The Pod Delusion, Andrew Penman and Faith Schools
I recently discovered a pod-cast with the excellent title of The Pod Delusion. As you’d guess, it’s from a secular, rationalist view point.
Just finished listening to episode 56 which features a brief interview with journalist Andrew Penman. In it Penman cogently explains the reasons why he attended church for some years to get into the local state Primary. It was great listening for me – although his dilemma concerned a Primary and mine is about a Secondary School – many of his reasons and experiences are the same as mine. What’s more we both know that many of the other attendees are also faking it but everyone plays along. He makes similar comments about the demographics of his church that I have made about mine and wonders, as I do, just how bad CofE attendance figures would be if the atheists-with-kids stopped going.
The interviewer also admits to faking religion: just how widespread is this practice? It seems that Penman is unusual in speaking about it. He also wrote about this in a book School Daze and an article in The Independent – which got quite a few negative comments on it from believers unhappy at what he did. These same commenters rarely mention the fact that “their” schools are paid for by all of us and yet get to exclude some of us on the grounds of religion.
I heartily recommend The Pod Delusion. You can download the MP3 of Episode 56 here and the Penman interview is about 34 minutes in.