Why not the humanist?

BGH
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Why not the humanist?

Is this or is this not discrimination based on religion by a govement body?

 

Atheist banned from committee on religious educationBy Simon Barrett

An atheist has spoken of his dismay after being sidelined from discussions on how religion is taught in schools.

Former teacher Andrew Edmondson attempted to win a place on the West Sussex County Council's advisory committee for religious education but was denied by a majority vote.

Mr Edmondson, a humanist, believes people can lead their lives without religion and use reason to explain the world and solve problems. Despite giving a presentation on humanism to members they voted against allowing him a place on the committee.

Mr Edmondson, of Balcombe, said: "Despite the detailed presentation I gave them, they likened humanism to minority religions such as pagans and scientologists.

"They failed to understand that humanism is the voice of reason, necessary to balance supernatural beliefs. Our children should be given a choice in schools and not railroaded into believing one thing or another.

"It is appalling that children in West Sussex are not taught that there is an alternative to religion. There is nothing stopping any school from teaching non-religious views. Schools should surely try to encourage reason."

Mr Edmondson argued that a humanist representative on the committee would speak for the non-religious people of West Sussex. He said recent polls had shown 62 per cent of people preferred humanist explanations to religious ones and 65 per cent of young people, aged between 12 and 19, were atheist or agnostic.

He said: "This is a missed opportunity for West Sussex and is contrary to the Human Rights Act. Children have a right to learn non-religious views."

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority recommends the inclusion of humanism in order to provide a broad and balanced curriculum.

Only two groups on the committee supported Mr Edmondson's application - the teachers and the Church of England which has a policy of inclusion.

Those who voted against included West Sussex County Council representatives, headteachers and minority religions.

British Humanist Association spokesman Andrew Copson yesterday called the decision "narrow-minded, bigoted and stupid."

He added: "Humanists have made a significant contribution to religious education over the last few decades. It is sad that the West Sussex committee does not seem to have recognised this and has missed an opportunity to take an inclusive approach.

"If religious education is to be a meaningful subject for all then those whose values are not religious must be included."

Committee chairwoman Margaret Collins said: "Following a lengthy debate lasting three meetings including a presentation from Mr Edmondson the committee decided by a majority vote not to include a non-religious organisation within its membership."

A West Sussex County Council spokesman added that secondary schools already included humanist views in the curriculum.

 


JCE
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Is this or is this not

Is this or is this not discrimination based on religion by a govement body?

 

Depends on whether they recognize humanist as a religion or not.  Also depends on the laws governing West Sussex County.  Sad though, it is important to allow all viewpoints.  Same as us needing theists on this site...it would stagnate without them.


BGH
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jce wrote: Depends on

jce wrote:

Depends on whether they recognize humanist as a religion or not.

If it is meant to present views on religion then, non-religion also has a valid point of view.

Granted this article is referencing something from United Kingdom and I am not sure what their laws are, but in principle I think it certainly is discrimination.


JCE
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Perhaps some of the folks

Perhaps some of the folks from the UK can help on this one.  It is discriminatory but, unfortunately, not surprising.


Sapient
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I just received this:

I just received this:

Dear webmaster

The following article on your website contains an incorrect quote from ndrew Copson of the BHA:

The Argus has now apologised for putting this "joke" quote in their
newspaper, and has replaced it (see:
http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/generalnews/display.var.1279333.0.atheist_banned_from_committee_on_religious_education.php)

Please replace the incorrect quote: "British Humanist Association
spokesman Andrew Copson yesterday called the decision "narrow-minded, bigoted and stupid."
with the correct quote:

"Humanists have made a significant contribution to religious education over the last few decades. It is sad that the West Sussex committee does ot seem to have recognised this and has missed an opportunity to take an nclusive approach. If religious education is to be a meaningful subject or all then those whose values are not religious must be included."

Thank you

Andrew Edmondson (the atheist!)

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BGH
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Sapient wrote: The Argus

Sapient wrote:



The Argus has now apologised for putting this "joke" quote in their
newspaper, and has replaced it (see:
http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/generalnews/display.var.1279333.0.atheist_banned_from_committee_on_religious_education.php)

Please replace the incorrect quote: "British Humanist Association
spokesman Andrew Copson yesterday called the decision "narrow-minded, bigoted and stupid."
with the correct quote:

"Humanists have made a significant contribution to religious education over the last few decades. It is sad that the West Sussex committee does ot seem to have recognised this and has missed an opportunity to take an nclusive approach. If religious education is to be a meaningful subject or all then those whose values are not religious must be included."

Thank you

Andrew Edmondson (the atheist!)

Huh.

I don't disagree with the 'new' quote, but I really don't see why the original quote was retracted or how it was a 'joke'.

I think the decision to exclude the non-believers is certainly "narrow-minded, bigoted and stupid".