High Court challenge to school chaplaincy discussed on The Drum

Theologian and former Uniting church minister, Scott Stephens from ABC Religion makes sound sense in discussing the “messy” role of chaplains in Aussie schools, also defending the High Court challenge by Ron Williams.

Part of Christian service is to be clear about ones beliefs influencing the way one lives, Scott stresses. This leaves chaplains to deal with the reality that they will always promote Christian living, whether they proselytise or not. Part of Christian service is to express their own experience as followers of Jesus. Most chaplains Scott knows have “no idea… what are we supposed to be doing on school grounds?” They end up “a defacto teacher’s aid”.

Brilliantly he identifies Gillard’s extension of chaplaincy funding as a way to “baptise her faith in schools” and thus curry favour with the Christian Lobby. He is “not at all” in favour of chaplains in schools due to the the “moral quagmire” that follows government funding.

As church attendance has fallen lobbying plus reliance on government funding has grown. This plus “… reliance on legislation to cement it’s role…that’s a pretty clear sign church leaders no longer believe in God”. Tim Mander can make up as much piffle as he likes in defending his dodgy scam and free ride, but the facts are clear. Money changes everything.

Problems arose after The Australian yesterday published an article on creep and bigot, creationist John Mackay lecturing at Gympie State High School at the invite of a Scripture Union QLD chaplain. Other comments from Andrew Clennell and Tim Wilson.


3 thoughts on “High Court challenge to school chaplaincy discussed on The Drum

  1. Hang on a cotton-pickin minute. Peter Garret will investigate complaints about the Mackay “lecture” so I think we’ll see some strong action being taken there…



  2. Andrew Clennell : “Who cares? Let the chaplains stay.”

    Hang on, isn’t this guy supposed to be a journalist? He’s just heard that a chaplain has brought a well-known creationist into a public school to give a “science presentation”. He should be able to summon up enough curiosity to give a crap.

  3. A small win for secular Australia today.

    Not much of a win since it seems 1000 new chaplains/welfare-workers will need to have minimum qualifications but it appears all the existing (~2700) chaplains won’t have to. Not sure why kids in those schools are less important. It also still means that atheist kids (aren’t they all, really?) and those from non-Christian faiths will still be lumped with a Christian chaplain if that’s what the school chooses by whatever means they use to make such choice.

    Christopher Pyne said “The Government has delivered a victory for the secularists who have taken the chaplains to the High Court. They will be popping champagne corks today because they will recognise, as I do, that this is the beginning of the undermining of the chaplaincy program.”

    …and I think he said it as if that was a bad thing.

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