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  #51  
Old 20th July 2011, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: Coalition Folds In On Ethics Classes.

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The acting opposition education spokesman, Nathan Rees, said Mr O'Farrell needed to make it clear to the crossbench that ''classrooms of NSW are not a social laboratory for fringe political groups''
Nathan Rees keeps demonstrating his lack of knowledge about democracy in practice and theory.
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  #52  
Old 20th July 2011, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Coalition Folds In On Ethics Classes.

Religious classes would undermine ethics classes. Surely, for example, an ethics class would teach that it's wrong to discriminate against a gay person, but the religious class would teach that God (who's better than ethics classes) says that homosexuals are an abomination.

The ethics class should be as an alternative to RI. A critical thinking class shouldn't clash with the RI class - you want the RI kids to get in on critical thinking too


Mod note edited derogatory word.
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  #53  
Old 21st July 2011, 12:39 AM
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Default Re: Coalition Folds In On Ethics Classes.

Simon Longstaff of St James Ethics Centre has an article on the Fred Nile kerfuffle, at ABC's The Drum. Some extracts:

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Originally Posted by Ethical classes, ethical politics
However, I suppose that it is one of the new realities of balance-of-power politics that those with a vote to trade will seek maximum advantage whenever the opportunity arises. In this case, the Reverend Nile has indicated that the NSW Government, led by Premier Barry O'Farrell, cannot rely on his vote in support of Industrial Relations reform unless the government backs his call to scrap ethics classes currently offered to children attending NSW State primary schools, whose parents have chosen for them not to attend classes in special religious education (SRE or 'scripture').
I suppose that the Reverend Nile is taking a leaf out of the Greens' Federal play book - hoping to force Premier O'Farrell to break his February 2011 promise to maintain the special ethics classes if elected. The O'Farrell Government campaigned on a platform of integrity and there is every indication that it will not be drawn into the mire of broken promises.
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Originally Posted by Ethical classes, ethical politics
There are about 100,000 children in NSW State Primary Schools who do not attend SRE. Many are from religious families unable to be offered SRE because their faith group is not able to provide teachers. Some simply choose not to have their faith espoused outside of the family setting. And then there are those children whose parents are not at all religious. In the end, I hope that the legitimate interests of these parents and children will take precedence over other, unrelated political considerations. After all, what are the ethics of holding to ransom the welfare of 100,000 children for the sake of a single vote?
Machiavellian ethics, that's what...
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  #54  
Old 21st July 2011, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: Coalition Folds In On Ethics Classes.

Coalition shows it won't be pushed around by an old fool. More interesting is the response from the Angricans and Catlicks. They have finaly realised that the ethics course is there for those children not participating in RE, an alternative to staring at a wall.

Link

Quote:
Nile isolated as Anglicans back ethics classes

Leesha Mckenny, Sean Nicholls

July 21, 2011

Learning a moral foundation without religion ... students attend an ethics class at Hilltop Primary School in Merrylands. Photo: Wolter Peeters

THE leading opponent to the introduction of ethics classes in NSW schools, the Anglican Church, has reversed its position and says they should be retained, while the Catholic Church now argues they should not be removed as they have ''little impact'' on the teaching of scripture.
The reversals come amid a stand-off over the classes between the O'Farrell government and the Christian Democratic Party MP, Fred Nile, who has threatened to block key legislation in the upper house if it does not consider removing them from schools.
The comments will be welcomed by the government, which yesterday rejected Mr Nile's proposal that the classes be moved from being in competition with special religious education (SRE), or scripture, lessons.


The acting Premier, Andrew Stoner, said the proposal was ''problematic and very unlikely to find support'' from the government.
Bryan Cowling from the Anglican Education Commission, the church's peak education body in the Sydney diocese, told the Herald the church had consulted with the O'Farrell government. ''Once the thing had gone through we saw that as the reality and we need to make sure we work within it,'' he said.
''I'm comfortable with the current arrangements and so is the Anglican Church.''
Dr Cowling said there had been a fear among religious providers before the classes were introduced that they might be a vehicle of getting rid of special religious education altogether.
''I've seen the curriculum, which none of the churches had seen before the legislation went through and, having seen the curriculum, it's nothing to be frightened of,'' he said. ''It's good educational stuff.
''We've got no evidence that introducing the ethics classes has done anything to reduce the number of SRE classes.''
But Dr Cowling said removing the classes would be ''undemocratic'' and Mr Nile's proposal risked throwing the whole area into turmoil, so ''ultimately [that] could mean SRE could disappear altogether,'' he said. ''I don't think his position can be defended on the basis of fairness.''
Jude Hennessy, the spokesman for the Catholic Conference of Religious Education in State Schools, said the church had also dropped its opposition to the classes. Mr Hennessy said while Mr Nile's move to have the classes removed from schools was ''no doubt an expression of his strong support'' for scripture, ''the implementation of ethics classes has progressed too far to warrant this action''.
He said the debate had prompted an increase in the number of volunteer scripture teachers, while there had been limited take-up of ethics classes, which are running in 128 primary schools with 180 teachers: ''The implementation of ethics classes in a limited number of school communities has had little impact on the teaching of SRE.''
Last night Mr Nile expressed surprise and disagreed with the view that ethics classes had not affected scripture lessons. ''I've been getting information from the grassroots in schools saying [ethics] is having an effect.''
He told the Herald he understood that Mr Stoner did not want to announce changes to government policy while the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, was in China and looked forward to his meeting with him next week.
When ethics classes were introduced at Hilltop Road Public School in Merrylands last term, its Catholic scripture alternative lost one student. But Charlie Gregory, 10, who said the classes were more fun than scripture, also had some other reasons.
''My dad's the teacher,'' he said.
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  #55  
Old 21st July 2011, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: Coalition Folds In On Ethics Classes.

