No you may not learn about ethics, you little heathen

Apparently church groups in Australia think that if you’re not doing something churchy then you shouldn’t be doing anything at all.

At the moment, an archaic clause in NSW’s Education Act prohibits students who opt out of scripture from being taught anything while others receive religious instruction. At some schools, that means more than half the students are basically doing nothing…The NSW Federation of Parents and Citizens Association (P&C) has funded the St James Centre for Ethics to develop a pilot program to teach ethics to students who don’t want to learn scripture. But the program had barely crossed the Education Minister’s desk before the Government’s religious education advisory panel sounded the alarm. Approving the proposal would require the Parliament to kill that archaic clause, and the churches clearly fear this may be the crest of a very slippery slope.

A……slope to where, exactly? What is the slope that leads from an ethics class to…perdition? A tank full of broken glass? Life as a banker who moonlights as a prostitute?

The current arrangement goes back over a century to when the State took over public education from the Catholic Church. The public of that time was more worried that the State, not the Church, had too much control over education.

Oh, so that’s it. They used to have a monopoly, and when the monopoly was taken away, they were still allowed to keep a little piece of it. They want to go on keeping it, so they don’t want any competion for their ‘scripture’ classes. Yet another example of the instinctive generosity of the religious.

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