Saturday, 17 April 2010

More Ethics

A quick update post.

It seems that our beloved Premier, Kristina Keneally, is going to allow the Anglican Church some 'input' into the ethics trial that is about to begin in NSW. It shouldn't be left up to me to point out that this seems to be a completely useless gesture - no amount of input from the Anglican Church is going to force scripture into the ethics trial, just as no amount of pressure from any atheist lobby group would ever influence the content of a scripture lesson. This is why the two are being kept separate in the first place. Allowing the Anglicans to have 'input' into the lesson structure seems in the mildest case like appeasement, for which the Anglicans ought to feel insulted, and in the worst case like handing over the reigns to the religious lobby so that children might have a choice between 'scripture' and 'scripture 2'.

According to the article I linked above, the lobby seems concerned that by giving parents a choice between religious classes and non-religious classes, there would be a drop in their attendance numbers. Never mind concern that children are being excluded already. Never mind that there are scores of children in their own classes who are there under obligation and who - anyone who has ever met an ex-catholic will tell you - may very suddenly and turbulently rebel against their faith when they come to a different decision later in life. (It seems to be the ex-religious who make the most firebrand atheists). All these people seem to be worried about is that their popularity will plummet when an alternative is presented.

I hate to be a Mrs. Lovejoy here, but why is their first concern not the children?

If the classes they offer were so valuable and worthwhile as they claim, then they would have nothing to worry about. Children of religious parents will remain in them while children of non-demoninational and other-demoninational parents will attend a secular class. I am at SUCH a loss to explain how this could be considered a problem in the mind of any sane individual.

It's lucky that, when Penny Sharpe recieved a tidal wave of negative emails, the reasonable community of NSW was able to respond in kind:

#NSWEthics classes in schools. Overnight tally: In favour: 142 emails, 50 FB messages, 74 tweets. 19 emails against. Thanks for the support.

And this one, just because it's cool:

@MitchSully I've passed on your blog to the Minister - thanks

Verity reads my blog now. Just sayin'.

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1 comment:

  1. Similarly, I am staggered this is even a question. It shouldn't be seen as having anything at all to do with religion; it is quite simply about children: doing all we can to raise the ethical standards of our society, by way of some formal teaching in ethics.

    Personally I'm incensed that there are scripture classes in public schools (whither separation of church and state??) but again: that's not the issue here. Religion, scripture classes, atheism, all are red herrings. It's simply about teaching children to be decent ethical human beings. Anyone against it has brain workings completely beyond my comprehension.

    ... and I'm a psychiatrist ;)