On Catholic Education Sunday – Re-Post of my Thoughts on Catholic Education

Today in Scotland is marked by the Catholic Church as Catholic Education Sunday. Our Parish Priest preached about the establishment in 1893 of one of the local primary schools – set up by the Catholic community as an answer to the grinding poverty of the time.

As Father said – today why should anyone be deprived the benefits of Catholic education?

And to those politicians who seek to eliminate Catholic education on grounds of “equality” and “social cohesion”, why not attack private schooling, where people are, to use the abolitionist argument, subject to “apartheid” based on money?

(For the avoidance of doubt, I do not advocate an end to private education, nor do I consider that different schooling arrangements amounts to “apartheid”.)

Is the problem one as identified by Durkheim? Namely that the establishment of a separate group is seen by the majority as an “opposition” even where that is not the intention of the minority?

Anyway, I thought that today would be a suitable time to re-post a piece I put on the blog in September 2012 regarding my views on Catholic education, and associated topics.

So here it is.


Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Welcome Mass for first year pupils at my children’s High School. The hall was full; the children and the adults sang out, although thankfully more in tune than I was; and Father O’Brien spoke to the children about how wonderful they were and what possibilities awaited them as they moved through the school.

Many teachers turned out, whether to participate in the service, to lead the singing, play piano, or to organise the tea and biscuits afterwards. Many pupils from sixth year in the school came out on a Thursday evening in full uniform to help and to be there as an example for the new pupils. Other pupils came along, where they had siblings amongst the first year pupils. The commitment of teachers and pupils to the spirit of Catholic education is vital.

After the Mass, during which the first year pupils prayed the “Our Father” in sign language, we heard from the head teacher, telling the children about the adventure which awaits them as they move through the school. We had also heard from the head of the lower school, who talked about having a diverse group of children, coming from eleven different primary schools, joining together to make one unified first year group.

Finally, we gathered for the aforementioned tea and biscuits; new first years spent time with friends they had not met until three weeks ago when term started; older pupils chatted with each other and with the youngsters. Parents got to meet parents with whom they will share their children’s passage through secondary education over the next six years.

Being the celebration of the Mass, not all of the non-Catholic children attended, although some did. However this week has seen all of the first year pupils “on retreat” learning about initiatives like Mary’s Meals, feeding the hungry round the world.

Last night was a fine example of what Catholic education brings.

That is not to say, of course, that such an atmosphere might not exist at non-denominational schools; I am sure there are many where it does. However it is clear that there is an ethos within the Catholic education system in Scotland which is about much more than even the vital task of training children for exams.

Over the years I have attended many events at the schools, both secondary and primary, where, for example, the pupils have marked the Holocaust in drama, poetry and song, much of which created by the pupils themselves; where Diwali has been celebrated in dance as part of a project teaching the children about India; where other faiths have been discussed and praised for the good they have done. There is a breadth of education, especially regarding religion and other cultures, which belies the attacks by the critics, who use what are offensive terms like “apartheid” redolent of South Africa, and “segregation” as if we were back in the Seep South of the United States in the years up to the 1960’s.

As the Scottish Catholic Education Service puts it, rather more formally than I did:-

Catholic schools are encouraged to show excellence in their work in ways which demonstrate a distinctive Gospel understanding of “excellence”.  This is based on a Christian anthropology which regards each person as being uniquely gifted with talents and capacities which should be developed to their full potential.  Success is not measured merely in terms of academic attainment but in signs of personal development and actions which show a commitment to meeting the needs of others.

The Charter for Catholic Schools has been developed to define the key characteristics of excellence which should be found in every Catholic school in Scotland. 


The Scottish Government too recognises the importance of Catholic schools, saying:-

The curriculum in Roman Catholic schools will build on the openness of Catholic schools to other young people regardless of denominations and faiths.


This statement goes a long way towards answering the critics who condemn the “segregation” and even “Apartheid” of the Catholic system. The history of the separate system of education for Catholic children makes clear why it exists even now. It was never about taking Catholic children away from their peers; instead it arose because the state made little or no proper provision, so the Church took up the task. Indeed, at the time Catholic education commenced, there was not much of as state to do the job instead!

Catholic education has been provided in Scotland for many centuries.  Its foundations were in the monasteries which first provided education in the middle ages and which heralded the foundation by Papal authority of three of the ancient Scottish universities at St. Andrews in 1413, Glasgow in 1451, and Aberdeen in 1495.

Catholic schools have existed in Scotland for as long as Catholic communities have been established in various parts of the country. Most Catholic schools were founded as Parish schools, funded by the local parish and often housed in the local parish premises.  A number of religious congregations founded schools to provide the benefits of Catholic education, often for the poorest communities.

Today Catholic schools in Scotland are public schools – designated as “denominational schools” because they were, from the 1920s onwards, gradually transferred from Church ownership to State ownership. The 1918 Education Act in Scotland guaranteed the following rights to the Catholic community:

  • Catholic schools were to be funded by the State and open to inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectors;
  • as public schools, Catholic schools were to be open to all, but were expected to retain their own ethos and identity in order to serve the needs of the Catholic community;
  • any teacher appointed to any post was required to be approved by the Church with respect to their “religious belief and character”;
  • the local education authority was to appoint, with the approval of the Church, a Supervisor for Religious Education in Catholic schools.

Catholic schools today do not exist as an accident of history, the result of a concordat between Church and State in 1918.  They exist – indeed they thrive – because so many parents actively choose Catholic education for their children – approximately 120,000 of them.

The Catholic school is supported in its mission by the active partnership of the home, the school and the parish. Together, they provide support for the faith community, helping to form and develop in all a mature Christian conscience, in addressing the increasingly secular influences of popular culture.

Today, Catholic schools at primary and secondary level continue this fine tradition of Catholic education as a service not just to the Catholic community but to the wider Scottish society.

Catholic schools generally have significant numbers of non-Catholic pupils there, and this is not because of children being forced there because of catchment areas, but rather because parents recognise that there are advantages in the Catholic system. Indeed I have heard it cogently argued, though at too great length even for this piece, that what should be abolished, in the interests of higher standards of education and morality are not Catholic schools, but non-Catholic!

Catholic schools, much to the surprise of those who see them as a breeding ground for antagonism towards others, are actually arenas of great tolerance to all, respecting the fact that not everyone professes the Catholic faith. However the principles outlined in the Charter above will generally meet the requirements of parents of children of other faiths, and indeed of none.


Maeve McCormack is the policy and briefing manager for the Catholic Education Service for England and Wales. Last year she wrote the following in the Guardian regarding Catholic schools, primarily in England and Wales:-

It is a key part of the church’s mission to offer good quality education as part of our contribution to society as a whole. Catholic schools are always happy to welcome children from all backgrounds whose parents seek a Catholic education for them.

The Catholic church was the original provider of education in this country. From the Middle Ages onwards, the church took responsibility for teaching children. Central to this work has always been our dedication to providing education for the poorest in society. Following Catholic emancipation in the 19th century, the Catholic bishops of England and Wales prioritised the building of schools before the building of churches. Then, as now, the church’s commitment to education was strong.

We consider education to be crucially important as a means of forming the whole person intellectually, morally and socially and we want to help to give children as good a start in life as we can. Catholic schools strive to offer children a well-rounded education, providing them with a moral basis from which they are free to make their own decisions. The immeasurable benefit of a Catholic education is that students are encouraged to engage with the wider community and to make a positive contribution to society as a whole.

The current government, like previous governments, recognises the value that a Catholic education offers young people.

Catholic schools are inclusive. Our schools are more ethnically diverse than schools nationally (26% of students in Catholic secondary schools come from ethnic groups other than the “White British” category, compared to only 21% of students in secondary schools nationally). Recently published data also showed that Catholic schools have a higher proportion of students from the most deprived areas compared to schools nationally.

Central to this is the Catholic ethos and distinctive nature of our schools. Interestingly, in England around a quarter of pupils in Catholic schools are not Catholics and in Wales the figure is a third. As Baroness Warsi recognised in a recent speech, the provision of education is a major part of the Catholic church’s contribution to British society, part of a centuries-old tradition. We are proud to offer a well-rounded, high-quality education to almost 800,000 pupils and students in England and Wales: Catholics, members of other faiths and none.

Much the same can be said of the system in Scotland.


Does the system of Catholic schools promote sectarianism and bigotry, as is charged by critics? I do not believe so. There are always disputes between pupils of different schools – but this can be between schools and pupils of the same denomination, just a different blazer colour.

Do pupils from Catholic and non-denominational schools clash because of deep theological disputes about transubstantiation? Do pupils from the Catholic school taunt their non-denominational brethren over belief in pre-destination?


Instead the vast majority of religious bigotry in Scotland, and predominantly in the West of Scotland, is connected with the “religion” of football. The two temples of Celtic Park and Ibrox attract their congregation every two weeks, where the traditional “hymns” are sung.

It is of interest that the perception amongst some Rangers fans seems to be that all Celtic supporters are Catholics, and amongst some Celtic fans that all Rangers followers are Protestants. Whilst that historical backcloth can be draped over both teams, time moves on.

I would suggest though that most of the so-called inter-Christian violence and strife in Scotland is actually trouble between the two parts of what used to be called the “Old Firm”.

How many of those who attend each ground “religiously” also attend church or chapel? I suspect that most, on either side, of the ones who sing the loudest about the “enemy” are not sitting in their pew on a Sunday morning!

And whilst I do not claim to have carried out a detailed scientific survey, from reading contributions on the internet, those who frequent Rangers websites seem far more inclined to raise the issue of religion in a negative, disparaging and often insulting way about their perceived opponents, than other teams in reverse. I am sure that the percentage of non-Catholic Celtic supporters is much higher than that of Catholic Rangers fans.

This, when coupled with the overwhelming preponderance of Orange marches in the West of Scotland, over marches of any other type, suggests that the issues of sectarianism and bigotry, far from being fuelled by the education system, are in fact simply a function of people claiming labels for themselves and, as one vigorous Rangers supporting website states “Defending Our Traditions”.

Is this a blanket condemnation of the Orange Order and everyone in it? Of course not.

The Order in Scotland states:-

The purpose of the Orange Order can be summarised as:

To Maintain intact the Protestant Constitution and Christian heritage of the United Kingdom.

To cultivate Christian character, promote brotherly love and fellowship.

To expose and resist by all lawful means every system opposed to the mental, political and spiritual freedom of the individual.

The Protestant ethic is one of tolerance of other faiths and ideals. It is this tolerance and liberty that the Orange Order promotes and defends.

I suspect that these attributes and aims might not be at the forefront of the minds of all of those who profess to follow Orangeism, which is not to say that there are no members of the Order who do loyally follow the tenets of Orangeism.

Am I blaming all bigotry and sectarianism in Scotland on Rangers Football Club? Of course not.

