ESS Letter: Religious Observance


The Scottish Government’s obduracy over religious observance (‘Religious

observance to stay in schools after review call rejected’, 23 January)
is disappointing and indicates a failure to move with the times.

Schools are places where young people are taught what is known and
to train their minds to think. They should not be places where religious
beliefs are taught as if they were fact, even less places where
religious services are conducted by clerics or evangelical groups. It is
specious to argue, as the SG does, that pupils are not required to
worship during religious observance.

It is not even clear how many schools follow the guidelines. The
City of Edinburgh Council, at our request, is conducting a survey of its
schools to find out and we want a poll, as allowed by law, of Edinburgh
electors to determine the future of religious observance in the City.

When more UK adults have ‘no religion’ than say they are Christian
and this gap is even wider among young people (under 40s are nearly
twice as likely to be non-religious than Christian), it is time to
abandon Victorian subservience to religion, especially in schools.

Steuart Campbell,
Secretary, Edinburgh Secular Society

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