12 March 2010 at 13:51  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Tony B

Do us all a favour: make it a habit just to think twice a day.

12 March 2010 at 13:53  
Anonymous Stewart Cowan said...

Mikec,

And not forgetting the teacher who was killed.

I agree, "there can be no justifiable reason to withhold any information as to what happened there [Dunblane] and why".

They will pretend it is to protect the parents.

Like most (if not all) countries, there are real evil sections of the state, who wouldn't have to think twice about killing children, murdering scientists and dumping their bodies in the woods, eliminating targets at point blank range on the Underground, or making children believe that sodomy is normal!

There is so much evil, like the lies told to take us into wars where hundreds of thousands have been killed and the abortion trade, which is also now being promoted to primary-age children.

The main parties are literally a bloody disgrace.

12 March 2010 at 13:57  
Anonymous It's faith, stupid said...

Tony B

Are you able to elaborate or was it just a need for an ad hominem?

12 March 2010 at 14:10  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Oh and Mr Davis,

The state has a role (given to it by us) in keeping the peace and organising us to protect ourselves from foreign invasion, but not to tell us what and how to think, or how to educate our own children! - unless, of course our children (like us) really belong to the state and we're just allowed to look after them (and pay for it) until the state blows the whistle and we have them taken away.

And Mr Tony B, I agree with Mr Singh, surely it's that his wisdom and goodness know no bounds?

12 March 2010 at 14:17  
Anonymous Alice said...

Topic aside, there's a nice example in Dave Laws statement, of what could be called 'argument ad millenium'. He says "But is it really acceptable in the 21st century..." I hear this used in argument increasingly and wonder what they mean by it: who has decided what is acceptable in the 21st century? Is it written in law, or on ancient stone tablets or in some divinely inspired text? If not, what has being in the 21st century to do with the argument at all?

12 March 2010 at 14:31  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Brilliant! I wish I had thought of that: 'argument ad millenium'.

The post-Christians use ad millennium to project, subliminally, the idea that you must not cling to tried and tested values that have stood the test of time – for to do so is to become ‘stagnant’ and fail to ‘advance’ to new and ‘better’ ideas.

The idea of stagnation suggests ‘puddles of mantled pools. If water stands too long it stinks. To infer thence that whatever stands long must be unwholesome is to be the victim of metaphor. Space does not stink because it has preserved its three dimensions from the beginning. The square on the hypotenuse has not gone mouldy by continuing to equal the sum of the squares on the other two sides. Love is not dishonoured by constancy, and when we wash our hands we are seeking stagnation and “putting the clock back”, artificially restoring our hands to the status quo in which they began the day and resisting the natural trend of events which would increase their dirtiness steadily from our birth to our death. For the emotive term ‘stagnant’ let us substitute the descriptive term ‘permanent’. Does a permanent moral standard preclude progress? On the contrary, except on the supposition of a changeless standard, progress is impossible. If good is a fixed point, it is at least possible that we should get nearer and nearer to it; but if the terminus is as mobile as the train, how can the train progress towards it?... We can go on getting a sum more and more nearly right only if the one perfectly right answer is ‘stagnant’.’

CS Lewis, The Poison of Subjectivism

12 March 2010 at 14:59  
Anonymous Tony B said...

If wisdom consists of simply denigrating people who were educated in Comprehensive schools and copy and pasting vast blobs of C.S. Lewis, then he is indeed wise.

I happen to think wisdom is defined in other ways, however.

12 March 2010 at 15:05  
Anonymous Onward Christian Soldiers said...

Your Grace, no Christian could vote for any of the main parties, as English Viking has said.

And let me add some other thoughts.

Great holy armies should be gathered and trained to fight all that is evil. In the name of God, ships should be build to carry out Christian warriors to the nations and we will spread Christianity to all unbelievers.The power of God will be felt far and wide and the wicked shall be vanquished.

12 March 2010 at 15:15  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Tony B - very well as you insist.

You are the first cabbage I've met on this board who appears to be armed with a college degree.

TBNGU asked a question, as you very well know, and I responded in the manner he is accustomed to: as he himself affirmed.

