Humanist hypocrisy over Christian assemblies

7 August 2019

Atheistic campaign group Humanists UK is supporting a legal challenge over Christian assemblies at Burford Primary School, Oxfordshire.

Atheist parents Lee and Lizanne Harris have been granted permission to bring a judicial review against Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST), claiming that Biblical re-enactments and praying in assembly are a “breach of their human rights.”

The complaint concerns a lack of alternatives to Christian assemblies offered at the school. However, schools are legally required to conduct daily ‘acts of collective worship’“wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character.” This normally takes place in school assemblies.

For non-Christian children, provisions are made for other acts of collective worship, and the law has always allowed parents to withdraw their children from these worship times, should they wish.

Humanists UK is campaigning to remove the requirement for acts of collective worship in schools, claiming that it is ‘harmful’ for children.

Despite their apparent support for parental choice, Humanists UK is in favour of forcing Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) in primary schools. New government guidelines will allow schools to teach children as young as five about homosexual and LGBT relationships without providing adequate opportunities for parents or children to opt out of the controversial lessons.

Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern commented: “Unfounded ideas like gender identity are routinely being taught to children from young ages. These ideas have no basis in reality, yet are often taught with a religious fervour far exceeding typical Christian school assemblies.

“It’s time for Humanists UK to realise that privileging the religion of LGBT ideology breaks its own declared secularist principles.”

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