Churches must not be allowed to sabotage ethics lessons

Churches must not be allowed to sabotage ethics lessons
Media release: 13 April 2010
Moves by the Sydney Anglican church hierarchy to interfere with the development of an ethics-based alternative to religious instruction in public schools could severely disadvantage children from non-believing families, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye (SMH, Tuesday 13 April 2010, p 1,
Dr Kaye said: “For 130 years organised religion has exercised absolute domination over one hour a week of public school time.
“Children from families that do not support a particular creed or prefer to arrange their own religious instruction have been forced to waste an hour of their valuable school week.
“The ethics-based alternative is a sensible plan to allow these students to use the school time profitably.
“This has nothing to do with the Anglicans, Catholics or any other religious group. They remain free to attract students and instruct then as they have always done.
“The ethics based classes are absolutely none of their business.
“Kristina Keneally should show she is the premier for all NSW households, including the atheists, agnostics and those that reject organised religion.
“She should not allow the religious leaders to sabotage the ethics-based course.
“If the Sydney Anglicans or other creeds are worried about losing students then they should look to what they are offering and how they teach it.
“Last year Education Minister Verity Firth sensibly supported a pilot program being developed by the St James Ethics Centre to offer a secular alternative instead of the students watching videos, playing games or wasting time.
“The Keneally government must stand up to Archbishop Peter Jensen and prelates and their insecurity and allow the trial to go ahead without hostile interference,” Dr Kaye said.
For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455 

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