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Either overtly or by default, this country is still a Christian one. - C. of E. spokesman in this article from the Guardian.

One headteacher has been trying to set up an explicitly secular school, where children are not required to bow their heads, mumble, pass notes, kick the person next to them, and make up rude words to the tunes of popular hymns engage in an act of worship of a 'broadly Christian character' every morning.

He also wishes to change the character of religious education lessons, so that children get a few hours a week to learn about the history and development of of some popular world-views, mostly involving faith.

He's quoted as saying that the government 'accepted it would be popular'. One senior figure at the then Department for Education and Skills, told Kelley that bishops in the House of Lords and ministers would block the plans. Religion, they added, was 'technically embedded' in many aspects of education.

My arse it is. It might be prominent in some sort of policy document somewhere, but who cares? The children certainly don't, and nor do most of the teachers. They might make some halfhearted gesture in search of a tickybox, eliciting some equally halfhearted response (especially at Ofsted time), but it's not as though there's any there except the daily "religious observance" at Assembly and a few RE lessons now and again.

Here's the money shot from him. 'I feel that children have a right to not having a particular point of view,' said Kelley. 'They should not be promoted to a political party, nor should they to a religion.'

Not at school, anyway. School is about lies-to-children, but the important thing about those is that they get replaced with better ones. Religion is about ultimate truth, so it's best not mixed with the normal kind.

"Now, pay attention, kiddies. Yes, that does mean you, Sharon. And Simon, stop stabbing Yasmina, you'll have to wait till playtime. Today, we're going to talk about the Truth. Well, the Truth for most of us. Some of your parents might tell you something different, but they're wrong. Except yours, Miranda, but they're only right for you. And yes, Nazir, I know yours tell you that there isn't any objective truth, and that might be the Truth for them, but it doesn't mean it is for you - you might change your mind when you grow up."

And back to the quotation at the top of this post. The UK is still a Christian country? Again, my arse it is. Apart from anything else, it's a country. Somewhere between a large piece of rock and vegetation, and a legal fiction. It can't believe in a religion any more than a corporation, a library, or a corner shop can. People believe in religions. Saying that the UK, or anywhere else, is a Christian (Hindu, Muslim, IPUist) country just means something between "the people who say they're in charge think this way and want everyone else to" and "I believe that most people in this country think this way". There's also a strong component of "look, just sit down and stop making a fuss, it's none of your business" too.

Indeed, the religious indoctrination - or lack thereof - of the nation's children is none of my business. Nor of the government's, or schools'. Nobody's except the churches'. If they want converts, they can work for them themselves.

Of course, as far as they're concerned, they are, because they still own us.
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