Sunday, May 29, 2005

In the news...

In the Times - the CoE is going to compromise on the issue of clergy and homosexual partners:
HOMOSEXUAL priests in the Church of England will be allowed to “marry” their boyfriends under a proposal drawn up by senior bishops, led by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The decision ensures that gay and lesbian clergy who wish to register relationships under the new “civil partnerships” law — giving them many of the tax and inheritance advantages of married couples — will not lose their licences to be priests.
They will, however, have to give an assurance to their diocesan bishop that they will abstain from sex. The bishops are trying to uphold the church doctrine of forbidding clergy from sex except in a full marriage. They accept, however, that the new law leaves them little choice but to accept the right of gay clergy to have civil partners.
And the Telegraph tells us about the drive to recruit more religious education teachers in Britain:
The Government hopes to recruit a new generation of RE teachers who have no personal faith and who know next to nothing about the Bible.
So desperate is the national shortage of RE teachers in schools that the Teacher Training Agency has written to humanities graduates to tell them that today's religious instruction "bears little resemblance to the subject taught when you were at school."
As part of a £3 million campaign launched this month, thousands of letters have been sent to graduates considering careers as teachers, saying that RE is no longer just about learning the Bible.
It says: "RE is a subject that encourages lively debate in the classroom. Gone are the days of learning the Bible by rote. Today RE focuses on exploring a diverse world of faiths and examining real issues from an ethical standpoint. Class debates might, for instance, revolve around topical issues of the day, such as genetic engineering or the right to asylum.
"RE is anything but boring. It is a broad, all-encompassing subject with particular relevance for young people growing up in a multi-faith society." It adds: "There is no requirement whatsoever for RE teachers to practise a faith themselves."
To underscore the breadth of modern RE, applicants are also sent a poster which includes 16 pictures of different religious deities. Only two of the images - one of Christ, taken from the Turin shroud, and a picture of a Black Madonna - have any direct connection with the New Testament.
The images are given equal billing with pictures of Chacmool, a Mayan fertility God, and an unnamed deity who demanded human sacrifice from the ancient Olmec civilisation of South America.
The poster also includes pictures of a Monkey God from Japan, in addition to images of Moses, Adam, the Prophet Mohammed and Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion.
Could you imagine the quality of education the students are going to get given that their teachers are being recruited on the basis that religious education is 'not boring'? I guess passion for one's subject is no longer a requirement.

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