Support for Christian Fundamentalist mis-education

DIALOGUE WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORTERS OF BRIDGEND CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
A rather confused response from Ford and a short clear statement from BenQ. Nothing as yet from EMI, Roland and Andertons.Ford say they do not support religious projects, but seem to be saying that this grant was sold to them as supporting pupils who struggle in mainstream schools. Hmm!!
BenQ have had no direct dealings with them at all, and in a conversation I had over the phone following the email response below, they may be looking into the patent misrepresentation going on here.
Subject:Your support for Christian Fundamentalist mis-education (My initial enquiry)

Dear Supporters of Bridgend Christian School,(Ford Britain Trust, EMI Music Sound Foundation, Benq, Roland, Andertons Music)Attached is a screen shot from the Bridgend Christian School website showing your company as a supporter of this school, which you can also see here: http://www.bridgendchristianschool.co.uk/supporters/

I have been investigating the nature of this establishment recently and as a result I find myself shocked that a company such as yours is happy to be seen to be a supporter of such a school. (My report for Bridgend Green Party is here: https://bridgendgreens.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/bridgend-christian-school-ace-or-crap/ )

It makes me wonder if you are really aware of what your name is now associated with.

Are you aware that this school does not teach the National Curriculum or conventional exam syllabi, but instead delivers something called Accelerated Christian Education, imported from the southern United States Bible Belt. This is a package of work books that kids work through by rote learning and filling in blanks, and is based on literal interpretations of the Bible – crackpot fundamentalism of the most ridiculous kind.

Full details of its poor Estyn report, unconventional methods, religious and political indoctrination, and preposterous curriculum content are in the Bridgend Green Party report, and links therein.

It may be, of course, that you see absolutely nothing wrong with any of this and/or may be happy with the exposure available from such an association. There is no such thing as bad publicity, you may believe. Given that I plan to take this story to the media in due course, I am offering you some additional free publicity. The tone of this will depend on your response.

I would therefore appreciate straight answers to these straight questions:

  1. Has your company provided Bridgend Christian School with any financial, or any other type of support?
  2. Are you aware of the religious fundamentalism that underpins this school?
  3. Are you aware that they are using your name in this way to give credibility to their endeavors?
  4. Are you prepared to let them continue to use your company name and logo in this way?

I appreciate that it may take a little time to investigate what has gone on here, but I would appreciate if you could give me some response by the end of this month, before I go to press. Simple Yes/No answers will suffice.

Many thanks for your consideration and cooperation in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Chyba

From: Orford, Rachel (R.) FORD BRITAIN TRUST

Subject: RE: Your support for Christian Fundamentalist mis-education

Dear Mr Chyba

Thank you for your recent enquiry regarding the Ford Britain Trust and its link to the Bridgend Christian School.

The objective of the Ford Britain Trust and its Trustees is to support the communities in which employees of Ford Motor Company Limited work, and to make a difference by providing relatively modest grants for projects of a capital nature. The Bridgend Christian School made an application in 2010, which was successful and enabled them to purchase school furniture for use by its students in their educational setting and we hope in some small way the Trust has made a difference to the school.

I am afraid that we are unable to comment on your concern over the religious teaching methods of the school. It would not have been part of our assessment criteria to consider the curriculum content of this or any of the schools which apply to the Trust. The Trust has strict eligibility criteria for its grant applicants and indeed states that it does not contribute to projects of a religious nature; in the spirit of diversity our grant-making activity is based on social tolerance for all. This schools application focused on the needs of its students, some of which we understand struggle in mainstream schools, which led the Trustees to consider it a project worthy of funding. If this school submitted a grant application in the future which met the Ford Britain Trust criteria, they would still be considered and may well be successful, depending on the number of other deserving applicants.

The Trust does not insist on acknowledgement of its grants by beneficiaries and we are not always aware of the many instances when they do so, but all recipients of its grants are authorised to use our logo on any materials they may produce.

I trust that this addresses your concerns.

Kind Regards

Rachel Orford

On behalf of Gary Smith

Director

FordBritain Trust

Registered Charity 269410

From: Andy & Natalie Chyba
Date: 27/07/2012 00:16:53
To: Orford, Rachel (R.)
Subject: RE: Your support for Christian Fundamentalist mis-education

Dear Rachel,

Thank you for your considered response which seems to carefully try to position you on the fence!
The statement in blue sounds categorical enough, but then is immediately countered by the the statement in red which implies you will tolerate, indeed support, anyone and everyone, even if they are crackpots!!

Clarity is provided by the statements in green that signal that despite knowing what these people are doing, you would still countenance supporting them and are perfectly happy to have the Ford brand name and logo associated with these people. Thank you for this clarity.

Far from addressing my concerns, it greatly deepens my concerns about achieving a saner and more rational world, and worries me that such a big organisation as Ford can be so naive and irresponsible in its charitable activities.

Yours sincerely,

Andy Chyba

From: BenQ

Dear Andrew,

We do not financially or otherwise sponsor this education establishment. As a manufacturer of AV equipment that supplies to UK education resellers, there is the possibility of them indirectly purchasing and using our equipment, be it projectors or LCD monitors.

Kind regards

Royce Lye
UK Sales & Marketing Director.
BenQ

2 thoughts on “Support for Christian Fundamentalist mis-education

  1. Alan Rogers

    Andy, I applaud your efforts to expose this sinister invasion by the American religion industry into the school system of Wales. No doubt there are some politicians who would applaud business funding of education services. This should be a warning to all of the dangers of this. There should be political oversight of such activities and the Green Party is to be commended for undertaking this work.

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  2. Sherry

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