Atheist Schools – and the lack of Secular Honesty and Logic

 

The following is a great example of the sophistry and dishonesty of the militant secularists.   The Scottish Secular Society responded to my New Years Message with the following letter in the Dundee Courier. 

Sir, – In his New Year message, Free Kirk moderator David Robertson refers to “Scotland’s Christian state education system” and claims that “a monolithic, one-size-fits-all state education system is failing”. Does this mean that it is a Christian system that’s failing, or is it the state itself that Mr Robertson sees as Christian?

He claims that “a more militant secularism seeks to remove all traces of Christianity” from the education system. The Scottish Secular Society, however, wish to do no such thing. We believe Christianity should be studied in schools as an important cultural influence, as should other major religions, but we think it inappropriate that supernatural beliefs, lacking evidence, are presented as fact in publicly-funded places of education.

Making all state schools secular would not prevent Christians raising their children as Christians, just as Hindus are not prevented from raising their children as Hindus by a total absence of Hindu state schools.To Hindu parents, Scottish state education is monolithically non-Hindu, but not anti-Hindu. If that is not a problem, why should a monolithically non-Christian system be problematic, especially when churches are widely available and free.

A secular school, which does not promote religion, is not an atheist school, which would actively promote disbelief in gods. The Scottish Secular Society do not want atheist schools.

Robert Canning.
Vice-chair,
The Scottish Secular Society,

My response is published today:

Dear Editor,

Robert Canning of the Scottish Secular Society claims that his group do not want to remove Christianity from Scotland’s Christian state education system (letters 4th January) whilst going on to explain that he also does not want Christianity to be presented as fact in publicly funded places of education. In other words he only wants Christianity taught as myth, by secularist atheists! Which in effect is the removal of real Christianity from Scottish education. He goes on to claim that the SSS do not want atheist schools, they just want schools which do not promote belief in God. Given that atheism is just the absense of belief in God then in fact he really is asking for atheist schools. Perhaps our education system needs to start teaching lessons in logic?

We have numerous examples of schools where Christian pupils have had their faith mocked and denigrated by the so called ‘neutral’ secularists.

The European Charter on Human Rights states that ‘in the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and teaching, the state shall respect the rights of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions”. It is clear that the SSS are opposed to that basic human right. Instead they insist that all pupils must be taught according to their religious and philosophical convictions. Is this the secularist version of equality, diversity and tolerance?

Yours etc

David Robertson
St Peters Free Church
4 St Peter St
Dundee
DD1 4JJ

Can you see the sophistry?  The SSS say that they do not want atheist schools.  They also define atheism as ‘the lack of belief in God’.  They want schools which operate on the principle of the lack of belief in God.  Therefore they want atheist schools.   Its not exactly rocket science but it appears that logic is not the strong point of atheistic secularism!


10 thoughts on “Atheist Schools – and the lack of Secular Honesty and Logic

  1. It was, in fact, your radio piece on this very issue that initially prompted me to follow you on Twitter in the first place.

    I am a former teacher, who having taught in a wide variety of schools have some interesting experience in how religion/faith shapes the whole ethos of any given school.

    One particular school was in fact a Quaker school, in which assemblies and ethos were very Christian. Interestingly, the pupils themselves came from a broad variety of faith and non faith families; Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and none. Families of non-Christian were keen that their child should receive education that demonstrated a faith, as a faith is better than no faith. I must admit that I felt a little strange at first seeing Muslim and Hindu pupils crossing themselves as they recited The Grace at the end of assembly, but the whole thing worked really well. The Christmas carol service was held at a High Church Anglican Church, with a supper back at the school afterwards.

    The point is, every family has an ethos and some form of faith, even if it is not a recognizable Theism; thus, when a school demonstrates a strong faith based ethos and prevailing culture, then there seems to be surprisingly (and perhaps counter-intuitively), less for the pupils to react against than when a school has no such culture.

    The idea of removing such a level of school culture means (in my experience) the removal of a recognizable and valuable ethos which means those who would seek to disrupt, as they come from a different faith based background or ethos, can steamroller their agenda as the school has nothing that binds its community together, and nothing it can hold up as a system of belief. Many schools have found this, where assemblies have become merely a thing where notices are given out and not an act of communal worship, factions in school grow stronger as there is nothing to hold the whole together. Children need a moral code to access and to live by and Secularism does not give this.

  2. You are what you eat. Chickens eat corn. Therefore Chickens are vegetables.

    Sophistry / logical fallacy arguments aside. It is a concern rightly that Christians pupils are having their faith “mocked and denegrated”. I grew up dyslexic and English in the west of Scotland. I know what it is like to be different and have to stand up for yourself. Fortunately I have a mother that while caring for me also told me that I had a responsibility to stand up to bullies. Something that gave me a good foundation for life.

    I would suggest, perhaps in churches there is a need for teaching / equipping for children to be both serving and being able to stand confidently in faith in relevant ways to the cultural climate as well as addressing bullying in schools when that happens to children for being Christian.