Am I blaming all bigotry and sectarianism in Scotland on the various Protestant churches in the country? That would be wrong, and an insult.

Am I attributing the responsibility for bigotry and sectarianism directed from nominal Christians to other nominal Christians in Scotland on football? Let’s say that the people responsible have attached themselves to football as the most suitable and convenient way for them to give vent to their “traditional” frustrations.


To recap therefore.

Catholic Education in Scotland has a long and proud history. Catholic education, of course, is a joint effort, coming first from the parents in the home, and supported by the Church and the school.

The Catholic school system in Scotland is not an exclusive Catholic-only club, and the ethos attracts people of all faiths and none.

Generally the Catholic schools do a great job in educating the moral, as well as the intellectual, part of the child. Helping others and acts of charity form a large part of the personality of a Catholic school. The role of them is to send out people to spread the good news, both by word and especially by action.

Does this make Catholic education perfect? No. No system of education is perfect, but I have been happy and indeed proud to entrust my children to the Catholic education system.

Would I object if there were proposals to create the homogenised education system which critics of educational “apartheid” want to see? Of course.

Maybe some of the critics could attend events at Catholic schools, and meet the children and teachers and see in the flesh what goes on. Witness the culture. Observe the good emanating from the schools.

Then come back and try to argue that these schools are hotbeds of sectarianism and bigotry. I think it would be very hard to do so convincingly.

Posted by Paul McConville


Filed under Uncategorized

399 responses to “On Catholic Education Sunday – Re-Post of my Thoughts on Catholic Education

  1. @paul
    I understand your emotions for reposting but don’t see the need just now to revitalise the obvious flood of comments and agrument that will follow.

    bless you

  2. toomany vodies partaken…..pls excuse the spelling and grammer all

  3. Why is there such a need to have children educated separately ? All children catholic , protestant, Muslim , Hindu, Jewish should be taught together , why does the catholic church need to have separation ? Do you think Jesus would want children educated separately ? I think it is very un Christian to tell children of five they are different from the other kids in the street .

    • Bbb

      Obviously you didnt read he whole article and he meaning behind it, your blind opinion on catholic schools or religion in general seems to stop you from actually seeing the message. Never once was i taught i was different at a catholic school. Maybe the messages from the orange halls and terraces of ipox teach their broods that those “durty immigrant taigs” are different but i can assure you that its never taught in a catholic school. Only in the west of scotland are catholic schools a problem with people. Is it a coincedence that the west of scotland is also home to the legacy of the bigotry and hatred that old dead club rangers? I think not

    • @ Carson
      ever been inside a mosque? Ever lived in a country that is not christian? When you have you will answer your own questions or form a reasonable opinion concerning the topic (but unfortunately based on your previous postings NOT). As you point out whether its Catholic or christian (supposidley) or Jewish or Muslim or any other religion why segragate? They all do, with the exceptions of Christian, where no matter which religion you follow or part of that religion you are on the face of it “welcomed”

    • FYI in “catholic funded schools ” they are all taught to gether and always have been.

    • Jamie

      @ carson
      Do you think Jesus would want people wading up to their knees in fenian blood?…I think it’s very unchristain to spit on children as they walk to school because they are Catholic. Why is it only in Scotland that Catholic schools are an issue? I also think it’s very unchristain to take 5yr olds or any child for that matter to parades/protests that promote hatred and intolerance. Bigotry isn’t taught in schools it’s learned in families/communities.

      Again you single out the Catholic church to make your point…Is it only the Catholic church that has seperate education systems?

    • josephmcgrath112001809

      Compulsory schooling in Scotland began as a result of the 1872 Education Act. This set up public schools. One of the compulsory subjects taught was Religious Education. The Church of Scotland was responsible for the content of that education.
      This was not acceptable to the Catholics, The Episcopalians and the Jews. All three set up their own schools.
      In 19128 the Scottish Minister decided that this system was unfair and offered an inclusive public system. The three religions who opted out could now opt inand have their schools transferred into the state system as separate school.
      The Catholics and Episcopalians took this option, retaining their schools within the state system while the Jews decided not to do so.

    • Tecumseh

      Well Jesus taught about separating sheep and goats . .!! No pun intended

      He also said in today’s Traditional Latin Mass gospel that he taught in parables so that some . .” Would see but but not perceive, hear and not understand” . . .

      All the fuzzy crap that we are all equal gets nobody anywhere . . .some things are just better than other things. Hitting a nail on the head is far better than hitting your thumb nail . .you will agree . .with that piece of dogma . .or truth . .?? Won’t you . .??

      Then you will agree that on any reading of history the Catholic Church is the basic, the first, The longest lasting most traditional Christian community , therefore it is “The Best” . . In the same way as out of all the different liquids that can be ingested . . Water is the basic, the most fundamental drink for all animals.

      Protestants of all types of opinions will of course never agree with that, but as John Henry Newman said . . .to read history is to be catholic . .

      Unless you’ve an axe to grind . .??

  4. Fisiani

    I live in New Zealand and we also have a fair number of Catholic schools. We do not have the sectarianism that afflicts Scotland. We have Jewish schools, Evangelical schools, Anglican and Presbyterian schools. We have Maori schools and soon we will have partnership schools. We also have a lot of state schools with no denonominational attatchment. We do not however have Orange Walks. We do not have Loyalist groups.
    Our football/sports stadium in Wellington has one entranceway and all fans arrive and leave there. No trouble. We can buy beer and wine. We are civilised in New Zealand. No one would accuse Kiwis of being wimps.
    PS New Zealand was the only undefeated team at the World cup finals.
    Scotland’s sectarian shame is not produced by people sharing the love of Christ. Have a look at any “Rangers” blog and you will be sickened by the volume of comments espousing sectarian hatred. “Rangers” are a lightening rod for vile hatred. They are Scotland’s shame.

  5. John C

    Why is only a problem in Scotland ?

    Is the crocodile coming tick tock tick tock :o)

  6. No bloody way ! Stop the bus ! Ah got a thumbs up ! And a didnae gee it tae masel ! Ya dancer !

  7. I’m not saying that Catholic schools or any other schools are to blame for sectarianism , no certainly not , I’m only saying I don’t see the point of faith schools , children should go to school to be educated , but I think religion should be taught in the home or church or mosque ect .

    • How would you feel if your children attended and were taught in a Muslim school? would it be ok for you? I ask not for any reason other than to illicit a sensible answer.

      FYI, I am by birth a RC, I married twice, christian “protestants” and brought my two kids up with an open mind to religion as with anything, they were baptised RC but none of us for many different reason seriously follow any faith.

      My business partners are both Muslim Christian (both sides ( if there are any) and Jewish.

      My personal emotives support many of the dis affected, I have been in Iraq, ( NOT british army or any associates) and seen first hand the destruction and death and the hatred caused) all throughout the middle east its the same.

      Religion IMHO is the curse given by someone to this world. It causes more death and destruction and its obscene when bullies “ride into battle” against the downtrodden for unseen wealths, nothing in histroy has changed and it still runs through to today where wars are instugated by the strong to deprive the weak.

      • mick

        well said michael

      • dan

        Micheal, I’ve always found it helps to view the world through a Marxist prism, ( while accepting that no attempt to put ‘Marxism’ into practice has yet to succeed), but as a way of trying to understand the world and how it works I genuinely think Marxism is a useful tool. For example, If I had been an indigenous Protestant Scot in the nineteenth/early twentieth century, and witnessed an influx of cheap Irish labour which ‘capital’ was more than willing to hire and so undercut my rate of pay, I’m not sure that I wouldn’t have run out and joined my local Orange lodge to protect my ‘Protestant Heritage’ from the immigrant Irish. The point being that ‘religious sectarianism’ usually has a ‘truer’ underlying cause, and that cause has usually to do with economic or political power. Consider also the sectarianism in the Middle East, between Shiite and Sunnis for example. It has little to do with theological hair splitting, but everything to do with one group feeling disenfranchised—and thus at an unfair economic advantage as opposed to the other. In addition, are we seriously saying that the bloody conflict in Northern Ireland was about Protestants versus Catholics? That’s the superficial way of looking at it. What was at stake was one community trying to sustain political and economic power over another. The fact that they were of different faiths was merely a rallying call for both sides. Ye Gods, even Phil Mc G acknowledges that post power sharing, it’s very far from certain that the Catholics in Northern Ireland, now that they consider themselves to be stakeholders in the community, will want join up with their southern compatriots—–because it was never about religion. That is the cloak that villains dress themselves in, but that said, let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Let’s stop doing religion down—–any religion.

        • Your points are acurate and true but don’t specifically address the point made by paul. I accept that the religious split in ALL communities worldwide is mainly driven by distrust and subjective powers of the elite, ” AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME”.

          Point in fact is the shift in NI politics but more importantly the middle east where numpties like the the brits and yanks continue to power play between them. IE we need oil and money, the Arab and in particular gulf states have them in abundance so lets fire up the locals then “we” ride and “save” them and in the process net the resources and secure $£ all day long to democracise them.
          Now things have settled down in Africa time to rape the resources there so lets stir it up there now. Its not religion that causes the problem, its the people who blindly follow their religion and the masters who manipulate it from afar.

          Religion and politics are never far away from each other ….even in a marxist state. the most devout christians I have ever encountered are from eastern europe where religion was banned and carried the death penalty for long enough.

        • Tecumseh

          I wouldn’t be holding my breath waiting for someone . .”putting Marxism in to practice” . . .!!!

          As for viewing the world through a Marxist prism . .FFS . .!!! . .

          There are better more enjoyable ways to go blind . . .!!!

          • dan

            Nonsense ‘Chief Tecumseh’. In fact Marxism helps explain the demise of your namesake and his native American people. They stood in the way of ‘progress’ i.e. capitalist development. But their destruction had to masked by ‘higher ideals’ than naked greed, so their ‘religion’ or lack of it, was attacked, along with their culture generally.

            Out of interest which tenets of Marxism do you find objectionable? I could maybe put you right. As for Bam, he who has cravenly hung onto your coat tails with his weasel-like ‘Agreed’, I doubt if he has the intellectual capacity to get to grips with old Karl’s works—–which, in part at least, have been embraced by most serious historians these days.

            • cam

              My “Agreed” was in reply to Michael1888’s post of 9;23pm.The format of the blog was obviously too complex for your hatred too overcome.
              Back into your box wee angry man.

            • Maggie

              @dan & Tecumseh
              Here’s a little fact for you guys.The Union General. William
              T.Sherman, responsible for the burning of Atlanta and the march
              through Georgia during the American Civil War,had the middle name
              Tecumseh…..can’t recall why,but it’s something that has stuck in my
              brain from my student days.
              I knew it would come in handy some day 🙂

      • Cregganduff


        ” Religion IMHO is the curse given by someone to this world. It causes more death and destruction and its obscene when bullies “ride into battle” against the downtrodden for unseen wealths, nothing in histroy has changed and it still runs through to today where wars are instugated by the strong to deprive the weak.”