12 March 2010 at 15:19  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Mr Tony B,

It's not where they went to school, but the fact that the school they went to failed to educate them that Mr Singh criticises - surely you can see that?

His points are arguments backed up with examples and authority - surely you can see that as well?

You must try to accept that some people can see the truth and others can't; having the humility to accept that would be the first step along the road to wisdom.

And by the way, how would you define wisdom?

12 March 2010 at 15:26  
Anonymous It's faith, stupid said...

Tony B

You appear to have the wrong end of the stick.

Mr Singh is prepared to scour the interweb and the depths of his knowlege for our edification. We owe him our thanks.

12 March 2010 at 15:26  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

D Singh you have been busy...

Lewis refers to those with uncultivated souls rather colorfully as “trousered apes”
which is of course what we are.

He goes on to say “who can never think of the Atlantic Ocean as anything more than so many million gallons of cold salt water”
which is of course nonsense.

You imply that to the godless, rational being there is no poetry, no imagination, and no emotion. This is to confuse what you call the soul with some other worldly nonsense. To know what something is, in know way diminishes its beauty. You seem to crave mystery rather than truth.

You and others here have invested so much in your religion that you are blinded from seeing the obvious, that your religion and all its trappings, its writings and all the art that it has inspired is based on a myth, a god that is just one of thousands invented by man because he has lived in ignorance for most of human history.

12 March 2010 at 15:29  
Anonymous Mikec said...

The objective of Education should be to teach a child to become 'self educating' in his/her later years, and thence to pass this skill on to their children

The 'formularisation' of education around a series of set public examinations flew in the face of this objective. Further chaos being introduced by the politicization of education to try to achieve 'equality' by a implementing a 'one size fits all' regimen.

Faith schools are in demand because they have resisted these pressures (although as we see, not very successfully), thus rendering them able to give a better end result. Middle class parents tend to see the opportunities presented and take advantage leading to more inequality.

By the way, there is nothing at all wrong with vast blobs of C.S. Lewis on a C of E blog. It is 'vanity' to suggest otherwise.

12 March 2010 at 15:30  
Blogger D. Singh said...

'You imply that to the godless, rational being there is no poetry, no imagination, and no emotion.'

Mr Davis that is utter nonsense.

12 March 2010 at 15:35  
Anonymous Oswin said...

John in Cheshire : You said it! We are intent on destroying a system that has worked rather well, in order to put a stop to the invasive nature of Islam (?) Except, that is, everyone seems to have forgotten that wee bit of the fancied promulgation...it's rather like setting fire to one's home, because of a touch of dry-rot. Not only that, but in doing so, simultaneously denying the very existence of the canker. For how then might we castigate Israel's attempts at similar eradication?

'Rentokil' it ain't!

12 March 2010 at 15:36  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Davis: 'You and others here have invested so much in your religion that you are blinded from seeing the obvious, that your religion and all its trappings, its writings and all the art that it has inspired is based on a myth, a god that is just one of thousands invented by man because he has lived in ignorance for most of human history.'

I would've thought that would apply to Soviet, Chinese and German National Socialists - to which your world-view is much more attuned to.

12 March 2010 at 15:38  
Anonymous Mikec said...

To be 'godless' and 'rational' you must first explain to me how the first cell came into being, complete with its irreducibly complex machinery. Otherwise, this is an oxymoron. No theories please....

12 March 2010 at 15:41  
Blogger English Viking said...

It's Faith, Stupid

No, I shall not be soiling myself with the 'democratic process.

For a Christian to consign the powers of representation and intercession to a sinful man, from The Lord Jesus Christ, appears to me to be rather stupid.

I would also be partly responsible for any of the sins that my 'representative' leads the nation into, as I would have helped to have put him in power. I thank God that there is no blood on my hands with regard to this current, or indeed former, Governments.

I did reconsider my position fairly recently and after a period of contemplation I have arrived at the same decision I made almost 20 years ago.

