Well, here we are, a week into 2013 and no postings yet. Tsk, tsk. Worse than that, this posting will be a link to an excellent blog by Paul Lay, Editor of History Today on whether Christianity should be taught at schools as researchers from Oxford University Department of Education say on the basis of opinions expressed by people questioned by YouGov.
Yes, is his resounding answer for very good reasons:
In a YouGov poll commissioned by the university, sampling the views of 1,832 adults in England, 64 per cent agreed that children need to learn about Christianity in order to understand English history.
They are not wrong, but it is also true that it is impossible to engage fruitfully with the vast swathe of European history between Marcus Aurelius and Voltaire – a millennia and a half – without some understanding of the beliefs of the people, high-born and low, during this crucial period in the history of mankind. The perils of ignorance were brought home to me when I accompanied a very bright, well-educated and successful friend around the Renaissance rooms of London’s National Gallery and was shocked by questions such as: ‘Who’s the man dressed in red carrying the big book.’ The answer, St Jerome, was met with a blank look.Richard Dawkins and his cohorts and followers, all those militant atheists, should not fret, says Mr Lay. We are not talking about evangelization but education.
I am not sure Professor Dawkins and his militant atheists are that interested in education if it provides what they consider to be the wrong sort of information, that being anything they do not agree with. As a matter of fact, the good professor could do with a bit of history education himself. I have heard him speak at a meeting that was protesting against censorship imposed by an Islamic student group on another group that was trying to have a debate.
Professor Dawkins used the opportunity to lambast all religion and proclaim resoundingly that all bad things in history came from religion and all good things from anti-religious enlightenment. Having listed several "good" developments, he used one repeatedly as a particular example. Because the meeting was quite close to the Buxton Memorial Fountain that was built to commemorate the abolition of slavery in the British Empire, it was the example of the abolition of the slave trade and then slavery that the good professor referred to several times. Unfortunately, the abolition of the slave trade and, subsequently, slavery was fought for by a group of people who were motivated by feelings of devout Christianity. A little fact that every school boy and girl ought to know.