August 29, 2009

Idiot of the Week: Barry Morgan

[Boddelwyddan Church (interior), Rhyl, Wales] ...Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr
It is Saturday, so it must once again be time for our weekly Idiot of the Week series. Each week, one idiot is selected from a crowded field of competitors and crowned Idiot of the Week. With so much idiocy happening lately, I cannot really claim that this week's winner is the most deserving. I suppose there is just something about him that I find particularly frustrating.

Dr. Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales, is this week's idiot because he does not believe that teenagers deserve religious freedom. He has been quoted as saying,
A law allowing 16-year-olds to opt out of prayers in assembly devalues and marginalises religion in schools.
Perhaps letting teens opt out does hurt religion in schools; however, religion does not belong in schools in the first place. As Conversational Atheist points out,
This is just a really creepy example of allowing religion and government to mix — obligatory schooling until a certain age that requires indoctrination. And complaints come in when the obligatory nature is removed when the kids are 16? Really?
Denying a fundamental right, which even many Christians support, to someone simply because they are 16 seems to miss the point of religious freedom entirely. It is painfully clear that Morgan is doing this merely to preserve his power. He says,
Collective worship has been branded as something that young people grow out of by the age of 16, at precisely the time when it might be the best way of feeding both their minds and their hearts as they start to explore the responsibilities and consequences of adult life.
And his solution is to compel prayer so his church does not lose any more believers. Sad.

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