If anybody would like to trot out the old cliche of not being able to criticise if one does not vote, don't. The hundreds of thousands of pounds I have paid in taxes over the years more than entitles me to express an opinion on how it is spent. I would be more than happy to accept an exemption from taxation in exchange for my right to vote.

“Therefore come out from them, and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you.”“I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6 vv 17,18 KJV

12 March 2010 at 15:50  
Anonymous g said...

D Singh said...
“I would've thought that would apply to Soviet, Chinese and German National Socialists - to which your world-view is much more attuned to”.

You are right it does also apply to those groups who like you demand believers. I have no beliefs, political or otherwise. However I share some of your contempt for this Labour government but I do not see a shining alternative, so my vote will be for the least worst option and that will be a difficult choice. Conservatism is no more a panacea than is Christianity. The black and white world that you crave is gone for good so you should re-focus your efforts and obvious talents to seeking out better ways of dealing with the chaotic and unpredictable world that we all face.

12 March 2010 at 15:50  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

g should be Graham Davis

12 March 2010 at 15:52  
Anonymous Onward Christian Soldiers said...

I agree with English Viking that those who are prideful and refuse to bow down to God shall be laid low and made unto dust.

12 March 2010 at 15:53  
Anonymous Cat Stevens said...

Those who stray must be guided back to the path

12 March 2010 at 15:54  
Anonymous William Wallace said...

I agree with Cranmer. It is hilarious. No one can take these people seriously.

Is it not the case that lots of secular, right-on middle class types know faith schools are best but do not like it when there Godless sprogs do not get automatic access to them, despite Mummy and Daddy stretching the mortgage?

12 March 2010 at 16:02  
Anonymous Not an Atheist said...

Belief is the first step on the road to enlightenment

12 March 2010 at 16:04  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Roger Scruton in his recent book, 'I Drink Therefore I Am', tells of a meeting with his tutor, Dr Pickens, a bachelor don, who explained (I'm paraphrasing from memory) that knowledge, or learning, had no utilitarian value to the student, but involved the acceptance of a sacred trust to guard it, add to it if he could, and hand it on undiminished to someone capable of the same.

12 March 2010 at 16:07  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

Not an Atheist said...
“Belief is the first step on the road to enlightenment”

Not so
“Belief is the first step to self delusion”
“Doubt is the fist step to enlightenment”

12 March 2010 at 16:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who reject the path to enlightenment must be destroyed.

12 March 2010 at 16:33  
Anonymous Dick Whittington said...

Graham Davies, only the unbeliever sees this world in chaos, the righteous see the world as one of order, which god controls and shows leadership through the holy church and her inquisitors.Bow down or be humbled before the judgement throne of God!

12 March 2010 at 16:39  
Anonymous It's faith, stupid said...

I doubt Mr Davis knows what he is talking about, but I think he believes he does.

12 March 2010 at 16:41  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Of course indoctrination at school didn't work for C S Lewis - he left school an atheist and didn't convert to Christianity until he was 31.

Perhaps alowing and teaching people to think for themselves actually improves the quality of their thought.

12 March 2010 at 17:18  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Tony B at 15.05

I have nothing against children who attend or have attended comprehensive schools.

It breaks my heart to know that they could have had a better education - which the Socialists cannot deliver.

12 March 2010 at 17:19  
Blogger D. Singh said...

TBNGU

Lewis converted at the age of 31. My own calling was at the of 9.

If it's any consolation to you, Mr Davis and Mr Glovner: 70% of children raised in 'Christian' households relinquish the Faith.

But when they do come back years later - they come back as 'soldiers'.

There, are you all happy?

12 March 2010 at 17:25  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

Dick Whittington said...
“Graham Davis, only the unbeliever sees this world in chaos, the righteous see the world as one of order, which god controls and shows leadership through the holy church and her inquisitors. Bow down or be humbled before the judgement throne of God”!

Self abasement seems so prevalent in most religions, all the “bowing down” and “being humbled”, there is a whiff of the flagellant about it? God is always someone to be “obeyed”, his “majesty” to be genuflected to and all those “father” and “flock” references, it as if you willingly submit to a perpetually infantile state, always the tadpole, never the frog.

