Why have I never taught a Jewish child?

Jul 21, 2015

by Dennis O’Sullivan

Teaching British Values is now compulsory in our schools and we are drawing in on ourselves, into Little Britain, because of a fear of the actions of a tiny, tiny minority of so-called radicalised British Muslim youth.

As we clamour for restrictions on immigration, alongside a liberal’s fear of talking about race, we label some communities as dangerous and not very British. Fear of Islam is irrational but encouraging Muslims to retreat as some sort of alien breed is counter to our democracy and the values we claim as our national identity. And it alienates Muslims.

Faith schools are marching towards segregation and the creation and strengthening of racial barriers between communities. The government adores free schools and plans to open another 500, many of them single faith schools.

In 2014 there were 6,848 state funded faith schools – about a third of the total and around a 3% increase in the last decade. Jewish and Muslim faith schools, a tiny minority of these, increased from 37 to 48 and from 7 to 18 respectively over the last 7 years. 1.8 million students are in faith schools. Most of these are Catholic or Church of England primary schools.


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27 comments on “Why have I never taught a Jewish child?

  • Religion is a fig leaf for various bad behaviours:
    racism, homophobia, ignorance.

    If you tolerate bad behaviour on the excuse of religion, you are tolerating bad behaviour.



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  • @OP – In 2014 there were 6,848 state funded faith schools – about a third of the total and around a 3% increase in the last decade.

    Most of these are Catholic or Church of England primary schools.

    Which is why politicians pander to this sort of silliness for votes, and why the “faithful” and the religious establishment, conduct mental gymnastics, trying to pretend that segregated education is beneficial to society!



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  • The article seems to lump all faith schools in as a homogeneous whole. The writer speaks of problems at some Muslim and Jewish schools, yet most faith schools are Roman Catholic or Church of England schools.

    Separately, is there anyone else here who dislikes the term “faith schools”? Why not “religious schools”?



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  • @OP – Teaching British Values is now compulsory in our schools and we are drawing in on ourselves, into Little Britain, because of a fear of the actions of a tiny, tiny minority of so-called radicalised British Muslim youth.

    … . . we are drawing in on ourselves, into Little Ireland, because of a fear of the actions of a tiny, tiny minority of so-called radicalised IRA and UDA armed activists.

    Does the message of a community divided by religion sound familiar??



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  • His worry about Muslim’s being tarred with the same brush comes down to (their response to) a simple question that I would put to a Muslim….”Do you believe that the Quran is the unalterable word of your God?” – If the answer is “Yes” then – quite simply they are a danger to themselves AND to all other people whom they think are not “one of them”. Mind you they could be lying if they said “No” – what a dilemma for the powers that be eh?



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  • A teenage mentality is often a state of rebels against authority, looking for a cause.

    That is why throughout history, various cultures have recruited them as tribal warriors, or conscripted them into armies.

    What is needed is education to direct these challenges into constructive new thinking, while avoiding vulnerable minds being exposed to perverse radical fundamentalism.



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  • The fear of politicians is that they may lose power. Pandering to the prejudices of a bigoted electorate is one way of maximising the chances of electoral success. The problem is that is their pandering to prejudice encourages civil unrest and vast alienation then their election chances are damaged. The History of the mid 20th century is illustrated with the collective punishment of ethnic groups based on the demonisation of the actions of rhetoric of the few. Does anyone here believe that the entirety of the European Jewish community in the 1930’s was bent on the destruction of the Christian religion via their control of the global economy and the fostering of Bolshevism?
    Does anyone believe that the Chechens, Cossacks and Tartars where all bent on the destruction of the Soviet Union? Yet the entire communities of these peoples and others were despoiled, deported, starved and murdered as collectively responsible for all manner of ills perhaps in some cases real but in most – imaginary.
    As a Brit, I am no more responsible for Blair’s warmongering or Thatcher’s legitimisation and exploitation of greed than the average British Muslim is for the barbarous actions of ISIS.
    Sure we should all want to diminish the place of superstition and faith in our communities, but the methods of Hitler and Stalin are not the examples of dealing with it that we should choose.



