Thursday, 8 September 2011

Collective Worship Morons Out In Force

The hot potato topic right now in the world of theological nonsense is Collective Worship. If you have been following the news here in Britain you will know that:

"Almost two thirds of parents questioned said their child did not attend a form of communal worship at school, such as a Christian assembly. The duty on schools to provide a daily act of Christian worship dates back to 1944 but was strengthened in the 1988 education act."

It seems the furore, if we can even call it that, is the issue of Headteachers breaking the law in not ensuring that their assemblies are of a "broadly Christian character". It's all a red herring of course; it's a simple effect of the incompatibility of the Labour multi-cultural initiative and the CofE school system.

Back in 2004 it was revealed that 60% of school students at Sir John Cass Foundation and Red Coat Church of England secondary school in London's East End came from a Bangladeshi background. How can a law be expected to be enforced against people of a different religion?

More importantly, there seems to be a growing understanding of the irrelevancy of Christian dogma, and religion in general, in which the lawmakers need to take into account in amending the legislation.

I'll accept the very weak argument that exists that the original law was there to take into account the cultural significance of Christianity in Britain. I cannot accept, on any terms, that there continues to be a cultural reason why the law should prevail in its current form or in any form which recognises religion. I have to admit it would be amusing to see an assembly about the moral virtues provided by the Flying Spaghetti Monster though.

And the ridiculous thing is that if religion remained within the scope of the Act then assemblies on Pastafarianism would have to be accounted for.

And so we turn to the morons... as ever with this issue you get the odd nutjob preaching and pouting. I've assembled a few here from the Daily Fail Mail:

Good ole' Brother Anthony (I don't know him) feels that "virtually everyone can agree that the 10 Commandments... form the basis of any civilised society." 


Take a look at the 10 Commandments... only 3, perhaps 4, would form the basis of any civilised society (I'll cover this another time). I suspect that Brother Anthony hasn't read them properly. But this ignorance is contagious...

It would be funny to hear a school assembly explaining how the first 3 commandments were designed with Yahweh in mind... this renders the commentators argument at the end that Christian values and the belief in god are not inseparable pretty much redundant. In teaching the Christian values, derived from the 10 commandments, they are effectively telling people their belief in other gods is wrong. I'm surprised other religious figures have not risen up against such inequality... or it might be that this would be like punching yourself in the face considering the proliferation of faith schools in Britain.

This person performs a double strawman in one sentence! Firstly, Sam Harris remarked that "Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make when in the presence of religious dogma."

And how is "quality of life" and "Atheism" in any way linked in this context? Secular societies improve the quality of a persons life. But a "secular society" is not "Atheist" in this sense; it simply has no position on them at all. They are not even agnostic.

You can't tell that to people like Ed West who calls the National Secular Societies attempts to drive religion out of public life as "Atheist bigotry"... I'll have to dissect that nonsense another time?

Even Christianity Today acknowledges that "Highly secularized Scandinavian countries consistently rank high on international well-being and life-satisfaction indices... The world's great religions speak of caring for the sick, the poor, and the orphaned, and of practicing mercy and goodwill toward fellow humans, yet these traits are often more evident in the world's least religious nations."

British society does not seem to suffer considering the lack of belief in Zeus or Thor; neither should it suffer from the lack of belief in the Christian god. 

When you are in a theological debate like this, you tend to come across Pascals Wager - put simply, it's the "threat" (for want of a better word) that you'll be judged one day so you had better hedge your bets just in case.

It's such an infantile argument, I'll welcome any persons comment challenging me as to its usefulness in any debate. Just know that I have "plasma TV's" and "glorious modern technology" on my side.

This looks innocuous at first glance but I think it's the most incredulous, stupid, inane, tenuous and bullshittty of all comments I have read today.

Bear in mind the topic this person is commenting on - the law being broken by headteachers who refuse collective worship assemblies of a broadly Christian character - and you should see (hopefully) how mind numbingly stupid this person is.

In her words, "your children have a right to learn about god"; just so long as it's the Christian god referred to in the law yeah?

In any case, children do not have a right to learn about god. That's insane. It's like saying that they have a right to learn about Poseidon and Ananke and Pontus and Vishnu and... ad infinitum.

How many other gods do children have a "right to know about" from the recycling and refuse bins of religious history? I imagine if you taught children enough about Horus and Zoroaster, Mithras, Attis and Dionysus-Bacchus they might well leave their lessons thinking that Jesus was somehow a carbon copy of these other myths... and that wouldn't be no good for the CofE would it?

Actually, let's enforce collective worship and change the law so that every religion has to have a snippet read and in equal measures. 

We should have a fully secular society within around 5 - 15 years and a culture more adept at critical thinking.

1 comment:

Rant In A-Minor said...

Actually I think we can have a fully secular society in weeks if we can get every kid taught by my old R.E teacher from the C of E middle school I went to.

I don't mean his teaching of religion will turn everyone atheist - no, they need the time he threw my copy of The Omen (book, confiscated from a friend I'd lent it to) at me in front of everyone and called me an anti-christ.

That pretty much spelled the end for me of religion being a force for anything but stupidity, ignorance, and intolerance.