I hope I am not being too rude but many of you don’t hold back your criticism of my comments.

12 March 2010 at 17:28  
Anonymous p said...

The socialists need their clients, who by definition, must not be educated to think for themselves, otherwise they would see through it and not vote socialist.

That in a nutshell, is why state education is mostly rubbish; and anyone who cares for his children does everything he can to educate his children away from the state's schools.

It is nothing less than criminal that the state condemns millions of children whose parents can't pay to get them out of it, to spend their formative years in one of its 'schools'.

It is utterly disgraceful and a sin crying out to heaven for vengeance that under socialism it is only the rich who can afford to educate their children.

12 March 2010 at 17:36  
Anonymous Onward Christian Soldiers said...

Graham Davies, those who are prideful and refuse to bow down to God shall be laid low and made unto dust.

12 March 2010 at 17:39  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

Onward Christian Soldiers said...
“Graham Davies, those who are prideful and refuse to bow down to God shall be laid low and made unto dust”.

Yes we will all end up as dust and that will be it, so no permanent vacation in paradise and no imaginary friend to welcome you I am afraid, just one life that is all you’ve got, so make the most of it.

12 March 2010 at 17:46  
Anonymous It's faith, stupid said...

We all have freedom of choice irrespective of our background or education. Sometimes we reject the choices made by our parents so that we can make those choices ourselves.

No one can impose a set of beliefs on anyone else. We either choose to believe or not. The choice is always ours.

12 March 2010 at 17:47  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Davis

It appears you know very little about our faith. It is not primarily about self abasement nor self-flagellation.

The relationship is based on love.

Love for whom? Our Creator.

God permits trouble to enter our lives, not because he enjoys seeing His sons and daughters suffer, but in order to refine us so that we may come closer to Him through humility.

We recognise how years of wrong-doing in our lives has made us into people, with habits, who need correction. Correction often is painful. It is like we are blocks of stone and He chips away to make us into His beautiful works of art.

He is preparing us for our places in eternity.

In eternity we will still have our personalities. The lamb will lie down with the lion.

I do not think that the lamb will absorb the royal ferocity of the lion.

12 March 2010 at 17:49  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

"No one can impose a set of beliefs on anyone else"

But it doesn't stop them trying does it?

12 March 2010 at 17:52  
Blogger D. Singh said...

That's right TBNGU the Socialists have dumbed down an entire genertaion of school children.

You should be ashamed of yourselves after 13 years of failure and hosing down the education system with billions of pounds.

12 March 2010 at 17:59  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Your grace makes a case for the "the state of the nanny union address" , they sit , they wait , they ammend ,they borrow positions , they broke a manfesto pledge , it is triumph of never being dangerous .

If an elite armed forces was based was on them the motto would be "he who passes the meat spins"

The mimic and ventriloquist party is how I have come to see them , they just fullfill disire .

From your graces report can any christian really conclude that they know much the supremecy of the christian faith yet alone stand up for it .

12 March 2010 at 18:02  
Anonymous philip walling said...

It is a sin crying out to heaven for vengeance that under socialism only the rich can afford to have their children educated.
And that millions of children are condemned to spend their formative years in sub-standard state schools which teach them worse than nothing.
Those responsible should repent in dust and ashes, not strut and puff themselves up.

Mr Graham Davis,

It's not self-abasement, but a natural awe and gratitude in the presence of the Glory of God who for some inexplicable reason chooses to save us from the fate we deserve.
All of creation is obedient to the will of its Creator, except us. Why do you think that is?

12 March 2010 at 18:04  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

D Singh

Do you really believe all that stuff?

But you are right I know nothing about faith, I can see only self delusion.

12 March 2010 at 18:05  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Davis

Yes.

I have never once described you as self-deluded and I cannot do so - for I knw the truth.

I was once sitting in the same seat as you.

12 March 2010 at 18:09  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Your Grace, after careful consideration and discussion with my husband the bishop, his chaplain Mr. Slope, Archdeacon Grantly and Dr. Trefoil, we are of the opinion that the Lib Dem chap is a twat.

