2 March 2014

Religious censorship in British public examinations

The British government endorses the religious censorship of public examinations

One disturbing development in Britain today is the collusion of the government (now the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition, but previously New Labour as well) in permitting religious bigotry to trump equality and universal standards.

It is bad enough that children, at state expense, can be channelled into schools which propagate religious bigotry, but worse that examination boards, with government consent, allow public examinations in religious schools to be censored on religious grounds. What happens is simply that some questions - the answers to which conflict with religious dogma - are blacked out. Such religious censorship (1) restricts examinee choice and makes what purports to be a public examination different for candidates in religious schools, and (2) acts as an utterly indefensible form of censorship for teenagers, cutting them off from public knowledge.

In lending its weight to religious censorship, the British government is yet again turning its back on universal secular values. Fear of confronting organised religion is obviously one factor, but much more important is the alliance both New Labour and the Coalition have forged with organised conservative religion in deny young people knowledge and psychologically imprisoning them in ethnically divided so-called communities run by traditional authority. The divided, ignorant and unfree are easier to oppress.