Last edited by Cinderella82; 10-08-2013 at 22:33.
Sassy, I'd be furious! Just furious! In fact, I'm furious for you right now! I'd be complaining for sure, and I'd most likely kick up such a fuss that there would be no chance of it happening again. But that's me
I'd be p!ssed.
Surely the RE classes should be about teaching the facts & history about different religions rather than preaching Christian dogma?
OT but how can you ensure there isn't an emphasis on the latter when deciding if your child can do RE or not?
In NZ now, apparently they are looking at offering 'bible classes' as an after school after school activity rather than having it eat up valuable learning time.
Parents who oppose bible lessons in public schools are taking their fight to the Government.
About a dozen schools have already dropped religious classes since a group of parents launched the Secular Education Network campaign last year, according to group spokesman Peter Harrison.
"There's many parents across the country who have expressed their concern. And many Christians who vehemently oppose us."
The secular group is now hoping to apply pressure on the Government to close a legal loophole allowing schools to "close" during the day for bible lessons.
Mr Harrison voiced his concerns yesterday at a select committee hearing on the Education Amendment Bill.
He said it had been difficult to get political parties onside because neither side wanted to make religion an issue.
Public primary schools are by law secular but a rule in the legislation, called the Nelson Clause, allows schools to close for bible classes during school hours.
About 40 per cent of state primary schools used the clause to run primarily Christian instruction classes.
The secular group launched a campaign in March last year to remove bible classes from public schools, including pamphlet drops to parents and pushing schools to cancel the lessons.
Churches Education Commission - the largest provider of school bible lessons - said it had noticed a decline in schools using the Nelson Clause to "close" for bible classes.
"There's no doubt there has been a drop-off, but schools are adapting. Instead of closing the programme, they are switching to lunchtime programmes," CEC chief executive Simon Greening said.
Principals were also looking at after-school programmes and bible breakfast clubs.
Mr Greening said there was no need to scrap the Nelson Clause.
"The act allows boards to decide for themselves their own religious education policy.
"Schools should have the freedom to choose what works best for them."
Bible classes taught important values to children, he said.
CEC and Mr Harrison had been in discussions to reach a compromise over the controversial religious lessons.
The secular group was not opposed to shifting religious lessons to an after-school extra-curricular activity.
Mr Harrison said currently bible classes were being held without the knowledge or permission of parents.
He had also heard reports of children who had opted out of bible classes being forced to clean staff dishes or pick up rubbish during the bible lessons.
Which is slightly more acceptable.
How'd you go Sassy? any response from your school?
I don't think I underestimate what a child can learn at all? I disagree that a child has a deep understanding of what the bible means, perhaps there are exceptions, but as a general I think it's quite a big statement to say the children you are teaching have a better understanding than adults in theology
I come from a christian household, I went to a public school but was taught at home and when we went to church. I knew about easter, christmas, basic stuff. I knew Jesus died on a cross. I never read the bible at 7 8 9 or at all as a child, if I was made to memorise anything I would find that cruel I learnt things as a matter of fact, if you told me the earth was flat I'd believe you. I didn't even know a thing about other religions so I never questioned.
I went to a christian highschool and did RE and I started 'learning' and 'understanding' what the bible is, what it means, how to read it myself and whether I actually believe not just because I'm told to, and then I realised this isn't fact, most of what people preach are their opinions and interpretations.
Infact unless you have a deep and in depth discussion withn the RE teacher you have no idea if their beliefs are similar to yours at all. Every christian is different and have their own beliefs. Ask the question 'what is God' and people of the same faith will give you a different answer. So how can a teacher teach your child anything as a matter of fact?
I refuse to believe that children have a need for this in school. At home, at church, sure each to their own, you can teach a child the basics. But Theology, to really understand and accept God and Jesus through faith and an understanding of the passages in the bible can only be done as an adult (or age 12 if you're excpetional like Jesus )
Sassy, I too would be very angry if that were my child. Our school has an opt-in policy which I think works far better, and I think probably what happened to your DD was an admin mistake rather than any underhanded tactics by the RE teacher.
My kids do RE, I was brought up in a Christian household but stopped going to church when I was 11-12. I have never lost my faith in God, but I don't really feel comfortable in any churches and don't really participate in organised religion as such.
I dunno if my kids are just extremely gifted , but they DO question what they are taught, they come home and ask me how we KNOW God is real, they tell me that so-and-so said God isn't real etc, and I am quite comfortable explaining that many people don't believe in God as there is no 'proof' of his existence, but that I truly believe, and its up to them what they choose to believe. They can choose not to do RE if they want. They will one day learn the theory of evolution or whatever it is, and I'm pretty sure it will be taught as fact in Science, and I'm fine with that. I want my kids to be exposed to many different ways of thinking, and to decide for themselves as they get older. We have decided not to baptise them for this reason- so they can decide for themselves what they want to believe.
I don't understand why people have so little faith in their children to be able to think critically when given different information. I don't believe kids are dumb, if they come home sprouting off about how God loves them blah blah blah, don't you use that as a teaching opportunity, to say to your children, 'yes some people believe that, but I think its a load of rubbish for this, this and this reason?' People say they are happy to let their child choose, yet are livid at their child being exposed to ANY type of religious (I should say 'Christian', because people generally don't feel as angry abut other religions) talk, even from other kids in the playground. There is all this talk of indoctrination, yet people telling their kids definitively that there is NO God, is exactly the same as the people telling their kids that there IS.
Anyway, I wouldn't really care if RE was scrapped, I quite like my kids doing it but really wouldn't make a huge difference to me either way. I just don't understand all the anger over it (except in cases like this Sassy, which I agree is unacceptable and I would complain for sure).
Not interested in a debate but just wanted to say my piece
[QUOTE=Annabella;7101374]There is all this talk of indoctrination, yet people telling their kids definitively that there is NO God, is exactly the same as the people telling their kids that there IS.
...just wanted to point out though that most atheists I know don't tell their children that there is 'definitely NO god'.
Personally? --- I read to them/talk to them about the numerous gods and goddesses through history. [the jesus and god characters of the bible aren't the ONLY ones to exist, nor do they provide 'original stories, nor do they have the monopoly on morals... - although, that is what most christian preacher teachers would have young innocent minds believe]
Only briefly are these things discussed in our home at teh moment though, as I think it is really a bit "heavy" for young kiddies - the whole subject of religion.
I'm quite confident that when mature adults, my children will have a greater understanding of world wide religious history than most adults I interact with today.
Indoctrination is EXACTLY what scripture at schools aims to do. They are searching for new followers of that faith, and the leaders of these volunteers admit that openly - they see it as their job.
Last edited by FiveInTheBed; 22-02-2013 at 17:33.
I want to add I'm not saying kids are 'dumb' That is not at all what I'm saying.
Religion comes from faith and understanding, you can baptise a baby, they can take communion at age 10 (or whatever age) they can say they're 'catholic' just because they're taught to. But then a young mind starts to question their faith and what it all means and I believe everyone does at some point no matter how you were brought up.
You find the answers through life experience, talking to different people, seeing the world through your own eyes. That is when you can truly say what religion you are.
I'll teach my kids about all religions and God and why people believe in this or that, basic things, but ultimately they're going to take their own path, I can't choose their religion and whatever I learnt as a child means nothing, you overide it as an adult.
Religion isn't something that can be taught as fact like maths or science, it's theology with many possible answers. Learning theology you must question and be critical of what you are learning, hearing and reading.
How does a child benefit at all learning this in school? Why not at home?
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