I WAS shocked to see your latest, profoundly provocative, headline of “LGBT lessons same as child abuse” as, upon inspection, it apparently bore little resemblance to the actual story or the core issue that the vicar was addressing. After reading your article, and the publication it refers to, it would suggest that the vicar is questioning the government’s new initiative of Relationship and Sex Education and why the children’s parents are to have little or no say in the matter.
This issue has been recently brought to everyone’s attention by the protests in Birmingham schools where parents have called for a stop to the teaching of RSE. The vicar is asking for parents to stand up and take back control of their own children’s learning and to be given the option to be involved in decisions where new teachings will undoubtedly have an impact on family life whereby children will most certainly come home with questions, or even worse, not ask questions at all and choose to just discuss it with friends.
Teachers have enough on their plates with state testing and targets and parents/carers are more than capable of teaching their children about sex and relationships as it can take place in a more private setting rather than in a classroom environment.
Personally I think that lessons in environmental protection, politeness, good manners, and respect towards your fellow man, whoever one encounters in life, would be a smarter choice of education and would have a substantially wider and far reaching impact. By focusing on LGBT lessons the government is essentially, and disgracefully, assigning labels to people and are only highlighting their ‘so-called’ differences instead of emphasising the simple and vital importance of all round equality.
The vicar’s choice of words regarding this was obviously not thought out very clearly and unfortunately the media have made a good job of picking out those few words and using them against him, but to imply that he was in a sense lashing out at the LGBT community in a discriminatory way is wrong.
As usual the media has spun a topic in order to create ‘fury and outrage’ and have ignored the opportunity to report on the actual issue. The Advertiser has a responsibility to its readers to portray clear, unambiguous, relevant and unbiased information — many people will have seen this shocking headline, not read the story and jumped to the wrong conclusions.
Had the Advertiser not reported this at all, would Rev Hughes’ opinion have changed anything in the world? I very much doubt it. I wonder what actual piece of news may have been shelved in order to attempt to publicly discredit a single local member of the clergy instead?
It just seems like an appalling waste of time to write about, and read, when there are undoubtedly much meatier topics to be addressing.
Rev Hughes has no army behind him attacking the LGBT community, in fact he said in the publication that ‘Christians should love those who self-identify as LGBTI along with all their neighbours’, so can you please just leave the man alone.
Whether people agree with the vicar’s Christian views or the Birmingham parents’ Muslim views or not, the fact remains that the argument against the Government’s RSE programme is completely valid — it’s clearly politically driven, ill thought out and sends the message that parents’ rights and opinions are not important when it comes to expanding schooling in non-academic subject matter.
Parents have already lost the fight in other areas against the government where schools are concerned, one being the issue of holidays during term time, with fines being imposed on those who dare enjoy a family vacation during the only time they can afford it, but I guess that we are set to be ignored and left unconsulted on this one as well.
Name supplied, Bramley