Growing up you believe the world is meant to be the way it is. The older I get the more I realise that this is not the case. The world is full of injustices and atrocities that governments and the voice of faith expect us to accept, though with each passing year they grow fewer and fewer, at least one would hope. I have created this blog as a space for me to rant about all things science, politics, philosophy and religion, before it’s too late and the vessel of new atheism propelled by a growing surge in secularism solves all of the world’s problems for good.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The school chaplaincy invasion continues

The latest budget is giving the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) a $222 million boost in extra funding, with school chaplains and religious groups involved left licking their lips and no doubt laughing all the way to the bank. 

This atrocity of a program was introduced into the public schools of Australia in 2007 by the Howard government on the proviso that the chaplains wouldn't push their religion onto the children. However, numerous cases have been reported by teachers and parents of this condition being broken... What a surprise?! Why else would chaplains offer up their time, for free, in return for access to our children if it's not to "save their souls" through proselytization. Sure, I bet many chaplains will no doubt keep a lid on it, at least for now, but that doesn't change the reason why they're there. 
"...there is evidence they are encouraging vulnerable students to join religious activities and prayer meetings." - Monique Ross
Schools are no doubt taking up the NSCP's offer of a free chaplain simply because it's an extra staff member that costs the school nothing, you can't blame them for that. However, the government shouldn't be funding religious groups to enter our schools for counseling positions, etc. If anything, spend the $222 million on professional counsellors who actually have the training to properly help our children in need. Or better yet, spend it on something useful like scientific research, hospitals and medical care, or maybe even teaching toddlers Chinese or masseurs for the homeless. No spending it at all would be a better option than funding the NSCP...
"What these people are working with is some of our most vulnerable young people in society - young kids, teenagers in high school who are going through some difficulties," she said.
"We'd rather have qualified people who can work with students on a range of issues including mental health.
"The chaplaincy program itself is very faith-based. Our contention was always that if you are looking at providing welfare care for students outside of the realm of a trained school counsellor role, what is needed is someone that does not necessarily have to be from a faith-based background." - Helen Walton, president of the Federation of Parents and Citizens in NSW

We've already seen the likes of mega-religious groups like Hillsong invading our public schools in hopes of using them as a recruiting ground for their faith. The program called 'Shine' was effectively a way to groom young girls into becoming oppressed house pet wives for the Hillsong church. Why are we even surprised that this is their aim, and the result in numerous cases? The whole point of religion is to spread the message and recruit and "save" others, and now our government is paying them to do so with our children. We might as well set a pack of wolves among our lambs and then complain with what ensues...

I recently saw Allison Lyn speak at a University of Melbourne Secular Society meeting (the next is on the 31st for those interested), where she told of a number of stories about how school chaplains had abused their position in public schools and proselytized their religion. One school chaplain from Qld even had a young girl stay with her over a weekend after the student informed the chaplain of her suicidal thoughts. They apparently spent the weekend reading the bible in order to combat the child's depression... How on earth is that going to help the child? They need to have access to real counsellors who can offer real help for issues such as these!

Last time I checked Australia was supposedly a secular nation, but apparently this news hasn't caught up with Julia Gillard (our outspoken atheist PM) or the Labour Party, or worse and more likely the case, it has and they value the Christian vote above secularism. What rubbish... Stand up and be heard saying NO to the NSPC.

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