“The Church and Government, working together in partnership..”

I’ve previously reduxed the separation, although some religious leaders remain unhappy with the idea. But it will not be progressed by further entangling more churches into the workings of the state. Next up, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly welcomes Scientology into the fold.. followed by Pastafarianism.. Young-Earthers will, presumably, be beyond the Pale.. Updated New S**tology link thanks to Comrade Stalin. Adds Btw that’s Northern Ireland Junior Minister Gerry Kelly.

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  • The Serpent

    I was going to pettily rebuke Pete for what looked like a typo on the Pastafarian link so I am glad I actually clicked on it first!!!

    Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

    Excellent !!! More convincing than one or two of Northern Irelands market leaders in organised religion and certainly more so than some of the more obscure scions of the reformed faith.

    I’m off to order the “Touched by His Noodly Appendage ” T-shirt………

  • Comrade Stalin

    If you want to be really disturbed, check the FSM’s hate-mail section. Despite the fact that the thing is clearly a satire whose purposes are well explained, people write in with threats. I saw one post a few months ago which suggested the FSM supporters should be hanged and thrown into the sea. It didn’t sound like a joke.

    Tom Cruise’s video (Pete’s link does not work. Here’s one that does) will make little sense to someone who is not familiar with Scientology terminology. “KSW” is “Keeping Scientology Working”, and is a policy statement written by L Ron Hubbard in the 1970s which requires Scientologists to be continuously attempting to recruit new members and sell Scientology courses. Failure to do this, or failure to implement the requirements, can lead to a person being kicked out of the church as a Suppressive – ie excommunication. The references to “PTS” (“Potential Trouble Source” – a person who may be in danger of becoming SP) and “SP” (“Suppressive Person”) refer to those who criticize Scientology. Scientologists live in constant fear of this as the church has effectively brainwashed them into believing that they cannot survive without L Ron Hubbard’s “Technology” which, as an SP, they will be denied.

    “Ethics” within the scientology religion do not refer to how ethical you are in the common sense (a classic example of the cult redefining words to sound like something they aren’t), but instead they refer to one’s efforts to stay in the church’s good books by recruiting new members, countering opposition, distributing propaganda etc. “Getting ethics in” refers to the process of continuously upping your game in terms of serving the requirements of the church. If you’re “out-ethics” it means you’re either harming the church (perhaps unintentionally) or you’re failing to keep up with your requirements. As such you’re in danger of becoming a PTS. See how it works ? 🙂

    Overall the video is obviously motivational material from Cruise to show ordinary recruits into the organization that Tom Cruise is out there doing the same stuff that they’re being asked to do in order to remain within the cult.

    Tom Cruise’s spontaneously, and apparently unnecessary, laughter is the creepiest thing about the whole video.

  • cut the bull

    In the interests of equality and parity of esteem, you may need to include the Church of Sponge Bob Square Pants.

    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/3906687.stm

  • cut the bull

    churchofspongebob.tripod.com

  • Citizen Anderson

    To flip side this separation of church and state thing it’s time to stop pretending that the “state” sector in Northern Ireland is anything other than Protestant and/or British-Irish. Any school in northern Ireland which;

    1) does not teach Irish,
    2) let alone Gaelic Games
    3) has protestant clerics on each board of governors but no catholics and
    4) invites (as mine did) protestant clerics to speak at assemby in a cycle of Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist but never RC,

    is certainly not a “state” school in a state with a 45% Catholic/Nationalist population.

    Less hypocrisy please from all you “secular” and “integrationist” prods.

    Whether eternal truth or desert sky-god superstition, religion is, at least, universalist in its commitment and traditional in its approach. These are strong foundations to underpin a child’s view of the world. The managerialism, jingoism and political correctness of a secular “state” education are unworthy substitutes.

    Recognize also that successful integrated schools are managed as Christian schools of mixed-denomination; even these are not “secular”.

    Citizens

    My demands;

    1) The return of “state” school assets to church schools trust/s.

