A Christian group has been banned from a Church school because a few parents have complained that Christian teaching is extremist. Premier Christianity asked me to write a response – you can get the original here – (some of the comments afterwards from people who profess to be Christian are quite chilling – not least the two professing Christians arguing that to ask for a Christian group to be able to speak at a Christian school is intolerant, discriminatory and against the teaching of Jesus!)
Now teaching Christian doctrine at a church school is ‘extremist’. Move over Monty Python.
David Robertson looks at the so-called ‘extremist’ teaching that has caused Christian Charity CrossTeach to be banned from conducting assemblies in a Church school
Are you sitting comfortably in your ‘safe space’? Do you have your ‘trigger’ alarm ready? Then we shall begin. There is a shocking story coming out of darkest Kent. The Christian equivalent of an Islamist madrasa is being set up in a normal decent English school, teaching children hateful and extremist ideology.
These extremists have been spouting hate, abuse and according to one small group of parents, causing their children to be “exposed to potentially damaging ideology”.
One concerned parent shared their trauma with the press:
“No one minds Nativity plays and Bible stories but considering most of the parents at the school aren’t practising Christians I think the feeling is that it’s all too much.”
Another told The Guardian the shocking news that her son had been told “Men can’t marry men”.
It really is quite disgraceful that a Church of England school should be teaching such extremist Christian doctrines. Before we know it Kentish boys and girls will grow up into full-grown terrorists, waging Christian Jihad throughout the length and breadth of the land!
Sadly this is not a Monty Python sketch. This is modern ‘tolerant, rational’ Britain today. No one expects the ‘Secular Inquisition’ – but don’t worry they will be coming to a school, media studio, workplace near you – if anyone is stupid enough to try to teach the Christian faith as Christ taught it.
Now don’t get me wrong – I have been to some naff school assemblies in my life; the kind that convinces you as a Christian that clergy should be banned from schools for life! But it appears that what was going on here was not that – nor was it the hell fire and brimstone stuff of urban legend. It is a Christian Charity called ‘CrossTeach’ who are a respectable and accredited organisation, a member of Affinity, who has been banned. This group has enjoyed a good relationship with the school for many years.
The local vicar, Rev Giles Walter, who has been involved with the school for 24 years, issued a statement: “The behaviour of this small group of parents has hurled a hand grenade into a previously happy and harmonious environment. They seem determined to drive mainstream Christian teaching out of our Church school: and it is they and not ourselves who should be charged with extremism and non-inclusiveness.”
The head teacher of the school wrote to parents refuting all the allegations made against CrossTeach and commending them for their good work. Furthermore the ‘evidence’ provided by the campaigners was taken from assemblies which had nothing to do with CrossTeach. Nonetheless the head teacher gave in to the small group of parents and has banned CrossTeach from being involved in assemblies.
What does this tale of the Secular Inquisition incident tell us about modern Britain today? There are several lessons we should take on board.
1) We truly live in a dumbed down culture, which is ignorant of, and prejudiced against, its own roots.
You would think that parents, who choose to send their children to a Church of England school, might have the intelligence to work out that the Church of England is (allegedly) a Christian organisation that teaches the Christian faith. Perhaps the group of parents hadn’t read The 39 Articles or the Book of Common Prayer? They certainly don’t know the Bible. “No one minds nativity plays or Bible stories”. Really? Like the story of the birth of Jesus where all the baby boys in Bethlehem were slaughtered? Or that lovely one about Noah in the ark with all his animals, while most of humanity was wiped out in a flood? Or the nice one about Jesus being nailed on a cross while smiling beatifically down and singing “always look on the bright side of life”? Or am I getting confused here?
2) The real extremists are the small minority of secularist atheists.
They are the militants who want to exclude everyone who does not agree with their ideology. The irony is that in the name of tolerance and diversity they will not tolerate anything that diverts from their ideology. They don’t mind religion. They are after all ‘for freedom of religion and freedom from religion’. The trouble is that the latter takes priority and so the Church is permitted as long as it is equivalent to a knitting club or a Trekkie society. Anytime they even get a whiff of something Christian they are ‘triggered’ and demand that they should be protected. The snowflake secularists have truly taken over the asylum.
3) There is a patronising and dangerous ideology that is being used to teach our children.
Education used to be about teaching children how to think. Now it is about teaching them what to think. And nothing must be allowed to deviate from that. Instead of education our schools are being turned into centres of social engineering where the secular Brave New World is indoctrinated into our children. Our children are being taught that marriage has nothing to do with gender. And now they are being taught Queer theory; that gender either doesn’t exist, or has nothing to do with biology, or is ‘fluid’. Now there’s a really harmful and dangerous ideology!
4) Those of us who warned that the introduction of Same Sex Marriage would quickly move from being a permissive to being a prohibitive decree have been proven right.
The Guardian helpfully informed its readers that: “faith schools must still adhere to Department for Education guidelines regarding fundamental British values, including equality and non-discrimination in matters such as gay marriage, as well as respect and tolerance for other faiths.”So there you have it. Something that didn’t even exist ten years ago is now a ‘fundamental British value’! Of course The Guardian and our liberal elites don’t mean what they say about non-discrimination. They are all for discrimination against those who hold to the traditional view of marriage on which Western Civilisation has been based for the past 1,500 years. It cannot and must not be taught.
I wonder what other ‘fundamental British values’ will be discovered in the next decade? Good job that so little history is taught! (Of course children should not be taught history either, if the criteria is ‘we cannot teach what might cause upset’ – there are a few bloody battles that would be off limit. Biology could suffer too. English literature? You’ve got to be careful with that too. An American school district has just banned To Kill A Mocking Bird because that might cause upset!).
5) The Church only has itself to blame –
we have far too often taught such a watered down, wet version of the Bible that anytime a hint of the real thing surfaces, cries of “that’s not nice” echo through the echo chambers. Even in this instance, although CrossTeach were vindicated, they have still been excluded. My heartfelt plea is when will someone stand up to the bullies?
Christ wept over Jerusalem. We must weep at the insanity that is gripping the UK, of which this incident is only the tip of the iceberg. Christ’s sternest warning was for those who would harm any of “these little ones”. Maybe its time for the Church to reflect the priorities of the Christ who said “let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them”? Maybe for the sake of the children we should come out of our own comfort zones and challenge the new State-imposed fundamentalist doctrines that cause so much harm. If we are to be accused of extremism, then let’s make sure that it is the kind of extreme and courageous love that Jesus showed. Whatever the cost.