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Vexen Crabtree 2015


Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree 2015

petitions.pm.gov.uk on faith schools.

Sign this petition (you have to be a UK citizen):

petitions.pm.gov.uk : We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Abolish all faith schools and prohibit the teaching of creationism...


"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Abolish all faith schools and prohibit the teaching of creationism and other religious mythology in all UK schools"

It's worth signing both.

This is in the wake of the Vardy Foundation's slowly increasing chain of fundamentalist Christian schools (IN THE UK!!), whose science teachers' teach creationism rather than science, that is, they think the world is 6000 years old, and that most of science is wrong because it contradicts the Bible.

Sign these petition and get everyone else to, too!

My page "Faith Schools, Sectarian Education and Segregation: Divisive Religious Behavior" explains many of the issues.

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Cool. The government has ignored the advice of their own Religious adviser and the last Select Committee that looked at faith schools (and recommended abolition)... hopefully with continued pressure, we'll return to the 21st century.


I disagree with the teaching of creationism as fact, but I don't agree with a call to abolish faith schools. So I won't sign it, I don't think.

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Sectarian schooling is the biggest mistake any multicultural or diverse country can make. Every study done on the subject has shown that inter-racial, inter-religion and inter-identity schools reduces anxiety, intolerance and inter-race crime rate & violence.

Some quotes from my page on Faith Schools: Sectarian Schooling read:

“Amartya Sen [is] a Nobel laureate, a former master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard. [...] In his recent book Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny, Sen argues that [...] to try to classify individuals according to a religious identity is an intellectual confusion that "can animate dangerous divisiveness". It's hard to read those words without thinking about the recent murder in Preston.”

"A report on race riots in Bradford five years ago found that the existence of religious schools had increased segregation and contributed to racial tension. [...] Critics [of faith schools] argue that as faith-based schools increase in numbers, racial and ethnic mixing will dwindle."

"The more religious schools there are, the less the chance of eliminating Sectarianism - and, the more minority religion schools there are, the greater the danger of splintering our education system along racial as well as sectarian lines."


To have a sectarian school where everyone is part of the same cult or group, or are taught a particular ideology that they are also taught at home, leads to a complete separation between those who attend the sectarian school to those that don't. When these people come to mix with others with other views, the intellectual and emotional conflicts are very much amplified. Many hundreds of sociological studies have shown that brining children up with cooperative learning methods in mixed-race or mixed-culture groups largely removes this animosity:

“From all this research - 818 studies by one count (Druckman & Bjork, 1994) - what can we conclude? Cooperative learning [between racial groups], said Slavin (1980) is an "effective means of increasing positive race relations and achievement in desegregated schools." Cross-racial friendships also begin to blossom.”
"Social Psychology" by David Myers, p542

Etc... the last Select Committee on faith schools that the Government put together, recommended wholesale abolition of sectarian schooling.

People are free to teach whatever cultural education they want, in their own homes, along with whatever religious beliefs they want. They can teach their children every piece of anti-science going... it's only borderline child abuse to do so, and the government cannot clearly intervene. But... the government DEFINATELY shouldn't be spending texpayers money on sectarian education that undermines science, tolerance and empathy between identity groups; not with todays mixed demographics!

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Don't need to be a Citizen, can be a resident. Just signed...

Thanks for that extra info!

While abolishing these schools seems like a great idea, the better tack to take is what the University system in California did for students coming out of these sorts of schools: They did not give them any science credit, and in fact, for some of them, did not count their courses as valid for preparation for university.

Of course, the Christian schools are really mad about this, but 'tough shit', sez the Universities.

Bottom line: teach the kids all the religious crap you want, but don't expect secular schools to accept them as valid or properly prepared students.

In a multicultural country like the UK, sectarian schooling is the worst thing we can do... most of our 'faith schools' are pretty diverse, it's just that recent ones, like the new Muslim ones, the Vardy Foundation fundamentalist ones, etc, are particularly seclusionary and very heavy on religion. One main problem isn't the fact that people might want to send their children to such schools (a form of child abuse, if you ask me), but that the government pays to run 90% of the costs of these schools.

My page on Faith Schools shows many studies have highlighted the divisiveness, violence, intolerance and social sectarianism that comes from faith schools. My pages concludes:

In conclusion, the benefits of abolishing religious and sectarian schools are:
  • Reduced social tension between different religions and ethnic groups</p>
  • Increased fairness of school selection as religious schools have to accept poorer students</p>
  • Increased experience of others, empathy and compassion
  • Less scope for fundamentalism, indoctrination and child abuse</p>

This isn't just a UK or European problem, a US philosopher/scholar wrote a book ,"Identity and Violence" and pointed out the same problems:

“Amartya Sen [is] a Nobel laureate, a former master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard. [...] In his recent book Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny, Sen argues that we are doing something terrible to our children by letting them attend faith schools. He writes: "[...] Under this system, young children are placed in the domain of singular affiliations well before they have the ability to reason about different systems of identification that may compete for their attention." It's a dismal image (isn't it?) of small children thus having destinies foisted upon them before they can think. Sen argues that this classification is not just disastrous for the child's development, but for community solidarity too. We saw something similar in Northern Ireland, he contends, where state-run denominational schools "fed the political distancing of Catholics and Protestants".” (The Guardian, 2006)

Although the University entrance method makes a point, what if the children of genuine merit pass exams at faith schools (after attending against their will or choice, and not being lost to reason), and would do well at uni, even at science? It seems like denying some of these children further education could make it worse.

I don't think the issue is, generally, the level of education... but rather, the division of people into religion-based social groups. In todays world... who wants religious adherents to see themselves as fundamentally different to one another? It is much better for social reasons, as well as educational ones, simply not to segregate children by religion or ethnicity.

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Oh no, not another GIANT-WIBBLY-PURPLE-BALLOON-FLOATER-IST (may the custard be poured upon you), I've had enough of you guys.

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Oh you didn't mentioned you were a REFORM GIANT-WIBBLY-PURPLE-BALLOON-FLOATER-IST (may the mustard be passed to you), that's ok then!

Off Topic, but had to share...

You'll get a kick out of this. If only for the last line of the article...

Re: Off Topic, but had to share...

Nice one

I put my name down.. But you know no one really pays attention to petitions.. You might as well send them a used bit of loo roll saying "This is what I think of you!"

As another option, we could have total secularism, divide the country off into small portions, where people from certain creeds or casts can not enter certain bits of the UK and.... do I sound like a Nazi yet?

By the by, someone has just posted a link to this in their LJ, which you may find interesting (if you haven't already read it) ...and indeed, may have some first hand experience of!

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