    2) The addition of Irish, Gaelic Games, and either Rugby Football or Soccer to all school curricula, of whichever denomination.

    3) Action to encourage protestant enrollment at “Catholic” schools and catholic enrollment at Anglican, Presbyterian or Methodist schools and the enrollment of all kinds of kids to go to Mixed-Denomination Trust schools.

    4) Enforcement of fair employment legislation to prohibit schools from using religion as a criteria for the selection of staff.

    5) The use of religion as selection criteria for pupils only after the criteria of proximity, family connection, ability and school connection are exhausted (in whatever order these prior criteria might be given precedence).

    6) Reward for schools meeting a minimum level of enrollment for pupils of other denominations where committment is made to a program of recognition and respect, whether the school is officially “integrated” or not.

    7) The display of the Irish Tricolour, the Union Flag and the Assembly Standard on school grounds as practical recognition of the dual nationality to which our children are entitled and the democratic settlement of our country/jurisdiction/colony/multilated six county statelet.

    8) Ecumenical religious activity and brain-washing for mutual understanding in our school assemblies..

    Claims have been made that redundancy and undue expense results from a division between schools of different denomination.

    Let’s not forget that we also divide our children up according to sex, ability and language medium. We might choose to address our sexism and academic snobbery before removing the valuable contribution which churches make to our schooling.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Citizen Anderson,

    I hope you can clarify that incoherent ramble a little bit. The trouble starts here :

    45% Catholic/Nationalist population

    Where did you get this from ? I know many people who are not unionists or nationalists, and who are not religious. There are immigrants from many different countries coming to visit us. Your idea of a duo-cultured state is repugnant. It’s a multicultural state we want, which encompasses everyone and which excludes no-one. Not some sort of silly standoff between two camps.

  • perci

    The Church and Government, working together in partnership.
    cut the bull,
    there must be a song in there somewhere, if not an album ?

  • cut the bull

    the thought of it scares the life outta me. I could literally work my fingers to the bone on that one. perci

    What scares me about the whole prosrect of this is when you think back to the U.S sponsored murder of Latin american clerics such as Oscar Romero.

    Shortly after actions like this happened Mother Theresa met Ronald Regan and was ever so friendly towards American foriegn policy while Bishops and priests and some Protestant ministers where being murdered, tortured and nuns were being murdered and raped by American death squads.

    Thats the problem with working in partnership with Governments it’s either you support what they do or you stand up and make it clear that you dont.

  • cut the bull

    Should have read American government sponsered Death squads

  • cut the bull

    The only God that Governments really believe in is Great Our Democracy, no matter how much of a shambles it is.

  • Citizen Anderson

    Comrade Stalin,

    Thank-you for illustrating my point.

    In case you had not noticed 45% of parents elect to send their children to CCMS schools.

    They do this because CCMS schools offer an ethos, a curricula and a cultural inheritance which they value and which they want to give to their children.

    Some Unionists blame the separation in our society on Catholics and Nationalists for their exceptionalism. “These people insist on sending thier children to “catholic” schools when there are “neutral” state schools available!”. I have pointed out the hyprocrisy of this position. There is nothing “neutral” about the state system.

    From Liberals (yourself included) there is the pious demand that we all send out children to integrated schools. Lovely but impractical and to wilfully ignore reality or to claim that there is no hope but the abandonment of tradition, offers little to our wider society.

    I have an alternative. It’s called “sharing”, not mutual refusal. I propose that we separate the management of schools from the ethos of schools, so that “catholic” run schools are encouraged (to a point just short of requirement) to admit protestants and where state schools are required to adjust curricula so that they accomodate the traditions and aspirations of catholic,nationalist and just plain civilised people who might like their children to have the chance to learn Irish in a “protestant” school.

    I will add that as NI in not a “state” recognized by many people to have a sector claiming to be “state” which is almost entirely British and Protestant in ethos (and it is) is antithetical to the principal of a “shared future”. It would be less hypocritical to recognize these as protestant schools and require that they offer an integrated curricula.

