Uni students driving RE towards their faiths

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Uni students driving RE towards their faiths

Postby Brian Jordan » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:44 pm

So says this RE lecturer at a Russell Group university. Diversity of faith and open discussion has drifted since the l/u/n/a/t//i/c/s/ students a/r/e/ /r/u/n/n/i/n/g/ have paid for the a/s/y/l/u/m/ academy.
The argument is that now students are paying heavily for their courses and so can expect to have an input on how things are done, they are demanding that their faiths be prioritised above study of religion in general.
I suppose it's a bit off-topic at the moment but how long before particular sects like creationists demand representation? No mention of elephants though - maybe they wouldn't dream of doing RE anyway?
http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2014/feb/08/academics-anonymous-teaching-religion-student-experience
It's difficult to imagine from my age and distance how this would work on a chemistry course. I recall a lecturer who was interested in a particular element being funded by the USA military. Would militant chemistry students now have it expunged from the periodic table?
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Re: Uni students driving RE towards their faiths

Postby Roger Stanyard » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:05 pm

Brian Jordan wrote:So says this RE lecturer at a Russell Group university. Diversity of faith and open discussion has drifted since the l/u/n/a/t//i/c/s/ students a/r/e/ /r/u/n/n/i/n/g/ have paid for the a/s/y/l/u/m/ academy.
The argument is that now students are paying heavily for their courses and so can expect to have an input on how things are done, they are demanding that their faiths be prioritised above study of religion in general.
I suppose it's a bit off-topic at the moment but how long before particular sects like creationists demand representation? No mention of elephants though - maybe they wouldn't dream of doing RE anyway?
http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2014/feb/08/academics-anonymous-teaching-religion-student-experience
It's difficult to imagine from my age and distance how this would work on a chemistry course. I recall a lecturer who was interested in a particular element being funded by the USA military. Would militant chemistry students now have it expunged from the periodic table?


"Pastor" David Anderson has pocked his head above the parapet on this one, saying "So, in summary, the author sees the point of religious studies as being to challenge evangelical students, and he used to enjoy doing this, but now he's a bit peeved that evangelical students have been responding in kind. He wants his students to apply postmodern perspectives to the Bible, but is disappointed if their response is as dogmatic and inflexible as his own views of them are.

Was this piece ironic, or is the senior lecturer just totally unaware of how much of his own critique applies to himself?"

Alas, Anderson gives his real position on higher education away in his blog: "Dealing with holy things as if they were not holy is very dangerous. The Bible tells us so. And thus, it is certainly true. The Bible is not
simply to be studied, but trembled at, and obeyed. " (see his entrey for 13th Feb at http://mothwo.blogspot.co.uk/).

So that is what he really means when "discussing" teaching of religion in universities. Everyone has to have the same religious opinions as he has.
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Re: Uni students driving RE towards their faiths

Postby cathy » Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:20 am

David Anderson is talking out of his bottom yet again. The task of RE and religion in schools, and hence I assume universities, is to give an understanding that there are many, many viewpoints on many things even within the same religions and only some things that are absolutes. It is to understand the texts, to think about them. To understand their effects on cultures, and, most importantly given the lack of importance the subject is given despite being an NC one, to respect the views of others so long as they do not breach human rights or tell lies about facts. It is not, and can never be, to evangelise about one particular view point. Otherwise it isn't an academic discipline it is merely a church service.

To be honest, until my kids were well into high school, I didn't really rate RE as that important (based on my experience). I've changed my views on that dramatically. Looking at it retrospectively all the way back to nursery, it has made them think about things. They are way more knowledgeable than me. From when they brought home stuffed dates to celebrate breaking fasts at ramadam or did nativity plays or drew pictures of things for diwalhi thru to high school when it all came into the context of discussing other viewpoints and in the process humanising them. The children from evangelical families actually probably needed RE the very most, a lot of them moderated their faith down into something better and more Christian than the hate filled bile they were probably used to. The atheists became more tolerant of the reasons to believe even if they couldn't actually believe themselves. And the muslims? Given the upsurge in extremism there - RE becomes essential to try and point out more moderate views.

What that professor is saying is very bad indeed. I think it is as important to protect RE and theology from the extremists as it is to protect science from them. The two go hand in hand really.

The fight against creationism won't really be won by science. It should have won it eons ago by virtue of being right. The fight against creationism will be won in RE classes by showing children who are scared to accept it that they don't actually need to be and that the lunacy of their parents and pastors is not the final word on the subject. By showing them as well, that creationists lie in making scientific claims - a part not open to discussion cos it is plain fact! Something RE teachers probably do need some serious training in, tho many already know that lying about scientific support is a fact not a viewpoint.

