Insight – Religion in the Classroom

The other night I sat through an agonising episode of Insight on SBS.  The topic at issue was Religion in the Classroom.  Usually I am bowled over by the way Jenny Brockie can wrangle the audience and guide the discussion but on this night she was clearly not on her game or dare I say, she might even have religious proclivities.  It was my first attempt to view TV whilst I Tweeted in real time.  I must confess, it was more fun than Warcraft.  It was incredible to find so many like-minds responding as one to the eye-glazing dross, teeth-grinding fallacious reasoning and butt-clenchingly inane justifications pouring forth from the mouths of the defenders of indoctrination.  I noticed that not one person Twittering with the hashtag #insight wrote anything but pro-secular education comments.  I immediately recognised the logic of this 21st century technology being completely owned by those who were most comfortable ignoring bronze age books.  It was the most interesting and reassuring company I have kept in many moons.  Indeed, only today a woman stood before me and said straight-faced, ‘that Darwin has a lot to answer for’ – I didn’t know where to start, so I didn’t, you get the picture.  But I digress.

Besides the fine company I was keeping online, the only voice of reason in that hour of pain was from Phil Cam.  I knew vaguely that we stocked some of his philosophy books for kids.  Now I am extremely proud to say that we stock some of his philosophy books for kids.


"Find these kids an alternative, for god's sake"

From Leslie Cannold’s SMH Article of 11th April: Find these kids an alternative, for god’s sake

A mother writes to me, torn with guilt about a decision she made about the education of her daughter, who

began kindergarten this year. The family doesn’t believe in ”structured religion”, preferring instead to raise their children as ”tolerant of all religions but followers of none”.

For this reason, she refused her child’s participation in scripture instruction offered by the school.
But the five-year-old was the only child in her year to be excused from the lesson and so was forced to sit alone outside the classroom while it proceeded. The little girl was so distressed that her mother – let’s call her Karen – reluctantly gave permission for her to attend Anglican scripture. But the decision doesn’t feel right and she’s still not sure that it is. What should she do?

Could you imagine how this poor little 5 year old felt.  Essentially, from her point of view, she’d been put in the naughty corner for having parents who didn’t believe in the god on offer.  This illustrates the importance of having an alternative to school scripture class.

Please read, comment and circulate among your own networks. We need to let the government and the media that this is an issue of great concern to many voters.