    Once it can be seen by Catholic parents that a Church of Ireland school offers the same ethos and curricula as a CCMS school many may be more inclimed to send their children to one. Eventually we can hope that church boards will set up more joint-denomination schools.

    I remind you again that the integrated system is not “secular”. The price of integration has been the inclusion of a chirstian ethos.

    You accuse me of proposing a “dual” society. This betrays your point of view not mine. I propose promotion of, and confidence in a shared inheritance.

    Do Alliance use vanilla as a colour for their brand because this is all they have to offer?

    Your response to a diversity of tradition and pageant is not to say – this is good – take what’s best, embrace and exchange it. Instead you stand on the sidelines complaining that no-body else has your wonderfully developed sense of fair play and we must all do exactly the same thing! I say let’s all try a bit of everything.

    Like Lagan College; in a nation of GAA, Rugby and Soccer fans you promote basketball.

    You offer cold neutrality, not recognition, let alone ethusiastic sharing. As integrated education will not replace the CCMS or “state” system your position will remain a minority interest for the self-satisfied.

    A step futher. In my “shared future” the assembly speaker has the Tricolour on one side of his chair and the Union Flag on the other. We are a society of dual nationality. I say good. I’ll have two passports please and minimise my visa applications.

    In your “shared future” the assembly chair has nothing beside it because your shared future is not based on “sharing” but on trying to accomodate (or ignore) what you see as mutual contempt. Our society is the overlap of two sections of a Venn Diagram. I say good – let’s interweave the two and have the best of both.

    Look forward Citizen. Remove that beam from you own eye.

  • cut the bull

    Imagine what St Patirck would do or say if he landed in ireland at present. He would probably consider getting some body to re write his hymn.

    Before I post this I honestly hope that I dont offend any one,but I would ask that before any body drws any conclusions study the lines that have been changed and ask yourself is there really a porblem with any of it.

  • cut the bull

    Hail, glorious Saint Patrick, dear saint of our Isle,
    On us thy poor children bestow a sweet smile;
    And now thou art high in the mansions above,
    On Erin’s green valleys look down in thy love.
    On Erin’s green valleys, on Erin’s green valleys,
    On Erin’s green valleys look down in thy love.
    Hail, glorious Saint Patrick, thy words were once strong
    Against Satan’s wiles and an infidel throng;
    Not less is thy might where in heaven thou art;
    O, come to our aid, in our battle take part.
    On Ulster’s green province, on Ulster’s green province,
    On Ulster’s green province look down in thy love.
    In the war against sin, in the fight for all faith’s,
    Dear saint, may thy children resist unto death;
    May their strength be in meekness, in penance, their prayer,
    Their banner the cross which they glory to bear.
    On Erin’s occupied six counties, on Erin’s occupied six counties,
    On Erin’s occupied six counties, look down in thy love.
    Thy people, now exiles on many a shore,
    Shall love and revere thee till time be no more;
    And the fire thou hast kindled shall ever burn bright,
    Its warmth undiminished, undying its light.
    On Erin’s home for new immigrants, on Erin’s home for new immigrants,
    On Erin’s home for new immigrants look down in thy love.
    Ever bless and defend the sweet land of our birth,
    Where the shamrock still blooms as when thou wert on earth,
    And our hearts shall yet burn, wherever we roam,
    For God and Saint Patrick, and our native home.
    On Erin’s poor, unemployed and homeless on Erin’s poor, unemployed and homeless,
    On Erin’s poor, unemployed and homeless look down in thy love.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Citizen Anderson,

    You seem to be replying to stuff I haven’t written. But let’s go through this anyway.

    In case you had not noticed 45% of parents elect to send their children to CCMS schools.

    I haven’t noticed. The total nationalist vote in the last election was just over 41%. Even if every single person who voted nationalist sent their kids to a CCMS school (which they don’t – and not everyone who was nationalist has a family) you’d still be nowhere near 45%. It’s stupid statistical extrapolations like this one that screw this whole place up. Just because someone votes nationalist does not mean they are completely bought into the whole tribal sectarian thing.

