Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Sex Education: True Faith

Christina Patterston offers a warning in The Independent today about the increasing encroachment of religion into British politics.
And how the relationship between Cameron's Conservative Coalition government and "faith groups" is becoming ever closer and cosier.
Patterson notes that eight of the 24 flagship "free schools" opening this week have a "faith ethos".
And of course how: "Nadine Dorries, the MP for Mid-Bedfordshire, is proposing an amendment to the Health Bill which will ensure that women planning abortions will get 'independent counselling. Since the Bill is designed to cut the abortion rate by a third, many people wonder just how "independent" that can be."
Perhaps most worrying of all, all seven of the "sex and education providers" asked to join the Sex And Relationships Council - a new government advisory group - are faith groups.
(Note to older readers "Sex And Relationships" is now the proper name for what we knew as "Sex Education lessons").
So this council advises the government on how sex and relationships is/are taught in schools.
Got that?
Shall we have a look who's on it?
Here are the seven founding members and what they stand for:
[All quotes taken direct from their websites]

Challenge Team UK - Legz Akimbo Theatre Company-types who tour schools promoting sexual abstinence before marriage through embarrassing plays. Covertly Christian. "Saving sex gives adolescents who may be confused about their sexuality time to mature before deciding whether they are 'gay' or 'straight'."

Evaluate - the educational outreach wing of CARE - "a well-established Christian charity providing resources and helping to bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy."
Pro-abstinence - Slightly obsessed with STDs.
Care evolved out of Mary Whitehouse's Festival Of Light who protested "the permissive society" eg TV filth and The Gays.

Family Education Trust - "supports the traditional family... It has no political or religious affiliations..."
Eh? They're a Conservative Christian fundamentalist group. Previously known as Family & Youth Concern; the FYC were a right-wing pressure group that played a key role in the homophobic scaremongering about schools that led to Section 28.

LIFE - the anti-abortion (and pro-abstinence) charity. Claims to be non-religious - actually Catholic.

Lovewise - "a charity which seeks to help schools and youth groups by providing presentations on the subjects of marriage, sex and relationships from a Christian perspective." "Wanting to warn young people to avoid the important medical consequences of sex outside marriage, they developed presentations that encourage them to consider the God-given design of marriage."

Right to Life - anti-abortion lobby group, also big on "defending the child’s right to a father." Catholic? Does the pope shit in the woods?

Silver Ring Thing - Ghastly American evangelical group that "promotes the message of abstinence until marriage centered in a relationship with Jesus Christ." Praise be!

So all are Christian "faith groups" (Explicit or not).
And all eight are pro-abstinence, anti-abortion and/or anti-gay.
Most claim to be politically unaffiliated, none are progressive, several belong on the right-wing lunatic fringe.
Must we fling this filth at our kids?

As Christine Patterson concludes; "Women have fought hard for the right not to have their bodies controlled by somebody else's God, and so have lesbians and gay men. It's beginning to look as though we might need to start fighting again."


  1. Secularism, here we come!!!!

    That's an issue politicians need to be talking about.

  2. Great piece, Fagburn.

    The final paragraph is spot-on, I think.