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Shift to spells shows need for religion

THE news that 100 teenagers a month are applying to become witches was sensitively handled in your report (TES, June 30).

There were no snide remarks, no expressions of panic about the inadequacy of secular education that allows, perhaps even encourages, young people to seek supernatural help with the problems of life. A balanced discussion of the role of commercialism in spreading good news about paganism, and a sample spell for dealing with bullies, all contributed to a sense of the reasonableness of young people's interest in cool paganism.

I hope the article sets a standard for reporting the religiousquest of the young. There was a time when such interest in the supernatural would have brought on real alarm that children were insufficiently schooled in the scientific worldview. Now it seems that simple-minded scientism lacks the nerve to tell us what children should believe. It may be that only alternative religious worldviews can enable us to evaluate young people's religious beliefs. We may be at a time when, even in opposition to Christianity, secularism in education is on its last legs.

Richard Wilkins

Association of Christian Teachers

94a London Road

St Albans, Hertfordshire

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