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  • Too true. Faith is incompatible with education, nothing to do with it. Any brand of religion is guilty of brainwashing if they are allowed to make children believe that their teaching is a necessary requirement of a school syllabus.
    If children want to look into religion at a later stage that is their personal choice, but meanwhile keep it out of schools – all schools.
    Brainwashing should be illegal since it has the effect of removing personal choice later on as many Catholics, for example, will testify. It prevents you from thinking for yourself even many years later.



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  • I had never heard of faith schools before reading this article. What an aberrant, or perhaps more accurately abhorrent concept. It is obviously segregationist and it is obviously going to destroy any chance of a true “melting pot” effect, leaving instead all the mistrust and ignorance-fueled rage that the USA right wing is demonstrating so effectively at this time.



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  • Absolutely! This is the “Islamophobia” LIE once again.
    As Muhammad himself boasted -[Bukhari :: Book 4 ::
    Volume 52 :: Hadith 220]

    “LO! I have been made victorious through TERROR” and as we see
    daily in Islamic- majority countries, the terror is NOT imaginary…



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  • Haven’t you savage Britons ever heard of Separation of Church and State, a principal proposed by a man named Thomas Jefferson in a country far far away and a long time ago? Seriously the U.K has done a far better job than the U.S. of building a secular society. Teasing aside, now is the time for implementing and enforcing this Enlightenment-era practice in societies, especially educational institutions, worldwide. Freedom of religion extends to all citizens exercising freedom of speech, conscience and assembly as individuals and voluntary associations of individuals. Paradoxically, however, Freedom of Religion is a secular not a religious ethic. At some point we must recognize that all human values are ethnocentric, the evolving consensus of particular cultures. The core practices of secularism developing through democratic institutions consistent with western Enlightenment Humanism, science and reason have to be proclaimed as provisionally superior based on available evidence, over alternative authoritarian-autocratic systems and atavistic theocracies for the foreseeable future. For starters religious sectarian authority, beliefs and theology must be banned from public education and comprehensively from all government established, funded or supported institutions. If earnest religious believers or their worse embodiment as theocratic zealots want to debate multiple aspects of the issue, secular humanists are open to the challenge. If extreme sectarian factions reject debate and want to impose their religion by force, secular humanist will fight back constrained by the civilized imperatives of self-defense… if necessary, to the death



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  • kletkeman
    Jul 22, 2015 at 10:15 am

    I had never heard of faith schools before reading this article. What an aberrant, or perhaps more accurately abhorrent concept.

    You only have to look at the history of Spain to see how bad it can get!!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francoist_Spain#Catholicism

    Civil marriages that had taken place under Republican Spain were declared null and void unless validated by the Church. Divorces that took place during that period were invalidated, and those affected found themselves again married to their previous spouses. Divorce, contraceptives, and abortion were forbidden.[44] However, the enforcement of this was inconsistent.[citation needed] Children born had to be given Biblical names. Franco was made a member of the Supreme Order of Christ by Pius XII whilst Spain itself was consecrated to the Sacred Heart.[45] The American president, Harry Truman, himself a Baptist and Freemason, had little time for Franco and noted that a Baptist could be buried only at night in plowed ground.[46] His administration struck Spain from the list of potential recipients of the Marshall plan.[47]

    The Catholic Church’s ties with the Franco dictatorship conferred it control over the country’s schools. Crucifixes were reestablished in schoolrooms. After the war, Franco chose José Ibáñez Martín, part of the National Catholic Association of Propagandists (AcNdP) to lead the Ministry. He occupied the post for 12 years, in which he finished the task of purging the ministry begun by the Commission of Culture and Teaching which was headed by José María Pemán. Pemán led the work of Catholicizing state-sponsored schools and allocating generous funding to the Church’s schools.[48] Romualdo de Toledo, head of the National Service of Primary Education was a traditionalist who held as his model school “the monastery founded by St Benedict.” The clergy in charge of the education system sanctioned and sacked thousands of teachers of the progressive left and divided Spain’s schools up among the families of falangists, loyalist soldiers, and Catholic families. In some provinces, like Lugo, ” practically all the teachers were dismissed.” At the university level this process also prevailed, as Ibáñez Martín, Catholic propagandists, and the Opus Dei ensured professorships were offered only to the most faithful.



