RE has hit the headlines again this week, with Derek Holloway, the Church of England's lead RE officer, stating that parents should be banned from removing their children from RE lessons. A number of reasons are given, which contain some very broad, and false, assumptions.
Parts of the reasoning are, frankly, sinister. There are oblique references to far right political groups, religious fundamentalists and minority faith groups, all lumped together and all creating a 'dangerous' precedent. This is exactly the kind of hysterical rhetoric that fans the flames of suspicion, hatred and distrust. If you're going to make inflammatory accusations, at least have the courage to name these 'dangerous' people. Surely the Church, of all institutions, should be engaging in dialogue to promote understanding and trust?