By Mark Ellis
Schools must teach students that the UK is a Christian country and teachers may prioritize the views of established religions over atheism, the Education Secretary stated.
Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, published new guidelines for public schools that make clear that they do not need to give “equal parity” to atheism or non-religious views, according to The Telegraph.
Her new guidelines were handed down after humanists won a court victory that found the Education Secretary had unlawfully excluded atheism from the school curriculum.
The guidelines state that religious education should “reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are, in the main Christian”.
Mrs Morgan is worried that secularists are using the courts to ultimately force primary schools to teach children about atheism, according to The Telegraph.
The new guidance states there is “no obligation for any school to give equal air time to the teaching of religious and non-religious views” or even cover atheism during religious studies lessons.
However the guidelines suggests that non-religious views can be taught in other lessons, a decision the British Humanist Association trumpeted as “significant.”
Her guidelines arrived following a major study examining the place of religion in modern society. The study concluded that Britain is no longer a Christian country and should stop acting as if it is.
The two-year commission was headed by a former senior judge and involved religious leaders from various faiths, who concluded that public life in Britain should be systematically de-Christianized.
Of course, efforts to remove Christianity’s influence in the Soviet Union, China, and other communist, atheistic, or Muslim countries have met with failure. Ironically, the church of Jesus Christ has grown fastest under periods of persecution, often underground.
“The Government is determined to protect schools’ freedom to set their own religious studies curriculum, in line with the wishes of parents and the local community,” Morgan told reporters.
“The guidance I have issued today makes absolutely clear that the recent judicial review will have no impact on what is currently being taught in religious education. I am clear that both faith and non-faith schools are completely entitled to prioritize the teaching of religion and faith over non-religious views if they wish.”
A source close to Morgan told The Telegraph: “Nicky has had enough of campaign groups using the courts to try and force the teaching of atheism and humanism to kids against parent’s wishes.
“That’s why she’s taking a stand to protect the right of schools to prioritize the teaching of Christianity and other major religions.”
In November three families, backed by the British Humanist Association, won a victory at the High Court after challenging the government’s new religious studies curriculum.
Changes to the religious studies curriculum, announced last February, give priority to religious views – particularly Chrstianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Sikhism, according to The Telegraph.
Justice Warby ruled there had been a “breach of the duty to take care that information or knowledge included in the curriculum is conveyed in a pluralistic manner.”
Rev. Nigel Genders, Chief Education Officer for the Church of England said: “There has been confusion about the implications of the High Court judgment and we welcome the publication of this guidance note which clarifies the situation and provides assurance that the judgment does not impact on the content of the new RS GCSE (curriculum).”