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Originally Posted by Sieveboy View Post
Coalition shows it won't be pushed around by an old fool. More interesting is the response from the Angricans and Catlicks. They have finaly realised that the ethics course is there for those children not participating in RE, an alternative to staring at a wall.
They might also have realised that they were looking like a bunch of insecure bullys with their aggressive and at times dishonest opposition to the ethics classes and decided that since they weren't going to win in their attemps to stop the ethics classes they might as well cut their losses and start pretending to be nice.

I wouldn't believe for 1 second that the Anglican and Catholic churches are really and truly supportive of the existence of ethics classes.
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Old 21st July 2011, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Coalition Folds In On Ethics Classes.

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Originally Posted by TimB View Post
They might also have realised that they were looking like a bunch of insecure bullys with their aggressive and at times dishonest opposition to the ethics classes and decided that since they weren't going to win in their attemps to stop the ethics classes they might as well cut their losses and start pretending to be nice.

I wouldn't believe for 1 second that the Anglican and Catholic churches are really and truly supportive of the existence of ethics classes.
I was paraphrasing the story, I agree, the churches are just realising that they were not helping themselves when they bleated about the ethics courses.

I would easily believe that if there were a few more Fred Nile lunatics in the NSW upper house who had it in for the ethics classes and the balance of power was far more in play, then the churches would up the pressure on Barry O'Farrell and the classes would die.

*Wants to buy full separation of church and state*
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  #57  
Old 21st July 2011, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Coalition Folds In On Ethics Classes.

Actually, I think there is now a three cornered struggle going on:

Mainstream Churches -------------- Evangelical Churches
-...............................-
-...................-
-........-

Ethics Classes

The mainstreamers have just realised they are better of siding with ethics than with the total whack jobs. If they fight ethics classes they risk getting their supporters offside because it gives a boost to the evangelicals and could result in public support for RI dropping altogether. Rock - Hard Place.
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  #58  
Old 24th July 2011, 07:29 AM
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Default Re: Coalition Folds In On Ethics Classes.

Bah, proportional representation fucks the ethics classes a little more.

What a surprise, the shooters don't like the ethics classes.

Linky

Quote:
Shooters join Nile bid to cut ethics classes

Alicia Wood

July 24, 2011

"The government has to respect that we have influence" ... Fred Nile of the Christian democrats. Photo: Peter Rae

THE Shooters and Fishers Party will join forces with the Reverend Fred Nile to stop the state government's controversial industrial relations changes, if Mr Nile is not satisfied with negotiations about scrapping ethics classes.
Mr Nile says he will block the government from passing key legislation in the upper house unless they get rid of ethics classes, which are running in 128 public schools and compete with scripture classes.
Robert Borsak, from the Shooters and Fishers Party, said he was in Mr Nile's corner.
''If Fred was to cross the floor, we would support him,'' he said.
The government needs the support of Mr Nile's Christian Democrats and the Shooters to pass their industrial relations bill in the upper house.
The Labor opposition will make a last-ditch effort to torpedo the bill and could succeed if the Shooters and Christian Democrats change their allegiances.
Mr Nile wants to meet with Premier Barry O'Farrell to negotiate so that ethics classes are not held at the same time as scripture. The Premier has said he will stick to his election promise to not get rid of the classes.
''The government has to respect that we [the Christian Democrats and the Shooters] have influence,'' Mr Nile said. ''They need our votes on every bill. We want to maintain a positive relationship with the government, but it is a two-way street.''
The Shooters have ruled out employing similar tactics to ensure the government supports their proposed changes to gun regulation.
Mr Borsak has requested a meeting with the Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, to explain his agenda for relaxing gun regulation, revealed in last week's Sun-Herald.
''[The government] should introduce guidelines so that all public schools in NSW are allowed to implement shooting as a standard school sport, without the red tape and without the political correctness,'' Mr Borsak said.
Shooting was safer than other standard school sports, and taught children discipline, he said.
''We do not call air-rifles weapons, we call them tools. I would rather children learn about proper gun safety in school than on video games - some of the weapons in those games scare the hell out of me.''
But a spokesman for Mr Piccoli said there would be no change to the rules on shooting in schools.

All I can say is that after the awful news in Oslo, a fundamentalist right wing christian nut job and a gun lover, would most likely be on the nose and should think twice before announcing anything like opposition to ethics classes.
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  #59  
Old 24th July 2011, 02:11 PM
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Default Re: Coalition Folds In On Ethics Classes.

Yes _ I think we have one too many illustrations of the outcome of mixing right wing Christianity with guns. What an awful tragedy!


Frankly, I'm wondering what Christianity and shooters think they can contribute to democracy. But perhaps they are trying to tell us they are both just there to push their own barrow.

Eardstapper.
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  #60  
Old 30th July 2011, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: Coalition Folds In On Ethics Classes.

Fred Nile claims he's made a deal with O'Farrell now .

Quote:
THE state government has bowed to pressure from Fred Nile and will consider removing ethics classes from schools only months after they began.
A deal the Christian Democratic Party MP says he has struck with the Premier, Barry O'Farrell, places at risk the Coalition's election promise not to remove the classes, which began in February under the former Labor government as an alternative to religious education lessons.
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