Target: The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education
Goal: Thank the United Kingdom for prohibiting the teaching of creationism as science in all state-funded schools
The government of the United Kingdom (UK) has passed a law that bans teaching creationism as science in all academies and free schools. This is but one in a series of provisions designed to keep religious doctrine out of the nation’s public schools. In 2012 for example the government announced that all free schools would be required to teach evolution. This came after pressure from both teachers’ unions and secular groups in the country.
In announcing passage of the law the UK government stated that creationism does not reflect current scientific views, and that it does not reflect the complexity of humanity or of human history. Creationism is also not a theory consistent with scientific research nor does it employ the scientific method, so while people are free to believe whatever they want outside of school, creationism has no place in an academic setting.
If a school receives any funding from the UK government (which includes almost all schools in the nation) then teachers will no longer be allowed to teach creationism as scientific fact. Should they want to discuss creationism, they must do so under the lens of a religious-based class. The government emphasized to religious schools as well that creationism only represents one point of view, and does not accurately reflect the consensus of the country let alone the world.
Before this law was put into action at least 30 schools in the UK were teaching students that evolution is a lie, according to the Bristol Post. They were also teaching that homosexuality is a sin punishable by death–an idea that goes against the morals of the country as well as against the UK’s equality laws.
Commend the decision to ban teaching creationism as science, one of many steps the United Kingdom has taken to separate religion and public education.
Dear Secretary Gove,
I applaud your stance against the teaching of creationism in free schools and academies. It is deplorable to teach creationism alongside evolution as though they are two sides to one coin. Creationism has its place–in a religious class or in a church–but that place is not the science classroom.
This sentiment holds even more true when considering state-funded schools. In a country like the United Kingdom, with citizens of diverse religions and belief systems, it is not proper to teach or preach one religious doctrine in any school that receives state funding.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to improving the quality of education in your country, and to ensuring that public classrooms are a safe and equal environment for students no matter what their religious beliefs.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: strngwrldfrwl from Japan via Flickr