Education or Indoctrination?

The head of Ofsted said this week that all children must learn about same-sex couples regardless of their religious background.

Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman told the BBC it is crucial that children are exposed to differences in society. She said it is important children know “there are families that have two mummies or two daddies”.

The comments were made in response to protests at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham where new teaching material on the subject of same-sex couples through story books has been introduced. However, some parents claim that the school is “promoting personal beliefs and convictions about… homosexuality as being normal and morally correct".

If you are a Christian, would you ever protest about such things? What would your complaint be?

This is a sensitive and complex issue. We need to be realistic about our society; we should love and respect others, regardless of their views. We must also be aware of the danger that we might come across as an unloving, defensive, special-interest group or be labelled as intolerant because the nuances of what we are trying to convey are not being heard.

But we also want to love and protect our children from harmful indoctrination and to preserve religious freedoms as much as possible.

We might prefer it if our children did not have to know about such things as same sex-couples, but this is surely a denial of reality. The issue seems to be at what age, in what setting, and with what moral underpinning, these realities are explained to children. It might be claimed that children’s books with same sex-couples are just depicting what is a fact and encouraging awareness and tolerance. But to some extent books like this are promoting a moral agenda – about what is normal or abnormal; what is right and good. There will be an implicit implication that anyone thinking that homosexual relationships are morally wrong are eccentric and out of touch at best and evil at worst.

I would suggest that Christian parents should seek to be aware of and influence the moral and ethical teaching our children receive from school much as we can and try to protect them from learning about some things before they need to.

But most of all, as parents we need to take responsibility for understanding the cultural climate and loving our children by equipping them with the critical faculties they need to analyse the anti-biblical moral teaching they receive. We want them to be tolerant and loving, but also to have firm moral foundations and to know for sure that what God says, and what he calls us to do, is always good. They need to know about God’s love for his world and how to live well in it. We want them to hear and see better stories than the world offers them, modelling to them family lives that pursue God’s design for us in Christ our Saviour.

Graham Nicholls is Director of Affinity


Comments

Though much of what is said above is commendable, I would suggest that there are far more sinister issues here involving the eroticizing of child development. Children do not process information as adults do ---they cannot. So teaching 'about' SSM is actually teaching SSM --- a vital point. We are hearing of children saying that they are gay because they 'love' their same sex best friend. Of course they do --- as we did when we were growing up. But this is not that! Dr Miriam Grossman's 'You're Teaching My Child What?' is helpful here. Finally Bp Gavin Ashenden deals with the negative consequences for older youngsters here: https://ashenden.org/2019/02/28/save-our-children-from-the-sex-and-gender-activists-who-are-using-them-as-tools-of-their-fundamentalist-ideology/ In my view this legislation is a perfect Trojan Horse and Christians must engage, for the sake of the children, both their own and others.

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