Motives behind religious observance in schools challenged

Unanswered question on RO in schools

It is disingenuous of the Church of Scotland spokesman on religious observance in schools to suggest that the Kirk is not trying to convert children (‘More parents saying no to prayers in city schools’, News, March 2). The Church’s guide for school chaplains may not use the word ‘indoctrination’ these days as the much less pejorative ‘spiritual development’ is the vogue expression, but winning souls for Jesus is a mandated objective for every Christian.

If it isn’t, then why is the Church so interested in targeting schools? Could it be that as interest in religion continues to fall rapidly with ever-decreasing numbers going to church, so the Church’s survival means it goes to the people, especially where it can find young, vulnerable minds?

The whole concept of religious observance in schools was revised in 2004 and subsequent guidance issued makes it quite clear that the Scottish Government sees RO as a good thing and has an important part to play in the development of the learner’s four capacities: a successful learner, confident individual, responsible citizen and effective contributor. However, it has never explained why or how this is so.

Does it mean that children opted out by their parents are somehow hopelessly inadequate future citizens?

Letter in Edinburgh Evening News from Alistair McBay, National Secular Society

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