CRE in public school is the same as Sunday School and is nothing but the first steps of indoctrination.
*IF* a parents wants their child to be brought up within a faith, then it's up to the parent to organize religious instruction.
I don't want my children indoctrinated into any one faith unless they choose to at an age where they are ready to question faith/religion etc.
I DON'T want Christianity preached to my child in the same forum in which they are taught actual facts like maths and english.
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02-07-2012 15:40 #41Senior Member
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02-07-2012 15:46 #42
Depending on the State, most public schools have SRE (Special Religious Education), not "Scripture" as such. Theoretically, all main****** religious groups can have separate religious education taught at a public school during the SRE time.
In reality, because the majority of Australians who identify with a religious group are Christian, then it is mostly a variation of Christian scripture which is taught in public schools with a dominent Anglo-Saxon population.
I have been fortunate recently to teach "Scripture" at 2 public schools in our small town on a Friday morning for the last couple of terms. The program was Anglican but all non-Catholics were included - Catholics had their own and other students could opt out, as others already mentioned.
Scripture teachers have to have been approved by their own church community and have attended a number of training days. We were also warned that it's currently a "no-no" to mention Hell. I must admit that I broke the rule because a child asked a question "People who don't believe go to Hell, don't they?" and I responded with my usual "You have to deliberately choose to do the wrong thing and not be sorry to go to Hell."
For all of those who oppose any variety of Christianity taught in public schools, just remember that the Judeo-Christian tradition is where much of our Australian community morality and legal foundations come from. You don't have to agree with it but having a sound understanding is very helpful, particularly later in life when tricky questions come up about public policy (like some of those at present - gay marriage and asylum seekers, for example) and we have to analyse what our society's core beliefs are and where they came from, in order to form our own opinions.
Likewise, the Bible is also worth understanding. Many Hubbers who are confirmed Atheists seem to have a strong understanding of the Bible in order to argue it effectively. I think that that's the point - there is no harm in having a sound knowledge of a text which has had such a profound impact on so many aspects of our public and private lives, whether you believe in it or not. And, as an English teacher, there are so many references in pre-20th century literature (compulsory for the higher levels of English) that you don't understand if you haven't read at least a children's version (like Shakespeare, especially!).
Incidentally, Jesus' teaching (the second half of the Bible, of course) is all about being kind to one another, especially those in need, and about forgiveness. We want our kids taught these values. And there is a lot of comfort in believing that there's another kind of consciousness after death - we often need to lose a loved one to deeply appreciate this.
Obviously I'm a Catholic Christian but as a parent, I think it's really important to use your influence carefully with kids at home, not rely on the school to do ti for you. I frequently disagree with things my kids' RE teachers tell them but try not to undermine the teacher. Instead, I say (again, as others have suggested), "What do you think about ..." or "What if ..." and get them to explore.
And as a public school English teacher, I frequently have controversial discussions in my classes. I see it as my job to challenge my students to think. I hope they go home and discuss the topics we address in class with their parents, too, because it is their parents' role in the long run to instil kids' values. It helps if we work together as a community, though.
Agh! An essay - sorry!
02-07-2012 15:57 #43For all of those who oppose any variety of Christianity taught in public schools, just remember that the Judeo-Christian tradition is where much of our Australian community morality and legal foundations come from. You don't have to agree with it but having a sound understanding is very helpful, particularly later in life when tricky questions come up about public policy (like some of those at present - gay marriage and asylum seekers, for example) and we have to analyse what our society's core beliefs are and where they came from, in order to form our own opinions.
What about the old saying, "Karma's a b!tch", "Well that's Karma for you" etc -- would people have to know all about Hinduism to 'understand' that??
I like your point about some confirmed Atheists understanding teh bible though -- I'm pretty sure I know many Atheists who know more about it and it's origins than self proclaimed Christains.
Last edited by FiveInTheBed; 02-07-2012 at 16:00.
02-07-2012 16:17 #44
Classes on Religion are not needed to learn morals. Morals are simply what one values and believes.
Japan is one of the least religious countries in the world and I would not consider them low on morals or respect - some would say quite the opposite of that. Morals are simply ones value system, this is not the same as religion but if you are religious then of course it would tie into it.