    They do this because CCMS schools offer an ethos, a curricula and a cultural inheritance which they value and which they want to give to their children.

    Aye yer ballix. They’re just good schools. There are CCMS schools which are bad. There are non-CCMS schools which are good. I went to St Malachy’s, the RE classes were a joke, and religion did not enter into life significantly outside of RE, except for the odd Mass here and there. To say that you get an education steeped in Catholicism, or that this is the primary objective of parents, is total nonsense.

    There is nothing “neutral” about the state system.

    It’s not tied to and/or controlled by any church or religious body, so yes, it is neutral. If by “not neutral” you mean “there are too many fucking Prods there”, then I guess you’re right, but that has a lot to do with the taigs withholding their patronage.

    Lovely but impractical and to wilfully ignore reality or to claim that there is no hope but the abandonment of tradition, offers little to our wider society.

    For a start I am not advocating that everybody abandon their traditions, I never have. Instead I am advocating that people stop with this idea that traditions have to be reflected by the state. I also reject the idea that everyone who votes nationalist is a dyed-in-the-wool replica of Wolfe Tone. People vote nationalist or unionist for all kinds of reasons.

    Yes, I would be in favour of the abolition of the CCMS and the removal of faith-specific teaching from state schools – let the parents send their kids for religious instruction elsewhere if they need it, and fund it themselves. I would point out that this isn’t the position of the Alliance Party, whose policy is to support integrated schools as a choice on an equal basis. I would point out that this is also the position of the SDLP and Sinn Fein, who also both support integration. If you think that integration is wrong, maybe you should take it up with the parties whom you claim receive 45% of the vote.

    … so that “catholic” run schools are encouraged (to a point just short of requirement) to admit protestants …

    The CCMS won’t allow it. The Catholic Church wants the ability to indoctrinate people at a young age. It won’t have that if there are too many Prods around spoiling the view. That’s why they set up this cosy relationship with the Stormont government to start with. That should tell you all you need to know about whose interests are being served here.

    Once it can be seen by Catholic parents that a Church of Ireland school offers the same ethos

    What Church of Ireland schools are there ? And how do you know they offer the same “ethos” ? The Catholic Church won’t stand for it. It won’t tell Catholics to send their kids to any hypothetical CoI schools. Are you on crack or something ?

    Do Alliance use vanilla as a colour for their brand because this is all they have to offer?

    I’m at a loss to see why you feel the need to scatter Alliance slagging throughout the post. Along with the repetition, the flawed logic, the fantasies passed off as facts and the wholly inaccurate statistics, it contributes to making your perspective somewhat incoherent to say the least.

  • Citizen Anderson

    Stalin,

    Pupils enrolled CCMS 120,711
    Pupils enrolled Catholic volutary 25,514
    Pupils enriolled Irish Medium 2302

    Pupils enrolled total 335,946

    Catholic/Irish Medium % 44.81%

    “Integrated” (ie Comrade Stalin approved) sector 18,017

    “Integrated” (ie Comrade Stalin approved) % 5.4%

    ww.deni.gov.uk/index/32-statisticsandresearch_pg/32-statistics_and_research_statistics_on_education_pg/32_statistics_and_research-numbersofschoolsandpupils_pg/32_statistics_and_research-northernirelandsummarydata_pg.htm

    Why do I attack Alliance? Because I believe in a shared future and a united community and I am frustrated by one track minded “integrated” schools robots who ignore the vast majority of our children in the pursuit of their private obsessions.

    I observe that 95% of children (or 94.6% to a hair splitting stalinist) attend schools which are not Alliance approved “integrated” and that for Alliance to have nothing to say about these schools beyond some self-satisfied sneering at their backward divisiveness is to justify its position as a party that earns no more than the 5% of the vote (or a more precise 5.2% first preferrence 2007 Assembly Elections vote to meet your standards Comrade). I would like Alliance to earn more.

