Nothing wrong with keeping faith

6th August 2004 at 01:00
Stephen Lucas's report on Linda Smith's appointment as the British Humanist Association's new president (TES Cymru, July 9) prompted me to realise how misleading is the current use of the term "faith schools".

Pupils in all state schools in England and Wales used to be taught the principle and worship of the established national religion: Christianity, in its Anglican tradition. Catholic schools were different only in that the principles were taught from a slightly different theological standpoint, and the forms of worship differed accordingly.

It seems to me that state schools have largely abandoned their role in Christian education in the misguided belief that it is offensive to non-Christian pupils.

Consequently, parents who want their children to receive a religious education - Christian or non-Christian - have to look to the voluntary-aided sector for what Linda Smith disapprovingly calls faith schools (Incidentally, these are rare in rural areas.) The British Humanist Association might look forward to it, but I am concerned that the Christian origins of our national culture, law and government will be lost and that eventually everything will be judged on the basis of economics or expediency, rather than justice or rectitude.

Western politicians fret about the rise of Islam while Muslim nations look down on the West as a coalition of godless peoples. I would like to think that they were wrong, but our state education system is definitely tilting us in that direction.

Dominic Clarke Wellingtonia Norton, Presteigne, Powys

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