"God and Government" Survey, Answered

I posted yesterday on the Australian Democrats' "God and Government" Survey. As promised, here's my answers to a couple of the questions:

5. Should RE [standard Religious Education in public schools] be linked to a particular religious faith or should it be more about comparing differing religious beliefs? I struggle with these kind of "make a rule for everyone" questions because I believe Christianity is firstly a personal faith. My overriding thought answering this question is that God doesn't force us to believe certain things, so why should I? However I know that the Bible is true, and God is real, and I would like to see that continue to be taught in schools.

6. Should classes in ethics be taught as an alternative to RE? The quality and source of the material is a question here. Although I reckon it's important to know about ethics, scrapping RE for ethics is not something I'd like to see happen.

10. Should funding for school chaplains be redirected towards funding for professional counsellors? The survey makes it clear that these chaplains come from a variety of religious backgrounds (so we're not just talking a Roman Catholic priest or Methodist minister). I feel that schools should be allowed to have chaplains that are funded by the government; the "professional counsellor" sounds like a good idea, but not at the expense of a faith-based chaplain. I'm not sure exactly how chaplains are used in schools, but I see the breadth of the chaplain's role to be wide enough to incorporate counselling (with proper accreditation), whereas a "professional counsellor" seems a bit more limited.

11. Should school chaplains be subject to minimum educational qualifications regarding youth work? Yes. This might raise the bar for entry into this kind of job, but as a Dad whose son is about to start school next year, I feel safer with a level of training and professionalism from the people who work with my children.


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3 Responses to ""God and Government" Survey, Answered"

Anonymous said... Friday, August 04, 2006 11:44:00 PM

This is Thomas Williams from America alias exzucuh 360.yahoo.com/exzucuh, There are no chaplins in our schools there is no God in our schools they have removed him. Our children have to be put on drugs so they can endure school because they go in fear of being killed or molested every day by students or teachers, I think you are avery blessed people if your Goverment supports chaplins in schools, I am envious because the america I once knew is gone. They still call it a free nation but really your freedom is determined here by your pocketbook, the more money you have the more freedom you have. And the rights of the immoral exceed the righteous. exzucuh

Thomas said... Monday, August 07, 2006 1:37:00 PM

Thanks for the comments Lion. With the imminent approach of schooling for our kids, hearing about how things are in the U.S. (Australia is often not far behind) is worrying.

Anonymous said... Tuesday, August 08, 2006 6:30:00 AM

Families Sue to Opt Their Kids Out of School-Mandated Pro-Homosexual Seminar

By Jim Brown
February 28, 2006

(AgapePress) - A federal judge has prohibited students from opting out of mandatory pro-homosexual diversity training in one Kentucky school system. District Judge David Bunning says students in Boyd County Schools have no religious or free-speech right to opt out of a yearly seminar aimed at preventing anti-homosexual harassment.

The diversity training for staff members and middle school and high school students is the result of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of a Gay-Straight Alliance Club that is now permitted to meet on campus. Kevin Theriot with the Alliance Defense Fund is representing three families that have filed a lawsuit challenging the mandatory diversity training.

Although Judge Bunning's ruling is distressing, Theriot says, he notes that his clients have won half of the concessions they sought through the lawsuit. "They had a policy before we filed the lawsuit that said that a student couldn't tell another student that homosexual behavior is wrong," he explains. "After we filed the lawsuit, they changed the policy."

The attorney says that policy that initially barred students from telling classmates that homosexuality is morally wrong "actually was part of the training that was given to students in the Boyd County Schools-mandated seminar."

Also, Theriot maintains, school officials "were trying to convince students that homosexual behavior is something that can't be controlled, and that it's something you're born with, and it's just like having a handicap," or "just like being born of a different race." Of course, the ADF-affiliated lawyer adds, these notions are "completely contrary to the religious beliefs of our clients."

The required pro-homosexual diversity training ends next year, but for now, the federal court ruling in place gives Boyd County Schools staff, middle school and high school students disagreeing with its content no option to sit out. Theriot is currently considering whether to appeal Judge Bunning's decision to the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Families Sue to Opt Their Kids Out of School-Mandated Pro-Homosexual Seminar

posted by john | 3/01/2006 12:03:33 AM

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