Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Asking the Wrong Questions

Asking the wrong questions
When you ask the wrong question of course you will not get the right answer.  
How can the question be wrong, I hear you say.  Sometimes people just don’t think; let me show you what I mean. 
London Evening Standard Tuesday 27th July 2010 P ippa Crerar says ‘I don’t want to find God to find a good school’.   It is, perhaps, a rhetorical question, and she goes on to say she doesn’t want to go to church to get her child into a good school, but she is obviously worried about the local schooling.
Here is a question that she doesn’t ask, and maybe she should, ‘Why are Christian schools or church schools better than the others?’  Answers could include; selection, size, and parental involvement. 
Here however are some other answers, things that perhaps we don’t so easily come up with in our sound-bite, cynical age. How about a comprehensive world view, an understanding of a moral base, an insight into good and evil, an awareness of the essentials of not just ‘knowledge’ but ‘character’ and even more than that ‘wisdom’, where does that come from?
Interestingly, plans to set up atheist schools in the United Kingdom could soon be given the green light by the British government, or so it seems according to a report by Assist News July 29th 2010. It says:
Education Secretary Michael Gove says he is open to the idea as part of reforms to his department.
The move comes after high profile anti-faith campaigner Professor Richard Dawkins suggested the idea, Premier Radio said. Ann Widdecombe, the Former Home Secretary who is also a believer, “said it is not something that should be opposed.”
She told Premier Radio: "If you can set up faith schools, then I think quite obviously you must also be allowed to set up a school that will cater for people whose parents are bringing them up specifically to have no faith."
Widdecombe added: "I think it is a great pity if somebody is brought up that way, but our job is to win those people over, not to look to the law to do it for us."
It is interesting to think of atheists setting up schools, I am not aware of many hospitals, orphanages, opposition to injustice groups that they have set up so far.  Perhaps they do not understand the nature of thought, what we think is ultimately how we act, if I think I am an animal does it surprise anyone that I might act like one.  If I think there is no point to life, why should I care, why should I not be depressed and suicidal?  If I think it’s just all mechanical like one great machine, why not treat my fellow human beings like a cog in the wheel.  On the other hand if I think there is a law-giver, an ultimate reckoning day, and a purpose to my being here that will affect my thinking and my dealings with the rest of humanity.

John Newton, the famous reformed slave trader, preacher and hymn writer and of fairly recent film fame, captured the elemental truths of transformation when he penned "Amazing Grace."  The International teacher and author, Ravi Zacharias (www.rzim.org) hits the nail on the head when he describes man as "lost and dead." He explained, "Jesus did not come to make bad people good; He came to make DEAD people LIVE."
I have met modern people like John Newton, I have a friend who was once a rebel fighter, he could list all the women, children and men he had killed, when I met him I thought he was a mad man.  Then he found God, bit of an easy cliché to say that, but when you see a messy life changed, new thinking found and actually death into life discovered you know the difference. The cynic and atheist can say all that they like, but I say, show me!   When you see their new concern for others, good citizenship, and a life that is progressive and enriched you know something special has taken place, there is this new passion for the life they now have.
 Richard Dawkins said to me that he was more moral than me as I needed a God not to pillage and rape, kill and burn, murder and so on.   My answer was “good for you; you need to watch the news more.”
So maybe Pippa Crerar in her future journalism could ask some more questions as to why these schools that have God seem to have better education.  Ask the right questions!
Adrian Hawkes
For Adrian’s Blog
30th July 2010
Editor : A. Brookes
W. 784


  1. Peter Bayliss commented on your status.

    "As a one time school teacher back in the 60`s and 70`s i was aware that God was less and less noted in schools and even later was completely ignored.
    Historically schools had their birth in Christian sourses, but yes, do recognise the wider needs of todays mixed culture. But we should be honest to all ! Religion is the motivation behind our attitudes and behaviour, a fact we cannot ignore.
    The answer is more, not less religious education. True that must include other faiths besides the Christian way. But that should also give the opportunity for comparison too. Must cover the values as well as the history behind the religions of the world.
    A man`s ethics today should support our society, and i suppose i`m biased in thinking that true christian living is most advantage to our society. Yet we must also recognise even in Christianity it has been misused and twisted to do evil things !
    Is it not time to realise that `going our own way`, living without God conciousness has not helped our society, rather shown that we still need God in our lives.
    Easier to deal with the trials of this life when holding on to a loving God. "

  2. Nice one Adrian, alot of saying the same things in there but the ties into the here and now give it zip. Jx

  3. Well like the African Preacher said, first of all I tell them what I am going to tell them, then I tell them, and then I tell them what I have told them. I think that is wise don't you? Mr Gryff

  4. Alan Rees Atheist schools. eh? They actually don't sound like fun! Very few atheists I have met are fun people..though there are one or two...so I must not generalise. It will be interesting to compare them - their style, content...and results in a few years time.

  5. Peter Bayliss LRPS yesterday at 23:20

    Failed to finish with the very point i was trying to make : wonder if the now missing RE from many of our schools where it is now just a passing mention in a wider topic, be one of the factors in our more difficult schools ? Knowlege is not just facts and skills but a more rounded understanding of the values of, and in, life.

  6. Peter Bayliss LRPS yesterday at 23:08

    As a former school teacher, and a long time `born again` christian, (also admit to being an old friend of Adrian -any years ago ! ) i would clearly agree with all Adrian writes here. Historically schools grew often out of church lead communities, but that alone may not justify the direct teaching of any `faith` in schools today. What does support the values of a religious side to our education is that it does have more chance of providing pupils who have a wider concept of themselves, the local society or even the wide world. Christianity, as do other `faiths`, teach more about caring, supporting, and yes, even a deaper loving of others.
    All faiths tend to change the spirit and heart, christianity specifically teach a greater `social awareness` or at least should do !
    Although i taught science i did occasionally `stand in` for the RE lesson, there found after settling the class to yet another teacher - `RE` was often not given much more than a `lip service` (that how a scientist came to be involved) but when really involved, many children would begin to be quite interested and asked much searching questions.
    I find it so sad now, its more than 30 years since i was in a classroom but find now a greater self-centered youth with little concern with anything else but their next pleasure.

  7. Comment by Frank
    And I thought that all the state schools in the UK were atheist schools already. For the way they teach, they might as well be.