        I wonder if you have been reading a book I picked up a while back, as it confirms exactly what you say. I will post the exact title tomorrow and would recommend it to anyone who would like to better understand the growth of Christianity in the first millennium A.D. Goodnight.

        • ‘Cregganduff
          Not read anything just been fortunate to travel and meet many different races and cultures so formed my own opinions, but would welcome any knowledgable insight on the topic.

      • Ally McMoist

        I don’t understand why you baptised your two kids RC but claim not to follow any faith? Bit of a contradiction.
        Also,”How would you feel if your children attended and were taught in a Muslim school?” is a non-starter question. You wouldn’t be allowed in unless you were muslim.
        I totally agree with your opinion that religion is a curse to this world.
        It then begs the question again of why you baptised your two kids RC??

    • Maggie

      “I am not saying that Catholic schools or any other schools are
      to blame for sectarianism,no certainly not”
      On 31st January @ 4.04pm on a Rangers supporting blog
      you wrote ………” the green seat brigade that are brainwashed
      If you are now saying that you do not blame denominational
      schools for sectarianism,then please enlighten us as to what
      schools you were apportioning blame.
      Was it perhaps School of Rock that you seemed to hold
      responsible,or the School of Hard Knocks,School of Whales,
      School of Dolphins?
      Please be forthcoming with some clarification.

      • Were do I mention catholic schools ? You are assuming all members of the green seat brigade attend catholic schools , could it not be that the schools , faith or non denominational have let them down ?

        • can’t slip that one……hook line and maggie, just the inference is enough, but feel free to correct me

        • Maggie

          @ Carson
          As I posted to you before DO NOT pull that one,everyone
          knows you meant denominational schools,so why don’t you just
          cut to the chase,man up and admit it,like a brave soldier.

          From your post above @ 8.47pm…..”or any OTHER schools
          are to blame for sectarianism” From that anyone would deduce
          that you do not hold ANY school at all culpable of promoting
          sectarianism,yet quite clearly you stated on 31st Jan that you
          BLAME THE SCHOOLS. That is why I asked.
          Which is it to be ,you blame schools or you you don’t blame

          Oh and btw the word is WHERE ( with a H ) not “were do I …..”

          • Thanks for pointing out mes poore gremar , are all Celtic supporters catholic ? Are all member of the green seat brigade catholic ? So , how can I blame catholic schools for their idiotic behaviour if they didn’t attend catholic schools ? Btw , I thought you were not going to reply to my posts ?

            • Maggie

              Ok,As you haven’t answered what I asked you.I’ll make it
              easier for you : pick one of your two stated opinions:

              1.I blame the schools.31st Jan

              2 I’m not saying Catholic schools or any OTHER schools are to
              blame for sectarianism,no certainly not. 3rd Feb.

              Which is it to be?

            • Cregganduff

              For some reason, a cornered rat comes to mind.

          • Budweiser

            I mean really, why bother? He probably attended a ‘military school’ , you know, ‘ours is not to reason why’.
            He does actually get ‘their’ right in one out of three efforts, and doesn’t know the difference between spelling and grammar. Obviously didn’t attend a Grammar school.

    • Jamie

      Your not saying it directly but you imply there is an issue…..like the majority of your posts you dress up as non-offensive which inevitively are, you are talking through your arse.

    • Pensionerbhoy


      Sad man that I am, I am box bleary watching the Superbowl. There was at least an half hour delay during the third quarter because of an electrical failure so I will be writing ex lectum for some time yet. I tell you this merely to explain that I am not simply or only, the choice is yours, some idiotic imbecile who stays up all night to read blogs and throw in his few pence worth whenever he has a conceived opinion. I was in fact going to avoid any comment on the topic as I thought I had little of significance to add to the existing debate.
      The reason I feel obliged to interject is my intense aversion to misinterpretation even if not intended. The true meaning of education is the development of the whole man which was, in fact, once the definition found in the Concise Oxford Dictionary when it was universally accepted as the definitive dictionary. If we accept that there is a spiritual dimension to life, and you may not but ought not to deny others that belief, then you can not limit education to intellectual and physical development alone of the child. Full development has to include the teaching of some form of moral or ethical standards. It may in fact be that human behaviour by its very nature implicitly demands these benchmarks. To omit the teaching of precepts about how to live proper lives as social entities, would be to emasculate the whole notion of eduction. I fear Mr. Blair’s call for “Education, education, education” which focused almost entirely on the achievement of intellectual qualifications, real or imaginary, but therein is another debate, has rather given rise to this tenuous interpretation. To follow the path of separating or excluding areas of development in the education of our children, will lead to the ultimate disintegration of learning itself. Dissociative identity disorder is not the natural composition of human beings but if we divide the various areas of learning into differing parts then we are in danger of developing multi personality beings. I would rather have separate schools that retain our children’s development all in one complete educational curriculum than have them develop some form of segregated thought process. For me, this would be far more dangerous than the most unsound Catholic school.

  8. Bill Fraser

    Much as I agree with your sentiments about Catholic education and accept that children of all faiths can benefit from religious principles, I nonetheless have reservations. Having been away from Scotlnd for many years, I have no direct experience of things as they are today, so I would beg your understanding while I remenisce on my childhood of 50 years ago. Living in Dunfermline, we had one Catholic primary school and the nearest secondary school was in Kirkcaldy. It seemed strange to us that a couple of local kids of our age caught the bus every day to go to Kirkcaldy rather than attened the same school as us and they never mixed with any of us. As young lads, we used to hang around in the playground to play football after school and were often targetted by the “Cathies”. I never understood why there was this antagonism between us but they were “different”. To make matters worse, we lived with my grandparents and my grandfather, who was a Rangers fan, would not let a Catholic in the door; he informed his children that if any of them married a Catholic he would disown them. Though I had stopped going to church at the age of 8 I was still suspicious about these folk who were “not like us”.
    So what changed my view of Catholics? Well, in 1967 my dad went to work in Hamilton and had a room with probably the strangest family in the town. The husband was Protestant but most of his family wouldn’t speak to him because he married a Catholic. The 6 kids were brought up as Catholics though two of them married Protestants. They became great friends and we were invited to weddings and I spent more time in the chapel than in church. By the late 80s, living in France, I planned to invite the mother and the youngest son to visit so I could take them to Saint Bernadette’s tomb in Nevers, 20 miles from where I live, and Lourdes but circumstances made this impossible.
    So, what is the point of all this? People are always suspicious of things they do not understand and keeping kids apart produces a breeding ground for sectarianism. Living in a Catholic country, I find that some older people hold strange ideas about Protestants, thus, recently a workmate suggested to me that the troubles in Northern Ireland were down to differences of opinion between the Protestants and the Christians. In his mind, he cannot conceive of Christians existing outside the Catholic church.
    In an ideal world there would be no need for separate faith schools but it is far from ideal. We shall therefore have to made do with the best of a difficult situation.

    • mick

      bill to be christian you have to belive in jesus prodestants are protesters saying there is no jesus your forefathers broke away from the RC faith that makes yous anti christ yous can not cliam to be christian unless you belive in jesus christ that is the view the world over and is factual it does not matter what you are as long as you do good then you will get to heaven thats the message from all faiths to jesus will forgive you for it as long as you were good so no worrys

      • Bill Fraser

        Sorr, Mick, but Preotestants do believe in Jesus. We simply don’t worship the Virgin Mary.

        • josephmcgrath112001809

          Catholics don’t worship the Virgin Maty either.
          It is a good thing to have these misconceptions aired. Talking to people of other religions is the best way to understand what they really think – as opposed towhat we think they think.
          Talk to people.

        • Maggie

          @Bill Fraser
          Catholics do NOT worship The Virgin Mary, Catholics
          VENERATE her. Common misconception.

      • Mick where does it say that RC is THE only faith? There are many true christian faiths and more ancient than RC.

        • mick

          am rc thats my faith a know there is others but that is the 1 a believe in

          • I know pal but the my religion is better than yours divides not enjoins people, thats why I no longer follow any specific religion, I respect and admire those that do follow any religion including muslims as they are some of the most devout and sincere but also misunderstood people, but its not something I can do having witnessed what I have and continue to see. I believe in something, not sure anymore if its a god or just a concept now.

        • Maggie

          There is NO older christian faith than what became Catholicism.
          Think about it…The twelve apostles were the first to hear the
          message from Christ,and after his death spread the word throughout
          the world.There was no Christianity before Christ.
          The name Catholic simply means universal.ie spread worldwide,
          and as Rome was the place where St Peter had died this became
          a place of pilgrimage and through time the headquarters of
          the fledgling church,hence Roman Catholicism.

          All Christian faiths are breakaway factions of Catholicism.
          ( or breakaway factions from those factions and so on)
          The very name Protestant is the name for someone Protesting
          against the strictures that they perceived wrong in Catholicism.
          This led to the Reformation and the many branches of
          Christianity throughout the world..

          • @maggie

            • Maggie

              After the death of Jesus,St Mark the evangelist introduced Christianity to to Alexandria in Egypt which became the Coptic Church spreading to Greece Russia etc
              St Mark’s body eventually ended up in Constantinople/Istanbul
              where it was retrieved by the Venetians during their travels and
              trade wars with Byzantium. The body now lies in San Marco
              in Venice.The interior of the church is also very Coptic in design.
              So full circle :-).

            • Maggie

              I agree mike,about other faiths,but not older Christian faith,
              It’s well seen the telly is mince and the Sunday papers are read.
              I promised myself I wasn’t going to pop in here at all today,but
              you know what it’s like….:-)

            • maggie beg to differ but then thats me all over, visited the sites in Egypt and Jordan and they pre date the “coming of christ” therefore the split in the church etc the link I have highlighted is a decent insight, but I’m always open to persuading its otherwise…….at the end of the day what does it all matter so long as the individual is at peace and is decent. Thats all we can hope for in life IMHO. 🙂

            • Budweiser

              Adeste Fideles
              Thanks for the link. Just ordered it on amazon.

          • Maggie I am well aware and familiar with the historic “christian” church. There are many pre existing “faiths” of simiilar basis that pre date what is now considered Christian and subsequently RC. And all the others, thats why i don’t any more, but have no issue in supporting the rights of all others to practise their own faiths no matter how misconceived many of them are nowadays.

            • Budweiser

              I find it rather strange that the only ‘historical record’ of a jesus comes from the Roman historian Josephus writing after 66 ad when he was with the roman army putting down the last jewish rebellion.
              ‘Christianity’ until the emperor Constantine in 4th cent. was largely a gnostic or mystery religion and only then could it be said to have become ‘roman’. Imo ,before this point it was last in a long line of ‘mystery religions’ which encapsulated the ‘dying god and resurrection’ theme.

