Monday, May 04, 2009

One move forward, one move back

Thanks to Matthew Fox for his newsletter which drew this article to my attention.

After many years the Government has finally bitten the bullet and will legislate to make proper sex education compulsory in all schools. This means that faith schools will no longer be able to opt out.

Quite why it has taken so long is anyone's guess, but I remember the deep horror I felt when I first learned about the Magdalene Laundries - at a Mary Coughlan concert in 1996 in Sheffield, as the last one was closing down in Ireland. A shameful part of the history of Roman Catholicism.

And we know that there are still problems with female genital mutilation in some of our new communities, and that there are extreme Muslim groups overseas, with some followers in the UK, that stone attractive young women almost on a whim.

So sensible education is absolutely vital in overcoming some of the terrible abuses committed against girls and young women in the name of faith.

I am however deeply disappointed and unhappy that the same faith schools seem to have won a concession to be allowed to preach against homosexuality at the same time. Where is the Equality and Diversity here? Won't we just replace one set of scapegoats with another?

As a committed Christian, I know that we are all God's children and I don't believe that Jesus would have countenanced this for a minute. Homosexuality is not a sin. End of.

I know that Faith Schools often have better discipline and better exam results that main stream schools, but at what price if the kids are taught fear and reprisal and discrimination? Perhaps it is time to reconsider the concept?

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