12 March 2010 at 18:12  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mrs Proudie of Barchester

For the first time today: I laughed.

Thank you.

12 March 2010 at 18:17  
Anonymous Voyager said...

This was not a problem before Muslims has schools. This attack on "faith schools" is code for liberals and their pervasive fear and hatred of Islam projected onto Christians, Hindus and Jews.

LibDems are Socialists by Choice not by Conviction

12 March 2010 at 20:01  
Anonymous Tony B said...

>Mr Singh is prepared to scour the interweb and the depths of his knowlege for our edification.

You mean he's prepared to scour the depths of CS Lewis's knowledge, copy and paste it, and pepper it with insults.

12 March 2010 at 20:20  
Anonymous len said...

The basic truth is one day everyone will meet Jesus Christ.
We Christians have met Him as Saviour others will meet Him as Judge.

Amazing the reactions to Jesus Christ some fall on their knees and worship,
Others curse Him.

12 March 2010 at 20:36  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace, D Singh at 17.25 is entirely accurate.

After years of exquisitely medieval instruction I was a token Christian; Christmas, Easter, weddings (including own), funerals etc. Then, Epiphany! With apologies to Mikec, it happened in a synagogue.

Some friends invited us to their son's Bar-mitzvah and rather than just turn up for the piss-up we did the whole routine. It was an eye-opener. The rabbi was a young woman who pitched the message at exactly the right level for the teenage audience, all in English not Hebrew. But dear me, that message! So introverted, so exclusive, so restricted, essentially a 4000 year old tribal rite.

As I sat there, letting it all wash over me the words of John 3:16 filled my mind and have never left. I could immediately understand why Jesus Christ, the Jewish intellectual, was anathema to the Jewish establishment.

Having said that I am also filled with admiration for the way that the Jewish people have retained their identity, beliefs and morality for so long. It is an exceptional human achievement. Of course the genius of their system is that the Jews have found heaven on earth by being God's Choosen People.

As John in Cheshire points out, we face the threat of Islam, a political religious creed that settles debate with a gun or bomb. We should not criticise the Israelis for what they do to survive. We may be forced to adopt their measures ourselves before too long. In comparison we have nothing to fear from the souless nihilism of Mr Graham Davis and his cohort. His message has no mass appeal.

12 March 2010 at 20:53  
Anonymous len said...

What is Faith?( 18.05)

In the 1500s a fastidious monk, who by his own testimony "hated God," was studying Paul's epistle to the Romans. He couldn't get past the first half of Romans 1:17: "[In the gospel] is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith" (KJV).

One simple, biblical truth changed that monk's life--and ignited the Protestant Reformation. It was the realization that God's righteousness could become the sinner's righteousness--and that could happen through the means of faith alone. Martin Luther found the truth in the same verse he had stumbled over, Romans 1:17: "Therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith" (KJV, emphasis added).

Luther had always seen "the righteousness of God" as an attribute of the sovereign Lord by which He judged sinners--not an attribute sinners could ever possess. He described the breakthrough that put an end to the theological dark ages:

I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that "the just shall live by his faith." Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning, and whereas before the "justice of God" had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressibly sweet in greater love. This passage of Paul became to me a gate to heaven.

12 March 2010 at 20:53  
Anonymous It's faith, stupid said...

Tony B

I can assure you that Mr Singh's contribution extends well beyond C.S. Lewis. I imagine the insults are there to keep you interested, which appears to be working!

They are also usually justified.

12 March 2010 at 21:02  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Tony B at 8.21

Upon my desk I have two volumes written by Prof Lewis. I read and quote them when I think it is right to do so.

I invite you to quote those authorities that will support your remarks.

This is your chance to grow from cabbage to cauliflower.

12 March 2010 at 21:07  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

Graham Davis

//Self abasement seems so prevalent in most religions, all the “bowing down” and “being humbled”, there is a whiff of the flagellant about it? God is always someone to be “obeyed”, his “majesty” to be genuflected to and all those “father” and “flock” references, it as if you willingly submit to a perpetually infantile state, always the tadpole, never the frog.//

Graham, I'm an agnostic. And I agree that perhaps "being humbled" isn't great. But far from accepting his lot of "being humbled", modern humanity rejects humility itself.

