Neil Barber, ESS Media Officer has a letter published in the Herald

Secularism is not a belief system

Advocates of religious observance, which goes beyond comparative religious education in teaching children to believe in one religion, have suggested the answer to growing concerns about Christian indoctrination in state schools is to have what they call state “secular schools” (“Church: we need secular schools”, The Herald, June 10).

They argue that secular schools could then teach “their values”, leaving separate religious schools to do the same. There is already enough sectarianism being nursed in our education system and this idea for further segregation is a backward step.

Not for the first time religious defenders wrongly conflate humanism and atheism with secularism and conclude somehow that this is a rival “belief” system. Secularism has no metaphysical position at all and wishes only for religion to be a private matter for families. Our schools must be religiously neutral and inclusive of all. It is not the job of the state to facilitate preaching to children by any outside group.

The notion that secularists are trying to impose secularism in place of religion is absurd and comparable to the noisy neighbour who, on receiving a complaint, turns and says, “You just want to impose your silence in place of my noise.”

Neil Barber,

Edinburgh Secular Society,

Saughtonhall Drive,


View online here.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation