Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Friday, 13 February 2009

Another Lion-Feeding Frenzy

Another day, another story about State-sponsored Christian-bashing.

I saw this one in the Daily Mail when I was at the gym and I didn't believe it. Partly because it was in the Daily Mail, and partly because I just didn't want to believe that my country has come to this. When I got home I did a Google and I saw that it's quite widely covered, so now I'm thinking it must be true. After all, the BBC has it, and if even they've got an anti-Christian story then there must be something in it.

So, the facts as they appear to be:
....a five-year old girl tells her classmate that if you don't believe in God then you're going to Hell;
....the girl is admonished by a teacher and is told that it's "not OK to say that, but it is OK to discuss what you believe with others" (what on earth is a five-year-old supposed to make of that ?);
....having first comforted her highly upset daughter, the mother, who works at the school, sends a private email to a group of friends describing what had happened and asking for her friends' prayers;
....she is then hauled before the headteacher, to be told that she was to be placed under investigation in suspicion of professional misconduct because she had been "making allegations about the school and staff".

........................""You can't write an email like that, love"

Hells' bells, where to start ?

Well, let's try the child. She's five. She's reciting the stuff her mum and dad have told her. Things are black-and-white at that age anyway; kids call it as they see it, and good on 'em. Apparently the child she was talking to was didn't like it, and it was her mother who complained.

It's probably a good job I'm not a headteacher. Because if any parent came into my office complaining that their offspring had been upset by another child telling them they might go to Hell, they'd get pretty short shrift from me. Something along the lines of:

"Your child will hear far worse than that before they've finished school. I will not wrap kids up in cotton wool and isolate them from hearing completely legitimate theological views. I will not deny them access to free debate, and I will not admonish a five-year-old pupil for expressing a religious opinion. If you don't like it, you can bloody well take your spoilt little brat somewhere else. Now stop wasting my time, I've got hundreds of kids to teach how to read, write and add up in the face of relentless opposition from the government and the education establishment".

I can well remember giving my best friend at primary school the hump by telling him that God didn't exist. The resulting bottom-lip display and cold shoulder treatment lasted around two hours. After that we were mates again. Kids are far more resillient than many give them credit for. They give and receive different points of view all the time. Or at least, they should do. By putting them in the naughty corner for expressing opinion we deny them the ability to learn how to debate and we extend the ever-expanding notion that they have an inalienable right not to be offended.

Secondly, the mother. So, one of her so-called friends leaked her private email and grassed her up to the headteacher. Some bloody friend. But for the headteacher to call her into the office and put her on some sort of charge is nothing short of outrageous. Where's this going to end ? If I have a bad day at work and a row with the boss I might go home and tell Mrs Womble On Tour all about it. Am I to assume that if details of that private conversation get back to my workplace then my boss can discipline me ? Or can that only happen if I'm a Christian and I ask for someone's prayers ? Either way, I should be allowed to express a point of view in a private email without my boss poking his nose in.

Just for completeness, we'll briefly apply the Test of Islam. If a Muslim child says, for instance, that he would sooner befriend a fellow-Muslim than a non-beleiver, as encouraged by the Koran, would that child be similarly admonished ? No need to answer that.

What happens to Jennie Cain remains to be seen. But let me tell you this. This comes hot on the heels of Geert Wilders being kicked out of our country, the Caroline Pertrie case and a host of others in which free expression, religious or otherwise, is being treated as a crime by the State. One day something's going to snap. We are a quiet, tolerant nation. We have let our government walk all over us for a long time, first diminshing and more latterly destroying our freedoms. But it will not go on forever. At some point, there will be a backlash. Something, or some cause, will trigger a point of no return. I don't know when it will happen, but it will. One day that State will take on one free-speaker too many. And then there will be hell to pay.

I just hope I'm still around to see it.


Dick Puddlecote said...

Great rant WOT. And perfectly justified.

I have no love for religion at all, but the recent stories are particularly jaw-dropping.

TBR said...

One never knows when this might occur. But my hunch is the trigger will be Gordon Brown postponing the next election.

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