UK faiths schools are under a sustained attack from the state

UK faiths schools are under a sustained attack from the state July 31, 2018

John Denning, Education Officer at The Christian Institute, has attacked Government draft guidance on how the issue of same-sex marriage or civil partnerships should be dealt with in schools.
He said:

These proposals seem to be a deliberate attempt to police the views of Christians, Muslims, Jews and others who hold the traditional view that marriage is the lifelong union of a man and a woman.

He was commenting on a legal opinion solicited by the CI from “a top human rights expert” – Professor Christopher McCrudden – who believes that the guidance is “legally flawed” and would silence church schools on the issue of gay marriage.
McCrudden, who is involved in the long-running Ashers Bakery “gay cake” legal battle which is being funded by the CI, has warned that draft guidance by the Department for Education (DfE) is inconsistent with equality and human rights laws and that the DfE has failed in its duty to have due regard to the rights of Christians.
His warning came after the DfE published new draft guidance to accompany legal standards which Ofsted use to make judgments about teaching in schools.
The guidance states that a school would fail to meet its obligations under the Independent School Standards if the curriculum:

Suggests that same-sex marriages or civil partnerships should not be recognised as being lawful unions under civil law.


McCrudden argues that this wording amounts to an “effective prohibition” on teaching that suggests same-sex marriage or civil partnerships should not be lawful.
In his legal opinion, he questions the DfE’s legal authority for issuing the guidance, and its consistency with commitments by Government ministers during the passage of same-sex marriage legislation in 2013.

Ministers repeatedly promised that the introduction of same-sex marriage would not affect the rights of faith groups and others who hold to traditional marriage, but recent years have seen a sustained attack on faith schools by the state.

The professor also suggests that the guidance could contravene the right of Christians to manifest their beliefs under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Requiring faith schools to teach that their truth is less valid when it runs contrary to government policy as currently reflected in legislation, amounts to a significant limitation on the ability to manifest religious belief protected by Article 9. This is unlawful

He added:

The DfE is in breach of its obligation to have ‘due regard’ to the need to ‘advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.’

Denning weighed in, saying:

In 2013 politicians repeatedly promised that ripping up the centuries-old definition of marriage would not be used as a stick to beat those with traditional views. But increasingly it is.
We have already seen a sustained assault on faith schools by the state, now the DfE want to police fundamental aspects of Scripture.
This is unlawful. Preventing debate about our laws in schools is anti-democratic and banning the consideration of religious perspectives on the law amounts to a significant limitation on the ability to manifest religious belief and will be challenged vigorously.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Adrian

    Simple answer; stop state funding of “faith” schools. Let them turn into fee paying private schools.
    If they don’t use the state curricula they will find that their pupils will leave school without acceptable qualifications and hence unemployable.
    This is happening in the USA at bible orientated schools as I type.

  • AgentCormac

    Oh look, their record would appear to be scratched.

  • L.Long

    FAITH schools…school is where you go to learn…faith school is where you go to become st00pid!
    “… who hold the traditional view that marriage is the lifelong union of a man and a woman….” TRADITIONAL is the main word and like religion means NOTHING!!! ALL dogmas and traditions, & religions are to be questioned and thrown out when they counter reality! Besides he is a LIAR as more of his xtians get divorced then others, which is the one thing his failed jew preacher says not to do!

  • andym

    “The DfE is in breach of its obligation to have ‘due regard’ to the need to ‘advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.’”
    I’d say that’s exactly what the DfE is doing when it scrutinises the input of religion into education.

  • CoastalMaineBird

    attempt to police the views of […] others who hold the traditional view that marriage is the lifelong union of a man and a woman
    Nobody cares about policing your view.
    Do you GET that?
    NOBODY CARES.
    But that’s not the issue. The issue is your view that marriage is one man and one woman AND NOBODY ELSE CAN THINK DIFFERENTLY!

  • Broga

    I suppose the life long marriage includes the wife being thrashed, limbs broken, raped by a drunken thug she was unfortunate enough to marry. The preaching gits, with their pontificating, have no idea of what many women, and some men, suffer.

  • Dianne Leonard

    He’s wrong that biblical marriage is “one man, one woman.” A while ago, I saw a cartoon about the various types of biblical marriage that included “One man plus one woman plus the woman’s slave”; “one man plus three hundred sex slaves” etc etc. I don’t remember where I saw this, but look it up–it’s a hoot, *and* it shows the xtians are lying (so what else is new?)

  • AgentCormac

    @Broga
    Listen to Lord Snooty (aka Jacob Rees-Mogg) and you’ll find that he is ‘completely opposed’ to abortion, including in cases of rape or incest.
    Never mind what the poor victim herself might want, this catholic throw-back who, let us not forget, is being touted as a future Tory party leader and potential Prime Minister, would deny all women any say whatsoever in what happens to them if they become pregnant, regardless of how that pregnancy is initiated. His words give us a disturbing glimpse into the dystopian future he may one day inflict upon us all – one which I fear would look very much like an episode from The Handmaid’s Tale.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41172426

  • Jim Baerg

    Dianne Leonard: I think this is what you saw
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFkeKKszXTw&t=12s
    Check other videos by ‘Betty Bowers’.