            • Maggie

              I think we’re in danger of turning into eco & Adam if
              we’re not careful.:-)
              I completely agree with you about ‘faiths” that pre date the
              birth of Christ,but my point is that they aren’t, and couldn’t be
              Christian as Christ hadn’t yet been born and no one had
              heard his teachings.
              The very definition of Christian is follower of Christ.

              Part of your reply to Mick was ….”there are many true Christian
              faiths and more ancient than RC”
              There is no more ancient a “CHRISTIANITY” than RC as it was
              the first.
              ARGHHHHH What are we doing!!!!! 🙂
              See you the morra no doubt.

      • Adam

        For goodness sake. Just when you thought mick couldnt get any sillier.

        I mean, is this guy for real???

        • mick

          mick couldnt get any sillier. what makes you say that adam

          • Adam

            Your inane nonsense about everything, then you come out with the above.

            Prodestants are anti christ and dont believe in jesus?????

            You are an ignorant liability and thanks goodness Paul is onto you and deleting some of your posts. You are an embarrassment to this site.

            • mick

              adam thats what a thought well what makes yous diffrent from us RCs then ???

            • Adam

              Nothing much truth be told. You might be surprised to learn that the Bible read by Roman Catholics is the same Bible read by those who attend the Church of Scotland. Perhaps you should have listened more when being taught about tolerance and other religions, if that actually happened, when you were at school.

      • mick

        bill being up front with you a always thought that yous did not believe in jesus and that is why yous protest maybe you would like to do a topic on for us so we can better under stand your belives ,

        • Adam

          Again, you are showing your ignorance. You are not exactly a walking advert for single faith schools with these moronic, ignorant views.

          • mick

            with these moronic, ignorant views.could you point this out ??

            • Adam


              “bill to be christian you have to belive in jesus prodestants are protesters saying there is no jesus your forefathers broke away from the RC faith that makes yous anti christ yous can not cliam to be christian unless you belive in jesus christ”

              “a always thought that yous did not believe in jesus and that is why yous protest”

              Moronic, ignorant and unbelievable truth be told.

          • Adam …..inform then judge

            • mick

              well said michael we are discussing views and a stated mine but adam being adam if you dont hold the same views as him then or are wrong then he unleashes his nasty side

            • Adam

              Wrong again mick. Others have stated different views on here that differ from mine. The world would be boring if people didnt have different views.

              But for someone in 2013 to suggest “prodestants are anti christ” in a blog created to discuss the merits of single faith schools is laughable.

            • Maggie

              Well said,but sadly others are not as tolerant or understanding,
              or dare I say,as Christian as you.They prefer to be patronising
              and insulting,belittling others to increase their sense of

          • mick

            moronic, ignorant views. theres your bullying superiority complex kicking in agian adam

            • mick

              why dont they kneel and do the sign of cross and recive the body of christ then adam tell me that

            • Adam

              Why dont you open yourself up and read up on it instead of firing off ignorant non facts about this place. I am non religious who has been married twice, both times in Catholic services. My kids are “Catholics” and were educated, finely may i add, at “Catholic” schools.

              Having “forced” them to attend Mass every Sunday for years, I am delighted with the way they have turned out, though they no longer attend mass. I can say hand on heart that neither of them believe their uncle or other “prodestant” relations are anti-christ.

              As others have said though, that is down to the way they were reared in a completely tolerant and open household.

        • Bill Fraser

          Mick,as I said in my post I stopped going to church when I was 8. Speaking to friends who are regular church-goers has made me realise that I did the right thing as they have strange ideas about going to heaven. I’m the last person you should be asking to write an article on Protestantism. To tell the truth, I don’t care what religion someone follows as long as they are good people.

          • mick

            well said bill a share that myself I don’t care what religion someone follows as long as they are good people.and thanks for being positive in your corrections of my post

          • Steven brennan

            The church of England was formed because a king couldn’t divorce and marry another woman in The eyes of his church ( church of Rome)
            He was ex communicated and started the church of England which still remains a catholic church. Just not a Roman catholic one
            Many of the people who claim to be protestant have called me a liar for saying they attend a catholic church. But it is true, the beliefs, bible, scriptures and service are basically the same.
            It does not appear to be an issue anywhere other than west of Scotland and north of Ireland
            Ho hum

      • cam

        Good Lord Mick your ignorance of the subject has peaked with that statement.
        Protestant against the rule of Rome.We are all Christians mick,its just a different rule book for some.
        It shall make no difference, for the hatred in our hearts shall deny us all the grace of God.

      • Ally McMoist

        Way off the mark with this statement,Mick-
        “as long as you do good then you will get to heaven thats the message from all faiths” – REALLY??
        So, a murderer or rapist who believes in Jesus and asks for forgiveness won’t get into “heaven”?? – explain?
        You obviously didn’t also know that the only guaranteed path to “paradise” in the Islamic faith is to die whilst fighting for Allah? Educate yourself:

    • ecojon

      @Bill Fraser

      There are many many more Catholic schools in England than in Scotland and down south there are also a huge number of Church of England Anglican Faith schools and a helluva lot of faith schools for other religions.

      But they don’t appear to have the sectarian problems we have in bits of Scotland which tends to make me think that the problem is unique to Scotland. I think it is up to people to ask themselves some hard questions as to what causes the problem – I think it’s obvious to anyone who isn’t a bigot. As to the bigots they are losing ground every year that passes and becoming more and more isolated and that can only be for the general good.

      Obviously in the end-game they will react vigorously and lash out but they no longer have the support they once did. Most people, and I include NI in this just want to get on with their life in peace and most importantly with a stable future and a lasting peace for their children.

      Things have worsened since the chuck pie wagon rolled into town but they will calm down when it rolls on and people of good intent can continue with the work of broadening an creating an all-inclusive multicultural Scotland.

      • Jamie

        Catholics are the only religious group that it is legally acceptable to discriminate against in Britain

        • Adam

          Can you explain that please.

          • Cregganduff



            JANUARY 30, 2013

            Bob Morris

            As the bill goes to the Lords, it might be useful to reflect further on the detail of what was said in the Commons debates on 22 and 28 January about the place of religious tests in our constitution.

            Of the three tests, two – ineligibility of Catholic believers and those married to Catholics – are directed explicitly at Catholics and one – the requirement to be ‘in communion with’ the Church of England – excludes Catholics and all others unable to satisfy the requirement. The bill would abolish only the second of the three tests.

  9. Sassenach

    In a country where sectarianism, anti-Irish racism (even though not all Caholics are of Irish descent) and intolerance are widespread Catholics would be discriminated against in an open state stystem. At least with Catholic schools we have a section of the education system that welcomes all faiths and none and teaches a curriculum based on love and tolerance though not all seeds sown take. I taught in the Catholic secondary system for 35 years and it is a valuable gift to be cherished in society.

  10. mick

    great read paul your a good soul bring this topic up ,religion should be a massive part of any school ,multi faith lessons are given in all schools in scotland and are key to shaping young kids to be good and know right from wrong ,its only an issue in scotland with non belivers with hidden agendas
    .also familys with faithful perants weather RC OR OTHER go on and funtion better in life and its proven via stats

  11. cam

    I was speaking to my daughter regards her exams and the subject of her taking Religious,Moral and Philisophical studies came up.
    I advised her to ask her friends to gather their knowledge on the topic and she informed me that RC schools don’t have R.E as a subject.
    Is this correct?
    I haven’t read the whole lengthy blog and i realise that its a subject close to Paul and others hearts but my feeling is that schools are there to teach subjects like maths,english.the sciences etc and that religion is for the home and for the individual.
    Without trying to be controversial or insulting i feel that many aspects od Scottish Catholocism is more about control and power than Christianity.
    Again apologies if anyone takes this comment as my usual idiocy but the films starting and the missus is offering me a malteser!

    • josephmcgrath112001809

      Catholic schools do have religious education.
      If you want to know – ask. Too many distorted ideas (we are all guilty of this) cause most of this inter religious strife.

      • cam

        Thats what i was doing Joseph,asking.My daughter is a great wee debater and her talks on religion are very educational.
        When she stated that RC schools don’t have R.E as a subject i was surprised and doubtful on the accuracy of her statement.
        Thank you for your reply and forgive my ignorance on the subject.

    • M_A_K

      “RC schools don’t have R.E as a subject”.
      Couldn’t be more wrong – worst mandatory 4 hours of my week at school. I later became an atheist 🙂
      After 2nd year it tends to be more oriented towards learning about other faiths and not Catholicism/ Christianity.
      And it may surprise anyone who has not been to a RC school – but they do take other denominations. We had Hindus and Muslims; and shared parts of the curriculum in 5th and 6th year with non-RC schools.
      I’ve seen threads saying RC schools are the source for the hatred to Protestants/ Rangers. LOL – as a school kid you have bigger things to deal with. Any balanced kid will have friends from all denominations. It was never an issue until you met “grown ups”. Truth is, the majority of RC kids never cared.

      • At last sensible truthful comment , merci MAK

      • cam

        Thank you MAK,i did think she must have picked this up wrongly.
        I don’t involve myself in religious discussions with my kids and allow them to find their own path.
        The world is changing so quickly and organised religion in Scotland is losing ground,for good or bad.
        School,for me is a place to learn the three r’s and i woudn’t want a teacher pushing their ideas on kids.
        The kids are made aware of all the other belief systems and do seem to leave school with less prejudices nowadays.
        Thats a good thing.

        • Maggie

          Teachers do not push THEIR ideas on children.
          They work within the guidelines of a curriculum for
          every subject including RE.

          • cam

            There are “bad”teachers though Maggie in every school.
            My own French teacher of many years ago was a complete loon ball.
            His lessons consisted of walking on top of the wooden desks spouting his political views interspersed with the odd French phrase.
            Explains partly my very poor grasp of the language.
            Je m’appelle cam,je suis un bam!

    • ecojon


      What a saddo you actually are. Your daughter asks a serious question which deserves a considered answer from her parents and you pap her onto her mates.

      You can’t even be annoyed reading Paul’s post which answers the question you pose.

      But you can spend hours on here spouting your troll nonsense when 2/3 minutes reading would have provided the information under ‘A Charter for Catholic Schools in Scotland’.

      I certainly know that if any of my children, who all went to non-denominational schools, has said that Catholic children don’t have RE the first question I would have asked them was: ‘Who told you that?’ The reason I would have asked is to make sure that my child was not being exposed to or influenced by someone with an anti-Catholic agenda.

      Well we all have different priorities I suppose. Enjoy your film 🙂

      • cam

        You have a serious problem with me Eco and thats fine.
        Don’t bring my parenting skills or my daughter into our silly wee argument.

        • ecojon


          I have no problem with you although I do pity you in many ways as I see you waste time and talent in your constant trolling sniping at Celtic and its historical context.

