There’s been a controversy in the Australian education system lately.
A bit of reposting:
Australian law mandates that students receive one hour of religious training per week. The Christians who run these services get tens of millions of dollars per year to make this happen. If you don’t attend these classes, you can just sit around and do nothing.
One alternative that is being tested in a few schools is a (secular) ethics course.
Churches and religious leaders are actually opposed to this type of ethics training.
And no wonder.
In the ten schools where an ethics class is having a trial run, check out what’s happening:
The controversial trial of secular ethics classes has ”decimated” Protestant scripture classes in the 10 NSW schools where it has been introduced as an alternative for non-religious children, with the classes losing about 47 per cent of enrolled students.
The figure was calculated by the Sydney Anglican diocese, which is so concerned about the trial that it has created a fund-raising website to ”protect SRE” (special religious education).
Wow. That’s incredible. Of course, the churches are fighting back and trying to get rid of the ethics classes. They say that time is reserved for “Judeo-Christian ethics” only and the secular ethics courses are undermining their special religious time.
The Atheist Foundation of Australia’s president, David Nicholls, explains why (secular) ethics classes need to stay put:
“Secular ethics classes are not undermining religious classes: rather, parents are just voting with their feet,” Nicholls said.
“If religious classes are not being presented in a way that feels relevant to today’s families, it’s important that they have another option.”
“Allowing ethics classes is about maximising choice for families. It is a shame that the Sydney Anglicans would strip families of this choice,” Nicholls added.
It’s unbelievable that churches think a secular ethics class would be bad for anyone. It just shows that they can’t win on their arguments alone. You don’t need a god to be good. They know that. And that’s why they’re afraid.
(Thanks to Emma for the link)