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30 June, 2009

Björn again

Björn Ulvaeus, musician and, as I've just discovered, member of the Swedish Humanist Association, restates the simple principle that "religion and schools don't mix".  He's not wrong.

It's hardly controversial to opine that people in favour of religious schools are themselves believers. Religion has a natural place in their homes and their children grow up with it. And that's fine.
And, incidentally, that's my position too: I definitely don't oppose the right to practice religion in private, 'merely' state-endorsement of religious expression in public.
But does this not make it all the more important for schools to be free of religious influence? In a recent debate with principals from two religious schools I was accused of being driven by emotions masquerading as reason. But if we hypothesise for a moment that they are right, then surely the same is true of them. And if that's the case, who should we listen to? It is precisely to avoid such conflicts that schools should provide a safe haven from all ideologies, with the obvious codicil that children should learn as much about as many of them as possible from an objective point of view.
Comments

I am not surprised neither shocked that Bjorn U will present himself on a National TV debate to denounce the existence of God.
He claimed to have recently lost his memory. I am certainly sure also that he "lost his God too"

Posted by chris at July 3, 2009 11:11 PM

Surprised? Not really. I didn't know he was a member of Humanisterna, but only because I'd never considered his (or anyone's) religious beliefs relevant to his creativity and public career.
Shocked? Emphatically not. It's excellent news.

There's no suggestion that his memory loss is remotely connected to the fact that he's "agnostic leaning towards atheism" – that dates from at least 1971; he claims he's "never been a believer in his life".
Distaste for organised religion isn't some sort of degenerative brain condition!

Posted by NRT at July 4, 2009 07:51 PM
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