  • sailor1031

    Surely the issue is that schools need to be teaching their students what the civil laws about marriage (and other things) are. If certain clubs want to promote their own restricted views to their own members that still does not change what the law is.

  • Dioigi

    Ministers repeatedly promised that the introduction of same-sex marriage would not affect the rights of faith groups and others who hold to traditional marriage, but recent years have seen a sustained attack on faith schools by the state.
    This does not affect the rights of religious groups . They are not being forced into same sex marriage. They are being asked not to try to indoctrinate pupils with their ideas which are contrary to the law of the land. They are not allowed to preach slavery, which is advocated in their religious books this is no different. The law is the law, if you don’t like it work towards changing it, don’t whine and claim victimization.

  • 1859

    Maybe this has all got to do with the very existence of ‘faith’ schools? If the state provided a straightforward secular education (as they do in France) there would be no clash, no controversy. ‘Faith’ schools breed sectarianism whether it is overt or covert because they are run by people who have a particular religious agenda. And no matter how often these people tell us they are teaching tolerance, in the end they will make dam sure their own religious view prevails. Religious belief and education move in opposite directions – one goes towards the dark, the other towards the light.

  • Bubblecar

    “McCrudden argues that this wording amounts to an “effective prohibition” on teaching that suggests same-sex marriage or civil partnerships should not be lawful.”
    In what sense could that possibly be defined as “teaching”? It is simply encouraging students to reject the laws of the land, as passed by democratic parliaments and upheld by courts and the police etc.
    Faith schools that tell students: “You should disobey the law except where it meets with religious approval” are not engaged in “education” they are engaged in dangerous indoctrination and political subversion, and they need to be shut down.

  • Frank

    Schools are for education … and to be educated all you need to know is how to read and write, how to work with and how to treat and how to respect other people properly, how to solve problems and how to think straight and rationally by using facts data and evidence, and from where to get facts data and evidence. That’s it. So armed children will be able to do two things. With the assistance of good teachers children will be able to use these basic skills to develop into well educated young adults and to make free choice about religions. The problem is that the theocrats know that this is the path to the extinction of religion and they will not allow it to happen. Why are clerics so keen to get free access to your kids? Because your kids are the people upon which the clerics will leech and parasitise and freeload and exploit and control. And in many cases sexually exploit.

  • Harry

    Games up guys. Religion is going down. People everywhere are seeing though the camouflage … the camouflage which has previously hidden from view the evil core of all religions behind a false veil of wholesomeness and truth.
    You should have gotten control of the internet just like in the past you got control over our children. But you didn’t and now everyone can see what you have been up to for millennia. Games up guys. Religion is going down. We know you will fight and that you will fight dirty but nevertheless you are finished.

  • 1859

    I also think the words ‘sustained attack’ should read ‘cogent criticism’. ‘Sustained attack’ sounds like there are political mad dogs roaming the streets , beating up anyone who advocates faith schools. The problem is, the advocates of religious schools cannot cope with any form of analytical criticism because they have wholeheartedly subscribed to a belief system which the majority of thinking humans find silly and ludicrous. They find critical analysis of their potty ideas so unbearable they prefer to bury their heads in their own shit, rather than admitting there is a problem with their religious beliefs – beliefs which more and more young people are rejecting.

  • Broga

    AgentCormac: Moggy already has 6 sprogs and I don’t suppose his missus had much choice about her role in over population of an already over crowded planet. I suppose it was a case of lie still, adopt the missionary position, don’t show any emotion and think of England while the National Anthem is played in the background.
    The great thing is that Moggy and his like can never have any fun and excitement as that all comes in the next life. Apart of course from the holier than thou brigade of priests, politicians etc who preach their bullshit while sexually abusing anyone that they can get their hands on including children.
    At the same time they are corroded by guilt and the terror of being discovered to have the morals of sewer rats. That is unfair to rats who are admirable creatures in many ways. Certainly preferable as company to the Moggy brigade – my children had white rats and enough animals to stock a small zoo. I know, from experience, some of the problems Noah must have encountered.

  • Brian Jordan

    I don’t think they give a fig about who marries whom, outside their flock. They’re just seeking any and every excuse to keep their indoctrination centres under their control at our expense.

  • Vanity Unfair

    The guidance states that a school would fail to meet its obligations under the Independent School Standards if the curriculum:
    Suggests that same-sex marriages or civil partnerships should not be recognised as being lawful unions under civil law.
    McCrudden argues that this wording amounts to an “effective prohibition” on teaching that suggests same-sex marriage or civil partnerships should not be lawful.

    This is remarkably woolly thinking from “a top human rights expert” and conflates two separate arguments. It would not gain a pass mark in a law course.
    First, if you are teaching what the law is, that is a matter of fact. What the law means might be a matter of opinion but that is why we have judges. The fact of the law should be taught in the relevant part of the syllabus. It might be different next year but that is how the law develops; it is tested through cases and its applications to individual circumstances.
    Secondly, if you want to teach what the law should be, that is entirely different and a subject for philosophy or its cousin, jurisprudence. If your only argument is “God says it’s wrong,” you will again fail. This part of the syllabus is open to argument and teachers must be prepared to discuss various points of view with their students.They should not be surprised when their students disagree with them. Browbeating young children into accepting a theological commandment before they have learned how to argue is not education but bullying.