This is something of a running joke in the UK that parents do this, and the clergy are clearly aware that it goes on, so what are your thoughts?
We should reject faith schooling. Apart from all the nonsense, it is discriminatory. If you are the child of atheists, or people who want to stay in bed, or people who do not understand the bells, whistles, smoke and mirrors, that is not your fault. This system is the opposite of comprehensive and runs counter to all the principles upon which a universal right to an education is founded. Unfortunately, it is not at all interesting until you have a child of four, or 10, at which point all you want to do is give a priest a muffin.
The person is so sarcastic, it makes it hard to follow their argument.
So, the problem is, suppose I have a Buddhist school. And it only will educate Buddhists. So people pretend to be Buddhist in order to gain enrollment.
Or suppose my town has a Hindu school. And it will only educate Hindus. And people pretend to be Hindu in order to let their children attend.
If there was a problem with the schools themselves, surely there would be a lack of enrollment. I see that, unlike in the US, faith-based education seems to get funds from the State. But suppose you get $x (£x?) per student. There’s still a break-even point where, if enrollment declines far enough below it, that the school gets closed.
So the author’s real problem isn’t with the education that’s offered here, but rather, with the fact that the schools only enroll people of a similar faith background— and that people lie about their faith background in order to enroll. And it’s generally not that they have a different faith— as in, an Anglican pretending to be Hindu— but they have no faith— as in, I want to sleep in on Sunday, and I don’t go to church.
That’s sort of-- haha-- foreign to me. In the US, the faith-based schools (a) don’t receive government funding, and (b) usually don’t require their people to be of a certain faith background. Rather, there’s an understanding that if you’re going to go to a Catholic school, we’re going to talk about Catholic stuff, go to Mass, and there’s going to be crucifixes on the wall and saint statues in various places, so there’s no excuse to be offended. You don’t need to believe in it, but you need to be polite about it. Just like if you sent your kids off to Hindu school, you would expect them to talk about Hindu things, celebrate Hindu festivals, and not be offended by the statue of Ganesha.
Catholics were actually against mandatory public schooling, back in the 19th century, when it was up for debate. The reasoning was-- mandatory public schooling was agnostic/atheistic by its very nature, and Catholicism wasn’t just something you did on Sunday. It was your world view. That’s why Catholic schools became so critical, because it was important to them to give their parishioners an alternative to agnostic/atheistic education.
Now, it looks like the agnostic/atheists are saying, “Let’s get rid of faith-based schooling, because the people are just faking it…” rather than acknowledging, “This is your school, and these are your requirements to get in.” If the price for getting in is being an active member of their church---- that’s way easier than spending $5k, $10k, or $20k/year in tuition.
I guess it’s a cultural thing that hasn’t crossed the pond, but these people are not active in the church until they get a letter saying their child has been baptised then they’ll never be seen again. Frankly the it’s a ridiculous pretense.
I don’t see anything wrong with priests getting come nice confectionary!
Well, one big difference is that Anglicanism is the Church of the State, which makes sense that their schools would be state-sponsored in the UK. It mentions Catholic priests once—
It can be subtle: a vicar will write you a recommendation if he knows you, but to know you, he has to see you. But did he see you? Did you sit at the front? Does he know your name? In areas densely packed with Roman Catholic schools, priests haven’t enjoyed this much power since 16th-century Florence. They can’t walk into Waitrose without being given a muffin.
but doesn’t clearly state whether Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim schools are also tuition-free recipients of government subsidies.
So in the US, we very clearly say, “There is no religion of the State,” but we also have debates about school vouchers. Our public schools are supported by property tax dollars, whether you have children or not, and if you have children and choose to send them somewhere private, you can pay tuition on top of your property taxes. So there are also movements for school voucher programs-- where $x follows the student to whatever school they choose, rather than $x going to the public school district within the taxing territory.
What is a reasonable vicar to do? Clearly, someone needs to set fire to all the parents, as a lesson for the future. Geneva conventions, Geneva schmonventions. There are times when only collective punishment will do. Or lay waste to the school. See how they would like that, having their children educated in the secular tradition that is so poisonous to young minds, even though it seems to be working fine for everyone else.
So you’ve got someone arguing, “Let’s get rid of the parochial schools because their requirements are too onerous! We wanna sleep in! The public schools work just fine!” and at the same time, they’re saying, “Aughhh! You have to pretend to be active and bribe the clergy in order to attend your special school!”
The writer can’t have it both ways. Either they’re happy with the education at the public schools, in which case they don’t care how all the other schools construct their attendance criteria---- or there’s something special about the faith-based schools, in which case catering to people who share that faith is a perfectly normal expectation, and a way of whittling a thousand applications for a limited number of seats into a hundred applications for a limited number of seats.
There are prestigious schools in every place. You read about (private, but not necessarily faith-based) preschools in New York City or Washington, DC where parents scramble to put their kids on the waiting list as soon as they’re born, and cost $30-$35k per year to attend. That’s college tuition territory for a three or four-year-old! And this writer’s complaining about baked treats and hypothetically getting up on Sunday and sitting in a pew for an hour.
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