Religion : Faith and Dogma

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Commission on Religion and Belief in Public Life
This commission has employed the services of the formidable brain and intellect of Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss to engage on the subject of relations between faiths. The faiths Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities dominate, as one might imagine, the reach of the report.

It is called – Living with Difference.
It is available as a PDF at –
http://www.woolfinstitute.cam.ac.uk/uploads/Living%20with%20Difference.pdf

Transparency of Governance and Openess of faith.
This is the whole thing behind the report.
How to teach Religion and other Spiritually derived Doctrines.
From the Secular, Humanist kind to the traditional Religions and faith groups of many variations and beliefs.

It mostly concerns the Education environment and the clear ‘imposition’ of ideologies in accordance with criteria complexly orientated to fashion lives conducive to the apparatus in play in the nation or the mindset of the people, imagined or otherwise. Other wise. Now there is where the Baroness is called to assist!
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Sanguine though, Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss is not and blood courses through her veins as optimism and expediency move and direct the progression of thought and arguments on the state of play for what David Cameron has pronounced more than once, ‘the United Kingdom is still a Christian country’. Local newspapers take a reactionary line, in particular the ‘Newsletter’ with its Saturday soapbox oratory on Churches; seldom if ever do Jewish, Catholic (this applied word indeed covers Protestant faiths if they did but acknowledge it) Evangelical or other humanist beliefs and others feature, with the headline ‘Radical religious study evokes a faith backlash’. Purporting, the newspaper that is, it to be dominated by “an old fashioned view that traditional religion is declining in importance and non-adherence to a religion is the same as humanism and secularism.” is singularly off piste. That is nothing new as the newspaper is a sole propraetorial (not in the roman soldier sense) editorial limited perspective rarely given to insights, at least in its modern form.

The committee was commissioned by the Woolf Institute and far be it from me to ask what inspires its intervention I nevertheless suppose a nascent desire to improve communication and therefore progress the notion of unity and collegiate scholars and practitioners in public life of the word of God.

Collegiality indeed is a unifying word. It embodies same self aimed discipline and order with a purpose in mind. It is outstandingly practical to have Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss study within Britain and Northern Ireland the mechanisms employed and that characterise the faith practioners alive and well across all aspects of community.
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Religious ‘attendance’ has plateaued it seems from this graph.
It is not falling despite views normally expressed.
I declare a presupposed position in relation; being of Irish descent coloured by some polarity from England or Scotland, an abiding cynicism with regard to the ‘established’ church and the violations and destructive tendencies surrounding it getting its own way in all things regarding the vague and imperfect label of nationhood. I believe presently we are still violated through religions by sovereignty as is evident if you distill David Cameron’s narrowness of phrase and the inference of establishment to which even he is beholden. Not to God but to a ruler whose concept of God is the one dogma and doctrine we must as a ‘nation’ follow.

Into this ‘cauldron’ comes the distaste and hypocrisy of violating Gods law.
The incoherent aspects of Syrian intervention is espoused by Hilary Benn alongside fellow warmongers of the right wing benches whose end game is un-summarised and absent. Totalitarian politics is once again before us with reasons for going to war unversed and unestablished before the people whose voice is nullified and unmanaged through conscripted minds of local bureaus and committees of party dogma.

The House of Lords is a public assembly, without the nicety of democratic provenance. It has – and this is a very important point with it being foremost an arena for properly extrapolated debate in the only chamber available for such oratory – hardly any representation of the religious faiths that combine our breadth of theological beliefs within Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

It is predominately a Church of England domain. It has heavily sided and been constructed around one power of religion. Now there is a surprise.
I think not – well actually I think of the missing imams, rabbis, and other absent faith representatives which the Baroness also draws attention to.
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Northern Ireland’s little sectarian divide as a pie diagram.
Such a core element of her report is sidelined by the other issue which causes immense division. The hotbed of debate and controversy being the extrapolation by Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss that faith school teaching of through assemblies and such like should be abolished in favour of a less doctrinal, actually wholly removed doctrinal approach as needed to accommodate the diversity and cross polarity of religious practice.

