Religion Going Way Down Under

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Religion going way down under as Victorian (Australia) newspaper The Age Friday May 13, kick starts a series of “let’s get religion out of Australian Schools” with complaints that, “The Christian group that provides religious education and chaplains in Victorian government schools will be investigated after its chief executive told a conference: ‘We need to go and make disciples.’” The Age reports the Victorian government has been funding Access Ministries an extra $200,000 this year on top of the chaplaincy fund contribution of $500,000 a year over the past 4 years. Saturday’s Age page 3 quotes Bishop Steven Hail in bold headlines: “We’re not out to convert students in schools” and ‘Access Ministries has not breeched federal and state rules’.

Then Sunday’s Age declared the Teachers’ Union has joined in to “Call for end to religious classes” and is asking that public education must remain free and secular. Surprisingly a Sunday Age item below the Teachers’ article reported the Victorian government will be providing funding for the 2012 atheist convention in Melbourne with authors Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris under the title “The four horseman of the anti-apocalypse.” The Victorian government has been arguing this convention will be a good income spinner for the state, so it is entitled to the same perks as other conventions.

A week later the Queensland Courier Mail Weekend Magazine 28th – 29th May published ‘God is in Sate school classrooms and not all parents approve’. In the Bible belt of Toowoomba, atheist Queensland father Ron Williams is alleging in a high court challenge that Government funding of school chaplains isn’t constitutional. Despite all the above the Courier Mail reported Tuesday May 10th 2011, Australian Federal Treasure Wayne Swan has announced in his budget that the chaplaincy programme would receive a $222 million funding boost. This would provide further finance for 2,700 schools across Australia already in the programme, and to allow another thousand schools to take on a chaplain.

Editorial Comment: As someone who has been involved with education for a long time – this editor has learned one thing: students learn both from what is put in the curriculum as well as from what is deliberately left out! Education is derived from what children are not taught as much as from what they are taught. To bring students up in the absence of knowledge about God, does not make them religiously neutral so they are better able to make moral or religious decisions. The absence of religious education tells students that decisions of history, morality, politics, maths and science, etc. have been and can all be made agnostically, without reference to God. For all practical purposes students will have learned to be pragmatic atheists and live their lives without any moral compass beyond the fashions of our materialistic world. Don’t be fooled by the clever rhetoric of the Christophobic Atheists in our modern western societies who fear the very mention of Christ will expose the flaws in their logic – as it most certainly shall.

Evidence News 9 June 2011

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