    I am not in favour of a theocratic state which is what it would be if it were “Christian”. But of secular governance with freedom for Christianity and other faiths. SSS principles of freedom of faith and freedom from faith are ones which I support, in principle. However the practice in my experience has been that applying those principles has indeed stepped the line into mocking with contempt and denigration. Something within SSS when I was involved there was recognised by the leadership behinfd the scenes as resulting in being perceived as “anti-faith” and in danger of being marginalised as a fringe atheist group.

    Nevertheless – their influence seems to be out of proportion to their numbers and I appreciate your continuing to offer an apologetic to balance that publicly in environments where I would have no credibility David.

    May the strength of the Lord empower you and his wisdom guide you.

  3. I notice the usual garbage about belief in God “lacking evidence” is also being trotted out. Of course if we respond that there is plenty of evidence, such as the testimony of the Biblical authors, it will be counted inadmissible, because… well because the secularists don’t like it.

  4. Ah Yes supernatural beliefs lacking in evidence. A statement that beggars belief! A disciple of Hume?

    How do we know anything? A deep philosophical question?

    And what about evidence? What about legal law of evidence, burden of proof, standard of proof, (beyond reasonable doubt or balance of probabilities) permissible evidence, relevant (“logically probative of the fact in issue), weight of evidence, observation, eye witnesses and more.

    And how about this for evidence.? A thought experiment that in some sectors will pass as fact.

    It’s from esteemed and lauded scientist and atheist, Hawking – something can come from nothing! I think has has put into print. Prove it scientifically. The burden of proof is his. Think he’s also stated something to the effect that that philosophy is dead.That itself is a philosophical statement. Again I’d ask him the prove it .scientifically. prove scientifically that philosophy is dead .

    Let’s indulge in another thought experiment. An atheist seeks to take a case in court against a person who does not exist! It would be struck out as frivolous and vexatious.
    Is this not where Charlie Ebdo places itself.?

    Anyway, does truth come from evidence or truth before evidence, independent from evidence?

    Another .thought experiment, but an everyday one.

    X burgled a house, but there is no evidence at all that they did so. The truth remains that X burgled.

    As for evidence on the truth of supernatural Christianity address Hume and others I’d suggest ” New Evidence that demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell (over 900 pages) and his “He walked among us.”
    As for so called myth of Christianity, look up CS Lewis dismissal of this proposition.

    There are many other intelligent rebuttals, How about Ravi Zacarrias “Beyond opinion”

    As mentioned in a previous post, Anthony Flew, a well known British philosopher and atheist had concluded that the existence of god was intellectually valid and defensible.

    Does SSS really was to curtail, to deny children the opportunity to mindfully wrestle with all this richness and treasure, an intellectual rigour,which, as to an outsider seems was a hallmark of the high standard of Scotland’s education system of previous generations
    .
    Geoff

  5. It’s the usual nonsense about secularism and humanism being “neutral” whereas anything else isn’t neutral.

    To leave Christianity out of education is not neutral.

  6. Ah Yes supernatural beliefs lacking in evidence. A statement that beggars belief! A disciple of Hume?

    How do we know anything? A deep philosophical question?

    And what about evidence? What about legal law of evidence, burden of proof, standard of proof, (beyond reasonable doubt or balance of probabilities) permissible evidence, relevant (“logically probative of the fact in issue), weight of evidence, observation, eye witnesses and more.

    And how about this for evidence.? A thought experiment that in some sectors will pass as fact.

    It’s from esteemed and lauded scientist and atheist, Hawking – something can come from nothing! I think has has put into print. Prove it scientifically. The burden of proof is his. Think he’s also stated something to the effect that that philosophy is dead.That itself is a philosophical statement. Again I’d ask him the prove it .scientifically. prove scientifically that philosophy is dead .

    Let’s indulge in another thought experiment. An atheist seeks to take a case in court against a person who does not exist! It would be struck out as frivolous and vexatious.

    Is this not where Charlie Ebdo places itself.? They seek to ridicule and blame a god that doesn’t exist. And if you remove god from the equation the violence and death is caused by human beings and humans alone.

    Anyway, does truth come from evidence or truth before evidence, independent from evidence?

    Another .thought experiment, but an everyday one.

    X burgled a house, but there is no evidence at all that they did so. The truth remains that X burgled.

    As for evidence on the truth of supernatural Christianity address Hume and others I’d suggest ” New Evidence that demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell (over 900 pages) and his “He walked among us.”
    As for so called myth of Christianity, look up CS Lewis dismissal of this proposition.

    There are many other intelligent rebuttals, How about Ravi Zacarrias “Beyond opinion”

    As mentioned in a previous post, Anthony Flew, a well known British philosopher and atheist had concluded that the existence of god was intellectually valid and defensible.

    Does SSS really was to curtail, to deny children the opportunity to mindfully wrestle with all this richness and treasure, an intellectual rigour, which, as an outsider seems was a hallmark of the high standard of Scotland’s education system of previous generations
    .
    Geoff

  7. Apologies. Didn’t intend to post comments twice, “New Evidence that demands a Verdict” has 700 or so pages not 900. Proof reading is not my strong point, nor eyesight.

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