This is not in conflict with Jesus and Gods work. Only the obstacle of faith groups pulling rank and assimilation of rule not religious understanding is to be found at the rope end of the debate. The push me pull me tug of war of
Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss’s conclusions are taken as swords and axis of polarisation. I shouldn’t wonder that it plays into the hands of the ‘established’ church though that is not necessarily the nature of the uncovered intelligence which is brought forward.

Progressive religion has been a companion of bloodshed and war since the first Christmas and long before it.
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GBs Pie
Within the report comes a assuage on Ethinicity and the Construct of the
Aw on relation to these matters.

It is extracted as follows –

The concept of ethnicity
8.29 Where different communities have similar experiences they should expect to be treated in the same way by the law.Therefore there needs to be a better understanding of how race, ethnicity and religion overlap, and what this means in practice for different communities. British Sikh communities, for example, have consistently argued that they are recognised as an ethnic group in law but are denied this status in ethnic monitoring, which has helped to hide many of the socio-economic issues Sikh communities face and that need addressing with public resources.41 We recommend that an appropriate body, for example the Equality and Human Rights Commission or the Law Commission, should review how the categories of race, ethnicity and religion interact in practice and whether, as argued in this chapter, there are certain unjust anomalies which must be recognised and addressed.
8.30 A focused piece of policy work should be carried out revisiting the race, ethnic and religious categories created in the 1970s and 1980s and exploring how they could be made more relevant, meaningful and fair in the light of more recent experience. Amongst other things, such a review should look at the policy framework in Australia, which explicitly uses the legal category of ‘ethno-religious’.
8.31 In cases where government wishes to discuss or amend legislation that directly affects communities of religion or belief, it should be adopted as a principle that government ensures that credible academic research is used as a basis for its proposals and that there is early consultation with communities which could be most affected. Working with faith communities may require public officials to undergo specific training to ensure that they have knowledge of the religious beliefs and practices of the communities they serve.They should also be equipped to design policies that accommodate religion and belief in ways that have due regard for the requirements of the public sector equality duty (PSED).
Counter-terrorism legislation
8.32 In framing counter-terrorism legislation, the government should seek to promote, not limit, freedom of enquiry, speech and expression, and should engage with a wide range of affected groups, including those with which it disagrees, and also with academic research. It should lead public opinion by challenging negative stereotyping and by speaking out in support of groups that may otherwise feel vulnerable and excluded.
1 See Equality Act (2010), s.217.The full act applies in England and Wales. In Scotland, s.190 and Part 15 do not apply.The act does not apply to Northern Ireland apart from s.82, s.105(3) and (4), and s.199.
2 Donald with Bennett and Leach (2012), pp. 1, 45.There are a number of exceptions – see paragraph 8.5. Harassment on grounds of religion or belief is only prohibited in relation to employment, not in relation to the provision of goods and services. See Equality Act (2010), s.29(8).
3 Exceptions in domestic and EU law include cases where a religion or belief is considered to constitute an occupational requirement of a particular job, and in cases of age discrimination and some forms of disability discrimination. Edge and Vickers (2015), pp. 26, 31.
4 For further explanation of direct and indirect discrimination, see Donald with Bennett and Leach (2012), pp. 45–46; Edge and Vickers (2015), p.30–38.
5 Equality Act (2010), s.149. See also Donald with Bennett and Leach (2012), pp. 175–181.
6 In R. (Brown) v. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2008] EWHC 3158 the court clarified what a public body must do in order to fulfil the requirement to have due regard to the aims of the public sector equality duty.These ‘Brown’ principles have been accepted by courts in subsequent cases. See further Equality and Human Rights Commission (2014), pp. 19–22.

We are not reconciled to true inclusive religion still.

That is the core edict of this report and by example it’s needs are expressed to us and for us to begin to see the central theme of unity is where the work is required. Not in the machinations of faith schools practice. Of parents imposed dogma o their children through their own fears not understanding the meaning of the Bible or other expressions of Gods will.

