Monday, 23 December 2013

Parenting

OK, my youngest may be 18, but she has just told me something that happened at school some years ago. And I was so impressed I actually paid for the pizza for which she was nagging me.

She ended up in a church school. This was because that were the best local school for someone that is dyslexic, and they take on a number of statemented students regardless of religion.

I have to say that, at the time, I had my concerns over this, but what she has just told me has alleyed my fears.

At the start of year 9 they were all issued with a bible! She took it, looked at it, and put it in the bin in front of them.

Respect!

She was taught to make up her own mind on such things.

P.S. Pizza from dominos delivered by my son's girlfriend who promptly guilts me in to giving a tip even though the order is wrong - arrrrg!

P.P.S. This was almost as funny as discovering that my son's school called my wife to check his registered email address was correct, being an @fuck.me.uk address, and my wife confirming this and not telling me till much later.

P.P.P.S. I can see from comments my point was not that well made. I agree that she could (and should) have been more polite. However, as a child, standing up for your views when all around you (including authority figures) have a different view that they are forcing on you, takes some guts, and it is that for which I am impressed.

19 comments:

  1. I read the P.P.S while drinking my coffee. You owe me a new keyboard :)

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  2. I just want to know how I get a mail forwarder @fuck.me.uk ;)

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  3. There are times when I think I'm on a different planet to everybody else. This is one of them.

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  4. Not sure how putting it in the bin was respectful. A polite "No, thank you" would have earned a lot more respect from me.

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  5. So making up your own mind involves no investigation whatsoever and being rather rude to some people who just gave you something? I would have been far more impressed if she read at least some of it, and then privately binned it without the show.

    Sure she should make up her own mind, but with some civility.

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  6. I hate posting with nothing to contribute, but: LOL

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  7. I think it would have been a lot more respectful to have simply handed the Bible back to the issuer without any comment and if challenged, to have simply responded with "I do not believe in God so I have no wish to read this".

    Speaking as a self-confessed agnostic, I certainly do not appreciate it when people try and push me one way or another on the topic of religion but I do respect that a religious text may very well hold value to others and I think that within a church school, it shows a lot of disrespect for the beliefs of those attending a church school by throwing a copy of their religious text into a trash receptable.

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    1. Yes, she could have been much polite, agreed. But even as a child in the face of authority figures she was not going to just take it. That takes some doing, IMHO.

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  8. Respect indeed! Heroic even, and at the age of nine!

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    1. Not sure what age that is, she said "year 9". I have no idea how schools number years now.

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    2. Year 1 is the first year you go to school, it used to be 5 years old so that would have made year 9 a 14 year old. But the age we go to school keeps getting earlier so I don't know how that affects year numbers.

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  9. You guys must have some residual belief in the power of the book, that you think it's worth behaving like this about. It's a pity that the religion of non-religion has adopted rudeness as such a central pillar of its values. Dawkins has much to answer for in this regard, at least recently.

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    1. As I say, she could have been a lot less rude about it...

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    2. Your comment "religion of non-religion" makes no sense. Atheism and/or agnosticism is an absense of belief in a deity, not a belief system in its own right. You may as well categorise "non stamp collecting" as a hobby. It doesn't make sense.

      Binning any item of literature is not good. You cannot really understand lots of literature if you haven't got at least a basic understanding of the bible. All sorts of expressions we use every day come from it. It is probably far far more important to the English language than Shakespeare. So throwing a bible away, or damaging it, is far from ideal. Probably not to be encouraged; any more than I'd want to destroy a koran or a torah.

      Dawkins is often accused of stridency or forthrightness. A lot of atheists accuse him of this, and still more religious people of various persuasions. He has certainly occasionally made comments that may be interpreted that way. On the whole though, he simply has a clarity that others do not; and it is easier to fiegn offence than to tackle him on his (often very well reasoned) arguments.

      Going back to RevK's daughter's action; yes; perhaps handing the book back and saying that she did not want it, and offering some reasons why, would have been better. Alternatively, actually reading some of it, and trying to understand why religious people hold the views they do, and indeed simply absorbing it as literature, would have been a slightly more positive outcome. But kids aren't always subtle, and kids are sometimes rebellious.

      Binning a bible is no worse than binning any other work of fiction.

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  10. I'm an aetheist but I have a King James bible at home. Our language is so influence by it snd quotes are so common that it is worth having as a reference. But to serve is purpose it needs to be the King James and not any other edition.

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  11. I admire the independence and confidence, though not the tact! It reminded me of getting in trouble at school once for correcting the teacher about pencil lead - I told her it isn't lead but a graphite-clay composite, so she ended up calling my parents to demand that they tell me that of course pencil lead is made of lead. Apparently not something normally on the kindergarten syllabus.

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    1. My sister came home in tears after drawing a desert island and palm tree with green coconuts. The teacher was adamant that coconuts growing on trees are brown and made no bones about telling my sister how stupid she was. Sister made it worse by arguing that the teacher was clueless. It didn't turn out well for my sister, but I was proud she had the guts to stand up for herself.

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  12. Hmmmmm sounds very familiar... always encouraged my kids to defend their opinions, and not 'tow the line or conform' if that direction is against their true grain.
    It brings it's own challenges as many schools/teachers can't cope with 13 y/o students explaining that the internet doesn't work the way the teacher said it does, 90% of teachers don't play computer games - in a 3 year degree on many technology courses what was learnt in year 1 is redundant before the course has finished.
    So why/how do some of us stick to a learning environment that still uses a book written 100's of years ago by the ruling classes fighting for control of the general population that told us the world was made by some unknown being who got bored one day - because at that time it was the best political chance as no one else had anything more plausible.
    I'm simply amazed it still holds some of the worlds population to ransom - maybe a testament to the old ganglia cortex which keeps us breathing, but surely it's time to move on?
    Hopefully Darwin's laws will continue and the next generations will be born with an updated & upgraded ganglia that releases everyone from this very old fashioned way of thinking, and they appreciate that we here due to genetics and not 'God's will'.

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    1. Indeed, they told her not to use wikipedia as a reference at one point and got a very stroppy letter from me!

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