Students attending government schools (aka public schools) in NSW used to have a class called scripture where they studied religious scripture. However, towards the end of last year, the previous state government introduced ethics classes as an alternative to scripture. In other words, they didn’t remove scripture classes but gave students of non-religious families the option to study ethics. These ethics classes focus on issues ranging from children’s rights, human rights, animal cruelty, to whether children should be allowed to vote. In short, it appears to be teaching children to think critically about a variety of issues.
Fred Nile and his conservative CDP seem to think this is wrong. After all, who wants a generation to think critically when you can brainwash them with religious scripture, right? Remember, this is a guy who wants bills to be passed repealing laws that allow same-sex couples to adopt and to ban individuals (adults) from possessing pornography.
But you know what? Fred Nile is entitled to have his views and opinions. No matter how backward they may seem to you and me. If he thinks homosexuality is a sin, so be it. But he needs to understand that most of us do not subscribe to his views. And that is where my problem lies.
I have a problem with him trying to push religion and scripture (any religion, by the way) onto young children today. Young kids that attend the public school system. If parents really want their kids to be taught religious scriptures, that’s what the catholic and other private religious schools are for. There are private Anglican, Catholic, Coptic, Greek Orthodox, Islamic and Assyrian schools that exist in NSW for parents who are keen for their kids to be oriented in the scripture and religion. The public system is not a place for preaching religion or scripture. Having said that, I am okay with scripture still being taught as long as it is a choice for students and not the only option thereby making it compulsory.
It makes my blood boil to think that the state government is even considering removing these classes. I was under the impression that the church (read: religion) has no place in politics. But I’m seriously starting to doubt that. What with the federal government spending millions to have chaplains in public schools (instead of qualified psychologists) and the state government thinking of giving in to a religious fanatic to get a vote on capping wages, I fear we may be heading the way the Americans did under Bush. Despite having an atheist prime minister. [Can you imagine how much worse off we would be with religious fanatic Tony Abbott???]
But I digress.
Here’s a wonderful piece written by an 11 year old who wants the ethics classes to stay.
If nothing, I hope the government keeps the ethics classes so we have more intelligent kids thinking critically and making good decisions in life. Although then, as the 11 year old himself said,
But then again, if children could go to the polls then perhaps Fred Nile, the leader of the Christian Democratic Party in NSW, wouldn’t have the power that he has today.
And maybe that’s the ulterior motive. To keep brainwashing young minds to be able to be voted in a position of power and thereby ensure we live in regressive society that thinks homosexuality is a sin and divorce is wrong and watching pornography will result in us going to hell.
Until next time,