The dictatorship of relativism

On Friday, I posted about the sixth report of the JCHR on the legislative scrutiny of the Sexual Orientation Regulations. (Close the schools as well?) I commented particularly on the proposal that faith schools should not be allowed to use "a curriculum which teaches a particular religion’s doctrinal beliefs as if they were objectively true."

I am glad to say that the post has attracted quite a lot of follow-up across the internet and a larger than usual number of comments. It is important that we realise that this is a direct attack on the right of Catholics to educate their children in the Catholic faith. Naturally, some of the follow-up comments have focussed on the issue of homosexuality itself. CPKS has posted an excellent comment on the central issue of the attack on doctrinal truth. It is too good to leave in the combox:
The sexual aspect may seem important, but we really do need to look where this is going.

The essential issue, which Fr Tim highlighted to begin with and several other commentators have not missed, is that there are people in power who want to prevent educators teaching any religious faith (let alone the finer points of christian sexual ethics) as if it were true.

The more we oppose these people on specific issues, the more we will be seen as fighting our particular corner - as one small interest group pursuing our own agenda.

Instead, we should identify, from their own writings, what is the true goal of these people who seek to control us and the way we educate our children. We should expose this agenda for what it is.

When people object to things being taught as if they were true, they are proposing that children should be brought up with the idea that there are a number of competing world-views out there on the supermarket shelves, like rival brands of baked beans, and that it is OK to view them as competitors in some kind of market for "mind share"; maybe it's OK (they seem to say) to prefer one brand or another. Maybe baked beans are bad for you. It's for the consumer to choose. It's a free market.

This not pseudo-relativism. This is not nineteen-sixties hey-anything-goes. This is hard, didactic relativism.

What if you don't happen to like relativism? Hitherto, we have had faith schools in which we have been able to put forward an alternative view. It seems that this is about to end. After all, these people are not academics or thinkers or journalists or broadcasters. These are members of a parliamentary committee. These people are legislators, and their blood is up.

We should not be in the smallest degree surprised. We were warned about this a couple of years ago by a prominent Christian thinker who at the time coined a memorable phrase: the "dictatorship of relativism".

But it was not just an inspired phrase, an arresting idea. No, this prophecy has become true even as we hear it. This is real, literal relativism, and if there are legislators behind it - and there are - it is going to be a real, literal dictatorship.

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