Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.
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This is getting out of hand. The exaggerated version of a religious cult portrayed in a work of fiction (and, as I’ve said previously, not a particularly good one at that) has somehow crossed into mainstream politics.
Ruth Kelly was right not to distance herself from her religion, and if fools want to criticise her for belonging to an organisation they know very little about, then let them go ahead.
In particular, I think Matthew Parris’s comments in the Times are unconsidered:
[Kelly] has rejected a suggestion that her religious beliefs could affect the way she carries out her role in government in relation to sex education. How so? Does a believer not believe religion has lessons in this area? And, more importantly, at a time when the status of “faith” schools is a vexed question, can Ms Kelly really stay dispassionate in the tussle between those who do and those who do not believe that the State — and the taxpayer — should be sponsoring faith-based education?
What does Matthew Parris suggest we should do? Have only Education Ministers with no particular relgious faith? Or would that bias them against faith-based schools?
Ruth Kelly should be left alone to privately practise her beliefs. There are bigger, more important, battles to fight in the political arena than this.