          As to your daughter you were the one who introduced her to the debate on this forum in what any ‘normal’ person would see a one of your sly digs at Catholics and Catholic education which are usually thinly cloaked in poor humour.

          The problem you and your ilk have with me is that I come from a mixed background and have experienced first-hand both religions and both schooling systems. I support Celtic because it was the nearest team to me geographically – that simple.

          I rejected organised religion as not for me, for a variety of reasons, although I do have elements of Buddhism which runs through my thoughts mainly because of some very special Buddhists I have met who had a profound affect on my world view and the importance of all living creatures in it.

          I have raised my children to repect the faith of anyone who isn’t out to destroy society or intentionally hurt anyone or anything and, where possible, to stand-up for the rights of oppressed human beings. None of them are religious in any practising way but all have some highly admirable qualities in how they feel about life, people and the environment.

          Their friends come in all colours and religious faiths as well as gender orientation and all are welcome in my home and I feel sure are comfortable there. I firmly believe that the home is where love or hate can be formed.

          And I will say again that if any of my children, in their formative years, had said anything about another religion in the manner that your daughter had then I would be concerned. I would stop trolling against Celtic, speak to my partner, switch-off the computer and ensure that I understood what exactly had prompted the question because I would have known that the source had to be outwith our home.

          But we all do things differently and as I said previously it all depends on our priorities.

          • cam

            Again you’re guilty of getting the wrong end of my statement which is based on your long harboured ill, will due to being proven undisputably wrong in a trivial matter many months ago that had nowt to do with you.
            My daughter stated that it was her understanding from some of her friends comments that R.E was not available as a subject for study within RC schools.
            I found that surprising and have now discovered that she was in error.
            There was no attempt at all in my post to have a “sly dig” at Catholics or RC schools.
            My view is that kids should be taught and made aware of different religions in school and that churches and the home is where religious beliefs can be fostered.My kids don’t hear anything from me to shape their religious beliefs.I like many, struggle to see the hand of a loving God in this crazy world.
            I asked a question and was politely answered by other posters.
            I agreed mostly with michael1888 that organised religions inadvertently seemed to cause more harm than good.
            My daughter made no attempt to express an opinion about another religion in any manner and she like many teenagers leans towards atheism.There is/was no outside influence to be concerned about.She was factually incorrect and i wasn’t informed enough or interested enough to factually correct her.
            You have me marked as a bigot.You think i’m up to no good on “your” site.
            You don’t like the presence of a red/white and blue bird in this menagerie and you would like me to keep my opinions out of your patronising attempts to contol this site.
            Got news for you,i’ll be here a wee bit longer expressing an alternative view
            I and my “ilk” dont have a problem with you due to any belief system you espouse or the team you support.I don’t appreciate your patronising manner,your sleekit digs and frantic attempts to control a debate.Other posters have recognised the same trait.
            Early on i thought,Eco is a nice well rounded chap with a good knowledge of shares,company law,legal terms but as time passed i realised that amidst the other intellectual heavy hitters you are a fraud.
            Your inability to put your mitts up and admit you were/are wrong is a basic character flaw.IMHO.
            I’m gonna give you your right to reply and then just sling you a deafy,,inserts sad smiley.

    • Hoopybhoy

      RC schools do have R.E but you can ask the school not to put your child into the class because you don’t believe. a girl I went too school with not so long agos parents did this.

      • cam

        Again,excuse my ignorance on the curriculum in RC schools.My niece has just switched from a non RC primary to the local RC secondary due to her parents thinking that its a better school, academically and more modern.
        If the wean leaves with a few highers and good family values instilled by her parents then its job done.

      • Maggie

        And transversely I have taught many non Catholic children,
        who recited every prayer,sung every hymn,attended every Mass
        and went to the altar to receive a blessing while their classmates
        were receiving a sacrament.
        You are correct,parents have the right to withdraw their child
        from Catholic religious teaching,though I never experienced it ever.
        That was a good sign I always thought.

  12. stippidoo

    Having been brought up in a catholic /family/culture/society, I went to a pretty normal catholic school, I say normal, its all I knew & I wasn’t allowed to know anything else. For this I am eternally grateful for my own ability (no thanks to my education) to be able to think freely for myself & see the catholic religion/culture as a hypocritical totalitarian regime.

    Adults who baptise their children are only pushing their own beliefs/insecurities onto their children, & think this is utterly wrong.
    A child should not be exposed to religion at any age. Can a child vote? Drink alcohol? Drive a car? No. So why expose children to the bible, a antisemitic book, written a few thousand years ago… Come on people… Open your eyes.

    As a Celtic fan, I oppose to our links to any church. I feel embarrassed when I see our talented players bless themselves & thank god for scoring a goal, never mind the backroom staff & dietitians who help these men each day. Its an insult.

    Faith is a weakness, & when someone tells me that proof of god is the bible, I throw a copy of Harry Potter at them & tell them ‘whats the difference’?

    • KennyG

      I was also educated in a Roman Catholic school and like you I’m now an atheist. However, I would defend the right for faith schools to exist and would never feel embarrassed with a Celtic player ‘blessing himself’. Every individual has a right to follow their faith and express this publicly. Tolerance is what we should all aspire to.

      • stippidoo

        I have no choice but to accept & tolerate the actions of our club & the players Kenny. But ive tolerated stupidity & suffered from it mentally throughout my youth.
        Are you saying when you see Izi looks up at the sky as the champions league music is playing with his hand raised high & you dont feel like giving him a good shake? I do.

        Faith schools breed intolerance, I’m not saying no faith, just no faith schools. Choosing god later in life when of ‘sound mind’ is more acceptable (& tolerant) brainwashing children is a crime in my opinion.

    • Steven brennan

      I couldn’t agree more,I am one of eight children who was brought up in the catholic faith.
      All of us are hard working well balanced atheists.
      Dyslexic atheist ” there is no dog”

  13. Mick , are you seriously saying that people who believe in a faith ” function ” better in life ? I suppose Islamic fundamentalist are a good example of ” function” there are good people who don’t believe in any god and function quite well in society , some of the biggest bams I have met have been bible bashers , of all faiths .

    • mick

      carson Islam out of it ok we know what your about ,and yes carson that is what am saying faith makes people have more faith in doing the right thing and breeds good luck mostly thats whats wrong in scotland people have no faith in anything any 1 that prays gets good strength if you dont belive this then thats up to you

      • Mick religion or faith “makes people do the right thing” sorry pal but have to disagree ….and I am sure you would if you looked through my eyes at some of the atrocities i am sad to say have been brought about by ALL god sent warriors!!

        • mick

          michael a know what your on about but this is a minority most of the world is doing the right thing via there belives we cant tar all people who are faithfull as this because we dont see drama in scotland faith related then our views are diffrent ,a belive every day is a test from jesus to see if you do the right thing am not from a bible preaching family it is just my views on it all humans are looking for strengh via faith similiar to yoga meditation is a form of faith

          • and you are entitled to them ……as others are of theirs but sharing is always a good thing in my experience. knowledge as they say is power, understanding is life

          • Steven brennan

            Some of the scariest people i have ever met were the christian fundamentalist in america. Narrow minded fascist bigoted people
            Burning books and not allowing kids to learn evolution etc
            And the worst thing was a church on every corner but no pubs.

    • Maggie

      mick IS correct.It has been proven that people with religious
      faith,of any type,do handle “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune ” much better than others with no religious belief at.

      NB I’m still waiting for your answer to my question regarding
      your stance on blaming / not blaming schools for promulgating

  14. mick

    control and power well wrong cam its about protection from non belivers and there wrong influences

  15. Mick I hope your not an example of a faith school , firstly it’s not prodestants it’s actually protestants , and like yoous ( you ) they do believe in Jesus , and they are anti Christ ? For fcuks sake it’s not the omen your watching , have you ever read the bible ? Or are you familiar with the teachings of Christ ? Love , tolerance ect

    • @carson @mick, … Carson, interesting observation in your reply here that i thought i might air …. you ask mick has he ever read the Bible ….. is’nt that the crux of the difference …. Protestant’s will refer to the word of God … the Bible, whereas Roman Catholics will refer to the word of the Church …. am i left field here ?

      Don’t usually get involved in these debates …. so apologies in advance to all.

      • Apologies to carson and mick and ….. 3 terrible pre-sumptions in my post. The third of which i’m sure some on here will figure out !

      • both “believe in the bible, just different channel from the same source……the bible. google reformation FYI

        • @michael1888, am making a different point ….
          Philip Schaff the Protestant historian offered the following …….
          “The Protestant goes directly to the Word of God for instruction, and to the throne of grace in his devotions; whilst the pious Roman Catholic consults the teaching of his church…”

          No expert myself though !!! …. more interested in the SurerBowl XLVII … we are all ready to party tonight …………… come on 49’ers

          • excuse my nugget but if you are reading “Philip Schaff the Protestant historian” then its very likely that similarly if I quoted current papal teachings it would be distinctly biased on certain points or issues. Maybe even ignorant, its happened before…….enjoy the game

          • portpower

            4th quarter and the 49`ers have seen the light after the blackout.
            Tolerance is my belief Brothers and Sisters.

          • Maggie

            RCs consult the teaching of their church as the church has
            already consulted the Word of God on our behalf.
            Of course at all times we are free to,and indeed actively
            encouraged to,consult the word of God and the throne of
            grace in personal prayer and devotion.

  16. SairFecht

    Where I grew up there were two primary schools at the end of the road – you had to turn in a different direction to get the either and hence there was ‘The Proddie Side’ and ‘The Catholic Side’ of the street which even at an early age I think I found vaguely ridiculous. Likewise with the occasional insult of ‘Orange B’ which I could easily take with a pinch of salt – my folks didn’t follow any religion though my old man had been brought up in a strictly
    Calvinist household – his father, incidentally as a very devout Presbyterian, thought Orangeism a rabble. Likewise with the occasional insults ‘our side’ would throw at the other. For many years this wee experience left me with the conviction that separate schools were not necessarily a good thing – though this has modified over time to a general view that we all make choices for our kids in one way or another and should live with a basic respect and tolerance for what folks choose to believe in. I’m pretty sure too that much of the insulting that was traded back in the day was what kids heard at home – and it’s the adults really who have whole lot of growing up to do. Before this all gets a bit too ‘Blue Mink’ and ‘Great a Big Meltin’ Pot’ – for what it’s worth – I believe we’re all dust of the cosmos anyhow – descended from sea-plant and king-ape and have evolved sufficiently to invent ideas and doctrines that – for better or worse – have united and divided us over time. Now where’s the sofa? The great thing about being an existentialist is that people of al the different religions get to dislike and distrust you in equal measure.

  17. Jamie , did you read my post or did Mick tell you about it ? Were did I single out any faith ? Read it again were ? And while your at it take the chip of your shoulder .