In its desire to be adult, instead of infantile, to be the frog, rather than the tadpole, it sweeps aside its status (as confirmed, if you believe Professor Dawkins) as simply the presently fittest creature on the planet, and ascribes to itself an unjustified role as the potential key player in the investigaetion into the metaphysical secrets of eternity.

And eternity there must be: how else do you explain the origin of matter from nothing - unless there are different physical laws in other parts of the multiverse, as Paul Davies (author of The Goldllocks Enigma) has postulated?

A little more humility on the part of humanity - an acceptance of our intellectual limitations - would not go amiss. It might even catch on, and maybe we could all rub along a bit better together.

Time to quit - I'm beginning to sound like a Liberal Democrat, trying to be all things to all men!

12 March 2010 at 21:07  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Damn it. When I went through my agnostic phase, I wish I had Malcolmson's intellectual honesty.

12 March 2010 at 21:11  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

You mean there's hope for me yet, DS!

12 March 2010 at 21:19  
Anonymous Tony B said...

IFS : It's funny that when people you disagree with use insults, you get worked up about "ad hominems"; when people you agree with use them, suddenly they're justified.

A bit of consistency wouldn't go amiss.

12 March 2010 at 21:28  
Anonymous It's faith, stupid said...

Tony B

I apologise. I will endeavour to be more consistent in future.

12 March 2010 at 21:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Graham Davis said...

"...Bow down or be humbled before the judgement throne of God”!

Self abasement seems so prevalent in most religions, all the “bowing down” and “being humbled”, there is a whiff of the flagellant about it? God is always someone to be “obeyed”, his “majesty” to be genuflected to and all those “father” and “flock” references, it as if you willingly submit to a perpetually infantile state, always the tadpole, never the frog.

I hope I am not being too rude but many of you don’t hold back your criticism of my comments."

No, you are not too rude. But, if you truly wish enlightenment and ask for it, even in a state of "disbelief", that God that you relegate to fantasyland WILL send you living proof of His Existence. Go ahead, ASK.

13 March 2010 at 00:20  
Anonymous Mikec said...

Mr Blue Dog - No need to apologize - I am a Karaite Jew, we believe the scriptures not mishna and Talmud (the leaven of the pharisees).

So synagogues, bar-mitzva etc are the clutter that 'man' has added to to make a religion. Yehushua (literally YHWH saves) aka Jesus lead a 'back to the Bible' movement, he too was a Karaite Jew as such. It was Paul, a pharisee, who took 'Christianity' out of its context of Torah and preached a message of 'grace' (a pagan deity?) rather than 'the way', 'the truth' and 'the life' (which are important concepts in Torah). To a Jew 'the Door' (upon which we knock and enter)is straight out of Exodus (the doorway upon which the blood of the lamb is daubed at passover and which we must pass through to achieve atonement and redemption), as is the 'upright pole' (Gr: Stauros wrongly translated as 'cross'). The theme of the uprightpole ('AB' in Hebrew the same root as ABBA (Father)) runs right through the Tanack (OT) - as Moses lifted up the serpent (on the upright pole) so must the son of man be lifted up...

However I perceive Easter (ishtar) and Christmas (yule) as pagan, if there were shepherds abiding on the hillsides watching their flocks by night on the 25th of December near Beit lehem then the flocks would be dead from the cold...

I suspect that Yehoshua would have been born around 29th October (the feast of tabernacles - God with us)

Pistueo (Gr: to Trust, Rely on) as in Yohannon 3:16 only came to be translated as 'belief' very late on.

Karaite Judaism is a wonderful walk, side by side with Yehovah, a walk through Torah and a walk through His creation as His companion. A relationship damaged by the fall, but repaired by Messiah 'by whose stripes we are healed'.

13 March 2010 at 00:48  
Anonymous Happyness Stan said...

Of all the poor, distorted, redefined, bastardised words in the dictionary of politics, Liberal must be the one which has been most emptied of content and turned to say the opposite of its native meaning.

