Letter: A Moral Education Is Not Necessarily a Christian One
Stinson, Hanne, The Independent (London, England)
Sir: There will be widespread agreement with what Rowan Williams said in his Dimbleby lecture (Podium, 20 December) about the need to sustain the flagging notion of a public morality, and to provide an ethical framework within which we can understand our lives.
But when he asserts that religion has a unique role in meeting these needs he is following a venerable religious tradition - that of colonising the common ground. Instead of casting aspersions on the concept of a secular society - that is, a free and inclusive society in which the state takes a neutral stance on questions of religion - he should have recognised that many of his concerns and values are shared not only by religious believers, but also by humanists and other non-believers.
When he claimed that "we are still... at sea over what concrete moral content we want to see in our children's education", he ignored the 1997 statement from the National Forum for Values in Education and the Community which was produced by a group representing a wide spectrum of beliefs, including Humanism, and won overwhelming support in a Mori poll of 3,200 schools, 700 national organisations and 1,500 individuals. …