Page 2, 8th October 1943

8th October 1943
Page 2
Page 2, 8th October 1943 — SCHOOLS: O.D. OPPOSITION
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SCHOOLS: O.D. OPPOSITION

StR,—We are told by Mr. Butler that one of the objections to Catholics having equal rights in the education of their children is that Lite Nonconformists would not agree. And we are, in effect, advised to bow to the Nonconformists to save the Bill.

So far, I have not seen this statement challenged. This is surmising since it is obviously a bluff which can easily be called. We can take the Forces as a good cross-section of the country. It is common knowledge that in the average ship, company or squadron while 10 per cent. are Catholics, there are only 25 per cent. of Other Deuominations-the remainder being Church of England.

This means that in a unit of 1,000 strong there will be 100 Catholics and 250 Other Denominaajons. It is also very common knowledge that while some 70 Catholics would attend Sunday morning service when there is no clatirch parade, only about a dozen would attend the O.D. service.

I cannot then see how the 0.0. combination, with their very weak backing, can consider, themselves to be in a position to dictate the policy. It is time the bluff was called. If they want syllabus instruction by all means let them have it, but why should they want to foist it on a far larger practising body?

Of the Church of England clergymen with whom I have discussed the matter, some arc indifferent, but others are anxious. They admire the stand we arc taking and wish they had a similar lead.

G. H.

A Political Analogy Sig,-With reference to " educating our M.P.s," if the question of religion in schools is illustrated by the analogy of politics, I think we can show better what we are aiming at.

All M.P.s hold strong party views. The average man may say: " What does it matter? They are all concerned with the government of the country." But every M.P. could give plenty of reasons why he feels that his party's policy is best. if politics were taught in schools as religion Is taught, how many Labour and Socialist M.P.s would agree to such teaching being dorm by Conservative teachers, arid vice versa? Would they be satisfied that a political creed could be limited to an hour's daily instruction by a teacher professing the necessary beliefs? Could politics be confined to this hour's lesson, would they not enter into other subjects, history, geography, literature, etc.? Suppose that schools had been built by party funds as they have in fact been built by the Churches, would there not he an outcry if the White Paper proposals were applied to them?

In just the same way the average man says: " What does denomination matter? All religions are striving for good." Ile cannot understand our insistence on Catholic education and not only Catholic instruction. But put in terms of political parties, I' Mink most M.P.s could sea the importance of different beliefs. Of course the analogy breaks down because no one can argue that political instruction is an essential background of education in the way that religion is, but to party men it may serve to illustrate our point.

VERONICA M. P. WEBSTER.

1, Church Street, Grantham.




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