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APPG Religious Education launch inquiry into Religious Literacy.

appg re bnr01
 
Fiona Bruce MP launching the Inquiry stated “It is becoming increasingly clear to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Religious Education that improved Religious Literacy could make an invaluable contribution to promoting understanding between individuals and groups and cultivating positive community relations in Britain today.We would particularly welcome constructive and practical comments and ideas as to how Religious Literacy can be improved for the benefit of everyone” .
 

However, the former chair says that the group is "in danger of turning into a religious sect overwhelmingly directed by the fundamentalist Christian wing of the Conservative parliamentary party, which I think is utterly deplorable." Since the 2015 General Election, the APPG has been chaired by Fiona Bruce MP, who has said that "Being a Christian in Parliament means I focus on issues that I believe matter to Christ".

 

The RE Council criticised the manner of her appointment, and wrote that while a process was underway to reform the group in the aftermath of the election, "Fiona Bruce MP decided to hold an AGM for the group, securing her own election as Chair, without notifying the REC of the event until after it had occurred. She also did not notify some of the other officers of the fact that they had been elected alongside her."

Lloyd said the RE Council was "highly respected" as an "umbrella body for those who teach or have an interest in RE" and that he was "profoundly disappointed" by Bruce's takeover of the APPG and her unilateral decision to remove the RE Council as the secretariat for the group. (http://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2016/04/former-chair-of-parliamentary-re-group-says-its-turning-into-a-religious-sect)

 

Since Christ is not a constituent and presumably doesnt contribute to Fionas salary, Religious Literacy in Parliament shoud reflect perspectives of all faiths; the presence of a fundamentalist evangelical committed to conversion should raise concerns especially in the non conversionary Dharmic traditions. The NCHT(UK) contributed the following.

 

Contribution by the National Council of Hindu Temples (UK) to the above APPG Inquiry

The current developed position of humanity's advancement has occurred by the application of its faculty of reasoning, guided by its faculty of ind marscompassion. The Mars orbiter is a testament to the vast ability of the human faculty of reasoning and the open sharing of the benefits of this endeavour is a testament to the human faculty of compassion. The teachings of Christianity as proliferated by the Churches of Empire and Islam as proliferated by Islamists both undermine both faculties and the true threat is that we may be about to plunge into yet another theocratic dark age.

The device with which you are probably reading this, the technology which is being relied upon to enable us to connect, are all tangible products of our reasoning. ....  the clothes which you are wearing are made of colour, fabric and cut based upon reasoning and the route you have taken to get to work today is again based upon reasoning. And yet the highly valued fruits of the divine faculty of reasoning are being deliberately detached from their source and the very validity of human reasoning itself is being denied. Why? Because reasoning is the enemy of theocracy. Therein lies the true existential threat no matter what mask or gold embellished hat it wears.

The people of Britain have been intellectually, emotionally and physically abused by generations of hereditary theocrats whose influence on the British citizen waxes and wanes. The House of Commons itself was established to help the general public challenge with reasoning and evidence the perpetual onslaught of theocracy and as a result our nation has been periodically purged of the violence of the theocrats, despite the House of Lords with its 26 Bishops being a voice for irrationality and theocratic force ever since.

The British Public of today are an internationally connected people, the Church no longer has the power to limit the information available to them and many of them have travelled the world and experienced many religions including the most ancient Eastern traditions; traditions which challenge the emotional violence that is rooted in depicting a human being as a sinner by birth. The British people have access to the internet and are self-informing, both with regard to the atrocities which have been perpetrated by British spawned theocracies and theology-supported colonialists, and are also self-informing concerning the tangible ,reproducible benefits of Eastern, especially Dharmic religious and spiritual teachings and practices. They are responding with their feet and we see diminishing numbers of indigenous British citizens in Churches and increasing numbers practicing the harmonious and tranquil spiritual practices such as Kirtan, Yoga and meditation, which have their origins in India and are borne out of the Dharmic traditions.

lady carrying man smlIt is notable that India, which is guided by the oldest religious and spiritual scriptures, has never been ruled by a theocracy. The fact that India has also never engaged in religious conquest by violence or war for over 7,500 years may have something to do with this fact. 

