The U.K government is due to debate a long awaited sex education bill today, which will make compulsory in all schools the teaching of sexual relationships as well as the biology.
The bill provides for issues such as same sex relationships, abortion and contraception to be taught in an unbiased way that promotes equality and diversity.
Predictably some faith groups have a problem with this, as they would rather be allowed to continue to spout their homophobic abstinence only drivel at impressionable children instead of giving them objective facts.
Education minister Ed Balls has sadly given in to this religious lobbying and added an amendment to allow faith schools to teach the curriculum in a way “consistent with the religious ethos of the school” which as far as I can see gives them carte blanche to continue indoctrinating their pupils with dangerous and antisocial dogma.
On a Today program interview, Ed Balls claimed that schools would be legally required to teach that alternative views existed so there was no “watering down of the bill”, but this is naïve. There is nothing to stop schools telling pupils that “yes, there are other views, but they’re wrong and you’ll go to hell if you use a condom”.
State funded schools should not be allowed to teach according to their faiths but according to objective facts and in accordance with the law. Children attending faith schools will already have had the biblical and qu’ranic view from their parents at home. School is where they should hear the truth; Homosexuality is about who you are, not a sinful lifestyle choice. Condoms do reduce the risk of disease and reduce unwanted pregnancies, and abortion is a woman’s right to choose if they so wish.
Next, faith schools will be insisting on teaching “both sides” of the “evolution controversy” by exactly the same reasoning that won them this amendment..
This amendment is wrong and I hope it will be defeated.
"Religion is a hypothesis about the world: the hypothesis that things are the way they are, at least in part, because of supernatural entities or forces acting on the natural world. And there's no good reason to treat it any differently from any other hypothesis. Which includes pointing out its flaws and inconsistencies, asking its adherents to back it up with solid evidence, making jokes about it when it's just being silly, offering arguments and evidence for our own competing hypotheses...and trying to persuade people out of it if we think it's mistaken. It's persuasion. It's the marketplace of ideas. Why should religion get a free ride"