It feels good to be on my way back to joining the social milieu. Already I’m reflecting with Kate about how much things have changed over the last week and how things were for those weeks either side of christmas. I am eating and drinking pretty normally now, pain has significantly reduced and taking far fewer painkillers. Mouth and throat still sore, woke during the night with quite severe throat pain but I’m generally sleeping through the night – beginning to improve the fatigue situation. Mucal production reducing.
In my blog yesterday I began to shift my position from liberal tolerance to one where I think we need to assert much more clearly and emphatically our beliefs in humanity and our values. I agree with Paul Mason and others who assert that it is relatively easy to express tolerance and provide justification and some understanding of people’s behaviour. I like others, for instance, have said how we can understand the actions of jihadi terrorists because the west have been interfering and killing too much and too often in the Middle East. That has been and still is the case and needs to be sorted. But there needs to be a counter to Islamic claims on how to live, in other words to clearly state and act on our humanist culture that values and respects all.
Many have commented how the majority of terrorist actions are carried out by men aged between late teens and mid thirties. So sorting out jobs, work and a future for them would help a great deal.
Too often though they’ve only really been exposed to the beliefs of their parents, obviously within the home environment but also because they’ve been to faith schools. It becomes clearer to me the older I get how wrong these institutions are, there should only be secular schools. Where are children’s rights in this, why should they be subjected to their parents beliefs? What rights to parents have to impose their religious beliefs on their children? By all means give children as part of their education a grounding in religions and as they grow up and develop autonomy the freedom to follow whatever beliefs they choose. At the same time they should not be exposed to extreme bigots of whatever faith or creed, certainly within the public realm such as schools.
Why are religions and faiths so keen to run schools? Obviously so that they can indoctrinate children in their faith. I know that their proponents and defenders will say that they teach about all faiths but they do this within the context of an institution which will have so much implicit and explicit expression and reinforcement of the school’s specific religious ethos. Oh and we’ll also get how well they perform in terms of academic success and behaviour, well that can often be countered by the fact that most are selective.
I still clearly remember watching an England football Game at Wembley against Poland. We were sat not far from a group of Polish supporters and every time they began singing a couple of blokes behind me stood on their seats and hurled racist abuse at the Poles. They had children aged about 10 with them, I assume theirs, and initially they just looked up at their parents with some bemusement. By the end of the game they too were standing on their seats like their dads and joining in the racist chants. Education in action.
See the grinning gargoyle straight in there blaming multiculturalism for the Paris shootings, suppose he has the right to free speech. But, assuming he means the multiculturalism of the last few decades on what does he blame all the terrorist attacks that have happened all over the world throughout the millenia?
- no more faith schools, only secular schools based on humanitarian credo.
Keep on keeping on, love Duncan