Confusion of Terms

This letter is doing the rounds on Twitter today.

Letter to Parents

It’s extraordinary isn’t it? What is so peverse about this is that the letter itself is incredibly racist. The kids are going to learn about religious artefacts and if their parents don’t want them to they get a racial discrimination note on their file? Really? Because race and religion are the same thing? All muslims are black? Someone needs to go on an awareness course. Furthermore, parents have an absolute legal right to withdraw their children from any religious activity.

Frankly, I would say that claiming someone is racist with no evidence is libellous…

12 Comments on “Confusion of Terms

  1. This letter ought to go to the police, the local MP – and to a defamation lawyer. I wonder if Mrs Small can spell “blackmail”?

  2. It seems to me that the confusion of terms is exceedingly telling. It suggests that religion is presented as ‘cultural’, and thus allied with race and ethnicity. I am reminded of this insightful Slavoj Zizek quotation:

    This, at least, seems to be the predominant status of beliefs today, in our era that claims for itself the title “post-ideological.” Niels Bohr, who already aptly answered Einstein’s ‘God doesn’t play dice’ (‘Don’t tell God what to do!’), also provided the perfect example of how a fetishist disavowal of belief works in ideology: seeing a horse-shoe on his door, the surprised visitor said that he doesn’t believe in the superstition that it brings luck, to which Bohr snapped back: ‘I also do not believe in it; I have it there because I was told that it works also if one does not believe in it!’ Perhaps, this is why “culture” is emerging as the central life-world category. With regard to religion, we no longer ‘really believe’, we just follow (some of the) religious rituals and mores as part of the respect for the ‘life-style’ of the community to which we belong (non-believing Jews obeying kosher rules ‘out of respect for tradition’). ‘I do not really believe in it, it is just part of my culture’ seems to be the predominant mode of the displaced belief, characteristic of our times. “Culture” is the name for all those things we practice without really believing in them, without taking them quite seriously. This is why we dismiss fundamentalist believers as ‘barbarians’, as anti-cultural, as a threat to culture – they dare to take seriously their beliefs.

  3. Since when are religious distinctions labelled as “racial”? This letter shows an alarming ignorance of religions, whose members always cross racial lines. Using buzz words and ideological sound bites in a letter sent to parents constitutes a betrayal of the real reason for education-to lead students to truth, not to confuse or indoctrinate them with trendy ideologies or politically correct lingo.

  4. Its part and parcel of the same cultural relativism that equates a pedophile warlord with a man without sin and has the children celebrating Diwali every year. Other religions should be studied but not celebrated as part of an indoctrination process.

  5. To be fair, the school backed down after some parents complained, and I suppose Mrs. Small(-minded) is probably very embarrassed by this whole matter by now. After all, as a result of this little faux-pas the entire internet has been informed that she runs a no-quite-up-to-scratch school, with the most recent inspection report saying “needs improvement” …

  6. It was fine until the third paragraph – a bit heavy, and also patronising to anyone of any religious belief!

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