Earlier this week, Mark was one of several outspoken critics whom went the Scottish Parliament week to debate religion in Scottish schools. Parents of students in Scotland reserve the right to withdraw their child from activities such as church services or religious assemblies.
Many of the parents are unaware of this right, and in some cases, the teachers are also unaware. As Mark has told us and others, about 20% of the parents are aware of opt-out rights.
When pupils do opt out, they alternative activities afforded to them are often meaningless or designed to just kill time, such as having students (such as Mark’s daughter) draw pictures while a school secretary watches over them. This seems to be in direct violation of the law, which reads:
‘… in no circumstances should a child be disadvantaged as a result of withdrawing from religious observance’ and should be given a ‘suitable worthwhile alternative activity.’
The Scottish Secular Society have petitioned for an amendment to the law, so it become an OPT-IN choice, rather than the current election to opt-out. On September 3rd, Mark and others in the organization presented the parliament with the petition, which you can read in its entirety here. Churches and religious groups are defending the laws current verbiage, which comes as absolutely no surprise.
Which (and here is the disturbing part) allows for groups like THESE CREATIONIST GROUPS FROM AMERICA to make presentations at public schools, and if you don’t choose the opt-out so your child can go draw in the corner of the front office, then your child will be taking part of this religious assembly. In addition, they will be bringing home books which trash evolution, and promote the anti-science of creationism.
As reported by The Daily Record earlier today …
The creationist books, defended by head teacher Sandra MacKenzie, denounce the theory of evolution and warn pupils that, without God, they risk being murdered in a harmful, disgusting world.
And here is one of many “gems” from The Church of Christ:
“We believe the teachings of the Bible, which tell us evolution is a myth. The Bible also states homosexuality is a sin.”
Here are more links to additional reports about this news out of Scotland. We are really pleased that Mark Gordon is one of the front-line fighters in this effort, and he promises to keep us updates as events unfold on Scotland’s latest battlefield.