Will Britain Soon Require Religious Schools to Teach Anti-Religious Dogma about Sexuality?

Feb. 12 2018

The British government is poised to change its laws so that the standard sexual-education curriculum—introduced when children are four years old and including information about homosexuality, transsexuality, and other variations—must be taught even in private religious schools. Sohrab Ahmari comments:

Dame Louise Casey, [a] senior government adviser, singled out Catholics in particular [as targets of the new regulations]. It is “not OK for Catholic schools to be homophobic and anti-gay marriage,” she testified in the House of Commons. “I have a problem with the expression of religious conservatism because I think often it can be anti-equalities.”

Yet it isn’t only Catholics who have found themselves on the sharp end of the government’s anti-religious drive. Last year, a government regulator threatened a private Jewish school in London with closure over its refusal to teach students about homosexuality. The failure to teach about homosexuality and gay marriage, the inspector said, deprives the students of “a full understanding of fundamental British values” and limits their “spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development and does not promote equality of opportunity in ways that take account of differing lifestyles.”

Bear in mind that that was under existing regulations and distinct from the [current changes to the law]. The new rules make it even easier for the government to control what private and religious schools can and can’t teach about sex and gender. Nor is it clear that parents would have a right to withdraw their children from these courses. That this is happening under a Tory government tells you that the future of religious freedom and parental autonomy in the UK is bleak.

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More about: Education, Freedom of Religion, Homosexuality, Politics & Current Affairs, Sexual ethics, United Kingdom

 

The Reasons for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Staying Power

Nov. 20 2018

This week, Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have narrowly avoided the collapse of his governing coalition despite the fact that one party, Yisrael Beiteinu, withdrew and another, the Jewish Home, threatened to follow suit. Moreover, he kept the latter from defecting without conceding its leader’s demand to be appointed minister of defense. Even if the government were to collapse, resulting in early elections, Netanyahu would almost certainly win, writes Elliot Jager:

[Netanyahu’s] detractors think him Machiavellian, duplicitous, and smug—willing to do anything to stay in power. His supporters would not automatically disagree. Over 60 percent of Israelis tell pollsters that they will be voting for a party other than Likud—some supposing their favored party will join a Netanyahu-led coalition while others hoping against the odds that Likud can be ousted.

Opponents would [also] like to think the prime minister’s core voters are by definition illiberal, hawkish, and religiously inclined. However, the 30 percent of voters who plan to vote Likud reflect a broad segment of the population. . . .

Journalists who have observed Netanyahu over the years admire his fitness for office even if they disagree with his actions. A strategic thinker, Netanyahu’s scope of knowledge is both broad and deep. He is a voracious reader and a quick study. . . . Foreign leaders may not like what he says but cannot deny that he speaks with panache and authority. . . .

The prime minister or those around him are under multiple police investigations for possible fraud and moral turpitude. Under Israel’s system, the police investigate and can recommend that the attorney general issue an indictment. . . . Separately, Mrs. Netanyahu is in court for allegedly using public monies to pay for restaurant meals. . . . The veteran Jerusalem Post political reporter Gil Hoffman maintains that Israelis do not mind if Netanyahu appears a tad corrupt because they admire a politician who is nobody’s fool. Better to have a political figure who cannot be taken advantage of than one who is incorruptible but naïve.

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More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel & Zionism, Israeli politics