    • Jamie

      @ Carson
      No chip on my shoulder, I read your post…in fact I’ve read a number of your posts and agree with the general concensus that your an eejit 🙂

  18. Mick you say the faith schools are to protect children from non believers? What is a non believer going to do eat them ? You are a pathetic bigot , if anybody needed educated it is you .

  19. Adeste Fideles

    I’m a firm believer that the old argument of “my man-in-the-clouds is real and your’s isnae” is all that needs saying about religion.

    why don’t we all calm down and read a good book…


    • love the irony of ur post “adeste fideles”

    • Budweiser

      Adeste Fideles
      Thanks for the link. Just ordered it on amazon.

    • dan

      Oh come on, Adeste! The ‘Hitch’? The guy was just too, too, lightweight to be taken seriously in the ‘God Debate.’ Proper thinkers were forever wiping the floor with him, just as they are with that other geezer, Dawkins. These guys were/are merely media darlings. I mean, they say ‘There is no God.’ And I say, ‘OK, prove it.’ I can’t prove there is, they can’t prove there isn’t. It’s such a sterile argument it’s not worth having. Well, old ‘Hitch’ is seriously lightweight now, being nothing but ashes—-although, when you think of it, now he really must have all the answers, mustn’t he? Ooh I bet he’s saying ‘It ain’t half hot ( down here) mum.’

  20. mick

    am of to bed for work the tomorrow a was only shareing my views and thought why do they hate our church so much if the believe in jesus like us its baffling why call us beed rattlers and all the other stuff ??good night every 1 and remember tomorrow is another test from jesus no matter your enviroment or thought do the right thing

  21. Paul , I get the feeling you were bored tonight and decided go entertain yourself , are you sitting with a large glass of red having a wee giggle ?

    • Why the F#@* ! Do I get a thumbs down for that , I’m starting to take it personally .

      • Maggie

        “I’m starting to take it personally” Good,so you should!

        Btw STILL waiting on an answer.Come on,there’s only two
        to choose from,even YOU can do that.

    • Hmmmm ….. there’s a method in timing of this re-post …. i think i get his reasoning …. clever too, maybe a reverse logic ! ….. guess he’s also readying for SuperBowl …..

      • Looking forward to lot’s of TD’s tonite …… who’s gonna start me off …. why does carson have to get them all ?

      • The Super Bowl is eagerly awaited here in McConville Towers.

        I have the TV tuned to BBC2. The radio to 5Live and nfl.com and cbs Sportsline open on the laptop.

        Scarily the first Super Bowl I watched was on 30th January 1983! Where has the time gone?

        Then it was John Riggins barrelling his way to the clinching TD.

        Who will be the hero tonight?

        And will I manage to wake up in time for work in the morning!

        Anyway – 49ers 30 – Ravens 20 – that’s my prediction.

        The best one-off sporting event each year

        • hoooooowwwwwoooo night night …………………dreams of Scottish league cup final played at wembley where CFC win ………………………..enjoy

        • Is it me … but seems more lively on Sky …. but if BBC2 is well sync’d with Radio 5Live then will defo swap …… what chance that 11 – 10 scoreline …. no chance i guess but what a debate that would stoke up ……. Come on 49’ers ……

          • Adeste Fideles

            Ever since American Football was first broadcast on Channel 4 I have tried to get into it…and failed every time.

            I dunno, like most American sports, it’s all too…clinical?

        • Pensionerbhoy

          Dare I say, wrong again, Paul. You were nearly right with SF 30. Pity the Ravens just got a few more. I used to be addicted but have kind of cooled in recent years. I remember originally listening on the American forces network in the wee sma ‘oors. Then Channel 5, I think, gave us the first live tv. Our reception was terrible but that all changed when it went to Channel 4. My team used to be the Raiders in the Jim Plunket/ Marcus Allen eras. Now, it is an interest, that is all. I did stay up to watch it last night, mind.

  22. Alasdair Bush

    A clear and well reasoned argument. Thank you Paul. I’m not sure if everyone who reads this will agree with me but the points that you have raised have made me proud to be a product of a Catholic education and to have put my son through the Catholic education system. I would echo your comments about the concern for others that permeates the ethos of current Catholic system and does indeed encourage one to support its continued existence. Thank you

    • @Alasdair

      food for thought…………. on our mirror counterparts according to many in NI the biggest difference in the development and successful attainments in life currently are attributed to the education system of catholic funded schooling which in some small part is breaking down the sectarian barriers and non catholics are seeking entry to the schools to enhance their opportunities in life.

      So not all things are bad after all. Like you I enjoyed a catholic upbringing and education but it did nt make any difference at the time, (other than the usual daily abuse), but I have risen like many others above that and hold anyones rights dear to me, providing they are not destructive.

  23. rab

    Should we shut down all the different football clubs that seperate adults into groups. Should we shut down Asda and Morrisons and make everyone shop at Tesco so we can all be the same. Lets ban the gays and the blacks and the jews and the muslims in case anyone gets offended by their different outlook on life.

    Catholic schools are under constant attack in Scotland despite existing in many parts of the world without the accusations of causing sectarianism attached. Catholic schools dont cause sectarianism, morons cause sectarianism. Catholic schools are more likely the target of sectarianism.

    Institutions with anti catholic hiring policies cause further sectarianism, supporting these institutions helped foster the ugly cancer that still exists in Scotland, have a look at the outrage that is dominating the rangers forums surrounding taigs holding powerful positions in the BBC and the media and other high quality careers and you see the roots of sectarianism are still healthy among adults who never attended Catholic schools and have a deep seated hatred of the Roman Church. These clowns take to the streets regularly to profess their intolerance, resulting in violence and intimidation towards known Catholics, Celtic supporters, Irish descendants and anyone wearing green ( my daughter on her way to work last year by 9am alkie loyalists )

    The one thing not to blame is Catholic schools.

  24. JimBhoy

    Many non catholics attend so called catholic schools it increases each year and is at least avg 25%, maybe there is something more than religion in play. When i was last at a catholic school evening the emphasis was aiding in the community and building good citizens, many many examples of this and as a non catholic this meant more to me than the differences in christian religions.. Maybe the same (i hope) applies to all schools.

    In Scotland religion is often used as a weapon for the ignorant, when i have been questioned it’s often with disbelief that i support celtic without being of any religion. I have attended many catholic and protestant services and love both for their general meaning.

    Religion on whatever terms is there for you when an individual needs it, that’s my take..

    I have pals, catholics, protestants, masons, knights, muslims, bhuddists, Jedi and more and i wouldn’t change any of them.. Well except the Jedi he has ideas above his station…

    Good night and take care all…

  25. Tecumseh

    For those who want Catholic schools shut down . .

    According to Wikipedia the Catholic Church operates the biggest non government school system in the world . . .

    According to the Catholic News Agency the Catholic Church operates 26% of the worlds hospitals . . .

    Should 26% of the worlds hospitals shutting down because some are bigoted against the Catholic Church be a good thing . . .???

  26. Wow! I cannot believe what I have read. I am glad I have my own set of beliefs none of which are based on any of your religions.

    • Cregganduff


      “I have always moved in the best society in Europe, and I have no doubt that I shall move in the best society in heaven.”
      Elliott Templeton – The Razor’s Edge – W. Somerset Maugham

  27. Steven brennan

    Well that was interesting, Maggie agreed with Adam, Mick agreed with Cam, and half the tims admitted to being atheists including me.
    Paul has gave us 2 strange topics today that got more comments than they should have, but at least we all agreed more or less.
    Night night sleep tight
    Oh and Maggie, not missing the blue tit at all!!!

  28. John Burns

    There are, and always have been, implacable opponents of Catholic Education, however up till now there has been no danger to its actual existence – an SNP independent government would abolish it in its second-term, citing cost-cutting measures – how any of our people can countenance voting SNP is really beyond – please don’t let the Ibrox hoards who wrap themselves in the Union Jack goad you into the biggest mistake of you, your children’s, and their children’s life.

    You see the power that the ‘forces of darkness’ have, even when they are outnumbered and tempered by the total population of the UK – what chance would our 17% have in an independent Scotland dominated by them?

    For God’s sake – WAKE-UP!!

    • There are, and always have been, implacable opponents of Scottish independence.

      Some of them resort to making up scare stories about what would happen in an independent Scotland and even presume to know not only which party would win the first two elections but also the details of its manifesto.
      I must confess that I find that second part very impressive.

      I regret that my school’s curriculum didn’t feature Applied Prophecy.
      I’d call that a distinct lack of foresight on the part of the education system.
      Few things in life would be more valuable than an ability to predict the future with total certainty and I am envious of those who were taught those precious skills at school.

      • Budweiser

        Henry Clarson
        You touch on one of the strangest aspects of the ‘current debate’ on independence, namely, the presumption that the SNP would be the governing party, whereas labour, the libs, tories etc [or a coalition of some or all] could just in all likelyhood form the 1st or 2nd government. But I have never heard it mentioned!

        • Correct. I haven’t decided myself how I will vote in the referendum or even if I will vote. I am quite certain, however, that many people who are not SNP supporters will vote for independence and many people will vote against independence despite having voted for an SNP administration to govern the devolved Scotland.
          Furthermore, for many SNP members, their entire raison d’etre is simply to attain independence. If independence arrives, their mission is complete. What happens to the SNP itself at that point is unclear but it is extremely improbable that it will just carry on as before. There will almost certainly be defections left, right and centre.

    • SairFecht

      I’m not quite sure I get this – maybe I haven’t quite woken up yet – anyway I’ll try – are you suggesting that revulsion to the Union Jack Wearing / Unionist / British Nationalist / Imperialistc / Anti-Scottish Indpendence tendency of a group of people who attend football matches at Ibrox stadium should be the reason for not voting for Scottish independence in the forthcoming election – as the British Imperialist Unionist (Anti Catholic) Rangers Supporters will, by the SNP’s second term (assuming that they are elected for a second term), see the SNP by then infiltrated by a British Imperialist anti-Catholic Rangers supporitng faction who will contrive to put the statutes in place to abolish Catholic education? Sorry if this is a million miles wide of the mark, I really am trying.

    • ecojon

      @ John Burns

      With many of my relatives and friends actually church-going ecumenical Protestants – and the same goes for the Catholic side of my family and friends – there isn’t one with any hatred of Catholics on the basis of their religion. Why should there be? The hatred comes from a basically tiny % of a non-churchgoing mob who haave attached themselves to Rangers to use it as a recruiting ground. And, to a much lesser extent, the same is true of Celtic.

      Personally I have always been a Unionist – on economic grounds – although I have despaired in recent times at the resurgance of bigotry on display amongst some so-called Rangers supporters. Then I come to my senses and realise these people are being politically used by others for ulterior purposes which have nothing to do with football an which is still rejected by the majority of the Rangers support.