    Unlike you I attended a “maintained” school. No Irish, no Gaelic Games, not even a hint that there should be any exchange with any local CCMS school in any field. A CCF contingent and a tradition of boys entering military (especially naval) service. Hardly so much as an acknowledgement that the school was in Ireland. In education terms it was (as an old boy once said) “a cold house for catholics”.

    I’ll try and make it really clear for you. Integration needs to start with the school curriculum and practices of each and every school so that religion becomes a secondary issue – because all schools offer the same curriculum – it will not be served by an obsession with the management of schools.

    As you say parents choose schools on the basis of their standards not their religion; the popularity of Methodist College (clue’s in the name) with South Belfast Catholics and St Columbanus High School (at least half protestant) with Ballyholme and East Bangor parents shows that.

    But the non-Irish (there isn’t even enough of a nod to consider it anti-Irish) ethos of the general state sector is hardly an advertisement to potential Catholics parents, or an education in respect and understanding for the boys already in that sector.

    As for your point that the CCMS will “not allow” selection criteria that do not prioritise religion, the criteria which I set out are those of St Comgall’s Primary in Bangor (I religion is the last on the list after proxity, ability, family and school employee connection).

    “What Church of Ireland schools are there ?”

    None in N.Ireland, some in the south. Until the adoption of the protestant system by the state in N.Ireland there were plenty and they are little changed in approach.

    “And how do you know they offer the same “ethos”?”

    I look at the ethos and popularity of Anglican schools in England (and in the Republic), the ethos of voluntary schools in NI (Methody or RBAI for example) and I project.

    “The Catholic Church won’t stand for it.”

    Scary catholic church – see St Congall’s criteria above.

    “It won’t tell Catholics to send their kids to any hypothetical CoI schools.”

    It doesn’t get to decide for parents.

    “Are you on crack or something ?”

    Nope. I have protestant nephews at a catholic school who are there because that specific school is better then the local “state” alternative (and I’d make the same decision if I wasn’t happy with my childrens’ state school) and I see no reason why the same would not happen naturally in reverse if we had the allignment of curricula and ethos I have been banging on about.

    Is this getting through yet?

  • Citizen Anderson

    Comrade,

    How is

    “They do this because CCMS schools offer an ethos, a curricula and a cultural inheritance which they value and which they want to give to their children.”

    properly answered by this?

    “Aye yer ballix. They’re just good schools. There are CCMS schools which are bad. There are non-CCMS schools which are good. I went to St Malachy’s, the RE classes were a joke, and religion did not enter into life significantly outside of RE, except for the odd Mass here and there. To say that you get an education steeped in Catholicism, or that this is the primary objective of parents, is total nonsense.”

    And for that matter where did I say that religious education was the reason parents chose catholic schools?

    In my first post I talked of universalism (ie treating all people as valued – which Christianity tends to do better than statism) and tradition, not religion and in the cutting you answered so well above I mentioned “ethos”. It’s you who seem obsessed with the denomination. My obsession is with the exchange of and respect for community history and cultural tradition.

  • Citizen Anderson

    Comrade,

    Add an extra “w” to the start of the link.

    Correction – should have said I attended a “controlled” (ie “state”) school.

  • Citizen Anderson

    Comrade,

    Just for you I downloaded the table on religion by school (follow the link), sorted into catholic + voluntary under catholic management; integrated and controlled + voluntary under other management.

    Tidying up by removing the suppressed figures brings the total down to 327,529 children (a 0.31% adjustment to the whole population). Of these 148,108 are catholic children in catholic schools. That’s 45.2% of all children in education in Northern Ireland in 2006/2007.

    Please explain your “wholly inaccurate statistics” accusation.

  • Citizen Anderson

    Comrade,

    Anticipating another bit of hair splitting;

    “The total nationalist vote in the last election was just over 41%.”

    42.4% You conveniently (for you) left out Republican Sinn Fein, the Socialist Environmental Alliance (unless Eamonn McCann’s a unionist now) and the Workers and Socialist parties.

    But more importantly you also ignored the fact that I mentioned the population not the electorate.

    The NSO gives 44% catholic.

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=980

    I’ve already shown that the catholic percentage in education is higher.