This Week in Humanism 2017–09–24

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

“Schools should teach pupils about all faiths and allow them to form their “own conclusions about life’s big questions”, Britain’s leading secular body has said. The comments by Humanists UK — which are backed by the Church of England’s chief education officer — came ahead the publication of an interim report into overhauling the teaching of religious education, or RE. Andrew Copson, chief executive of Humanist UK, said: “Education about religious and humanist beliefs is vitally important for any child growing up in Britain today.”

Source: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/uk/re-schools-let-kids-draw-conclusions-say-humanists-uk/.

“More than a quarter of secondary schools in the UK are not teaching their pupils any religious education (RE), a new report by the National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE) and Religious Education Council for England and Wales has revealed. Humanists UK, which is a founding member of the RE Council and campaigns in favour of inclusive education about religious and humanist beliefs, has stated that the report makes a strong case for fundamental reform of the subject.

The report, which details the results of a survey of 790 schools, found that no RE is being provided in 28% of secondary schools. The situation is much worse in academies and free schools, where RE is not taught at Key Stage 3 in 34% of schools, or at 44% of schools at Key Stage 4.”

Source: http://www.politics.co.uk/opinion-formers/humanists-uk/article/religious-education-not-taught-in-thousands-of-uk-schools-ne.

“JACKSON, Mississippi, September 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A group of polygamists and a “machinist” who claims to want to marry his computer are challenging homosexual “marriage” in Mississippi.

Chris Sevier and others filed a federal lawsuit reasoning that same-sex “marriage” is part of the religion of secular humanism, and since it is of a religious nature, the state has no right to recognize it over other faith-based “marriages” such as polygamy, zoophilia, and machinism.

The belief that two men or two women can have a marriage is a religious leap of faith, the plaintiffs argue. Therefore, government sanctioning it goes against the Constitution’s Establishment clause.”

Source: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/polygamists-lawsuit-if-gay-marriage-is-legal-then-polygamy-marriage-should.

“Comedian-turned-hero Sunil has been making continuous efforts to secure a hit to his name after tasting a marathon of duds. He has joined hands with acclaimed filmmaker Kranthi Madhav for Ungarala Rambabu. Having seen his recent outings, one has to walk into a theatre with thoughts wondering how unique does the story seem. A film which was supposed to be rib-tickler ends up as an obsequious fare. Sunil is Ungarala Rambabu, a staunch believer in astrology and is so smug in his superstitious notion that he attributes all his success to a fake godman Badam Baba.

He sports unusual outfits with weird colours every day to work. Director Kranthi Madhav tried to show how Rambabu’s character is coping with the financial loss and how his beliefs get him back on track provided he marries a girl born in an unusual (chikubuku) star. What we get for the rest of the film is an emotional Rambabu’s struggle to win his love.”

Source: http://www.newindianexpress.com/entertainment/telugu/2017/sep/23/ungarala-rambabu-review-a-complete-snoozefest-1657850.html.

“In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev has pledged to focus his government on bringing greater prosperity and human rights to his nation and the Central Asian region.

The Uzbek leader said on September 19 that his goal of improving the living conditions of citizens was what led him this month to allow the free float of the Uzbek currency while also reducing business taxes, expanding loans to businesses, and establishing free economic zones.

“We proceed from one simple truth: the richer the people are, the stronger shall be the state,” Mirziyoev said, according to an English-language translation of his remarks provided on the UN website.”

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/uzbek-president-mirziyoev-vows-focus-bringing-prosperity-improving-rights/28745630.html.

“Just 5% of Christians say that they became Christians after reaching the age at which they left school, a new poll commissioned by the Church of England has revealed. The poll, carried out by ComRes, also reveals that just 6% of British adults consider themselves to be practicing Christians.

Humanists UK has stated that the findings raise questions not only about the motivation behind the church’s involvement in schools, but also the appropriateness of a school admissions system that requires people to attend church just to gain access to their local state school.

Of the 8,150 adults in Great Britain who responded to the ComRes poll, 64% stated that they became Christian between the ages of 0–4, 13% from 5–10 years old, 8% 11–18, and just 5% thereafter (9% of respondents didn’t know). The figures for Anglicans specifically were similar, though just 3% of Catholics stated that they became Christian after reaching 18 years of age.”

Source: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tippling/2017/09/20/new-poll-reveals-just-5-british-christians-became-christian-leaving-school/#kO46M9aFPC0vQ80s.99.

Original publication in Humanist Voices.

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