      However we have to retain a grip of reality and realise that the foot-soldiers I speak of don’t even represent 0.5% of the Scottish population. They also have a very high churn rate as they start to grow-up and have a family and other things fill their lives. So the shadowy figures have to keep recruiting to give an impression of strength that, in reality, doesn’t exist.

      We have seen an idiot who thinks he is being clever and can work those behind the scenes the way he has the sheep and that is causing a blip but it will pass. I can only say that if Rangers fails to quit Scotland and has to stay here then we must be ready to offer and work for reconciliation but that takes two sides to achieve the goal and that means that some very principled Rangers men must step forward.

      To those who despair I can only point to the progress achieved in NI which I never thought I would see in my lifetime. Lots of difficulties lie ahead but progress continues for the bulk of the population irrespective of their religion of lack of it.

  29. portpower

    Religion is no different than taking out an insurance policy. You never know but it`s bloody handy to have. Just in case?
    Jesus is coming: LOOK BUSY.

  30. Pensionerbhoy

    Is it not strange that the many Christian paths that lead to the one same God are strewn with so many sticks and stanes? Even stranger still is the apparent delight we Christians take in throwing them at each other along the way to Him.

  31. Personally, the Catholic faith is not for me. But I completely support the right of Catholic parents to bring up their own children in an environment which fosters the same values which they have chosen to embrace.
    I also support the right of non-Catholic parents to raise their children as they see fit and that includes the option of being able to send them to a school which does not share the priorities of a Catholic education.
    That should be the end of the matter.

    Unfortunately there appears to be an almost wilful determination not to see it that way. For some unfathomable reason there is a notion that a vast diversity of human culture, philosophy, belief systems and religious thought can somehow be distilled into a one-size-fits-all template which can simultaneously satisfy the requirements of those who believe that the entire purpose of life is to find God and those who believe that there isn’t a God in the first place.

    There is no neutral position. There is no consensus on whether or not there is a God. It therefore follows that there can be no consensus on whether or not to teach children to live every moment of their lives on the premise that knowing God is their ultimate purpose.
    Given that there is no conclusive, irrefutable proof of either position, the logical and fair thing to do is to let people make their own judgement about the balance of probabilities and leave them to get on with it. There should be no need to continually have to justify and defend the provision of separate and distinct types of schools to satisfy a diversity of requirements.

    But if we’re going to keep on going down that route, let’s at least be consistent.

    Let’s have one political party which will respond to everybody’s aspirations (except for those who fundamentally disagree with its policies but people like that don’t matter.)

    Let’s have one global country whose citizens are all of one colour, race, height and weight, all of which will be laid down according to the fashionable theories of the day.

    Let’s have one shop instead of lots of competing ones which can’t agree on what product is the most important one for consumers to buy.

    There are also far too many types of music. That automatically causes differences of opinion about their respective merits and validity. Mix them all into one, ideal super-tune which everybody can like and there will be need for any other, different tunes. And standardise musical instruments so that we no longer have to put up with one person playing a bass line while someone else is knocking a completely different tune out of a saxophone and behind them both there’s a drummer who isn’t even trying to play a tune at all. What’s that all about?

    And look at all these different books! Get some scientists to determine which pieces of literature cannot be objectively proven to be worth reading. Compile all the good bits into one brilliant book and burn the rest. Then do the same for movies, television programmes, blogs and websites.

    Merge all football clubs into one team which all football supporters can happily follow. In fact, merge all the sports into one enormous game so that we can get rid of all this tedious tribalism and partisanship.

    There are also far too many different tastes in dress sense, many of which I don’t agree with. I say that everyone should wear a uniform which conforms to my own preference and if they want to wear anything else, they can do it privately at home or for an hour on Sundays.

    Hair-style is another unnecessarily contentious area. Some people just make themselves look ridiculous with stupid haircuts. They even allow their children to have hairstyles which I certainly wouldn’t inflict on my own children. Why don’t they just let the children’s hair grow until they are old enough to decide on a hairstyle for themselves?

    And don’t get me started on so-called comedians who definitely aren’t remotely funny, no matter what some misguided people may believe. Unless there is some sort of proof that a joke is genuinely funny, people should not be allowed to laugh at it. Good-humoured teachers should not bring their sense of humour into the class room where impressionable children might find themselves subjected to a witty riposte or an amusing bon mot which makes them laugh. Proper jokes should be taught at home, if at all.

    We should definitely let some anonymous government functionary or a random think-tank decide once and for all what we think, what is really important, what our opinions are, what we believe and what we need to know. There’s far too much room for disagreement as things stand at the moment.

    Let’s start by dismissing all the different ideas and thought-systems which lie at the centre of different cultures so that everyone can be brought up according to one, arbitrarily imposed set of values from the moment they begin their education…

    Oh, hang on. That’s where we started, isn’t it?

    • ecojon

      @Henry Clarson

      What an insightful post!

      It’s also worth remembering that we have seen the type of societies that don’t allow choice and many still exist and we see the misery that their citizens are subject to and who can only dream and hope for release in secret or face draconian penalties.

      • Ally McMoist

        & what happens in these countries?? The children are indoctrinated from infancy to hate unbelievers in their faith-controlled schools via their “holy” books!! One can’t compare choosing a haircut or music preference to brainwashing a child to believe that their religion is the “truth”. How many millions of people have killed others or been killed in the name of religion?
        How many people have been killed for not liking drum & bass or my new haircut?!

  32. John C

    So, we can have, private boys schools, private girls schools, we have private special needs and denominational schools. All of these are funded by the tax payer, all of these have a purely state funded equivalents, yet only one of these segregated establishments are under the microscope, and only in Scotland, a bit surprised freedom of choice is under threat from what is essentially a middle class bastion.
    If you want to call it a free and civilised society, then you’ve got to allow choice.

  33. NLO

    I,d rather send my kids to an educational establishment that was based on scientific investigation rather than “faith”. Would an “inclusive” catholic school welcome Richard Dawkins to give a talk as to why he disagrees that the world was “created” in seven days. I think not.

    As for remembering the Holocaust. If you actually study this subject you will discover that hatred towards the Jews was preached by catholic priests and protestant ministers throughout Germany and in particular Poland before the war. Remember Martin Luther described jews as Christ killers. The Polish Catholic church has much to answer for with regard to the collusion with the nazis in their extermination of Polish Jews.

  34. Geddy Lee

    What Scottish “Protestant” objectors need to understand is that it is they, and they alone in the Protestant world who object to Catholic Schools. Norn Irish Protestants don’t like them , but such is their inbred , natural hate, that having their kids taught side by side with Catholic children , would cause an even bigger uproar there.

    How can it be that such major protestant Countries, including England , America , Germany, South Africa, and even Holland, can have successful Catholic School systems without any of the howling opposition we see in Scotland?

    What on earth is it that these people think goes on in Catholic Schools? Do they honestly think the Protestant sect (it’s not a religion despite what many Protestants think) is even mentioned anywhere in the Sylabus?

    The fact is , sectarian hate is taught in the home, and in the football stadiums of Scotland.

    It certainly has nothing to do with the school system,as shown in all civillised Christian countries.

    Of course most of the knuckle dragging haters, are not even religious, they are simply bred that way.

    As for the Orange Order, what ever happened to it? It sounded like a proper “Christian ” movement, until you see the disgusting drunken antics of it’s followers during their fancy dress “parades”.

    • Ally McMoist

      “they alone in the Protestant world who object to Catholic Schools” – They’re not alone, I & many others object to Catholic schools or Islamic schools or any school which indoctrinates innocent kids to believe in dangerous, made up nonsense from organisations who have been responsible for the deaths of millions of people over the centuries & continue to do so as we speak. Putting the fear of god into young kids is lazy parenting at best. Some would call it child abuse.

  35. Geddy Lee

    John burns, where on earth did you get the idea that the SNP plan to close down the Catholic School system in their second term ?

    I’ve heard some utter garbage coming from unionists before, but that really does take the biscuit. What happened to the “Republican takeover” of the SNP that happened but no-one noticed. That’s the usual stance. Interesting to now see the attacks coming from the other direction. Despearate stuff.

    Your source please?

  36. Ernie

    I understand why religious groups want to educate children and that’s enough to make it wrong for me. It’s not a case of freedom of choice, it’s a case of separating religion from government, the law and the basics of our society. In that way everyone and anyone is free to engage their children in any religion whatsoever or even let them mature and make their own minds up? The problem with religion (blimey!) is that it’s a given that it is hereditary, I’m very wary of such dogma.
    In future years I hope the whole concept of religious schooling will be as odd and out of kilter as that of religious government.

  37. auldcurmudgeon

    As Father said – today: “why should anyone be deprived the benefits of Catholic education?”
    It may well be the effects of approaching, or in deed having arrived at, my dotage but, does anyone, other than me, consider the above quote just a wee bit smug or even a tad sanctimonious?
    If Father’s question had inferred a catholic education, which clearly it did not, then the response would, most likely, be a resounding yes. However the Catholic (Roman Catholic) education here is by no means universal nor, for that matter, wholly beneficial. I hasten to add that I would apply this criticism in equal measure regardless of whatever religious denomination had posed the question. As I wasn’t present at the Mass, I am unaware if Father asked his question while in evangelising mode. My reason for such consideration is that over recent decades our society has seen a sustained fall in the numbers attending Christian churches whilst, at the same time, experiencing considerable growth in secularism. (It may well be the case that, in certain circumstances, both Blue Noses and Tims do walking away.) This trend would necessitate that Christian churches urgently seek to arrest such fall offs in attendance and also recruit new members. In this context Father’s original question may well be heavily influenced by the impositions inherent in the aforementioned trends.
    My main issue here is the unchallenged, self-fulfilling presumption of parents that they have the absolute right to select a religion for their children and, usually from day one or earlier. Obviously, our society presently permits this practice; nevertheless, I do not agree that this necessarily makes it right. Society also permits circumcision of infant children in the furtherance of exercising parental rights in choosing their children’s religion. The continuation without question of this particular aspect of indoctrination, I am pleased to say, is today coming up against significant opposition especially from within the medical profession.
    I would respectfully suggest that the mental strife caused during the entire religious indoctrination procedure, particularly in young developing minds, is often injurious to the individual’s general well-being throughout the process and in later life.

    • Ally McMoist

      Well said. Kids are being threatened with eternal hellfire & suffering for not following god’s/allah’s orders, but he loves you!! Does anyone of reasonable intelligence need a guy in a frock & a silly hat to tell me right from wrong or how I should treat others?

  38. JimBhoy

    See my earlier post from last night… In my experience of local primary and secondary schools a modern day definition of a catholic school is a school open to any and all that will include a catholic religious syllabus, optional to those who are not of that religion.

