Friday, 20 March 2009

Secularism and Idolatry

Independent faith schools to face Ofsted inspections
The Government is to send Ofsted inspectors into independent faith schools to make sure they are preparing pupils for life in modern Britain.

  • "Modern Britain" is thinly disguised code for "secular Britain, as politicians would like it to be". Whenever you read that politicians are applying some "modern Britain" test, you're reading about politicians' social engineering efforts.
  • Religious teaching that politicians don't like, and homes that implement that teaching, are a de facto part of modern Britain just as much as teaching they do  approve of. So what they really mean is "the bits of modern Britain I personally prefer."

  • Decisions about how children should be prepared for life in modern Britain are the right and responsibility of parents, not government. The real issue isn't so much that the government's sending inspectors here or there - it's that it dares to think this is part of what parents want it to do in the first place.

  • Obviously if some parents decide to send their children to an off-beat, particularly whacky (according to the inspectors' tastes) school, they presumably had a reason. Is it now the government's job to over-ride such wishes and tell us it knows best? This bit never gets put into the manifestos, but we keep getting it...

Quoth the article:
"Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, has asked Ofsted to carry out a survey to ensure these schools are meeting regulation standards for the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils."
  • That job title never fails to send a severe chill running up and down my spine. Orwell eat your heart out!

  • Note: the government has no embarrassment about determining what it thinks the "spiritual, moral, social and cultural" standards it wants your children to adhere too.

  • Are there many people in the country who actually believe that the government is the standard-setting exemplar of moral, spiritual, etc., excellence?

  • And in particular, just when was it determined that Ed Balls was the absolute epitome of these things such that he should be enforcing these things upon us?

  • So, presumably Mr. Balls is launching out into looking at independent schools because the state schools under his direct control have achieved so highly in producing children of moral, spiritual, social and cultural excellence? He's done so well that he had a bit of spare time on his hands and thought he should spread the brilliance around a bit?
The relevant laws at present express a fairly vague and lightweight specification of just what these standards mean. The vagueness might be good, or on the other hand might present a golden opportunity for social engineers to argue that they're being broken. e.g. the requirement that pupils are to be given an "appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures in a way that promotes tolerance and harmony" might, in the eyes of the social engineer, require that pupils are taught that all cultures are equally valid. Actually wife-beating is acceptable in many parts of British Muslim sub-culture. Are we really meant to respect that? The standard itself seems to assumes the secular position that all religions and cultures are equally valid. Not likely the framers were thinking of that - more likely it's meant to be a wedge for forbidding the teaching of doctrines which secularism regards as heresy, e.g. that homosexual indulgence is a definitely inferior and positively sinful way of life, etc.

Q. What are the standards of moral and spiritual excellence we should be aiming for our children?
A. That they should learn to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and to love their neighbour as themselves; to exercise repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, expressed in a life of heartfelt and joyful obedience to the Saviour's revealed will.

Q. Judged by the standards of Christianity (as expressed in the question above), what should we make of Mr. Balls' schools, given that they a) do not promote the God-given standard and b) promote a different standard in its place?
A. They're full of idolatry.

I hope my point is clear. Secularism is not a "neutral" middle ground. It's a replacement for Christianity, and Christians need to start looking at it as such.

1 comment:

Ned Kelly said...

I'm not sure whether England, and Europe generally, are leading the way, but secularism is certainly creeping into Western culture, and maybe even "creeping" is a conservative observation. From the many articles I read, I even suspect that secularism is gaining a foothold in Christianity, so many are advocating Christ's humanity to the exclusion of his deity, the "Jesus was just a good man" approach. So often I read that Christian values are based on the love of one another, excluding the commandment to first love God. The message of Jesus is being twisted into support for secular humanism, and as you rightly point out, this is not about balance and fairness, it is about excluding God in general, and Jesus Christ in particular. There are many who wish to remove Christ from Christianity, and many who should know better are just watching it happen, almost to the extent of abetting the trend by their silence.