School apologises over Bible and homosexuality worksheet

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School apologises over Bible and homosexuality worksheet

#1  Postby DougC » Nov 28, 2014 1:36 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-30222550
B.B.C. Article
A Belfast school has apologised after complaints were made about a worksheet on religious views on homosexuality.
Hunterhouse College in Belfast has withdrawn the worksheet after the father of one student complained.
The three questions appeared in a Religious Studies worksheet.
The school said they have an ethos of inclusivity and the worksheet was part of a wider discussion on sexuality on both sides of the debate including extreme opinions.
The questions were in relation to 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and were set by teaching staff.

They included:

What do these verses tell us about homosexuals?
Who else is included with homosexuals?
What hope is there for all these people?

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Re: School apologises over Bible and homosexuality worksheet

#2  Postby Griz_ » Nov 28, 2014 2:44 am

Are these people really that stupid that they didn't know this was a bad idea, or do they just want people to think that they are stupid? I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and conclude that they are actually not stupid but are assholes who knew exactly what they were doing. So why are they apologizing? They are duplicitous hypocrites who think that WE are that stupid that their apology should be accepted!
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School apologises over Bible and homosexuality worksheet

#3  Postby Shrunk » Nov 29, 2014 7:28 pm

Hunterhouse College in Belfast has withdrawn the worksheet after the father of one student complained.

The three questions appeared in a Religious Studies worksheet.

The school said they have an ethos of inclusivity and the worksheet was part of a wider discussion on sexuality on both sides of the debate including extreme opinions.

The questions were in relation to 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and were set by teaching staff.

They included:

What do these verses tell us about homosexuals?
Who else is included with homosexuals?
What hope is there for all these people?...

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-30222550


For reference, here is the relevant passage from The Good Book:

Surely you know that the wicked will not possess God's Kingdom.

Do not fool yourselves; people who are immoral or who worship idols or are adulterers or homosexual perverts or who steal or are greedy or are drunkards or who slander others or are thieves - none of these will possess God's Kingdom.

Some of you were like that. But you have been purified from sin; you have been dedicated to God; you have been put right with God by the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.


To be fair, I see how that question could conceivably be asked in a context in which the intention is to understand how religion has contributed to anti-homosexual bigotry, or something of that nature. But the story is rather vague regarding the context.
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Re: School apologises over Bible and homosexuality worksheet

#4  Postby Ironclad » Nov 29, 2014 7:39 pm

What hope is there for all these people?


Make me wonder, if this is their homework, what the hell they are teaching these kids, to get to this part of their education.
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Re: School apologises over Bible and homosexuality worksheet

#5  Postby igorfrankensteen » Nov 29, 2014 8:41 pm

Yet another example of a poorly written article.

No explanation of what part Peter Lynas from the Evangelical Alliance plays in this. His comments are appended to the article without context, and sure make it seem as though he has some sort of influence over the situation.

As for the "lack of malice," that doesn't impress me. If anything, I know from great and long experience, that almost all oppressive people, do what they do without "malice." They tend to be certain they are doing what's best for the oppressed.

The question as shown is dreadful. It clearly starts from the idea that the Bible is a functional authority. No way to pretend that it meant anything else, or was non-sectarian. If it had been so, it would have asked instead, something such as "what does this belief indicate about the opinions of Bible believers about the kinds of people listed?"
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Re: School apologises over Bible and homosexuality worksheet

#6  Postby Shrunk » Nov 29, 2014 8:51 pm

igorfrankensteen wrote:Yet another example of a poorly written article.

No explanation of what part Peter Lynas from the Evangelical Alliance plays in this. His comments are appended to the article without context, and sure make it seem as though he has some sort of influence over the situation.


Yes. In my first draft of the OP I cited that as evidence that the question was not intended as innocently as is being made out. But then, like you, I realized it was not made clear what, if any, involvement Lynas' group had with this.

It's as if journalism school is not teaching the most basic lesson of the five W's.

