Religious Instruction Classes – Tell us your war stories

Have you had a bad experience with religious instruction classes? Was your child enrolled without your consent or was your child shuffled off to a broom closet and ostracised for not joining the religious instruction class?

Have you attended a P&C meeting to question the extra funding paid to the school chaplain only to find that you are ostracised for daring to question the value of the “chappy”?

If so, I want to hear from you. I want to record a conversation over Skype and use the audio as part of a special podcast. Maybe if our politicians and media hear real stories from real people they will begin to understand why people object to these state sponsored religious programs.

You and your school can remain anonymous. Please contact me via this link Contact and I will be in touch.


The Iron Fist


One comment on “Religious Instruction Classes – Tell us your war stories

    As an atheist, and the father of a Year 2 boy in Queensland, I am mystified by the policy of Religious Instruction (RI) for primary school children.

    Why do we need it when we have churches and religious schools already (for God’s sake)? And if we do need it, why is it optional, or dressed up as such? (Ethics is not offered in Queensland.)

    When I look at the face of my seven-year-old son, the last thing I want him to be told is that he might be burned in hell for all eternity. I also don’t want him convinced of solutions to the mysteries of existence, all of which are simply unknown.

    He is not ready to grapple with philosophical questions of infinite regress and whether the universe requires a cause. Nor do I see any benefit in explaining why God would create the universe for mankind and then immediately doom it for eternity because a woman ate an apple.

    The letter from our School Principal promised students withdrawn would only ‘be supervised’ during this period. No other class would be offered in its place. Whilst proponents may argue RI is optional, it’s a stretch to claim that offering nothing in its place constitutes a reasonable choice.

    Do we offer older kids: 1. French, 2. Italian, or 3. Stare at the wall for one hour? In fact, in high school this is known by another name: Detention.

    Schools do not have a choice in offering Religious Instruction, it is a legislated requirement. It’s a contradiction to say a type of class must be taught and yet you can opt out if you don’t believe in it – as many Australians don’t.

    The Queensland government policy statement says that, in offering religious education, it encourages all students to develop as a ‘whole person.’ It then contradicts itself by saying state schools ‘embrace a multitude of cultural, religious and non-religious beliefs,’ without offering a non-religious alternative.

    How does deducting one hour of teaching help students to develop as a whole person? How about one hour per week teaching the views of Richard Dawkins or Nietzsche? Would the Christian pastors who so earnestly promote religious education agree with that?

    We’re not a Christian nation anymore and, thankfully, gone are the days when faith was demanded on threat of punishment. With non-believers now representing 30 percent of our population, and actual observant Christians less than 15 percent, Religious Instruction represents an undemocratic form of wowser-ism.

    Religious education for young children has no demonstrable benefit whatsoever – nothing provable. Only the religious think non-religious children need faith to develop ethics. The ‘spy in the sky’ theory of human morality is an arcane superstition; what Christianity asserted two thousand years ago it has spectacularly falsified again and again by its own example.

    Any parent knows children begin to appreciate right and wrong well before primary school. Ethical questions are asked and answered frequently, all without reference to the Good Book or by attending church. Religious Instruction undermines the notion of ethics by promoting the view that right and wrong are simply the will of an undiscoverable Being.

    It’s a clear category mistake to treat the beliefs of religions as knowledge and to instruct children accordingly. Religious Instruction providers go even further and openly proselytize their faith, seeking disciples. Teaching impressionable children the answers to questions which are unanswerable is a violation of common sense.

    There is nothing Optional about God or following his religions. Disobey him and, according to scripture, you might find yourself in a fiery furnace, in the belly of a whale, or drowned in a great flood.

    Religious Instruction is not really optional in Queensland. God works in mysterious ways and so does Queensland education in failing to offer a secular alternative to religious instruction.

    God in Schools?

    Provide evidence of him elsewhere and then consider him for ‘Show and Tell’.

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