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Thread: Australian Chaplaincy Programme in Public Schools

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Hills District of Sydney

    Default Australian Chaplaincy Programme in Public Schools

    Here's an update of how we can voice our opposition to the wasteful and inappropriate Chaplaincy programme, while school budgets are being cut

    I also noted Puppy's great article here in 2015

    Chaplaincy in the latest budget
    AFA media release on the Commonwealth's 2015 Budget --draft proposal

    The AFA is deeply concerned that major political parties in Australia continue to erode secular principles in government.

    Secularism, the strict separation of religion and state, ensures that in a multicultural country like Australia, people may continue to enjoy both freedom to believe in religions, and freedom from religion. This ensures that no one group can dictate to any other group, or declare "special privilege" in a wide range of public policy issues such as education, medicine, or law.

    Above all else, the Australian ethos is about giving everyone a "fair go". How can the government pretend to protect this ethos if it favours particular religions, funds "Chaplains for Schools" programs or allows public hospitals to be privatized or administered by churches? If a church does administer a public hospital, then it should be obliged to provide All the services that a public hospital provides.
    Although it is up to the individual to decide, on the basis of religion, if they approve of abortion or not, that is their privilege. They have no right to dictate to other faiths, or indeed people of an agnostic or atheist philosophy, what their beliefs or moral values should be.

    The AFA notes with approval of the Abbott governments rescinding of special privilege to anti-vaccination advocates for reasons of religion. Vaccination is a public health issue, and so herd immunity should only be allowed for those where vaccination would be medically hazardous.

    We live in a world where theocracies tend to be authoritarian, and impose severe, often capital punishments for disbelievers or even believers who follow the "wrong" faith. And the rise of ISIS and "retail" religious terrorism by lone wolves or small groups shows how many people can "misinterpret" religious principles to such an extent they commit crimes against humanity.

    For democracy or proper freedom of expression to function, any and all ideas can and should be subject to criticism. This includes religious ideas and beliefs. However, personal insult is never permissible.

    A vigourous, free and democratic society thus allows everything to be questioned. And while it is true that many people tend to emotionally invest in their cultural of religious beliefs, it is mistake to introduce anti-blasphemy to protect religions from "insults".

    Surely, if any deity exists, and that deity is insulted, surely it is the deity that should do the punishing?

    Our history and current times, are awash with a diversity of many gods and religions, all of which claim to be the "right" god or faith.

    The one thing all religions have in common is that they have exactly the same level of evidence to support their beliefs. That level of evidence is exactly zero.

    And if a faith is really self-evidently true, then surely everyone would believe in the same god??

    The only fair way to treat religions, and those without faith, is to adopt a policy of strict secularism. No undue influence in policy solely for religious reasons. No funding or tax breaks for religions apart from strictly charitable works. [Works with no religious stings attached].

    Surely as a society we can work out a common ethics? You don't need to be a person of faith to know murder is wrong, or stealing. Such things can be argued from basic humanity and common sense.

    Although there are enlightened believers in every religion who are disgusted with bigotry and sexism and racism, the sad fact is that many religions still have ingrained inequalities and bigotries. The fight for marriage equality, for example. Or the fight for women to have the right to be priests.

    There is ample opportunity for the student to worship at home or in a religious place such as a church or mosque. Therefore there is no need to provide such things in schools, especially public schools. Schools are for education, not for worship or evangelicalism.
    If schools teach education, it should be comparative, favouring no religion and part of social or cultural studies. Student support should be provided by trained professionals in psychology or other professional arts. On questions of religion, the their churches/temples/synagogs, mosques etc in their communities is where they can get spiritual comfort or religious counseling.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: Australian Chaplaincy Programme in Public Schools

    I can't remember writing it--maybe someone hacked my account!
    Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifiable hypotheses to destruction.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Toontown, in the Bible Belt.

    Default Re: Australian Chaplaincy Programme in Public Schools

    Looks like AFA did it.... (Is that pronounced "Arthur" or "Affer"?).

    Iím not one of the dead ones yet. - Ms Fishie.

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