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Australian philosopher, literary critic, and professional writer. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE and HUMANITY ENHANCED.

Monday, June 27, 2011

School Chaplaincy program - government can't have it both ways

I really don't know why this is so hard. The federal government says that the chaplains that it is funding for schools are not there to preach their religious beliefs and nor are they there to give counselling to students. So, what does that leave?

Apparently, according to the interview with Peter Garrett tonight on The 7.30 Report, they are there to give some kind of "advice" to students that is somehow of a secular nature and somehow falls short of "counselling". Really? If such a category of advice exists (which is doubtful), and if that's what they're supposed to do, why do they need to be chaplains? The government can't have this both ways. It either provides chaplains, which John Howard told us was something the electorate understood, or it doesn't. If it is providing genuine chaplains, it is using public money to subsidise religious indoctrination in public as well as private schools. If it is not ... then what is the point of the scheme? If teachers need some help for this aspect of their job, it can be done by putting more money into providing people with the appropriate secular qualifications.

5 comments:

AllanW said...

Couldn't agree more. Some things really are that simple and clear-cut. Now what pressure can be brought to bear to ensure the best route out of this mess?

George Higinbotham said...

This is hard because this is a jobs program for evangelicals.

The SU and ACCESS and half a dozen other parachurches in Australia have funded approximately 3000 part time jobs via this program, and they get 10% of the revenue as overhead.

Which means, the Commonwealth has given or promised AU $43.9 million to fund staff for Sr. evangelicals in AU

Russell Blackford said...

Not sure of the answer to that, but the 7.30 Report program tonight was a good start.

Darrick Lim said...

Glad to see that this farce is finally getting the critical attention it needs.

Mike Haubrich said...

Not seeing the report, I assume that the Oil's lead singer was on to shed some light on a shady practice?