Again, Hugh Reilly (Perspective, 10 June) shows his capacity to mock and insult, alongside his superficial grasp of the serious issues he purports to address. Schools should address ultimate issues of character, purpose, morality and meaning as part of a rounded vision of education.
Religious teaching plays a significant part in humanity’s responses to these issues, so should be presented in schools, along with other views.
Secular humanism is the doctrine that these issues are best addressed without reference to religious beliefs, so Mr Reilly is really calling for exclusively secular humanist schools, in the name of neutrality.
I would never demand that schools excluded all views but my own, but Mr Reilly wishes to commandeer the educational system to promote just his.
Let children hear various views, from proponents, and let them make their own minds up.
And, in the ensuing debate, let’s hope that pupils maintain a respectful and moderate tone, unlike the rude and sarcastic Mr Reilly.
In his ill-considered diatribe against the reasonable – and facts-based – critique of Leslie Thomson, Peter Robertson (Letters, 10 June) does his cause no favours and indeed paints himself into a corner with regard to the damage done by theocracies of all religious colourations.
Does he really want statistics of the numbers of Cathars in the Pays d’Oc who were massacred on the orders of the Pope?
Or the numbers of harmless pagans judicially executed in the madness of the European witch hunts of the early 17th century?
Arthur Miller has described with devastating accuracy the last gasp of Western theocracy in The Crucible, which tells of the horrible consequences of Puritan morality gone wrong in small town America.
I don’t always agree with Hugh Reilly, and his remarks about religious believers are somewhat insulting, but he is right that religious belief (as opposed to its history) should not be taught in schools.
It is interesting that the central doctrine of Christianity states that one should love God (ie recognise the limits of humanity) and love one’s neighbour as one loves oneself.
The first is relatively easy, but few religious believers so far seem to have grasped the second.
(Dr) Mary Brown