The ambitions of Britain’s hard-line Christians go far beyond the borders of their local communities. Like most fundamentalist movements, the ultimate aim is a society built on their rigid belief system.
So wrote BAFTA-awarding winning film-maker David Modell on the eve of the screening last night of his Channel 4 Dispatches documentary – In God’s Name – which revealed how large numbers of British children are being subjected to a “stupidification” process at the hands of fundamentalists.
The film – see Mediawatchwatch – took viewers to the Carmel Christian School in Bristol, where six-year-olds in the infants’ class are told by a teacher called Melony:
Before Jesus came, people who disobeyed God got turned to a pillar of salt. So thank God for Jesus because we can say ‘Jesus, I’m sorry’ and we don’t have to fear getting turned into a pillar of salt, which really happened in the Old Testament.
One little girl has to do a science test. A classroom assistant kneels next to her, takes her hand and says:
We pray, Father, that you’ll help her check all her spellings. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
The test is multiple choice. Question five is: “God made the world in [BLANK] days.” The options are “five, six or seven”. The six-year-old carefully writes “six”. The right answer.
The uncompromising creationist curriculum taught in Carmel has been imported from the US. It is called Accelerated Christian Education; the motto of the Florida-based company who produce it is: ‘Reaching the world for Christ, one child at a time.
With 50 small schools in the UK teaching this curriculum, a total of more than 2,000 children are being ‘reached for Christ’. Yet these schools are not operating outside the education system. Carmel is a government-endorsed faith school, complete with an Ofsted report that describes the teaching as ‘satisfactory’.
According to the head teacher, David Owens, it’s all thanks to a Labour prime minister.
Tony Blair opened the door in the debate on faith schools. So it’s time for people like us to strike while the iron is hot.
Thank you SO much, Mr Blair – you who once declared that that your ambition for Britain was “Education, Education, Education!” then opened the floodgates to purveyors of stupidification like Carmel.
Modell was introduced to the school – part of the Carmel Christian Centre – by the rabidly homophobic Andrea Minichiello Williams. He met her at a demonstration against the Sexual Orientation Rights [gay rights] legislation outside Parliament at the beginning of last year.
The protest had been organised by the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship (LCF) – or, more specifically, by Andrea Williams, its public policy director.
When Christian magistrate Andrew McClintock lost his case “to have his freedom of conscience recognised when practising as a Justice of the Peace” Williams – a Barrister – declared:
This case is a clear picture of how Christian faith is becoming privatised in society. It is yet another example of the repression of Christian conscience and signals the prevalence of a secular â€˜new morality’ and the erosion of Christian values at the expense of our children’s welfare.
If Williams, and her ilk, are so concerned about the “welfare of children” why are they embarking on a campaign to have infants’ heads crammed with superstitious nonsense?
Andrew McClintock believes that the best interests of the child are served by placing them in a situation where they would have both a mother and a father and therefore he could not agree to participate in gay adoption. Andrew McClintock’s case demonstrates what will happen as greater numbers of men and women of integrity (as the court described Mr McClintock) are forced to choose between applying a law which runs contrary to their fundamental Christian belief or obeying their conscience. The imposition of secular values in every aspect of our lives will force those who hold Christian beliefs out of jobs. It will be to the detriment of the whole of society.
Williams believes any law that goes against her strict biblical beliefs must be fought. Her latest target is the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Bill, which reaches a critical stage in its passage through Parliament this week.