In place of faith

Veronica Wikman (Letters, 11 April) drew attention to the petition that she sponsored to have religious observance removed from City of Edinburgh Council schools.

In the secularist tradition, she presented the elimination of direct religious influence, leaving wall-to-wall humanism as the neutral option.

I suspect that in many schools the religious observance is a token gesture anyway, serving more to inoculate against faith than to inculcate it.

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Meanwhile, amoral secular attitudes are promoted tirelessly in the formal curriculum and by visiting groups.

Religious observance in schools is a complex issue involving many stakeholders.

I commend sensible compromise and accommodation as the way forward, giving some opportunities for children to hear religious views directly and engage in spiritual practices, always with the option of withdrawal.

In a recent letter to The Scotsman, Ms Wikman described a local church’s hiring of a school hall as “hijacking”, and its signage as reminiscent of canine territorial marking.

Readers must judge for themselves whether her campaign is motivated by educational principle, or common or garden hostility towards religion.

A counter-petition can also be found on the City of Edinburgh Council’s website.

How long will it be until sexual experimentation is endorsed in the sixth-year common room, while other pupils cower behind the bike shed passing round an illicit Bible?

Richard Lucas



Richard Lucas (Letters, 11 April) expresses concern at his son’s coming home from school wearing a badge saying: “A family is a special group of people”.

He fears that this militates against “the norm that a man and woman fall in love, then get married, then have children, then bring them up together”.

I have a solution. Schools must be required to make provision for children such as Mr Lucas’s to sport badges saying: “My type of family is morally superior to yours”.

Paul Brownsey

Larchfield Road