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  • Aye, there’s no doubt religious hatred, (previously fostered by the British ruling class during the 19th century, as a policy of divide and rule), played a part in “The Troubles” as they are now referred to. But the underlying conflict was always political, about control of land and governmental power. The Brits hived off the 26 largely agricultural counties and kept the 6 most industrialised ones when the Irish Free State was formed. The religious bigotry lives on to this day.

    Presumably “Jewish values” include belief in Adam and Eve, Noah’s flood, and all the other atrocities of the OT ? As to “British” values, they are presumably represented by the fostering of religious hatred in Ireland ? I won’t even mention India and the other colonies.

    When Ghandi was asked what he thought about western civilisation, he replied that he thought it was a very good idea !



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  • 18
    Steve660 says:

    I was going to say that! Nor is it irrational if you are an apostate from Islam, a critic of Islam, a gay person, female, a non-Muslim ….
    I might also add that whilst radicalised Muslim youth are a minority, it is not a “tiny, tiny” one as surveys repeatedly show.



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  • It’s very easy (and politically correct) to state that any particular member of a group is hardly responsible for the actions of radicals in their sect. And that has been the consistent message of our political leaders and justices. But when members of our military are ambushed and murdered in Tennessee (not the Middle East) we begin to question our stance of open arms and freedom to all religions. All Islamic terrorists come from the bowels of their Muslim religion, a religion that says it is proper to murder any Muslim who leaves the faith. I am sure there are many Muslims who are devout and have little interest in destroying those of other faiths. Unfortunately, we do not have the capacity to know who they are. And when any member of a Muslim community can be driven to murder those of other faiths in their delusion to become a martyr, then does ‘freedom of religion’ not need a second look? Does members of every other religion (and non-believers) have to live in fear of members from one religion because our nation has a history of tolerance? How many more of our citizens must be destroyed because their occupation or religion is different from their assailant? The author says that fear of Islam alienates Muslims. I would propose that the murdering of “infidels” alienates non-Muslims.



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  • Attaboy, you live in the country with the highest murder rate in the world. A country that blithely tolerates an insane lack of gun control, is subject to massacres on an almost weekly basis and moves on from them as quickly, has a police force that appears to the rest of the world like a banana republic death squad in its attitude to black americans and yet you find it intolerable when the violence is religious?
    I am arguing that it is the perpetrators of violent crime; not those whom share an ethnic or geographical or philosophical foundation, or have a similar skin tone with them, that should be hunted down regardless of its motive.
    But if you insist that something “has to be done about muslims…” then you might as well support ISIS, Al Quaida, Boco Haram, Al Shabab and all the other bloodthirsty psyco-maniacs because they are the ones particularly ethnically cleansing moslems who differ from them in degrees unrecognisable to any reasonable person, there is no need for anyone else to assist in their purges.



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  • They tried that during the Terror, after the French revolution. Didn’t go according to plan!

    Never been a fan of the ‘we were trying to do the right thing’ apology. Be careful what you wish for.



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  • Civil marriages that had taken place under Republican Spain were declared null and void unless validated by the Church. Divorces that took place during that period were invalidated, and those affected found themselves again married to their previous spouses.

    More recent news:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-33636920

    Spain has raised the minimum age for marriage from 14 to 16, having had the lowest marrying age in Europe.

    Before the age was raised, boys and girls could marry at the age of 14 with the permission of a judge. It is now level with most European countries.

