(New Statesman) Richard Dawkins attacks David Cameron over faith schools

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In his leading article in the 19 December issue of the New Statesman, which he has guest-edited, the evolutionary biologist and bestselling author Richard Dawkins launches a scathing attack on David Cameron and his government's imposition of religious tradition on society in the form of faith schools.

Dawkins's open letter, addressed to the Prime Minister, leads with a warning that we must not be distracted "from the real domination of our culture and politics that religion gets away with in (tax-free) spades"; indeed, these religious traditions are "enforced by government edict".

In a direct rebuke to David Cameron's "government, [which,] like its predecessors, does force religion on our society, in ways whose very familiarity disarms us", Dawkins lists examples, from bishops in the House of Lords and the fast-tracking of "faith-based charities to tax-free status" to the "most obvious and serious" case of government-imposed religion: faith schools.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism

Posted December 12, 2011 at 8:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Mark Baddeley wrote:

In other news, dog bites man.

I think Dawkins has never come to grips with the concept of religious freedom, or of the right of parents to raise their children. He wants the state to try and ensure children are raised as atheists, with no belief in anything other than what Dawkins believes (a kind of scientific materialism). I don’t think his supporters grasp just how scary that is to people even outside his target. Why should New Atheists get to determine what choices parents have in how they educate and raise their children?

December 12, 11:12 am | [comment link]
2. Ecclesiastes 1:18 wrote:

The thing that really is trying to tyrannise through government is Science. The thing that really does use the secular arm is Science. And the creed that really is levying tithes and capturing schools, the creed that really is enforced by fine and imprisonment, the creed that really is proclaimed not in sermons but in statutes, and spread not by pilgrims but by policemen—that creed is the great but disputed system of thought which began with Evolution and has ended in Eugenics. Materialism is really our established Church; for the Government will really help it to persecute its heretics.

-G.K. Chesterton, Eugenics and other Evils

December 12, 11:35 am | [comment link]
3. Br. Michael wrote:

1, judging from reading the comments to the article, I don’t think they care.  Anything other than natural materialism any other worldview is superstition, a big lie) and no one has the right to believe in a lie.

And yet there is evidence for Judeo-Christiaity, just not evidence that they are prepared to accept.  Accordingly they accept as given their own presuppositions; and note the invective they hurl at anyone who suggests that their own world view and it’s suppositions be subjected to the type of scrutiny they want to subject Christianity too.

December 12, 11:49 am | [comment link]
4. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

Is Britain sick of Richard Dawkins yet?  hmmm  To quote Michael Gambon, “Moan, moan, moan”...

December 12, 1:39 pm | [comment link]
5. Jim K wrote:

To my mind, the fascinating part of this effort is that it is occurring in a country that has no written constitution and, certainly, no First Amendment or Letter to the Danbury Baptists to permit the enemies of faith to hide behind legalisms.  Their arguments are pure hatred for any vision that might compete with their own orthodoxies or, in so doing, limit the power of the state over all aspects of human life.

December 13, 7:35 pm | [comment link]
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