Parkside Community School in Birmingham has been in the news recently when a large group of parents started to object to the promotion of the homosexual lifestyle in lessons on respect and equality.The parents are predominantly Muslim, and Muslim children make up about 97% of the school’s intake. They were concerned that the imposition of the No Outsiders program was promoting and encouraging homosexual lifestyles in direct contradiction to their religious beliefs that such behaviours are sinful and haram. Even though the teaching of such things seem to fly in the face of Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which the UK is a signatory, the school and the Government think that this sort of indoctrination is just fine.
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
2. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Article 9I think the promoted reading material which included titles such as Mommy, Mama and Me and King & King and which heavily promoted same-sex relationships and gay marriage was always going to go down like the proverbial lead balloon. If you followed any Twitter threads or Facebook posts you will have seen the parents lambasted as phobic this and phobic that and were also subjected to many racist and other vile comments. In the mainstream media (MSM) world things were a bit more civilised as the MSM were left in a bit of a quandary. In the current parlance this was what the commentators would call an ‘intersectional crisis’. And the story has now taken a new step as the parents have physically removed their children from the school last Friday in protest. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/mar/04/birmingham-school-stops-lgbt-lessons-after-parent-protests The school is now back-pedalling claiming that they always intended to have a ‘full discussion’ with the school community. They would, wouldn’t they? You can guarantee though that the school will try and impose this type of ‘educational’ material by any means, just give them time. Thankfully the parents weren’t majorly Christian as the MSM would have felt able to take the gloves off and really vent their spleen and the school could have totally ignored the Christian parents. It is a shame but we’re in such times now that such a combined resistance could never be called together by Christian parents. We don’t have the community cohesion or common values that the Muslim parents have. The churches, especially the national churches take a major portion of the blame for this. As a new Christian and a new baptised member of the CofE in the 1990s I remember the initial battles of the promotion and acceptance of alternative lifestyles and sexual mores. I remember seeing the leadership slowly crumble and trade Biblical theology and teaching for an easier life. The media also takes their share of blame, or pride depending on whatever side of the fence you’re sitting. Our television, radio, newspapers all speak with one voice on these matters and slowly we have been led into the normalisation of such lifestyles. Thanks to these Muslim parents who remain strongly involved in the safe and appropriate education of their children perhaps we will see the tide is turning. Christians, Christian parents and especially Christian leaders need to up their game. It can be done.