I’ll sum up – Nick Clegg, Lib Dem leader, wants schools to teach that homosexuality is normal, natural, and basically a non-issue. Good man. This does, in part at least, seem to be as much a reactionary stance against David Cameron and Conservative policy as a genuine issue that Clegg cares about.
Maybe I’m too cynical. It’s possible to score points off the opposition whilst being completely in the right; the two states are not mutually exclusive.
If this was just “all schools should teach that homosexuality is fine and dandy” I’d be merely quietly impressed. But this applies to faith schools as well; schools where the potential for homophobic bigotry, among all the other kinds of bigotry that faith schools can inculcate, is just so much higher. Because the premise that Homosexuality Is Wrong is deeply rooted in the biggest religions around, and not every faith school is going to be tolerant or permissive. Faith schools aren’t currently required to include sexuality on their curriculum; Clegg would see that overturned, as well as saying ” . . . faith schools should have a requirement to have an anti-homophobic bullying policy at their school’.
I honestly don’t care if this is merely a cynical ploy to take the moral high ground for a few votes. I don’t really see that it could be; by pissing off faith schools and the faithful in general, Clegg is quite possibly going to lose as many votes as he would gain. Anything that brings faith schools down a few pegs and forces their teachings to be diluted with rational thinking is absolutely shiny by me.
The article ends with this: ‘One senior Anglican bishop said: “Instituting something that must be taught, come what may, is frighteningly fascist.’’ I mean . . . wow. The irony. It’s . . . it’s intense. “Instituting something that must be taught, come what may . . .” Can anyone think of a much clearer description of the disseminative urge of fundamentalist religious faith than that? And then he calls it fascist. Oh, it’s just beautiful.