Denouncing your neighbour for a ‘thought-crime’ was a favourite past time in the old Soviet Union. The problem for anyone accused of having the ‘wrong thoughts’ is that it’s impossible to defend yourself.

 

Well the practice is back. ‘Hate crime’ is the new thought crime. If someone else’s views makes you feel uncomfortable, all you need to do is to accuse them  of either ‘hate’ or, if you prefer, ‘extremism’, or best of all, both.

 

The latest seed bed of hate-filled extremism has been lurking undiscovered for the last 16 years in a Primary School, in Tunbridge Wells.

 

With psychological and social consequences that surely defy imagination, a generation of children have been infected by ‘hate’ at the hands of an extremist organisation masquerading as a Christian charity.

 

For 16 years this charity  called Crossteach has been sowing ‘hate’ and ‘extremism’ under the pretence of pretending to help local C of E Primary schools bring their Christian ethos and culture to life.

 

Young extremists masquerading as ‘enthusiasts’ offered drama in assemblies with the cover story they were keeping them cool and entertaining; they even pretended to help rather hapless RE teachers in the classroom,  saying this would lift the faith to from the page to give it life.

 

For 16 years hiding behind their sophisticated strategy they sowed their ‘hate-filled extremism’ in the vulnerable minds of children. And no one even noticed, so cunning and sophisticated were they.

 

Until recently.

 

But they have now been exposed by a new generation of vigilant parents.

 

As honest atheists they had chosen a Christian school, because they felt unthreatened by the occasional nativity play with the dressing up children as shepherds and angels at  Christmas. They had every reason to expect that was where this extremist Christian stuff would stop.

 

A parent explained and complained: “Some of our children have been upset by what they have heard. No one minds Nativity plays and Bible stories but considering most of the parents at the school aren’t practising Christians I think the feeling is that it’s all too much”

 

What could these children have heard?

 

It seems  that that the school had not been careful  enough to hide from the children that Jesus taught that there was a heaven and a hell and that he had come to save people from a dreadful separation from God by dying in their place, and shedding His blood as a sacrifice, and carry them to heaven. (Oh, and in passing, marriage was intended to be between a man and a woman.)

 

The group of parents having exposed this extremist ideology made a public statement:

 

“We recognise and respect the school’s Christian values but think there is a brand of Christianity that is abusing that respect. The basis of [our] complaint relates purely to concerns over the welfare and safeguarding of children who we believe are being exposed to potentially damaging ideology.”

 

One parent with a child at the school, who did  not wish to be identified, said:

 

“The fact that the school didn’t care or do anything  about it is unbelievable. We have tried to engage with them but they weren’t really interested. What we don’t like is the hateful messages that have been given to our children.”

 

Hateful? Really? Leaving children with the idea that revenge is less hateful than forgiveness?

But on extremism they may be right. This ‘potentially damaging ideology’ is deeply extremist. It will  introduce the children to the appalling and radical idea of turning the other cheek instead of getting locked into revenge; to the vile possibility of loving your enemies; to the perverted ideology of unlimited forgiveness; to the ghastly and appalling idea that there are moral standards in the universe and that they and everyone is ultimately accountable, to be judged at the end of time for their moral choices.

 

The recent scientific evidence is that people who believe this and live this are happier, better adjusted and even live longer than those who reject it. But why pay any attention to the evidence when you can just accuse people who hold views you don’t care for of being ‘hateful & damaging’.

 

The head teacher a Mr Dan Turvey has taken fright and given in to the snowflake parents.

 

“I do not agree that the parents’ concerns have any real substance. Staff are always in the assemblies and I have never had any negative feedback from any of them…

 

“In 16 years of Christian schools work no teacher has ever raised a concern that something has been said that could be interpreted as in any way ‘hateful’ or ‘extremist’.”

But:

“After careful consideration I have decided that we will end our regular commitment to CrossTeach and that they will no longer lead assemblies or take lessons.”
The Diocese of Rochester which takes responsibility for the school and its Christianity, refused to either acknowledge, defend or thank ‘Crossteach’. Who knows whether it’s silence reflects fear or shame of the teaching of Jesus. But it appears to be yet another example of the Church of England being terrified to be faithful to the revelation of Christ, and challenge its surrounding culture.
Let’s hope the children don’t learn a lesson from their parents and headmaster; that what all that matters in life is going for the easy option,- choosing innuendo over discovery, fear over fact; and  that hatred like beauty, may be more in the eye of the beholder.