Give people permission to understand science, even whilst acknowledging the views of the loonies, and a lot probably will. It isn't lack of evidence that makes many creationists, it's fear of accepting it. The dialogue needs to move more into asking why religion won't accept it - it needs more sane Christians and Muslims to take a stance. Stop the wishy washy 'all points are valid' nonsense because they aren't in this particular case. RE is now more important than it has ever been. The threats to science and civil liberties need it.

David Anderson is still as scary as ever. I noticed his piece on state interference in parenthood. How far does he think parents rights go I wonder? Baby P perhaps, was it his mothers right to beat him to death? Or FGM perhaps - based in as much pseudo religious literal misreadings of a holy text as his creationist looniness. What would he say if those sorts of evangelical Muslims were taking over RE courses I wonder. :evil: :evil: :evil:
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Re: Uni students driving RE towards their faiths

Postby Roger Stanyard » Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:59 am

cathy wrote:David Anderson is talking out of his bottom yet again. The task of RE and religion in schools, and hence I assume universities, is to give an understanding that there are many, many viewpoints on many things even within the same religions and only some things that are absolutes. It is to understand the texts, to think about them. To understand their effects on cultures, and, most importantly given the lack of importance the subject is given despite being an NC one, to respect the views of others so long as they do not breach human rights or tell lies about facts. It is not, and can never be, to evangelise about one particular view point. Otherwise it isn't an academic discipline it is merely a church service.

To be honest, until my kids were well into high school, I didn't really rate RE as that important (based on my experience). I've changed my views on that dramatically. Looking at it retrospectively all the way back to nursery, it has made them think about things. They are way more knowledgeable than me. From when they brought home stuffed dates to celebrate breaking fasts at ramadam or did nativity plays or drew pictures of things for diwalhi thru to high school when it all came into the context of discussing other viewpoints and in the process humanising them. The children from evangelical families actually probably needed RE the very most, a lot of them moderated their faith down into something better and more Christian than the hate filled bile they were probably used to. The atheists became more tolerant of the reasons to believe even if they couldn't actually believe themselves. And the muslims? Given the upsurge in extremism there - RE becomes essential to try and point out more moderate views.

What that professor is saying is very bad indeed. I think it is as important to protect RE and theology from the extremists as it is to protect science from them. The two go hand in hand really.

The fight against creationism won't really be won by science. It should have won it eons ago by virtue of being right. The fight against creationism will be won in RE classes by showing children who are scared to accept it that they don't actually need to be and that the lunacy of their parents and pastors is not the final word on the subject. By showing them as well, that creationists lie in making scientific claims - a part not open to discussion cos it is plain fact! Something RE teachers probably do need some serious training in, tho many already know that lying about scientific support is a fact not a viewpoint.

Give people permission to understand science, even whilst acknowledging the views of the loonies, and a lot probably will. It isn't lack of evidence that makes many creationists, it's fear of accepting it. The dialogue needs to move more into asking why religion won't accept it - it needs more sane Christians and Muslims to take a stance. Stop the wishy washy 'all points are valid' nonsense because they aren't in this particular case. RE is now more important than it has ever been. The threats to science and civil liberties need it.

David Anderson is still as scary as ever. I noticed his piece on state interference in parenthood. How far does he think parents rights go I wonder? Baby P perhaps, was it his mothers right to beat him to death? Or FGM perhaps - based in as much pseudo religious literal misreadings of a holy text as his creationist looniness. What would he say if those sorts of evangelical Muslims were taking over RE courses I wonder. :evil: :evil: :evil:


Pastor David Anderson is just another intollerant fundamentalist prick amazed at what he is.
Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities - Voltaire
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Re: Uni students driving RE towards their faiths

Postby Roger Stanyard » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:13 am

cathy wrote:David Anderson is talking out of his bottom yet again.
Does he have a functioning bottom or is something unpleasant permanently stuck up there?

The bloke is deeply and openly hostile towards other Christians, particularly the Roman Catholic Church. Preumably in that venom is included the Orthodox churches, Anglicans, Methodists [add anyone who doesn't follow Pastor Davd Anderson's version of ultra Calvinism].......

He's openly clear that RE should be used to proselytise his religious views rather than to provide an understanding of religions. In another era he could have done well in the Communist Party of the USSR or Germany's National Socilaists.
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Re: Uni students driving RE towards their faiths

Postby jon_12091 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:17 pm

Reading between the lines it looks like they're objecting to things like higher critiscism etc. Part of the entire point of Unviersity is too get one's world views throughly challenged. Not entirely off-topic as people who go off on one just because they've been told Moses didn't write the Pentarch or the Apostles didn't personally write their respective Gosples are probably candidate creationists at the very least...
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