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The Forum > Article Comments > SRI opponents denying kids their cultural heritage > Comments

SRI opponents denying kids their cultural heritage : Comments

By Rob Ward, published 4/5/2011

Not content with their choice to remove their kids from SRI, militant atheists seem hell-bent on ensuring everyone elseís kids are blocked from exposure to Christianity.

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Teaching children about talking snakes and pregnant virgins has no place in the modern school curriculum.
There should no provision for prayer in schools
Just as there should be no provision for thinking in churces.
Posted by ponde, Wednesday, 4 May 2011 8:12:54 AM
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Rob,

Christianity (as opposed the Christ's own example) has, and continues, to walk hand in hand with consumerism - they're partners in the Western world.

You talk of telling a few Bible stories and instilling a few values....but the whole schooling paradigm is one of collective indoctrination into consumer society. It's covert role (aside from the tree R's) is to train up children to unthinkingly obey the dictates of a society obsessed with material gain.

Ever since the Protestant work ethic took hold, we've been rolling ever forward in our quest away from cooperative enterprise toward a competitive, individualistic and centralised paradigm - but this is aided and abetted by all pertinent institutions in our society including the church - it's a partnership which keeps the cash registers ringing.

The Golden Rule is a universal tenet - as you should know, Christianity is not the sole font of wisdom in this world - and it might also be construed as a call to respect "human rights" - something I believe Christ would have supported wholeheartedly.

It's interesting that you preceded every mention of atheist or secular with the word "militant".
Posted by Poirot, Wednesday, 4 May 2011 8:20:10 AM
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One thing you can guarantee is that any member of the Christian lobby will reflexively link "militant" with any criticism, whether secularist, humanist, atheist, or other religionist.

The alternative to SRE/SRI being offered through such programs as the NSW Ethics seminars are attacked, as are alternative SRE provisions. As a retired teacher and school principal, I remember the fuss when the Jehovah's Witnesses wanted to minister to their particular flock. Resistance to any alteration to the special privilege that mainstream Christian denominations have had regarding access to public school students - it is a form of marketing after all, has always been common.

The resistance to the AOGs coming into the schools was another example I had direct experience of back in the 1980s.

However, it must be said, my deepest criticism of Ward's position is reserved for demanding that the only alternative should be "self-directed learning, under the watchful eye of a school teacher." I'd rather see a productive seminar on Ethics thanks.

There there Mr Ward; neither of us believe in Zeus or Odin, it's just that some people believe in one less god than you. Morality predates religion - not the other way around.
Posted by jimoctec, Wednesday, 4 May 2011 8:29:50 AM
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" ... the truth that one cannot understand Western literature without understanding the Bible."

That is a lie for several reasons:
1. It is possible to understand western literature without reference to the bible,
2. understanding the Bible is extremely difficult even for Christian theologians - they frequently admit they take decades to try to do so,
3. the Bible stories are unverified by contemporary writings,
4. the Bible stories are often contradictory e.g the 2 versions of creation, the contradictions about resurrection witnesses, etc.
.........................

"Only the most churlish deny that Jesus was a good man whose teachings offer us much. No credible historian doubts his historicity."

No credible historian has produced extra-Biblical literary evidence or archaeological evidence to verify his historicity.

As for being a universally "good man" - he was charged, convicted and punished for sedition. Much of his writing are about favouring him or his teachings, and denigrating those who do not follow them.
.................................

"It is a simple fact that culture derives from who or what a society values most."

Culture and Society are not universals in any country. Their variability, diversity and intermittent cross-over means there is not a single "who" or even an oligarchy of them.
Posted by McReal, Wednesday, 4 May 2011 8:35:43 AM
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In NSW the primary school curriculum includes "comparative religion" (though I'm not sure about the curriculum in Victoria). In NSW, this gives children in Years 5 and 6 exposure to religions and their texts including the bible, without having the beliefs pushed onto them. Why should children be proselytized at a public school during school hours, especially if their parents don't want this to happen? Why are religions so afraid of alternatives to SRI for children? Is it because they feel that if people are only proselytized as adults that many more of them won't choose religion?
As for Gillard, she has just been pandering to right-wing Christians from Qld in search of their votes (hence her election promise to increase funding for school chaplains). She shouldn't bother: they didn't vote for her anyway. If the High Court case to be heard this month rules that Federal funding for school chaplains is unconstitutional, she should thank the proponents of the case for saving the Govt a lot of money which was promised in search of votes the ALP didn't get.
Posted by Johnj, Wednesday, 4 May 2011 8:42:12 AM
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"Just three parents and a few militant secularists " - a lobby group, Rob?

"the Golden Rule" is universal, and pre-dated Christianity, Rob.

The reference to *intolerance* is so hypocritical ...

Exposing kids to values which post-date Christianity and its tribe-obsessed idolatry of a persecuted figure canít be all bad
.
Posted by McReal, Wednesday, 4 May 2011 8:42:54 AM
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