That’s the message that British MP Ed Balls recently “reassured” the public Catholic schools would be forced to send to the children who attend them. According to the Guardian:
Ed Balls’s controversial amendment to the bill on sex education, allowing faith schools to opt out of new rules on teaching about issues such as homosexuality and contraception, was passed in the Commons yesterday by 268 votes to 177, giving the government a majority of 91.
The amendment, which was passed without debate due to a lack of time at the report stage, allows faith schools to teach personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) lessons “in a way that reflects the school’s religious character”, and has been condemned by teaching unions and the National Secular Society, which said the government had betrayed children in faith schools.
Balls insisted there was “no watering down”. “There’s no opt-out for any faith school from teaching the full, broad, balanced curriculum on sex education,” he said. “Catholic schools can say to their pupils that, as a religion, we believe contraception is wrong, but what they can’t do is say they are not going to teach about contraception.”
This is just jaw-dropping.
So . . . Catholic schools in England get to say that contraception is wrong, but they have to go ahead and teach kids how to procure and use it?
And that’s supposed to be allowing them to present the matter in a way “that reflects the school’s religious character.”
I wonder if Mr. Balls would view this as a legitimate way of acting if the shoe were on the other foot . . . e.g., “As a state-sponsored, secular school, we believe it is wrong to tell people what religion they should be. Now here are some very detailed instructions about how to become a Catholic.”
Of course, the “compromise” that this measure represents is just hypocritical window dressing.
I suppose that it’s possible that, after the next election in England, this could be reversed . . . but I don’t hold a lot of hope for that.
England seems hell-bent on literally being hell-bent in its social policy these days.
And, as always, anything bad that happens in England is a cautionary tale for what could happen in America if we aren’t active and vigorous in opposing it.