A Load of Bright
An atheist's views on religion and the supernatural

UK Faith Schools Petition


A few days ago, I received this email from the Brights Movement.

Fellow Brights

A previous UK BrightenOp (November 22) drew attention to a faith schools petition at the official Downing Street website. However there is a second very similar petition at the site, and for whatever reason this second petition has accrued a higher number of signatures.

Should you wish to sign this second petition, it can be found at:

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/faithschools/

This petition also has its own website: http://www.banfaithschools.org.uk

The current volume of signatories stands at 12,809, making it the fifteenth most popular petition at the site. For those who do endorse the petition, this would be great news… if a pro-faith schools petition (with 16,715 signatories) wasn’t the eleventh most popular petition at the site!

You may also wish to inform others (brights or supers) likely to endorse the sentiment.

Bright Regards

Co-director Paul Geisert

Richard Dawkins drew attention to UK Faith Schools in The God Delusion. It is part of an initiative by our Christian Prime Minister Tony Blair to channel millions of pounds of tax payers money into schools that teach creationism (as an officially Christian state, this is not illegal in Britain). This is unacceptable, and as a British tax payer I am outraged. I don’t mind paying my taxes. What I do mind is what they are spent on, and I am sickened at the thought of my hard earned money funding the teaching of pseudo-scientific myth as fact, to indoctrinate innocent children.

I am astounded, at a time when Britain’s religious beliefs are supposed to be waning, that a pro-faith schools petition is gaining more support. I have signed the anti-faith schools petition, and I strongly urge all my British readers to do the same. (Unfortunately only British citizens are allowed to sign, wrongly in my opinion. I don’t see why anyone should be deprived the right to register their objection on a point of principle. Having said that, I dread to think of the number of American intelligent design advocates who would love to sign the pro-faith schools petition if given the chance.) I also appeal to all atheist bloggers to make their British readers aware of this petition, and to echo the importance of its cause.

This is not a referendum, but the result of what is effectively an opinion poll on the faith schools is hugely significant. Please spread the word.

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5 Responses to “UK Faith Schools Petition”

  1. You might be interested to know that teachers are trying to get faith schools out of the equation too.

    http://education.independent.co.uk/news/article2447641.ece
    http://education.guardian.co.uk/faithschools/story/0,,2056606,00.html

  2. I actually agree that it should be UK citizens only for petitions of this kind.

    But I couldn’t be more in agreement with you; I intend to spread the word as much as possible. Creationism is a primitive metaphysical pseudoscientific myth – it’s despicable that children should be indoctrinated anyway, but for the state to use OUR tax money to fund the indoctrination, is unfuriating and unacceptable.

  3. (as an officially Christian state, this is not illegal in Britain)

    Can religion really be made law, over there, if someone presses for it?

    I’m amazed that in the 21st century (not counting the medieval mid-east) there would still be such a thing as a theocracy, and in western Europe! I thought the Anglican church was just a national tradition like the royals – no official power. Or am I wrong about that, too?

    Strangely, it was a religious group, Mennonites I think they were called, that promoted the idea of separation of church and state. Partly due to their fear of government persecution, America was founded with freedom of religion instead of a national church. So, I guess we can all thank GOD for that. 😀 I wish religious groups today would take a cue from their forebears.

    It makes sense, IMO, to limit signatures to your citizens even if the survey has no legal weight.
    I wouldn’t want a petition on US policy to include non-Americans, even if I thought it would help my cause.

  4. Polly said:

    Can religion really be made law, over there, if someone presses for it?

    In theory, yes. We don’t have church/state separation so there are no laws prohibiting religion from being included in laws. Religion can be taught in schools, and prayers said in classes or assemblies.

    I’m amazed that in the 21st century (not counting the medieval mid-east) there would still be such a thing as a theocracy, and in western Europe! I thought the Anglican church was just a national tradition like the royals – no official power.

    In practice, the Anglican church doesn’t have a great deal of power (and neither do the royals), although we are officially an Anglican state. They can lobby on issues that concern them, but as we saw recently with the discrimination laws, where the Anglican Church strongly supported the Catholic Church, the elected government has the final say.

    It makes sense, IMO, to limit signatures to your citizens even if the survey has no legal weight.

    Having had time to think about this and weigh things up, I’d probably agree.

  5. If we don’t bann faith schools we’re most likely to end up with an insurgency on UK soil. It may be tempting to just ban one religion but that only leads to inequality, bann the lot. I know there are many who would have issues with this but yo can’t have your cake and eat it, either we bann them or pay the price


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