"Liberal"? Good grief, these people must be joking. In any sane society they would be hauled through the courts under the Trades Descriptions Act.

The question a really liberal mind should be asking is: should the state have any involvement of any sort in education? And a truly liberal mind would answer with a resounding No!

But a Liberal, well that's a different species altogether. I doubt that even Orwell could have made them up.

I liked that so much, I thought it worth posting again.

However, I think you underestimate Orwell, this sort of thing is precisely what he had in mind.

This, and a creation of a living nightmare. Where the will of the majority is ignored, and language becomes a tool of state repression.

As a true Libertarian in the Sean Gabb tradition, absolutely nothing will ever again surprise me.

Never again will I delude myself into wishful thinking.

Only truth can set us free, and LOVE is the only truth. Love is not to be found in nature, nations, principalities, corporations, and least of all the STATE.

Love is only found within human consciousness, and hopefully within the father who created it.

The Devil has long since held the unseen hand, and possessed the all seeing eye, which will undoubtedly it now seems, preside over the inevitable extinction of individuality.

This entire planet is EVIL controlled by EVIL, or what some call Lucifer.

Thus the battle between good and evil, is in short a battle between God given individual consciousness, desperately trying to survive and prosper on a profoundly evil planet.

Those that alley with this evil planet against 'truth', have already surrendered to , and are therefore working wholly for the devil herself.

13 March 2010 at 01:59  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Thank you for your understanding, Mr Mikec. Your version of Judaism sounds very fulfilling.

Sometimes I prefer not to think how Christianity will look after 4000 years!

On one side we have the sharia of Islam, on the other the sharia of Mr Graham Wood and his fellow travellers. Living in dhimmitude of either party will be very unpleasant. We somehow have to preserve our freedom of conscience and our freedom to live as we please, raising our families according to our own beliefs.

13 March 2010 at 06:45  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Woops, delete Mr Graham Wood, and apologies to you, Sir. Insert Mr Graham Davis!

13 March 2010 at 06:50  
Anonymous len said...

Mikec,
Very interesting,I agree with you christianity was paganised and the'church' strayed from its Jewish roots.
Where do you think Paul was wrong?

13 March 2010 at 08:23  
Anonymous Mikec said...

Len

May I point you to a very profound 'eBook' where this issue is looked at in detail. I cannot produce anything close to the academia displayed..

http://www.questioningpaul.com/Questioning_Paul-Galatians-00-Letter_to_the_Reader.Paul

I have a reservation however that we must be careful not to 'throw the baby out with the bathwater' but as it is written, Galatians particularly is at odds with both Torah and the teachings of Yehoshua.

Torah in Hebrew designates not 'Law' but 'the pathway to Yehovah'. Jehoshua kept the Torah of Yehovah in its entirety, and preached its effectiveness for mitigating the damage of the fall (in Eden)and its effects. Doctrines like 'the Trinity' and 'communion' were developed as a means of increasing the distance between 'Christianity' and the Jewish believers in Jehoshua who gave no allegiance to Rome and Constantine.

It is surmised that Rome, eventually invited (paid)the Arabian brigand Mohammed to obliterate the Jewish believers of Israel and North Africa, but of course, his brigands did not stop, they moved into Spain and up the Balkans towards Vienna....

There is more at http://WWW.Uprightpole.com

~YG - Very sorry this is 'off topic' but I hope you will understand

13 March 2010 at 09:02  
Anonymous Mikec said...

You might also be interested in this


http://www.karaitejudaism.org/talks/Clothing_and_Head_Coverings.pdf

13 March 2010 at 09:04  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Len wrote:
'Amazing the reactions to Jesus Christ some fall on their knees and worship,
Others curse Him.
'

But Paul wrote:
'...that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that he is lord, to the glory of God the Father.'

13 March 2010 at 09:05  
Anonymous len said...

Mikec,
thanks,I will investigate further.
May your ashes be blessed for your tolerance your Grace.

