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Worship at Schools

A head teacher at a primary school in Sheffield found herself in the middle of a protest when she wanted to introduce a single act of worship rather than the separate assemblies that were happening before her arrival two years ago. Parents complained about her intention to scrap separate assemblies for Muslim pupils and the head teacher, Julia Robinson, has now resigned.

Two issues emerge from this. Firstly, should there be separate acts of worship for various religious groups? I think not as this will engender feelings of difference rather community and this born out by the education act 1944 which states that a single act of worship be carried out each day and mainly of a Christian nature. Parents though have the right to opt out and keep their children away from this assembly and of course maintain a ‘difference’.

A more fundamental question would be; should our children be subjected to an act of worship at all? The job of our schools is to educate and so, yes, they should be informed about all the different religions and their practices. They should not though be indoctrinated into any religious practice.

I hope the time will soon come when our education system will make a fundamental change and become purely secular and teach only what is known to be true.

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5 thoughts on “Worship at Schools

  1. Dawud on said:

    what is known to be true to you is known to be false to many others. The one thing muslims and christians are likely to be united on for once is stopping further secularisation of the schools.

    In this particular case, assemblies were held 5 days a week, once a week the christians wanted to hold a christian themed assembly, just one day out of five, and the muslims who make up a large minority said fine as long as they could withdraw.

    So 4/5, secular assemblies, 1 day out of 5 a religious assembly, with the muslims getting together and being taught simple principles of their faith by a parent.

    if that is too much religious education for you, then it is right and proper that religious people should be intolerant towards secularist ideas, as too often it is about pushing your own agenda on those who dont agree.

  2. A good comment Dawud and you have rightly highlighted the main point that I was making. That is, what ‘is known to be true’.

    I am in no way intolerant of anyone’s belief and if that helps someone through life then fine. With the proviso of course that it doesn’t impinge on anyone else’s freedom. My argument is that schools should teach as fact only that which is known and proven to be true.

    No religion has ever ‘proved’ the existence of a God and so it is not a fact. I can believe so strongly that there are fairies living at the bottom of my garden that I ‘know’ they exist but that doesn’t make it a proven fact. This is why I think that schools should teach children about the various religions but not indulge in acts of worship to something that is not known to be true.

  3. Dawud on said:

    I would disagree RE no religion being proven, but that is a seperate discussion.

    But as you are only in favour of teaching proven facts not theories then I am sure you will join with Muslims amongst others who wish that the theory of evolution is not taught either? or at least taught alongside other theories?

  4. The theory of evolution should indeed be taught because each step along the way is backed up with solid factual information that can be demonstrated as being beyond dispute to an open scientific mind. Anyone clinging to an absurd magical belief will never be convinced of course.

    I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one Dawud don’t you? Thanks for your contribution and I sincerely wish you well.

  5. Dawud on said:

    If it was beyond despute they wouldnt call it the theory of evolution, they would call it the facts about evolution.

    evolution theory is actually one of the biggest othodoxies in modern secular society, which is not allowed to be questioned but even atheists dont always accept it,

    at best you can describe it as a best fit model which goes some way to be supported by some evidence but not others.

    but like you said, i dont we will be agreeing on this one.

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