An integral aspect of our

Did you read the warm pool of sick at the “Tony Blair Faith Foundation”?

It’s such a boneless mess it’s hard to figure out what it’s supposed to do. There’s not a trace of an attempt at an argument in it, no reasons, just a lot of limp saying. It doesn’t even keep track of its own stance.

At a recent forum exploring educational options for the future of Northern Ireland, several influential public figures – including Baroness May Blood – made it clear that the best way forward is for schools to be religion-free zones.

But that, of course, is the thing it’s going to disagree with – duh – so how funny to say “made it clear that.”

Yet around the world there are many others who see that now, more than ever, is a time to engage our young people with issues of faith, belief and values in an educational environment.

She made it clear that P but others see that not-P. This dude is confused.

And why now more than ever? Why not now less than ever? And note the solid wall of ready-made phrases – “engage our young people” “issues of faith, belief and values” “an educational environment.” Dear god can you imagine having to write like that?

This worldwide inter-faith organisation runs a schools programme called Face to Faith. The programme facilitates inter-faith dialogue through video-conferencing and online collaboration with the aim of providing young people with the knowledge and skills needed for meaningful inter- and intra-faith dialogue across a range of cultures.

Why? Why not just give them the knowledge and skills and leave the faith part out? Why not refrain from teaching them to make “faith” central to everything; why not let them just do dialogue and talk about whatever comes up as opposed to making it about “faith”?

I don’t know. James Nelson never says. He just talks a lot more of the same kind of interchangeable styrofoam hackspeak until he gets to the end of the page. The only concrete thing accomplished was that people learned to use the video-conferencing machine, or at least they were shown how to use it, which they will have forgotten by the time anyone actually gets down to doing anything. But don’t fret: it ended on a cheerful note.

The teachers left, keen to explore ways in which they might engage their pupils in constructive dialogue about faith and beliefs.

I left with the strong impression that a culture of sharing is emerging as an integral aspect of our education system. In both cases I look forward to seeing what the future brings.

That’s the stuff! A few more of those and we’ll really be getting somewhere. I’m almost sure of it.


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