As for the "lack of malice," that doesn't impress me. If anything, I know from great and long experience, that almost all oppressive people, do what they do without "malice." They tend to be certain they are doing what's best for the oppressed.

The question as shown is dreadful. It clearly starts from the idea that the Bible is a functional authority. No way to pretend that it meant anything else, or was non-sectarian. If it had been so, it would have asked instead, something such as "what does this belief indicate about the opinions of Bible believers about the kinds of people listed?"


Again, we need context. If the parties most entitled to taking offense are satisfied with the resolution, that suggests this may have just been a very stupid mistake.
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Re: School apologises over Bible and homosexuality worksheet

#7  Postby archibald » Nov 30, 2014 9:44 am

What we are looking at here is probably the result of a particular RE teacher overstepping the mark.
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Re: School apologises over Bible and homosexuality worksheet

#8  Postby Thommo » Nov 30, 2014 10:58 am

Welcome back Archibald, nice to see you.
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Re: School apologises over Bible and homosexuality worksheet

#9  Postby igorfrankensteen » Dec 03, 2014 9:00 am

Shrunk:
Again, we need context. If the parties most entitled to taking offense are satisfied with the resolution, that suggests this may have just been a very stupid mistake.


Well, I wouldn't go that far. Could just be my huge ego, but I often think that lots of people accept apologies for the wrong reasons. In this case, though I am glad it isn't going to turn into a huge unnecessary mess, at the same time, the fact that the aggrieved people are willing to accept the cover-story/apology doesn't mean that the original transgression didn't occur.

What happens a LOT in our Western societies, even today, is that because the days of Christian supremacy are not THAT long ago, lots of people still assume that the Christian god rules, and that everyone believes in the Bible as a real authority for right and wrong. What I saw in this little vignette, looks to me to be just like dozens of things I went through as a child in our American schools, where though religion was cheerfully SAID not to have an influence, in reality we were pummeled with Christian Assumptions constantly.

Hopefully, the fact that the writer of the test question was made to back off, will also make them recognize that they are steeped more in Christian assumptions than they realized, and they can work to ACTUALLY try to accomplish the open sharing and discussion of religious viewpoints that the school thinks it champions.
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Re: School apologises over Bible and homosexuality worksheet

#10  Postby archibald » Dec 04, 2014 11:09 pm

Personally, I think an apology is sufficiently helpful.

My wife is a teacher in another school in the same area, and is friendly with the head of R.E. (a very nice woman) and my wife knows that the principal had a word with the head of R.E. to warn her not to let anything similar happen in her school. There is another R.E. teacher on the staff who is more than capable of it and who had overstepped the mark before, in a quite serious manner which I don't feel entirely free to discuss, and has been warned.

Another small anecdote about my wife's school is that there was another case two years ago where a few of the more religious teaching staff put evangelical tracts inside the programmes for the school play ('Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat') on their own initiative, probably thinking it was fine and uncontroversial. Unfortunately for them, the parent who had supplied the programmes free of charge (he owns a printing company) is an atheist, and aired that it would be the last time he would provide programmes if the tracts weren't removed from his programmes after the opening night, which they were.

On a wider scale, there was a brouhaha here in NI when the Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre opened and included creationist material that had been slipped in by some local religious fundies, and that was changed.

Similarly, Newtownabbey Borough Council (dominated by DUP aka fundies) cancelled a play which humorously satirised bible stories, but had to re-open it under pressure.

Small steps. Change is happening. Even more so in the Republic of Ireland, which entered the top 10 most atheist countries in the world last year.
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Re: School apologises over Bible and homosexuality worksheet

#11  Postby Griz_ » Dec 05, 2014 12:09 am

I like your position on this. Far better for there to be an apology (admission of wrongdoing is probably a better term for it) and have things corrected without involvement from the courts. This is new territory and so schools, churches and other organizations need to learn where the line is. This is not going to happen overnight. Court cases where necessary - voluntary compliance where possible.
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