    The change comes only months after the government raised the age of consent from 13 to 16.

    According to El Pais (in Spanish), only 365 marriages involving under-16s took place in Spain between 2000 and 2014 – with only five in 2014.

    In the 1990s, however, there were 2,678 marriages involving at least one under-16 – and 12,867 in the 1980s.

    They are gradually casting off the “benefits” of Catholicism!!



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  • I’m not “apologizing” for anything. We all hold values and recommend practices which have been culturally acquired. There is no alternative process to promoting certain cultural consensuses over others. The open secular society relying on the ceaseless quest for better practices which foster democratic prosperity, health, education, welfare and human rights is as much a construct as the theocracies of Islam. At the end of the day we must take a stand and say, my cultural ethnocentrism is better than yours. We don’t need to become nasty bigots or imperialists to do so. We can engage in civil debate or , if need be, in violent self-defense to pursue our conditioned secular humanist needs and purposes. But the human condition leaves us no alternative.



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  • I was born and raised and brainwashed as a Roman Catholic boy growing up, before I won a scholarship and went free to a high fee paying Roman Catholic all boys secondary high school run by the Jesuits and designed for the religious high society. The school was called St Stanislaus College located in Georgetown, capital city of Guyana, which is an ex British colony (British Guiana) with the attendant colonial history of British style education, jurisprudence and cultural practices etc., and what I learned from the Jesuits there has resulted in me becoming an atheist. There was no better teacher of the terrible lessons inherent within the Bible than being immersed in surroundings which promoted study of such Bible. While the school was mostly for catholic boys it had a free scholarship winning component to its student body which was imposed upon it by the Government of the independent country of Guyana, which made it open to boys of all religions and backgrounds, with them having only the one similarity of having passed a Common Entrance exam and having attained a certain higher passing grade to qualify them for entry to the school. While going to a ”faith” based school had the inbuilt possibility of condemning me to a life of brainwashed rigidity and blind adherence to the idiotic tenets and doctrines of religion, it instead gave me a deep insight into the fraudulent thinking behind the workings of the religious minds that run the religion and such schools and was instrumental in ripping apart the belief system I inherited and was raised in from childhood. I would not however recommend anyone take the path I took to ”enlightenment” by having to delve into and sift through the phony propositions of an eternal after-life promised by a non-existent supernatural entity, and promoted by believing adult priests, teachers and family members. I would much rather have learned in school about ALL the superstitions and mythical beliefs of ALL religions as a part of a history course teaching us about how the human mind has been revealed through history to be prone to invent Gods and mythical saviours etc.

    I think the ”faith” based schools will turn the critical thinkers among their student bodies into atheists and leave the religions to harvest and fatten their flocks from the left over and left behind dumber and more gullible and credulous minds among the rest.



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  • The Controversial Poster Philoctetes
    Jul 22, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    You can’t force an “Enlightenment” as any enlightened person will confirm

    In relation to various religions immersed in pseudo-enlightenment, the same problems just keep popping up!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-33673240

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses Church in Australia failed to report more than 1,000 alleged child sex abusers to the police, an inquiry has heard.

    Instead, the commission says, the Church itself handled all the cases – some of which date to the 1950s.

    One elder told the hearing that notes relating to abuse claims were destroyed so they would not be discovered.

    Australia began a national inquiry into child sexual abuse in 2013, after claims of abuse in the Catholic Church.

    Members of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, whose remit includes religious groups, NGOs and state-care providers, say more than 4,000 victims have come forward.

    The commission has heard allegations of abuse taking place within the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Jewish community, as well as schools and children’s homes.

    Angus Stewart, counsel for the commission, said that of 1,006 alleged perpetrators of child sexual abuse identified by the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church, “not one was reported by the church to secular authorities”.

    The Church dismissed 401 members following internal abuse hearings, but more than half were later reinstated, the inquiry was told.



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