Politicians and Faith Schools
It has emerged that Foreign Secretary David Miliband – an avowed atheist – sends his five-year-old son to a soughtafter Church of England school, two miles from his home.
Mr. Miliband’s American wife, Louise, apparently began attending the church attached to the school two years before their adopted son gained a place.
The Milibands are by no means the only politicians to exploit the religion card. No one doubts Tony Blair’s or David Cameron’s faith, but both shunned local establishments for their children in favour of distant church schools. When asked why he had snubbed fifteen schools closer to his London home, in favour of a tiny, prestigious church school, Mr Cameron explained he feared his six-year-old daughter might get ‘a bit lost’ in a large primary school.
A runaway teenage girl who converted from Islam to Christianity has reached a court settlement that allows her to live away from her Muslim parents.
Rifqa Bary, 17, will stay in a foster home under state custody in Columbus, America, until she turns 18 in August. Bary ran away in July, saying she feared her father Mohamed would harm or kill her for leaving Islam. She fled to the Florida home of married pastors Blake and Beverly Lorenz, whom she had contacted on Facebook. After staying with them for two weeks, she was eventually moved into foster care.
Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe has declared that British society would be ‘better’ if we all followed the Ten Commandments. Miss Widdecombe said, ‘What I'm saying is if today, with all the other advances – the modern technology and the medicine and all the great things that we’ve got – if today we still tried to follow the Ten Commandments we would be a better society’.
Miss Widdecombe, who converted to Roman Catholicism in 1993, made the comments during a television documentary called Moses and the Law, which is part of the Channel 4 series ‘The Bible: A History’. In her opening argument Miss Widdecombe blamed the nation’s current social problems on society’s disregard for the Ten Commandments. The Tory MP said that the nation’s pursuit of material possessions is a mask for far deeper social problems such as marital breakdown, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, teenage pregnancies, and violent crime.
When she was asked if following the Ten Commandments would lead to religious intolerance, Miss Widdecombe replied, ‘No it doesn’t. I think they [other religions] are wrong. If you tell me you’re a socialist, I will think you wrong. That doesn’t mean I will prohibit you from proclaiming your socialism’.
‘And that’s what we’ve lost – we’ve lost the capacity to say, “you’re wrong”. I can’t say somebody’s wrong without being intolerant? Oh yes I can’.
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