Friday, 26 September 2008

Brave New World
Young Protestants reject segregation
By John Cooney
Friday September 26 2008

Young Protestants in Border towns want to be educated with Catholics and make their contribution to the wider community, according to a new report.
The Church of Ireland report said: "Young people do not want to be segregated and indoctrinated, and would rather be educated together."
This dramatic finding is contained in 'Whatever You Say, Say Nothing', a broadbrush survey of young Protestants growing up in the Anglican diocese of Clogher -- which straddles counties Monaghan, Fermanagh and Tyrone, Donegal and Leitrim.
Welcoming its findings, Bishop Michael Jackson last night said the report, by researcher David Gardiner, would "resonate . . . into every corner of the Church of Ireland and beyond".
The project's director, the Reverend Earl Storey, said that a major aim of the report was to contribute to building a peaceful community in the diocese.
But the study also found a chasm between old and young, noting: "The present and future orientation of the young is seen as disrespectful and shallow by the old; while deference, respect and remembering of the old is seen as outdated, boring and redundant by the young."
The report, meanwhile, portrayed 'Border Protestants' as "reserved and careful with their emotions and money", and found a different "ethos, outlook, expectations and demeanour" among Protestants on either side of the Border.
The community in the North was seen as "harsher, more dogmatic and less forgiving" than "Protestants living inside the more tolerant and outward-looking Republic".
The report also found that Protestants wanted the Loyal Orange Orders to define their aims more clearly and to improve wider communication and understanding with their Catholic neighbours.
- John Cooney


Bock the Robber said...

That would be great if the State provided schools to educate the young Protestants in, along with the young Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs and Hindus.

But the State doesn't provide such schools, does it?

Instead, the State allows the schools to remain, absurdly, in the control of the churches.

So there you go. How can young Protestants feel comfortable being educated in a Catholic school, which is what the majority of the schools are?

What would be wrong with educating all our children in non-denominational schools and letting them get their religion at home, if they want it?

Stephen Neill said...

Fair point Bock - I too think that religious instruction probably belongs in the home and the parish - we can no longer assume that our teachers are committed church members/attenders and anyway we need a broader vision of what the churches role is in education. Even the provision of education alone is a noble objective without the religious dimension. I do wonder though who will fill the void if the churches are removed overnight?