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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Prime Minister to send a Bible to every school

The Times Educational Supplement is reporting this morning that the Prime Minister is planning to send a King James Bible to every school in the country, complete with a foreword by Michael Gove, the Education Minister.

Mr Gove is quoted as saying that the King James Bible was the most important book written in the English language. “It‘s a thing of beauty, and it‘s also an incredibly important historical artefact. It has helped shape and define the English language and is one of the keystones of our shared culture. And it is a work that has had international significance."

The National Secular Society’s President, Terry Sanderson, is also quoted in the article, criticising the cost of such an exercise. While not doubting the significance of the King James Bible for the language and culture of Britain, Mr Sanderson made the point that schools are already awash with Bibles, with evangelical groups queuing up to hand them out to pupils.

“It‘s not as if Bibles are in short supply in schools," Mr Sanderson said. “But if (Mr Gove) intends to go ahead with this, will he also please ensure that a copy of On the Origin of Species is sent out on Darwin Day. This book is much harder to find in schools and would be in line with his policy of promoting science and evidence-based education. I‘m sure that he could write an excellent foreword to this, too."

Published Fri, 25 Nov 2011