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Have faith in common values

Julian Baggini and Huw Thomas seem to be arguing about rather different things (TES, July 22). Nothing that Dr Baggini or the British Humanist Association has ever said would stop little girls drawing pictures of God in school. The BHA supports good, balanced religious education in schools; what we oppose is state-funded religious instruction and the promotion of religious values as exclusive to that religion in faith-based schools.

The humanist argument is that to confuse ordinary decent shared human values with religious ones is counterproductive.

In the past couple of weeks, I have seen many positive and hopeful references to our common humanity and the shared values that could, perhaps, act as restraining influences. Now more than ever is the time to promote these shared values vigorously to all our children in all our schools.

Marilyn Mason Education officer British Humanist Association 1 Gower Street London WC1E 6HD

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