There’s an assumption that all Christians support Religious Instruction programmes in state schools. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m going to use this page to collect comments from Christians who oppose the classes. Please feel free to send me your own submission!
I am Christian, I am currently work for a church… And I have been a school chaplain at an Anglican School, and have taught religious studies. I have been the BOT chair of a large state primary school (currently a board member). So feel I have some perspective on this. I am part of this Facebook group because I don’t believe in CRI. I don’t support Bible In School etc – because
- The curriculum is already full – too full – therefore there isn’t time.
- Teaching of religion for conversion shouldn’t be placed in a state education – teaching ABOUT – I think is helpful… But it also teaching ABOUT everybody’s belief systems, not just one sector. Also, I don’t think you can explain the world in which we live without an understanding of Islam, Judaism and Christianity – but that is a social studies question, rather than an religious question.
- I think it is a family’s responsibility to source the religious experiences and education they want for their children, not the school’s place to provide it.
My reasons for supporting SEN (the Secular Education Network) as a Christian are that religious instruction is deeply a matter of personal choice and belief. I do not want my child exposed to the theology that is promoted in most Bible in Schools programmes without being able to unpack it with him. All parents should have right to teach their children about religion in the way that suits their own belief systems. Secondly, as Kay has said, an understanding of the various religions that have shaped and are shaping the world we live in is essential. Presenting one of those religions in a privileged way within the education system hinders trained educators from developing real understanding of the place of religion in human history, with all the damage and the good that it can claim. We live in a diverse community and culturally responsive pedagogy is the current buzz word. You cannot be responsive to multiple cultures when one is continually privileged (which goes well beyond RI of course.) Education in the 21st century is about teaching children to question received wisdom and think critically and Bible in Schools promotes exactly the opposite.