After castigating Ed Balls for his mealy-mouthed appeasement of religious critics of his sex education bill, here is something he got right.
He has said that membership of the BNP should not be prohibited for teachers.
Now obviously I’m no fan of the BNP and their blatant racism, but to ban somebody from employment because of their political view, no matter how onerous is anti-democratic in the extreme. As it is BNP membership precludes a person from serving in the police or prison service. This is wrong too IMHO unless membership of any political party is disallowed.
What a person believes cannot be policed in this way. What they actually do however can be and as long as the expected checks and balances are in place to prevent them propagating those beliefs and they behave in a professional manner I don’t see a problem.
Let’s face it I don’t want stupid religious shit taught to my children, but I wouldn’t deny an evangelical Christian a job as a teacher all the time they left their immoral views at home.
There is another aspect to this, if a person is a member of the BNP, we know they are likely to be racist and we can be on our guard against any attempts at indoctrination in the classroom. The ones to watch are the racists who don’t’ advertise.
"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"