After 1400 years of peddling religious illiteracy, the teachings which have abused the intellectual and emotional development of generations of British children, bedevilling them with guilt and beguiling them with fear of reason from an early age, todays educational system has an opportunity to truly explore the wiser and more harmonious understandings, most of which predate the religious fumblings of newer concocted  ideologies, especially ideologies based upon the three guiding principles

  • “We’ll steal what we can from other older teachings and then try and denigrate and destroy them”
  • “lets see what we can get away with and for how long”
  • “we’ll make it up as we go along”

Hindus can state with certainty, on the basis of over 7,500 years of harmonious tranquil exuberant existence (marred only by the relatively recent upheavals of firstly Arab desecration, destruction and devastation, followed rapidly by the rape of resources and peoples by the British colonialists and now being subjected to waves of Theocratic “conversionaries” intent on colonising and seizing by stealth where they failed by force) that protecting children from guilt based ideologies and irrational belief systems is critical to the wholesome development of a fully composed, tranquil, harmonious and happy person. Such an upbringing equips a child with the tools necessary to separate reality from falsehood, to discriminate between a charlatan and a guide, to distinguish between an abuser and a friend. Such an upbringing will equip the British child of the future to live as a strong and loving, compassionate and disciplined, tranquil and rational member of any society in which he or she finds themselves, much like the Hindu diaspora the world over.

Although it’s far from the best endorsement, eventrump01 Donald Trump remarked last month that he “wanted to keep the Indians”, echoing the sentiments of many global leaders who value the Hindu community’s contribution to any community they live in.

Children already arrive equipped with a sense of natural justice, a faculty of reason and a desire for love and friendship with all of life. It takes religious abuse masquerading as religious teaching to compromise the innate faculty of reason, usually by insisting that they accept as truth that which is irrational and false, that they accept guilt as the natural state of being as opposed to innocence, that they accept doubt and mental turmoil as natural as opposed to tranquil clarity. Hindus would struggle to equate this with Religious literacy, we would see it as intellectual, emotional and spiritual violence. It is hardly surprising that Clerics whose personalities have been tortured for decades resort to physical abuse, when they themselves have been the victims of institutionalised, systematic multi-dimensional abuse, masquerading as Religious literacy.

The consequences of the Hindu philosophy are manifold and obvious, disruptive of Theocracy but evolutionary and, above all, lead to tranquillity in the body, followed by the mind and then a revelation of our shared humanity and then our shared Divinity. Another consequence of these holistic understandings is the permanent destruction of theocracies and other power hungry oppressive institutions.

In Britain, we exist in a climate where the “right to believe nonsense” is protected, as it should be but this right has been manipulated to preserve theocracies whose very survival depends upon their ability to prevent their actions and their histories from being scrutinised. Coupled to this is the fiction that the “right to believe nonsense” is connected with the right to assert and impose belief, but in a manner which is also protected from criticism, scrutiny and question. The Evangelist can assert that the Hindu is destined to burn in hellfire when Christ returns on the earth, the Islamist can assert his religious belief that decapitation by striking the infidel at the neck, is a surefire ticket to Heaven and yet neither the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Sikh, the Ahmaddiya, the atheist, the agnostic, nor the innocent child has the right to challenge these beliefs, for their innate irrationality.

It’s clear that here in Britain, this is an achievement of the Bishops’, historically designed to protect their franchises and misdemeanours, but it is NOT a recipe for healthy happy and harmonious children and citizens.

1 "Religious literacy" for Hindus means the knowledge and understanding with which to identify the paths by which every human, in every society and every nation, since humanity arrived on this planet, can connect with the experience of Divinity within.

