Kirk and schools

The Church of Scotland’s historical role as an education provider for the masses is often mentioned by advocates for religious observance, but this ceased to be relevant in 1872 when the state, ie the taxpayer, took over the responsibility for education.

It hasn’t been 1872 for well over a hundred years, so the Church of Scotland’s continued presumption that the children of Scotland are theirs to play with is beyond preposterous.

It is a notion on a par with a seller insisting on retaining a key to the house he has already sold.

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Why should parents continue to be forced to give the 
churches “shared custody” of their children in exchange for a state education?

This is of course as ludicrous as it is offensive.

It is therefore no surprise that a recent YouGov survey has found that as many as 63 per cent of its Scottish respondents are in favour of a secular education system.

So, as you can see, Mr Logan (Letters, 13 April), there is no truth in your claim that it is only “an unrepresentative and tiny group of secular activists” who would like to see 
religious observance (RO) removed from our non-denominational schools.

Would removing RO stop parents from going to church with their children? No.

Would it stop the current discrimination of the non-religious community? Yes.

Would it stop the religious 
indoctrination of the children in non-denominational schools? Yes.

Would it mean that the valuable time that is currently spent on RO assemblies and RO-related activities could be spent on raising achievements in other parts of the curriculum? Yes.

Is any of the above a problem? Surely only to those who like to hold on to the privileged position they have managed to lay their hands on in the days before the universal vote was even introduced in this country.

Other citizens may wish to support the petition to remove religious observance from non-denominational schools that is available on the Edinburgh Council website and open to Edinburgh residents to sign.

Veronica Wikman


Richard Lucas’s application of the word “norm” to a family structure consisting of a married heterosexual couple and their children is described by Neil
Barber as “offensive and naïve” (Letters, 15 April).

That is utterly ridiculous. This structure has been, and still is, the basis of social life not only throughout the history of 
Judaeo-Christian civilisation but in many other cultures since human society began.

If that does not make it a “norm”, what would?

And it is obvious to anybody not blinkered by anti-religious prejudice that this family structure has arisen for the simple reason that it is the most conducive to positive social and personal development. The fact that it is sanctioned by Christian teaching is, ultimately, a recognition of its value – not the cause of its existence.

Mr Barber and those of his persuasion are welcome to combine attacks on the traditional family structure with attacks on the Christian faith – both are strong enough to withstand them – but it is they who are naïve and confused, if they think the relationship between their two targets is more than contingent.

Derrick McClure