Religion in Schools – a Role-Focus Analysis: The Revelation Martyr.
June 6, 2012
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Following on from my earlier article A Role-Focus Analysis of Religious Arguments, we turn to the first category – the “Revelation Martyr”.
|Role \ Focus
||But we are teaching values! Christianity has values. What are we doing wrong?
||You secularists are causing the trouble. Why can’t we just all get along like we used to?
||It is intolerant to not want Christian RI in schools. We’re being oppressed.
||Religion is what gives us values. It’s in the stories.
||Religion prevents the breakdown of society.
||Christian RI is necessary for our religious freedom.
||The Christian religion must be taught, because the Bible says so.
||New Zealand law, culture and heritage are Christian.And the Bible? Bestseller!
||The majority rules! Stop complaining, or go to another school.
Objection 1 – The Revelation Martyr (defensive appeal to values)
But we are teaching values! Christianity has values. What are we doing wrong?
- “Jesus’ life of radical love, justice, and peace was so extraordinary that it would change this world forever. What do we fear by holding his life up as an example for our children? The argument that if Christianity is to be taught then all other religions should have equal airtime is a misnomer, akin to saying that because English is taught in schools all other world languages should also be included.”
- “I think what we’re trying to say is that we’re here to educate kids about Christianity – we’re not there to make them Christians, which is Harrison’s kind of argument. We’re not there to make them Christians; we’re there to educate them about Christianity.” – Simon Greening , CEO of Churches Education Commission (CEC) interviewed on Radio Rhema, Wednesday, 09 May 2012.
- You can teach moral values without invoking religion. It’s called “Ethics”.
- Confusing religion and values is wrong. “Values” is used as a smokescreen to sneak religious proselytising into the classroom.
- Most values that the Bible actually teaches are completely ignored – such as stoning adulterers, not allowing a witch to live, or selling all your possessions. Instead, the few that we find acceptable today are cherry-picked based on our modern cultural norms. So our real values clearly come from outside of the Bible.
- The widespread abuse of children by priests around the world is further proof that religion and values are two completely separate things.
- What moral value really lies in Jesus’ life? That an inherited guilt can be assuaged by the blood sacrifice of a scapegoat – and that if you don’t believe this story you will be tortured for all eternity? What kind of moral lesson is that?
- Teaching about only one religion by partisan proponents of it, without teaching about negative aspects, other religions, or of none, is religious indoctrination and is not compatible with a secular education.
What do you think? Do you have any more examples or responses?