Monday, February 02, 2009

British religious studies course where the religion is political correctness

Pupils taking a new Religious Studies GCSE [High School course] will answer questions about homosexuality, conservation, binge drinking and drugs in sport. Instead of concentrating on the Bible and the holy books and tenets of other major religions, a significant part of the course is tied to citizenship and personal, social and health education. Academics claim, however, that the syllabus, to be taught from September, had turned a serious subject in to a "pat qualification for political correctness".

One of the topics covered is religion and relationships, which will teach pupils about homosexuality, religious attitudes to contraception and the concept and role of parenting. Another topic is "religion, sport and leisure". Pupils will study "religious attitudes towards the purpose use and importance of leisure; types and purposes of relaxation, e.g stress relief and the misuse of leisure time, e.g binge drinking."

In a sample exam paper pupils are asked, under the heading of religion and planet earth, "what is conservation?" and "is recycling good stewardship". Teenager must also give two reasons why many religious believers are against deforestation. A second paper asks candidates to name two illegal drugs, give three reasons why some people take illegal drugs and to explain the attitudes of religious believers to smoking tobacco.

The syllabus, one of a number offered by exam board the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), is expected to be popular with schools. But Professor Alan Smithers, the director of the centre for education and employment training at Buckingham University, said it was a blatant example of the "politicisation of education". "This does not seems to be about religion and spirituality at all. There are just a lot of tenuous connections which teach the preferred attitudes and beliefs of the moment," he said. "I think it comes from the desire of politicians to stamp their influence on everything. It looks as if they are turning RE in to a pat qualification for political correctness. "How is it to benefit the students? It is not going to be a basis for the further study of RE or spirituality to a higher level. All it can do is clock up league table points for the school and keep young people occupied. One has to ask, where is the religion?"

Professor Smithers said the changes reflected those that have already been made in the core subject of science, where scientific knowledge has been replaced with the discussion of topical science-related questions. Students can choose four of six units to study for the qualification, which means they can avoid the more traditional material covered in the "worship and key beliefs" and "religious philosophy" modules.

AQA said only one of the units was designed to enable religious studies to link with citizenship and personal, social and health education. "It will contribute actively to pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and the Every Child Matters agenda," it said. Religious studies is a popular GCSE. Year on year increases have seen the number of entries rise to more than 171,000, up from 147,000 in 2006.


British nurse suspended for offering to pray for elderly patient's recovery

A nurse has been suspended from her job for offering to pray for an elderly patient's recovery from illness. Caroline Petrie, a committed Christian, has been accused by her employers of failing to demonstrate a "personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity". She faces disciplinary action and could lose her job over the incident.

Mrs Petrie, a married mother of two, says she has been left shocked and upset by the action taken against her. She insists she has never forced her own religious beliefs on anyone but politely inquired if the elderly patient wanted her to pray for her - either in the woman's presence or after the nurse had left the patient's home. "I simply couldn't believe that I have been suspended over this. I knew I hadn't done anything wrong. All I am trying to do is help my patients, many of whom want me to pray for them," she said.

Mrs Petrie, 45, is a community nurse employed by North Somerset Primary Care Trust to carry out home visits to sick and elderly patients. The incident which led to her suspension took place at the home of a woman patient in Winscombe, North Somerset. "It was around lunchtime and I had spent about 20 to 25 minutes with her. I had applied dressings to her legs and shortly before I left I said to her: 'Would you like me to pray for you?'. "She said 'No, thank you.' And I said: 'OK.' I only offered to pray for her because I was concerned about her welfare and wanted her to get better."

However, after the incident on December 15, she was contacted by the trust and asked to explain her actions. The woman patient, who is believed to be in her late 70s, is understood to have complained to the trust. Mrs Petrie will not disclose the woman's name or reveal the precise nature of her ailment because it would breach patient confidentiality. Mrs Petrie, who lives in Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, said she was initially confronted the next day by a nursing sister who said the patient had been taken aback by her question about prayer.

"I said: 'I am sorry. Did I offend or upset her?' The sister said: 'No, no. She was just a bit taken back. You must be aware of your professional code of conduct. I would be careful.' "But the next day my coordinator left a message on my home phone and I realised this had been taken further."

Mrs Petrie said that she often offers to pray for her patients and that many take her up on it. She either prays with them or after she has left their home. The nurse has been a committed Christian since she was ten - after her mother died of breast cancer. Initially, she was Church of England but she switched to the Baptist faith nine years ago. "My faith is very important to me," she said.

Mrs Petrie had previously been reprimanded for an incident in Clevedon last October when she offered to give a small, home-made prayer card to an elderly, male patient, who had happily accepted it. On this occasion, the patient's carer, who was with him, raised concerns over the incident. Alison Withers, Mrs Petrie's boss at the time, wrote to her at the end of November saying: "As a nurse you are required to uphold the reputation of your profession. "Your NMC [Nursing Midwifery Council] code states that 'you must demonstrate a personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity' and 'you must not use your professional status to promote causes that are not related to health'."

In the letter, Mrs Petrie, who qualified as a nurse in 1985, was asked to attend an equality and diversity course and warned: "If there is any further similar incident it may be treated as potential misconduct and the formal disciplinary procedure could be instigated."

Mrs Petrie said: "I stopped handing out prayer cards after that but I found it more and more difficult [not to offer them]. My concern is for the person as a whole, not just their health. "I was told not to force my faith on anyone but I could respond if patients themselves brought up the subject [of religion]."

