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Why do non-religious schools have prayers?

(103 Posts)
dillite Sat 12-Jul-14 10:17:42

And what's the point in them?

Morethanalittlebitconfused Sat 12-Jul-14 10:19:30

Because we are a Christian country and there is a legal requirement for schools to have an observance of faith during a school day

AlpacaLypse Sat 12-Jul-14 10:20:43

What Morethan said.

OwlCapone Sat 12-Jul-14 10:21:37

There is no such thing as a "non-religious school" in the state system.

HouseOfBamboo Sat 12-Jul-14 10:22:09

Somewhat incredibly, it is the law.

dillite Sat 12-Jul-14 10:40:28

And there was me thinking that observance of faith did not apply to non-faith schools. You learn something new every day!

There is a petition against that law on change.org, if anyone feels strongly that it is inappropriate.

HouseOfBamboo Sat 12-Jul-14 10:44:13

It certainly makes no sense, so it's not surprising that people assume that a non-faith school wont enforce worship in a blanket fashion on all its children, irrespective of whether they come from practising christian families.

dillite Sat 12-Jul-14 10:45:47

Mr Tumbles, do you have a link to the petition?

Frikadellen Sat 12-Jul-14 10:57:40

Like owl said

"There is no such thing as a "non-religious school" in the state system."

There are schools not affiliated with a church it does not make them a non faith school.

Its a very long link and I can't cut and paste on my phone...

Think its www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/end-compulsory-worship-in-schools?recruiter=26705185&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

If I've made any typos copying it across it won't work sad Its a National Secular Society petition to end compulsary worship in schools.

Somenody linked to it in chat the other day, I tried it and queried change.org's policy of asking for a donation before adding your signiture, but later got a confirmation email so you can sign without donating without problem.

digdeepforanswers Sat 12-Jul-14 11:10:29

As the song goes......TRADITION

Woo hoo link does work!

Its very archaic that school still have compulsory "worship" IMO - why on earth should znybody "worship" somethong they don't believe exists, unless they've chosen a faith school for other readons, in which case they clearly do have to take the full "package"

Just becaise spmething is traditional doesn't mean it is a good idea - corporal punishment,

Morethanalittlebitconfused Sat 12-Jul-14 11:15:56

Because if you truly have an open mind you'll be open to your child being exposed to all faiths and religions. If you truly didn't mind them finding their own feet then a few poems to a deity you don't believe in will have no impact on them or you.

It's a harmless tradition if you are a true atheist and for those who have faith it's an affirmation that their beliefs are still acknowledged in school time.

Morethan being exposed to all faiths and religions is what RE LESSONS are for - the children don't worship a wide range of gods in rotation.

Cruikshank Sat 12-Jul-14 11:24:43

How are they exposed to 'all faiths and religions' by having to say Christian prayers? That is just indoctrinating them with one religion.

OP, the reason that they have prayers is because we are not a truly secular society and so the god-botherers have a lot of clout. We have bishops in the House of Lords, the monarch is not only head of state but also head of the C of E, and there is a requirement that all schools have a daily act of worship that is 'broadly Christian in nature'. I don't agree with it at all, and have signed the petition linked to up-thread, but other than that there is nothing much you can do about it - despite the fact that the majority of people in this country don't go to church, that's the way it is. I wonder if people like morethan would be quite as blase about it if her children were required, by law, to have passages from the Qu'ran read to them every day in assembly because trust me if you are an atheist that is no different to having the state require your child to pray to an imaginary Christian deity.

HouseOfBamboo Sat 12-Jul-14 11:26:09

It's a harmless tradition if you are a true atheist and for those who have faith it's an affirmation that their beliefs are still acknowledged in school time.

What if you are a child from a Muslim or Jewish family? I don't imagine that you would feel that your faith was particularly being acknowledged if you are expected to join in with Christian worship by default.

In a good school (like the one in which I teach), the worship is part of the daily assembly, as is the current law, but children are not compelled to take part.
We say phrases such as, "I am going to say a prayer. If you want to make it your own, say amen at the end." The children who do not want to be involved are only required to be quiet and think about whatever issue we may have been exploring. Some of the songs we sing are hymns, some are not.
Our most regular adult attending school collective worship is a Jewish mother who values the fact that we address spiritual aspects of life as well as merely academic.

TiggyD Sat 12-Jul-14 20:15:34

To help spread the evils of CofE-ness.

One verse of All Things Bright And Beautiful and they'll be making cucumber sandwiches for the vicar by the end of the week. That's how cults like that work.

I would have nothing against having verses of the Qur'an read to my child; I think it would be very interesting and valuable. I read verses to my class in a CofE school regularly.

Cruikshank Sat 12-Jul-14 21:04:32

Well, if children don't have to pray (although tbh if you tell them to be quiet and observe and listen, there is a pretty fine line being drawn there), and if they don't end up being indoctrinated, then what is the fucking point? It's hardly a decent argument for continuing it, is it, if the best you can say about it is that it has no effect on the children.

Morethanalittlebitconfused Sat 12-Jul-14 21:05:05

because we are not a truly secular society and so the god-botherers have a lot of clout.

Charming

Why is it ok to bash Christians? Would you say that about any other religion? I loathe the term 'god botherer'

Morethanalittlebitconfused Sat 12-Jul-14 21:05:53

cruikshank what is so wrong about children having a period of quiet contemplation, which essentially, is what prayer is.

Cruikshank Sat 12-Jul-14 21:06:22

And, LaBelleDame, reading verses of the Qu'ran to children as part of their RE curriculum is a bit different to the state requiring that those verses are read to them every day.

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