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The Forum > Article Comments > Serpents in the classrooms > Comments

Serpents in the classrooms : Comments

By Hugh Wilson, published 9/10/2008

School chaplains, populist politics and the demise of ‘education’ in Queensland schools.

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While I would argue with the author about the worth of exclusively secular education (nothing is value free) he has a point about the amateur fashion in which school chaplains have been given places in schools. We take special care to train school teachers in their areas of expertise but in the case of chaplains any person with a religious axe to grind seems adequate to the task. I am in favour of chaplains in schools as long as they are properly trained. This would mean at least a three your course in a mainstream theological school preferably run in one of our established universities. The problem is that in our mistaken idea that there is a separation between church and state in Australia it is often the case that these schools do not exist in our universities. Where then can we train the chaplains? The writer is quite right to be alarmed by the influx of religious enthusiasts into schools and with government funding.

Peter Sellick
Posted by Sells, Thursday, 9 October 2008 10:09:22 AM
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Hugh might have a point if the Secular system could point to any successes in their failed humanistic systems. The schools are full of bullies who have never had a smack in their life and teachers have been reduced to child minders in many areas.

I have heard some who even opposed chaplains on the same discriminating and god hating basis as Hugh has done ending up eating humble pie as many mentors and chaplains have shown the compassion and love not able to be offered by anyone else.

I would guess Hugh would feel more comfortable with Bill Henson prowling the school yards looking for kids to photograph nude than he would to see some decent values taught to the children. It must irk Hugh to see the fruit of these values where churches like Hillsong have thousands of young professionals (men and women) successful in life, worshiping Jesus and probably doing more to help people than most.

THe worst thing that could happen for our kids is for the schools to become even more secular with more and dogmas being pushed on to our kids. Face it Hugh the experiment has failed miserably. Thank God Mr Howard and others could see that Securalism has proven a total flop producing a valueless society. Hopefully the chaplains can do their bit to rescue some of these kids from the fruit of secularism (immorality, drug culture, divorce culture, homosexual culture etc etc)
Posted by runner, Thursday, 9 October 2008 10:37:32 AM
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Some would say that religious education is a contradiction in terms, and the recent events in the US over creationism and attempts to ban the teaching of evolution would confirm this.
At the very least, it needs to be kept clear that matters of faith and dogma which are not subject to critical thought and test are not the business of schools. For parents who actively want religion for their children, separate religious instruction by visiting ministers, as was done in the past, should be available, but they should have no contact with other students. I simply don't want my children brainwashed by the fear mongering that most religion ends up pushing.
The study of values is absolutely crucial in education, and is a well established practice which needs to be promoted more. With all due respect to the church, ministers of religion are unlikely to know anything about how to engage students with thinking about values - the boring and unproductive approaches of the past are not called 'preaching' by accident.
If pastoral care is the aim, this is much better done by qualified social workers and psychologists than by unqualified zealots, however well intentioned.
Congratulations to 'the Fourth R' for uncovering this appalling lack of responsibility on the part of the education authorities.
Posted by Godo, Thursday, 9 October 2008 11:05:46 AM
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This article describes a situation that is an enormous cause for concern.
There is no greater crime that the deliberate and on-going corruption of children - a crime that is constantly being perpetrated by the many religious institutions in Australia, with full financial taxpayer funded support provided by a relatively new federal government. The pernicious rubbish disguised as 'religion' - specifically (in this country at least) the nonsensical Abrahamic god variety - has been the favoured vehicle for political ascendency since at least the fifties when the country was split over the state aid issue. When a government - a government that was elected largely as a reaction to the pandering and brutal tactics of the Howard cohort of bible bashers - continues to fund the deliberate corruption of our children via the destruction of the once proud state school systems, and has the audacity to to use public funds to impose a never-ending stream of priests, parsons, pastors, nuns, religiously motivated counsellors, etc. etc. upon our defenseless children - despair seems inevitable. Keep up the good work, Fourth R, - if you can! Maintain the rage!

I heartily recommend concerned parents and citizens read 'The Purple Economy', by Max Wallace. Mr Wallace has exposed the depth to which religion has, directly and indirectly, invaded our taxation system and achieved on-going massive direct and indirect funding for their continuous self-aggrandising agenda of imposing nonsensical mind destroying rubbish upon the community at large.
I have never met Mr Wallace and I have no financial interest the sales of his book - however it makes better reading than that loose leaf folio of assorted fairy tales, imaginary self-serving history, and chronicled sadistic brutality commonly known by its proponents as 'The Holy(?) bible.
Posted by GYM-FISH, Thursday, 9 October 2008 11:07:15 AM
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An excellent and timely article that exposes the sheer hypocrisy of the insidious insertion of unqualified, overwhelmingly Christian "chaplains" into Queensland State schools. As a parent of a child who attends one of these schools, I have been strongly critical of this ideological program since its inception.

Yes, school students need to have someone to whom they can go for counselling and guidance, but these should be properly qualified counsellors rather than untrained religious evangelists whose purpose is to indoctrinate vulnerable kids into their anachronistic beliefs.

Of course fundamentalist nutters like runner approve of this appalling waste of taxpayers' money, while simultaneously foaming at the mouth about something as trivial as the media beat-up about Bill Henson's artworks depicting children.

Well done, Hugh Wilson and The Fourth R - keep up the good work!
Posted by CJ Morgan, Thursday, 9 October 2008 11:58:02 AM
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The younglings here in Indo only get 2hrs per day sub standard education. I myself think that kids shld only be taught comparative religion period.

In the indo constitution, the guvment are supposed to pay a minumum % from GDP towards education. The jawa pos here has been reporting for some time that they remain in open defiance of this. Remember, they harvest at international $ rate and pay out at 3rd world rate.The rich here are filthy rich.

The conspiracy theorists tell me that south jakarta has no interest in educating the 40+ million people who live on sub $5 per, as an educated populace wld very likely vote out the war criminals, human rights violaters and corruption cronies.

Amien Rais's political people speak openly now about the issue of not even a third of the aceh aid money arriving for the victims. I have a mate on an AUS/N.America AID steering committee here. Same story. Not even 30% of the budget arrived and the families still can't afford materials and the teachers aren't being paid. Why is canberra going along with this? A multi purpose exercise one wld assume eh auntie?

Indo has "foreign capital" handling rules u c. Its just a rubber stamping, hand balling exercise and they clip the seed pool at every touch.

The sister geological associations for the fab new finds in South Australia are in Kalimantan and everyone wants a piece of the action. .. well .. I wonder if these things are connected in any inappropriate way?

Just have to check out Mr ALP Wudd's benefactors list I suppose, amongst other things, and no surprises for guessing that if u don't donate to the jakarta stamp man, u don't get a guernsey. Corruption seems to be a stupid, lazy man's business.

As the jews say never again, so do the majority muslim indos.

!Merdeka! !Merdeka! !Merdeka! atau mati.
(Independence, Independence, Independence or die)

I shld like to see another paper from Carmy, but instead of forgetfulness at times of trial, perhaps a paper on how the abused become the abusers.
Posted by DreamOn, Friday, 10 October 2008 8:34:44 AM
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