2 Religious literacy ceases to be religious literacy, when the teaching is divisive, supremacist, elitist, exclusivist, irrational or violent (intellectually, emotionally or physically). With these present either directly, subliminally or implicitly, we are no longer dealing with religious literacy but with manipulation, violence and abuse.  It is therefore only possible to “enrich the lives of individuals and positively affect their engagement with their local community, society and public life” by protecting the vulnerable from the above thereby allowing their innate divine nature to emerge. In the Britain of today, the capacity of a person to fulfil the above purpose is directly connected to the degree by which they can protect themselves from the seeds of violence inherent in the conversionary enslaving ideologies upon which theocracies are built and by which they are sustained.

papal pear3 Learning to be a good healthy human is a prerequisite for genuine religious literacy and this first requirement can be comfortably achieved without ANY religious literacy, and yet is a critical foundation upon which religious literacy as opposed to “religious illiteracy” can be subsequently developed. Human history teaches and statistics support, that uneducated uncultured emotionally disturbed humans who are “religiously literate” repeatedly perpetrate the worst atrocities.  Human history teaches and statistics support the assertion that infidels, unbelievers, and agnostics, as well as the heathen Aboriginals and the untutored African and the Amazonian savages, all allegedly religiously illiterate, seem to avoid this desire to cause violence. We would suggest that there may be a statistically significant correlation here.

4 If we can teach children to be wholesome, fearless, compassionate, free thinkers, they will discover a connection with divinity automatically. The Theocracy’s who claim ownership of this ability, those who peddle “visa rights to Heaven” seem to have failed in their endeavours as demonstrated by the roll call of millions of religiously inspired murders, the hundreds of thousands of cases of horrific, sustained abuse of the vulnerable globally, and the tens of thousands of cases of Clergy themselves being the greatest failures as role models, after sustained exposure to their own religious ideologies, often for a lifetime. If their product doesn’t work for them, if their teachings have a history of failure worse than any drug which has failed drug trials, why would we want it taught to children?

5 Consenting adults are more than qualified to pursue religious understanding as long as they are protected from theocracies, whilst vulnerable. It is an affront to reason and mental stability to continually present vulnerable persons (including adults) with a teaching whichmonktorture says that the earth is flat and another which says that the earth is tetrahedral when reason, science and personal circumnavigation in a boat all indicate otherwise. Why must falsehood be dressed up as religion, protected as belief when it offends both reason and experience? Of course the theocracies which have wheedled their way into tax free statuses, legal invisibility and invulnerability, free land and other perks for their franchisees over millennia, would not wish to have their comfortable lifestyles endangered.  Expecting them to abandon their livelihoods, which have been largely built on multi dimensional violence and more recently, sustained fraudulent embezzlement from the public purse, is to expect the irrational to act even more irrationally. Teach British adults the unadulterated history of Theocracies – teach them how religious literacy was taught at the sharp points of the Papal Pear, thumbscrews and racks not to mention ducking stools and the unrestrained misogyny behind witch burnings, certainly un-tempered but possibly even propelled by “religious literacy”. Teach them about their own ancestors’ experience with theocracy here in their own land, as well as overseas in the “Colonies” as they are romantically referred to. That should help greatly.

cognitivedissonance6 If religious literacy is truly and genuinely the objective, we should teach about the religious literature already existent in the world, almost exclusively oriental in origin, which has already delivered the objectives being sought. One can’t use sandpaper to soothe one’s eyes in the manner of a silk handkerchief, no matter how much you try to convince yourself that it’s not sandpaper. Similarly theocratic ideologies which were formulated to inflict slavery, to perpetrate abuse, yet “Trojan Horse-like” laced with just sufficient goodness to undetectably gain access to vulnerable individuals, families, communities and nations, can’t be used to deliver the stated objective of “enriching the lives of individuals and positively affecting their engagement with their local community, society and public life.”

Pure reasoning cannot fail to lead one to connect with Divinity, ”first hand” and without an intermediary, but this is 'Divinity without theocracy' and that's why Theocracy insists on irrationality. .. without irrationality Theocracy withers and democracy flourishes.

The British people realise this, unconsciously if not yet overtly and this recognition is becoming more apparent on a daily basis. The key issue is whether the political classes will seek to protect the theocracies as they become increasingly violent and deceitful or seek to protect the citizens. In Britain of the 21st Century, with austerity and an ever more informed and critical public, these are mutually exclusive objectives. Lets stop teaching our children and vulnerable adults to believe in absurdities. voltaire absurd sml

 

 

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