Thursday, 30 April 2009

Another victory for freedom.... oh no, hang on...

Something's got me angry again...
There's been debate in this country about whether or not to make sex education compulsory in faith schools. Eventually the Government passed a law saying that all state schools (including faith schools) must teach primary students about issues such as teenage pregnancy, contraception, abortion and same-sex relationships. This comes from the Daily Telegraph's website:
Children as young as 11 will be taught about homosexual relationships and
civil partnerships under plans for compulsory sex education. Pupils
aged nine to eleven will also get lessons in contraception, pregnancy
and sexually-transmitted diseases in the first three years of secondary
school. New-style classes will also be compulsory in all faith schools in

Woop. Cheer. No longer will religious schools be able to just tell children that sex is evil and not to do it. Now, can you tell this is a little too good to be true?

However, faith schools will also be free to apply their values to lessons by
telling pupils that same sex relationships, contraception and sex outside
marriage is wrong.

Give me a moment whilst I re-read that. Faith schools are allowed to teach children as young as nine that homosexuality and contraception are wrong!? And this is meant to help reduce teenage pregnancy and promote tolerance. I'm all for freedom of religion. Believe what you want to believe. But don't impose that on children. Let them make their own decisions for themselves. If they choose to believe that sex before marriage is evil, contraception kills babies and gays are the devil's children, they're free to do that. But give them all the facts and let them come to their own judgements.

They'll argue that this is restricting their religion. No, it's just protecting our children. Telling teenagers that contraception is wrong won't stop them having sex - it just means they'll get pregnant when they do. If they don't want to use contraception, let them make that choice. I don't like the idea of faith schools anyway, but as an atheist that's probably natural. But it doesn't matter. What this law means is that schools have free rein to teach children religous belief in place of fact. Whatever your belief, surely it is the basic human right of every person to be free to choose their beliefs and practices, as long as it doesn't harm any other person.

I'm a socialist. I know it's about eighty years too late, but at the moment, with one parent unemployed and another facing it, capitalism really doesn't do it for me. Would I support a school which taught in its PSHE classes that capitalism was evil and that the upper class should be herded like cattle? No. Because ultimately, in a democracy, the right of a human to his or her opinion is second to none. And suppressing or controlling that opinion all through adolescence is an abhorration.

That law sickens me. What's more, it was given almost no media coverage. I mean, with the epic swine flu of death bent on world domination, why should something as tiny as the religious indoctrination of our children matter a damn? I think the most useful thing I can do now is add a quick footnote for any faith school kids who read this:

CONDOMS: They go on your willy. They're sort of like the Get-out-of-Jail Free card in Monopoly. If you're not sure, buy a couple from a pub toilet and practise on a banana. We've all done it.

GAYS: Are ok. Most of them are pretty cool. It doesn't matter which door you go in as long as you end up in the house.

STDs: Aren't nice. I won't go into details, but don't put "chlamidya" into Google Images after eating. To avoid, see "Condoms" above. Most of them cause intense suffering and don't go away.

POLITICIANS: Rather like STDs now I come to think about it...


  1. This isn't just Swine Flu, this is M and S Swine Flu...