The adults are harming the future and are not reconciled yet place the burden on the children to absorb and become unradicalised/radicalised towards a vision and pathway to their own learning and uptake of prejudices which are then imbedded and later hard to escape from. Many people are wrestling from thunder the burden of their parents will and tradition and face complex problems and contradictions in their relationships and encounters with other races and creeds.

Here so am extract transcript of the Vision concerning Education.
It is dependent on lots of discussions and whether they take place is another matter

EDUCATION (chapter 4)
6. Statutory entitlement
Governments across the UK should introduce a statutory entitlement for all schools within the state system for a subject dealing with religious and non-religious worldviews.They should establish content and learning objectives that can be flexibly applied by teachers, allowing the minimum requirements to be built on differently by different schools.The content should be broad and inclusive in a way that reflects the diversity of religion and belief in the UK, and the subject should have the same status as other humanities subjects. (Paragraphs 4.22–4.24 and 4.27)
7. Collective worship
Governments should repeal requirements for schools to hold acts of collective worship or religious observance and issue new guidelines building on current best practice for inclusive assemblies and times for reflection that draw upon a range of sources, that are appropriate for pupils and staff of all religions and beliefs, and that will contribute to their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. (Paragraphs 4.17 and 4.28)
8. Admissions and employment
Responsible bodies should recognise the negative practical consequences of selection by religion in schools, and that most religious schools can further their aims without selecting on grounds of religion in their admissions and employment practices, and should take measures to reduce such selection. (Paragraphs 4.10–4.12 and 4.28)
9. Outside the timetable
Governments should expect publicly funded schools to be open for the provision of religion- or belief-specific teaching and worship on the school premises outside of the timetable for those who request it and wish to participate; this would be in line with the autonomy of young people and their human right to freedom of religion or belief. (Paragraph 4.28)
10. Inspection
State inspectorates should be concerned with every aspect of the life of faith schools, including religious elements currently inspected by denominational authorities. (Paragraph 4.28)
11. Training
In all teacher education attention should be given to religion and belief that is of a similar level to that which is given to reading and maths, so that every primary class teacher is confident and competent in this curriculum area, whether implicit or explicit, and so that in secondary and FE teaching all staff have general awareness of relevant sensitivities. (Paragraphs 4.16 and 4.28)
12. Dialogue and enquiry
Governments should clarify and emphasise that in all phases and sectors of the education system respectful and thoughtful discussion of contrasting opinions and worldviews is essential, and that all staff have skills in the educative handling of sensitive and controversial issues. (Paragraphs 4.25–26 and 4.28)

Monitoring
So how about teachings outside of Schools and in their time.
Where is the doctrinal situation witnessed or inspected?
Within Meeting Places, of the religious kind many diverse forms of teaching will exist without monitoring and the horrible term ‘radicalization’ comes due to lack of transparency.

Even within their own communities and next door to their beliefs another vision is at play. Today through migration, unrest, displacement is extensive and pandemic where morality is thrust forward and challenges peoples core values. People are being asked Gods questions as never before. As deeply they are asked to be generous and welcoming of widespread different versions of humanity as never before witnessed in their lifetime.

Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss
Professional Life
Job title Organisation Date
President Family Division, High Court 1999 – 2005
Chairman Cleveland Child Abuse Inquiry 1987 – 1988
Chairman Security Commission 1996 – 2005
High Court Judge Royal Courts of Justice 1979 – 1988
Lord Justice of Appeal Court of Appeal 1988 – 1999
Public Life
Job title Organisation Date
Chairman Appointment Commission Archbishop of Canterbury 2002 – 2002
Chancellor University of the West of England 1993 – 2011
Chairman St Paul’s Cathedral Committee 2000 – 2009
Former Governor Wycombe Abbey School 1990 – 1997
Vice-Chairman King’s College, London 1995 – 1997
Chairman Security Commission 2005 – 2011

End.

John Graham

15 December 2015

Belfast

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