    Locally there was a new non denominational (secondary) school built and the authorities had planned to merge into that another non denominational school that was 3-4 miles away. As there was a catholic school closer to the merging school (to be closed) many pupils opted for the catholic school instead of the bus journey, I have no heard of any problems with that at all. Most of the pupils know each other and are pals outwith school. However the non denominational merge has needed two fulltime policemen since it opened, I am not suggesting this is in anyway a religious issue but simply kids from 2 different locations and a mix of hormones..

    I am not for or against Catholic schools, my FUTURE preference would be schools that cover various religious beliefs in their syllabus with parents/pupils determining their own way forward with religion whilst at that school. Generally, I don’t think kids are really interested in religion these days and it may be a path they take up later in life when they need it.

    More important to me as a parent and my kids schooling (other than qualifications and learning) is that they come out of it with a decent set of morals and they become a positive influence to those around them… Hard enough when kids are coming out of school facing bleak job prospects. If their religious beliefs aid in that goal then great.

    • Ally McMoist

      ” they come out of it with a decent set of morals” –
      Who needs religion to have morals??
      ” ..job prospects. If their religious beliefs aid in that goal then great.” –
      Looks like you’re encouraging employment discrimination towards unbelievers to me.

  39. cam

    Big thumb up for that last paragraph Jim.

  40. Tecumseh

    And what would a “decent set of morals” amount to . .???

    100 years ago the idea of 200,000 abortions / year could never even have been imagined by anyone of any out look . .Now it is a life style choice . .and you’d need to be pretty morally twisted to go against that in modern thought.

    Who would have thought back when they changed the laws on consenting homosexual acts that less than 50 years later there would be so called homosexual MP’s being blackmailed in the press to support so called “Gay Marriage” . . See today’s on line Daily Mail for details

    When your children leave school and if they should become teachers, would their “decent set of morals” allow them to teach about homosexual marriage to your grand children’s generation . . . .in complete honesty . . With all the bloody details on show . . .???

    Would you allow your children right now to be informed by a teacher of all the various forms of sexual activity that may be performed within a homosexual marriage . .?? . .

    I read recently of the late labour MP Tom Driberg, I knew from various things I’d read over the years that he had been a very active homosexual. Anyway his particular modus operandi according to Paul Johnson in his book Brief Lives . . .was to approach his “target” and ask . . .”May I suck your @#%$” . . .???

    How many fathers . .or mothers for that matter . .would have their children taught that in sex education class . . .???

    I would have thought that ,that kind of thing would amount to abuse . . ???

    But how are your children going to get a “descent set of morals” . . If they are not taught all the angles of modern “metrosexual” culture . .???

    I glad me and Mrs Tecumseh never had children . .not for want of trying . . It just wasn’t for us . . If I did have children, then I’d be home schooling them . .there would be no way I could see a child getting a “decent set of morals” in any state school these days . . .Catholic or otherwise.

    Though the Catholic schools are marginally in front . .they won’t be for long . .the &%£@ Suckers will be out in force in a few years forcing this filth on all schools.

    Section 28 . . ,where is it now . .in our hour of need.

  41. JimBhoy

    @Cam Cheers…. He says as his lass sits her higher Maths prelim today… Eeek!!!

  42. SairFecht

    An interesting forum Paul, and while I’d agree with the laudable aims of citizenship as oultined in the Prospectus and blog above, I’d have to say that these are likely aims that go broadly across our educational system and not exclusively to faith schools. There are Catholic schools in existence from Dumfries to Inverness and yet there appears to be much less in proportion of the bigotry that exists in Central Scotland – so the whole Rangers/Celtic thing has likely as you say polarised these views and suspicions. Bigotry is travel in reverse – it narrows the mind. Unfortunately we’ll likely have a whole new generation Lambeg-drumming it into their kids how Rangers were brought down by a papal/footballing authorities/SNP/Republican/Jacobite/ media conspiracy but then again we have the poster above who has the futuristic conspiracy of a post-Independence SNP’s plans to abolish outright Catholic education and reverse the statutes of 1918. All of which exemplifies why those of us with no or little religious belief, or those with it who exist outside of Central Scotland and are happy to co-exist with their neighbours and their educational arrangements, faith-based or otherwise, find it difficult to take very seriously some of the incredible and unhappy nonsense that comes out of Central Scotland in the name of ‘religion’. In the words of the Canadian singer Bruce Cockburn (in reference to recent wars in the Middle East):

    Some would have us bow in bondage to their dreams
    Of little Gods who lay down laws to live by
    But all of these inventions arise from fear of love
    And open-hearted tolerance and trust

  43. I always thought the point of education was to educated with factual teachings , now physics , mathematics , geography , technical studies , language ect, are factual religion is not , the reformed church think their right , the Roman catholic church think their right , the Muslim faith and the Jewish faith also think their right , now I respect their right to their view , but not to teach it as fact to others , should children not be given the choice in what they believe ? Rather then have someone tell them what they should believe. What are the churches , faiths afraid of ? Give the children the choice of faith not have it thrust on them .

    • Maggie

      Still waiting on an answer to MY question.
      The question is What are you afraid of ?

      I won’t even bother going through the garbage above……
      Oh,ok, I will just say this re “Give children the choice of faith”
      As you advocate no religious or moral teaching,how are said
      children to choose their faith? Like choosing from a lucky bag
      perhaps.Just asking.

      Here’s the bottom line Carson……you’re just not bright enough
      to be entering into any debate on here.You cannot even decide
      whether you blame denominational schools for encouraging
      sectarianism or whether you exonerate all schools,
      denominational included.Oh and let’s not forget your inability
      to choose between two conflicting statements you expressed.
      Away back to Bill Mc Murdo……you deserve each other.

      • Ally McMoist

        Maggie – “As you advocate no religious or moral teaching, how are said children to choose their faith?”
        – Who advocates “no moral teaching” by not having religion in their life? You seem to suggest anyone without religion is morally bankrupt?
        “how are said children to choose their faith?”
        – Perhaps by kids choosing to study all the main religions or choosing not to believe in any of it perhaps instead of being told what to believe?

  44. greatly appreciate this blog. Although I was brought up in the Catholic education system (and greatly benefited from it) my own kids went to non-denominational schools. Interestingly, however, my youngest (at 18) is converting to Catholicism. No idea what that means in the broad scheme of things but it’s all to the good.

    • ecojon


      It sounds good to me as it is proof that there is more free choice today than there ever has been. My sister after a break of almost 35 years – from when she was teenager – returned to her Catholic faith a couple of years ago and is a happier and better person which is good for her but not necesarily for anyone else.

      But she is now practising a faith out of her own conviction and life journey and not out of habit and/or any feeling of family obligation and that is why I fully support HER choice and am happy for her. If she had adopted a new religion I would have been just as happy because it is her choice and her’s alone.

      • Tecumseh

        I have a habit of stopping at red lights . .

        Thing is should I stick to this habit that was forced on me during driving lessons . . .or should I have a life style choice moment and gaily cruise through the next red light . .!!! . .would you be there to . .”stop” me . .??

        May be we could communicate better lying in the intensive car ward than typing in to computers . .??

        How come religion is the only choice that people are free to give up of their own accord . .??? Smokers are forced out in to the elements, all the Politically Correct items are forced until they become the ingrained habit of the Programmed Bigot . .

        I’ll tell you why . .eventually “They Who Must Be Obeyed” . . .will have everyone under thought control . . Except those who cling to Faith . .

        Then it will be a time for martyrs again . .

        The first Christian Martyrs went to their deaths because they would not bow the knee to the Roman Emperor.

        Then the Programmed Bigots of the non smoking pressure groups, the Global Warmists . .the anti religious schools freaks and all the rest will have their leashes slipped . . .and there will be blood.

        Mark my words . . .it’s happened before . .it’ll happen again.

  45. arb urns

    have HMRC been granted leave to appeal?

    • ecojon

      @arb urns

      Don’t know about that but all the seflection and frantic trolling on here in the last few days is now making some sense with the stories of trouble in the Far East and even troubles closer to Ibrox in the boardroom.

      Interesting times ahead possibly?

  46. Budweiser

    HMRC given leave to appeal verdict in tax case.

  47. ecojon

    @ Budweiser

    Comes as no surprise as it seemed a stick-on from Day 1. Even the PR paid trolls and deflectors on here knew they were flogging a dead horse but when you get paid for it and have no principles you just do as your told.

  48. ecojon

    As I said earlier looks like trouble is brewing in the east – a butterfly has fluttered its wings methinks.

  49. SairFecht

    Wonder what happened to all those guys’ prayers that it was over?

    • Tecumseh

      Prayers . .where they praying the Rosary . .??

      Or St Jude . .they might not have been taught that St Jude is the saint to pray for in hopeless cases.

      I blame the schools.

      • Tecumseh

        When you loose something the saint to pray ti is St Anthony . . .???

        I wonder if Hector has found religion of late . .???

    • ecojon

      @ SairFecht

      From my varied wandering through life and nothing to do with religion it has been my almost univeral experience that it is never over until there is first a recognition of the problem. Then it has to be fixed and then hopefully comes reconciliation with no repeat of the original problem and only then can anyone start to hope its over for good.

      • SairFecht

        Ecojon – I would very much agree with your general view – otherwise I wouldn’t be posting this forum – my personal view for what it’s worth is that much of the bigotry experienced in Scotland is as much a result of the hard economic times and uncertainties of the 19th and early 20th centuries as it is about differences in doctrine, church governance, scriptural interpretation or anything else that might contribute to a perceived differences between two sets of people. Which isn’t to excuse bigotry or prejudice, of course. The forced migrations of populations in both Ireland and Scotland, the advent of industrial overcrowding, slums, all did their bit to foster insecurity and mistrust. I firmly believe this, as part of cause and effect of a problem, is something we should look at more in our education programmes. Though I do stand by the earlier comment that some awful nonsense is spouted in the name of religion – see for example my cut and paste from RM.

        • SairFecht

          Help ma boab – just realised what you meant Ecojon – but I was meaning all those guys who were praying that the Big Tax Case was over!!!

          • ecojon


            I was actually just talking in general. They weren’t praying the BTC was over they had been told it was and, as usual, they follow followed without actually reading the Decisions never mind understanding them.

            I think they make an interesting study in just how tightly closed a closed mind can be. There is no recognition that a contrary opinion might be correct or even be worthy of consieration if it is opposed to their fixed position.

            The Catholic period of my education most certainly taught me not only to recognise an opposing position but to fully understand it. Unless that is achieved there can never be any meeting of minds and a moving on from two fixed positions.

            • Ally McMoist

              Yer bangin’ yer heed against a brick wa’, as they say, if ONE fixed position remains, as is the case with the undead.

      • Maggie

        Or until that fat wummin is belting out Ho Jo To Ho from Valkyrie.
        I think I can hear her practising her scales and polishing her
        helmet 🙂

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