It is the second incident - the offer to pray for a patient - that led to the disciplinary action. She was suspended from her part-time job, without pay, on December 17. She faced an internal disciplinary meeting last Wednesday and expects to learn the outcome this week. At last week's hour-long meeting, Mrs Petrie says she was told the patient had said she was not offended by the prayer offer but the woman argued that someone else might have been. The nurse had her representative from the Royal College of Nursing present.

Mrs Petrie's husband, Stewart, 48, works as a BT engineer and they have two sons, aged 14 and ten. The couple attend Milton Baptist Church every Sunday and Mrs Petrie said: "Stuart and I have decided to put God first in our lives." Mrs Petrie, who has worked for the trust since February last year, has already taken legal advice from the Christian Legal Centre, which seeks to promote religious freedom and, particularly, to protect Christians and Christianity. The centre, in turn, has instructed Paul Diamond, the leading religious rights barrister. Andrea Williams, the founder and director of the centre, said: "We are backing this case all the way."

A spokesman for North Somerset Primary Care Trust said: "Caroline Petrie has been suspended pending an investigation into the matter. "She is a bank nurse and she has been told we will not be using her in this capacity until the outcome of our investigation is known. "We always take any concerns raised by our patients most seriously and conscientiously investigate any matter of this nature brought to our attention. "We are always keen to be respectful of our patients' views and sensitivity as well as those of our staff."


Thank goodness! Tycoon backs grandparents fighting homosexual adoption bid

There is no end to the evils perpetuated by Britain's Left-indoctrinated social workers

A multi-millionaire is funding a legal challenge to halt the controversial adoption of two young children by a gay couple. In a move brokered by the Catholic Church in Scotland, the businessman has agreed to help meet the legal costs of a court bid to block plans to hand the brother and sister to two men. The Mail on Sunday can reveal that a top law firm has been instructed to help the grandparents of the children, whom social workers ruled were too old, at 46 and 59, to offer a loving home.

With the support of the benefactor and the Catholic Church, the family hope the move will quickly lead to a judicial review of Edinburgh City Council's decision to remove the four-year-old girl and her five-year-old brother from their family. The tycoon, who has requested anonymity, was among a group of businessmen considering offering the family financial support after the adoption plans were revealed last week. His offer has received the `moral backing' of the Catholic Church, which is fundamentally opposed to gay adoptions. Last night a spokesman for the Church said: `As well as the moral issue there is also a legal question, which needs to be explored. Lawyers will be taking this forward with the family. `Allowing two men to adopt children against the wishes of their grandparents who want to care for them is positively wicked.'

The development comes after the devastated grandparents, who cannot be named for legal reasons, made an official complaint to council bosses. They have claimed they were warned they would never see the children again unless they dropped their opposition to the adoption, and again threatened with the same fate for speaking out publicly. The family claim they have been victims of `bullying' social workers and politically-correct manipulation.

The devoted couple had fought for two years for the right to care for their grandchildren, whose 26-year-old mother is a recovering heroin addict. They agreed to an adoption only after they faced being financially crippled by legal bills and were promised continued contact with the children. But they were devastated when they were told the children were going to be placed with a homosexual couple. There were several heterosexual couples on the council's books willing to offer a loving home - leading to suggestions that the council was operating a politically-correct quota system.

The move flew in the face of social-work reports that show the girl is `wary' of men. Last night the grandmother broke down in tears when told of the mystery benefactor's desire to help block the adoption. She said: `I can't believe anyone would do that for us. We are so grateful.' Her husband, a farm worker, added: `Because of the generosity of a stranger, we might have a chance to put things right, not only for our family but for others who are put in this position.'


BBC wasted legal fees to protect 'rape' personality

There once was such a thing as British justice. No more. All there is now is various classes of privilege

The BBC has spent licence-payers' money in a failed attempt to prevent The Mail on Sunday publishing a story about how one of the Corporation's personalities had falsely accused her former boyfriend of rape. Last Sunday we revealed the woman told police she had been assaulted 40 times during their relationship, before withdrawing the allegations. The officer investigating the case described her claims as `inconsistent' and `not credible'.

Yet, because of a legal loophole, the incident remains on the Police National Computer, ruining her former boyfriend's job prospects and his freedom to travel. Whereas his life has been wrecked, the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992 guarantees her anonymity and prevents him suing for damages.

Last Friday, without notifying The Mail on Sunday, which was therefore not represented at the hearing, BBC lawyers took out a court order to insist that their client was entitled to her anonymity - even though this is guaranteed by law and was at no point under threat. So secret was the court order, this newspaper was even banned from mentioning its existence. It was made by Mr Justice Eady, a controversial High Court judge often described as being at the forefront of moves to create a privacy law protecting public figures. He ruled that Formula 1 millionaire Max Mosley's right to privacy extended to his participation in a sado-masochistic orgy.

Now, after complaints from The Mail on Sunday, the order has been amended, allowing us to reveal the lengths to which the BBC will go to protect celebrities, however serious the allegations. Had the BBC's lawyers taken the trouble to contact The Mail on Sunday directly, we would have given guarantees of anonymity without any need to spend licence-payers' money. As a matter of good journalistic practice, this newspaper had already contacted the BBC personality to hear her side of the story and had informed her that her identity would not - and could not - be revealed.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


No comments: