'Don't worry', says Balls, 'Sex Education Bill Not Watered Down'
Would you let this man near your children, let alone the unborn children of your children?
Children's Secretary Ed Balls has denied plans for compulsory sex education in England's schools have been watered down.
But an amendment to a government bill gives faith schools more freedom to tailor teaching to their own beliefs.
Pressure groups claim this amendment would allow faith schools to ignore requirements in the bill to teach it in a balanced way, respecting diversity.
The government has denied it could result in a rise in homophobia.
Mr Balls dismissed suggestions the amendment to the Children, Schools and Families Bill, which was first revealed by the BBC News Website, represented an "opt out" for faith schools.
He told the Today programme: "A Catholic faith school can say to their pupils we believe as a religion contraception is wrong but what they can't do is therefore say that they are not going to teach them about contraception to children and how to access contraception.
"What this changes is that for the first time these schools cannot just ignore these issues or teach only one side of the argument.
"They also have to teach that there are different views on homosexuality. They cannot teach homophobia. They must explain civil partnership."
Full story click here.
I have little doubt that this sorry excuse for a bill will get passed. MPs do not speak on behalf of the British public, let alone faith schools. This Government is one that has long rode roughshod over the opinions of the public. Meanwhile, our Bishops have hardly been actively vociferous. The CES has colluded with the Government and the Bishop charged with the duty of protecting Catholic Schools is silent. What he has said, recently, is hardly encouraging. Today, on the very day of the Bill's reading, not one has put his mitred head above the parapet and sounded the call for action to campaign against this vile Government's plan. Ed Balls, in case you were wondering, is minister for the Department for the Destruction of Children, Families and Schools.
If this Bill is passed, may I make a few suggestions to those in education who are genuinely concerned about the content of the legislation and what they will be asked to teach.
There is the option of field trips. As part of the RE class, I see no reason why schools should not take a field trip to the local abortion clinic where children can pray the Rosary and hold placards saying, "I've only come here today because mummy never did." Schools could be given a guided tour of an abortion clinic and be given a full run down of what occurs during an abortion, or even be shown the aborted children who have been killed that week, laying in a clinical bin. The teaching objective could be: Children should understand the horror and depravity of abortion.
I don't know whether there are any similar lesson plans for contraception and civil partnerships, but it is important that the children understand why the Church stands against them.
Perhaps a pro-Life day every term in which children were taught about how abortion and widescale promotion of contraception and sterilisation were 'born' out of the eugenics movement which preceeded the Nazis and continued after them. Who knows, it could even be taught in history, the links are so concrete.
Lesson objective 1: That the children understand that Marie Stopes was a devotee of Adolf Hitler who proposed contraception and sterilisation as a way of killing off the poor.
Lesson objective 2: That the children learn that her organisation, Marie Stopes International, still exists today and offers contraception and abortion for the same reasons as it did when it started, namely that she was a massive Nazi.
After this, the children will be fully prepared to spend an hour after the lesson cutting up condoms, sticking them to paper planes and throwing them at an image of Ed Balls on the classroom wall. They'll enjoy it! For lessons on homosexuality we have a rich resource of contributors to the debate. How's about this lesson: 'Learning about homosexuality with St Paul and St Jude.'
Any thoughts on other ways to teach these Government lessons?
Meanwhile, Damian Thompson is doing good work at raising awareness of the appalling Eddie Testicles and the equally appalling silence of those to whom we look for leadership within the Church.
Anyway, if the Government is successful in its latest onslaught on religious liberty at least Catholic schools won't have to teach the lesson, 'What does Hell look like?' After all, the Government will already have unleashed it upon the nation's poor and unsuspecting children.
Here is the website of the Bishops Conference of England and Wales. I don't see anything about the proposed legislation. The scandal appears to be news to them. Perhaps they're not reading the papers. Below is the email of Bishop Malcolm McMahon's secretary.