13 March 2010 at 09:15  
Blogger JPT said...

'Can we really expect young people to be treated with respect and to gain confidence in themselves if state funded schools are allowed to teach such nonsense?'

How fair, how tolerant, how balanced.

13 March 2010 at 09:35  
Anonymous Mikec said...

Unfortunately JPT, when dealing with people for whom 'the end justifies the means', Being fair, being Tolerant and being balanced is just playing the game to their rules, because they will not be fair, tolerant or balanced in return.

They will just move into the ground that you vacate, and then demand more....

With most left of centre organizations it is a case of 'do as I say, not as I do'

13 March 2010 at 10:25  
Anonymous len said...

"At the name of Jesus every knee will bow".
I think that the interpretation of this passage depends upon one's perspective. While it states "every knee," I don't think this is exactly what you might think it is. I would refer you to Revelation 1:17 in which St. John writes:

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last."

Now here we have John, who by tradition is the same John who knew Jesus personally, falling as if dead at the mere sight of the glorified Christ. He wasn't forced to fall, but he was simply overwhelmed by the sight. When Paul states that "every knee should bow, in heaven and earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" it is this type of reaction I think he is talking about. God will not force people to bow, but when confronted with God in all His majesty, they will simply be overwhelmed. In the Old Testament, we are given many examples of the effect God's angels had on men, even those who followed Him. How much more majestic and awful (in the sense of inspiring awe), is God Himself?

13 March 2010 at 11:05  
Anonymous Anon said...

To get back to the subject - faith schools and objections to them- I think that modern thinking has become cursed with the idea that there is such a thing as an 'objective' position in the real world. In the world of philosophy you can take an objective position and argue the merits and demerits of various ideas; in the real world you have to choose between them. All education is indoctrination and it's just a question of what particular set of values you choose for your children. Christianity seems to work pretty well for most of us in this country; faith schools score highly in exams and general behaviour. There is a huge demand for them, but they insist that the parents practise the faith that they are having their child brought up in. This is what the Lib Dems are tapping into here; while many parents are happy to take advantage of the better results that faith schools produce, they don't want to have to make an effort themselves and commit to what their child is being taught. So Clegg is trying to pick up a few votes from disgruntled parents who don't want to do this. Mary Kenny had a very funny article about this, where some of her old school pals were turning up at Mass with their rosary beads and First Communion book; that was the last time they had set foot in a church. But it was so they could get their children in. All good clean fun..

15 March 2010 at 17:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps we should thank God that these illiberal undemocrats don’t have a hope in hell of ever forming the next Government.

Ha Ha.

They have formed the next government and what was written by David Laws appears reasonable to me. The only problem is that if you follow his train of thought it really says that faith schools are not acceptable.

The problem for people who are against faith schools, that is catholic and Cof E schools is that they resent the fact that people of faith should get a better education because the schools do generally better. This may be for many reasons but is most likely due to the fact that people going to faith schools come from parents who want whats best for their children and possibly come from a stable home environment. Those who have no faith have to take their chance with the hoi poloi of the heathen proletariat.

The other case is muslim or Jewish schools where people not of that faith largely dont care to belong to a school of that faith. With christianity the majority of non-faith parents dont mind joining that group because historically we have a degree of training in that faith. And lets faith it the christian church schools in this country dont teach anything problematic and rarely are teachers in faith schools going to bang on about hell and damnation in these enlightened times.

I suggest you bow out of providing faith education and offer evening and weekend divinity classes and see how many people fight for the rght to attend those.

Faith schools are a nonsense designed to bring people to the church not to educate those who already have faith.

I have a CofE primary near me where everyone wishes to go but cant unless they belong to the local churches...it is oversubscribed the secondary church school is not oversubscribed....why, they both promote the same beliefs and are provided for the same purpose...yes you guessed it the primary school is successful because it has a small wealthy catchment area while the secondary school has a larger catchment that takes in less desirable children.


It is all to do with the desire to get the best education and not faith. If you remove faith then all schools will have to do as well as they can with the socio economic group they have in their catchment.

Your grace you are deluded.

15 December 2010 at 13:40  

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