THERE is a worrying level of confusion in Scottish schools over how religion should be taught and practised.
Within the curriculum it is separated into two distinct areas – religious observance and religious and moral education (RME).
The former is the practise of religious or spiritual exercises, and the latter is the objective teaching of religious views and beliefs in order to gain a level of understanding of different world views. My son is “opted out”of the former as we are not believers, but into the latter as I regard a knowledge of religious views as essential for understanding the world.
As such, I find it astonishing when I am called to ask if my son can watch the Nativity play at his school. The Nativity is a demonstration of the beliefs of a religion, and as such part of learning about it. It is RME, and while I do not want my son being taught the Nativity is true or to pray to a god we do not believe in, I have no problem with him learning the origins of Christmas. Of course it would be nice if they taught all the origins, including the pagan ones.
Caroline Lynch Scottish Secular Society