Charles Moore: Must religion always lose in battle with equality?

Religion will come second to ‘equality’ as long as “secularists are allowed to sit in judgment in a kangaroo court”, former newspaper editor Charles Moore has said.

He made the comments in the wake of a controversial Ofsted inspection at a Jewish school which saw young girls left “severely shaken”.

Moore warned other faith schools could also suffer if their religious beliefs conflict “with the dogma of the state”.

Attacking questions

Girls at the Yesodey Hatorah school in London said they were made to feel extremely uncomfortable by the repeated ‘attacking’ questions they faced on sex.

Ofsted’s final report on the school is yet to be released, but the inspection has already caused commentators to launch rebukes to both the regulator and the Government.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Moore said the inspectors did not seem interested in academic results: “What they want to know about is sex. They worry that the pupils are not taught about sex.”

Equality Act

Noting allegations of girls being stopped in corridors and quizzed on internet dating sites, Moore said the inspectors should have realised that the school holds to “conservative views of sexual behaviour, and of what and when children should be taught about it”.

He went on to say that there is a “battle between the Equality Act’s ‘Protected Characteristic’ of religion and that of sexuality”.

“Must religion always lose? If secularists are allowed to sit in judgment in a kangaroo court, as appears to be happening in this case, the answer will always be yes.”

Religious literacy

Moore also questioned a lack of religious literacy among “modern bureaucrats”: “I can imagine them hearing of Christians eating ‘the body and blood of Christ’ and panicking, in their ignorance, that they are dealing with a bunch of cannibals.”

He continued: “Throughout their history, all mainstream religions have exalted heterosexual married sex over all other forms.

“The modern state is entitled to disagree, but it is most unwise – not to say intolerant – to turn disagreement into a showdown in the name of upholding “British values”.

“All it is upholding is the right-on orthodoxy of about 30 years’ standing.”

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