The issue is that not all children in the school are religious, and if they are they are not all from the same religion, so it is not going to be effective for all people to learn religion from the perspective of being a believer as opposed to learning about a religion (as Anagram has mentioned in previous post).
In my opinion religion should be taught by parents in the home, particularly in a public school where the children could come from any number of cultures or religions. It seems a waste of class time - i agree that a morals and ethics class would be more suitable and cover a wider range of peoples backgrounds, and give children an opportunity to explore their own beliefs as well as what society expects of them to some degree.
Last edited by Ulysses; 02-07-2012 at 16:23.
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02-07-2012 17:25 #45Senior Member
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I'll agree that some of our laws do stem from the old testament 10 commandments - but I do not and cannot agree that our morals come from the bible - else I'd be running around and scratching the car of the lady who scratched my car today - you know the old eye for an eye?
Why stop with Moses running up and down a mountain to grab a code of stone tablets, let's also go back to Abrahamic times, circumscise our sons and rape our female slaves?
And following on from that, if we're going to hark back to relying on the old testatment can I please go to New Zealand to get my slaves? Gotta love Leviticus hey?
Just as many of our laws harken back to early Greek and early Roman laws as come from Judea-Christain teaching anyhow - so if we're going to teach religion
let's also teach Greek and Roman mythology as fact then.
Really the argument as to where our laws come from (which was an argument I once relied on) means that Christian religion should be taught as part of ancient history and not current facts.
We no longer recognize fornication as a sin or as a broken law - and as such whilst some of our laws were based on the Old Testament and the Ten Commandments, these things are no longer relevant to current primary education and ought be reserved for a history lesson or part of legal studies - and best taught in such a setting in secondary school where kids are a bit less vunerable to being indoctrinated having (hopefully) mastered critical thinking.
ETA - seeing that only some 60% of Asutralians recognize themselves as Christian - does that mean in a few years time when Australia becomes predominantly Muslim we'll start teaching Islam instead of Christianity?
Last edited by WorkingClassMum; 02-07-2012 at 17:40.
02-07-2012 19:29 #46-
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the homophobic facet of christanity is the main reason my kids will not be attending re classes.
they dont need to hear that their nanas are going to burn in hell.
as for asylum seekers i thought christianity taught charity and tolerance, opening our arms to the less fortunate
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02-07-2012 20:46 #47
FiveInTheBed thanks for linking that Mary Pope Osbourne book I have been looking for something just like it. I had a wee giggle at the irony of the authors name though hee hee (btw are there any other similar books you know of? )
The primary school we have chosen (dd1 starts prep next year) has an opt-in policy for RE, so I'm hoping most of the kids will not opt in. But in the next 6 months I want to arm her with a concept of 'religion' or belief. She has already asked me what praying is, just when the word came up (we don't practice any faith).
If anyone, anywhere, tells my child 'this is the truth' I want to know that her mind is already opened to the variety of religious beliefs in our world. And lets face it, its not just in school that kids get told their parents will burn in hell, or that there is only one true god.
Last edited by Gothel; 02-07-2012 at 20:50.
02-07-2012 21:21 #48
MissTiggy - I ordered that book - it's okay ish - is very respectful to all the religions it talks about and quite neautral ...but not 100% happy with it. ( wanted a bit more info! - but for children, it's basic and simple enough) I'll let you know if I find something better.
I book I love to have on the shelf amongst my various religious & cultural books(and would like to have equal footing with religious books - because, a) not everyone is religious..and b) is covers history very well in great child appropriate language) is "A really short history of nearly everything" by Bill Bryson.
(shop around this was just the first link that came up when I googled)
'The Magic of Reality' is also great (IMO)...although it discusses many religions and various mythology - it really isn't a culturally comparitive book, more one that 'demystifies' some things.
Last edited by FiveInTheBed; 02-07-2012 at 21:26.
02-07-2012 21:25 #49
02-07-2012 21:30 #50Senior Member
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I taught a non denominational religious education class when I was teaching and it was basically cultural education. We looked at all different cultures and religions around the world. The kids loved it!
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