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Should the catholic church be asking schoolchildren to sign this petition?

(156 Posts)
Greatnan Sun 29-Apr-12 07:48:56

The leader of the catholic church in England and Wales has written to all catholic schools asking them to get the pupils, some as young as 11, to sign a petition against gay marriage.
Is this appropriate - some head teachers feel it is not.

granbunny Sun 29-Apr-12 08:16:33

i think it is inappropriate.
canvassing is not acceptable in schools.
they might want to discuss the issue, and put forward their church's view, but asking children to sign a petition is wrong. children are not in authority in schools - it would be like your employer asking you to sign something supporting his own political affiliation.

whenim64 Sun 29-Apr-12 08:51:29

No child should be asked to sign a petition on which they cannot possibly be fully informed. Perhaps they would like to start with a more appropriate petition, asking the children at what age would they like to be indoctrinated?

Bags Sun 29-Apr-12 09:38:08

Not appropriate but since when did that stop the catholic church?

dorsetpennt Sun 29-Apr-12 10:26:53

Sadly it isn't only the Catholic Church that is against gay marriage let along gay people. On a trip through the bible belt of the US taught me that. I saw plenty of large posters outside various Baptist Churches saying quite horrendous things about gay people. One saying 'All gay people are headed to hell' or'Aids is God's message to gay people' [of course not mentioning that South Africa's black male and female population is being decimated by that horrible desease. As for the petition, certainly not totally unfair.

MrsJamJam Sun 29-Apr-12 10:29:56

Words fail me, it's so utterly appalling. The lack of tolerance and humanity shown by the so-called 'religious' makes me feel despair.

Annobel Sun 29-Apr-12 10:39:42

Can do no more than agree with you all.

Butternut Sun 29-Apr-12 10:58:42

A resounding no from me, too.

Mishap Sun 29-Apr-12 11:12:24

Should they? - no of course not.

Notsogrand Sun 29-Apr-12 11:13:57

Appalling indoctrination in the name of religion. angry

imjingl Sun 29-Apr-12 11:34:04

No. I think it's not appropriate.

But I must warn you, I haven't given it a lot of thought.

vampirequeen Sun 29-Apr-12 11:59:07

I'm RC and believe me this is nothing compared to the other regressive ideas the Church is promulgating. It has decided to return to 'old values'. When I say 'it' of course I mean the elderly men in charge who have never lived in the real world. A lot of priests...esp those at the top...went to Catholic schools then straight into Seminary so never ever lived in the real world.

I would be surprised if most schools comply as they could be accused of promoting anti homosexual views which comes under hate crimes legislation. They could find themselves in a very difficult situation.

Jacey Sun 29-Apr-12 12:01:45

I have often wondered when the promotion of one's faith/beliefs becomes indoctrination?? [wooden spoon emoticio]

vampirequeen Sun 29-Apr-12 12:03:51

Oh it's all indoctrination lol

Greatnan Sun 29-Apr-12 13:58:04

Jacey - my definition of indoctrination is the teaching of beliefs as if they were proven facts, to people who do not have the maturity, experience or education to question them. What is yours?
Teaching about different religions on the basis of 'This is what members of this religion believe.....' is quite different and this is what is being done in most secondary schools in the UK. I am not sure about primary schools, especially church schools.

soop Sun 29-Apr-12 14:01:34

No! No! No! The Catholic Church should feel ashamed of itself. angry

littlemo Sun 29-Apr-12 14:12:50

As far as I know the letter gave a fair and reasonable account of the gay marriage debate and was by no means anti gay (according to Matthew Wright on his tv prog. the Wright Stuff - and he is no admirer of the catholic church).
I know children who attend Catholic schools and I know that debate on any issue was encouraged and pupils were quick to voice opinions whether they agreed or disagreed and their thoughts and opinions were welcomed and respected.Today's teenagers aren't easily indoctrinated. Of course the church and the teachers would explain the reasons for being against gay marriage, none of which involve being anti gay, and would point out the petition but whether the pupils decided to sign or not would be entirely up to them.

goldengirl Sun 29-Apr-12 14:57:05

No. The Catholic Church seems to have some strange ideas when it comes to children

Greatnan Sun 29-Apr-12 15:24:38

Much as I like Matthew Wright, I didn't rely on his show to explain the letter - you can read the full text in today's Catholic Herald.
The main point the Archbishop makes is the definition of marriage - well, who decided the definition and why can't it be changed?
Whatever adults think of the letter and the petition, I think it is inappropriate to involve young children who may not be old enough to understand the issues, or even some of the terms used.
I don't know if SPUC (Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child) is still foisting their sensationalised videos on young children in catholic schools - I was present when one was shown and I had to comfort some very distressed children. The mother of one had recently had to have a termination for medical reasons.
I am glad to see that more and more catholics are having the courage to reject the misogyny and homophobia of their spiritual leaders.

Mishap Sun 29-Apr-12 18:02:15

Why do the adults sign it I wonder? - I know plenty of Catholics who are entirely tolerant of homosexuality and want no truck with this sort of bigotry.
It is of course wholly inappropriate to involve children in such a petition/letter - they cannot have a full grasp of all the issues. And does this teach them love and tolerance? - I don't think so!

Ariadne Sun 29-Apr-12 18:05:06

Just totally wrong, but not surprising!

littlemo Sun 29-Apr-12 18:42:56

The petition can only be signed by those over 16 years of age. The issue is not to do with a lack of tolerance of homosexuality. As Mishap so rightly said, plenty of Catholics would have no truck with that sort of bigotry.
The issue for the Catholic church, and many others, is the redefinition of marriage. If society accepts this change, then will society be willing to accept marriage between multiple partners, marriage to animals, marriage to objects (not far fetched, have actually been claimed to have happened). If not, why not?
I know I may be old fashioned but for me marriage is between a man and a woman. I have no problems with same sex relationships, partnerships with loving individuals with the respect of society and the full backing of the law, but why can't it be something equally valued but different from 'marriage'?

Greatnan Sun 29-Apr-12 18:48:19

I find the idea of extrapolating from loving, monogamous relationships between two adults to marriage between animals, etc. absolutely horrific.

littlemo Sun 29-Apr-12 19:05:32

Me too, Greatnan, but as I said, these are true. A woman went through a ceremony to 'marry' her horse, another claimed to be in love with and married to the Eiffel Tower. Strange, I know, but then it takes all sorts to make up a world.

Bags Sun 29-Apr-12 19:08:32

That ridiculous extrapolation is just an example of the "slippery slope" argument — a fallacy in which a course of action is objected to on the grounds that once taken it will lead to additional actions until some undesirable consequence results.

The definition of marriage we are talking about is the definition of marriage between human being.

In addition, human beings can't marry animals because the animals can't give their consent.