Odd One Out

Okay, let’s play “Odd One Out” (familiar to those who watch Have I Got News For You) or “One of These Things is not Like the Others” (for those more familiar with Sesame Street):

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Yes, that’s right. The odd one out is the cross. Headteachers in Croydon schools have been instructed by the council to ban the wearing of crosses in schools.

The only religious items allowed to be worn are (clockwise from the bottom left) a rakhi, the cotton bracelet worn by some Hindus; a taweez, the religious locket worn by some Muslims; and a kara, the Sikh metal bracelet. This is because schools need to be sensitive toward those of other faiths. According to a council statement, crosses are not to be allowed in schools because “it is not compulsory to wear a cross, it is a personal preference and it can be taken off”. A taweez isn’t compulsory either, but no matter.

Once again, the Muslims are on the side of the Christians. The Muslim Council of Britain education spokesman Tahir Alam said, “I support my Christian colleagues on this point. If these items are important to children and have religious significance for them, there should be no issue at all about that.”

What disturbs me further is that these guidelines were issued by the Croydon’s Standing Advisory Committee for Religious Education (SACRE). Every local authority has a SACRE which sets the curriculum for RE in that area. If the SACRE don’t want students in schools wearing crosses, what must they be doing to the RE syllabus? I wonder if Croydon has a real problem with the legislation that requires the RE curriculum to be at least 50% Christianity.

Because they are not exempted from the jewellery ban, it would seems that chastity rings are forbidden as well. There is already a case before the High Court involving a girl at a school in West Sussex who wears a purity ring as a symbol of her religious faith it’s in role in her decision to not follow the lifestyle choices of her peers.

This is no doubt offensive to those who teach that sex is for when you feel ready, not when God says it is appropriate.

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3 Responses to Odd One Out

  1. Huw says:

    Well, compulsory or not, the cross has one other advantage: recognition. Those others look like just jewellery. I’d never had known they were religious unless I’d seen these pictures!

  2. Athanasia says:

    Perfectly ridiculous. Nothing frosts me more than statements like ones you just shared. How is it Christians are penalized for what they believe in, yet other religions, the name of fairness, are not and are permitted all sorts of things. Argh!

  3. Margi says:

    Wonder how they’d deal with an Egyptian girl with a cross tattooed on her chin? Hmmm… would she get the ethnic pass or as a Christian be asked to wear a paper bag?

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