Ross Cameron’s tantrum over changes to school chaplaincy on The Drum

Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.

Mark 12:17

So anyway… getting back to school chaplaincy, there’s been some sensible rendering of funding of late. Perhaps Garrett stumbled upon this verse and saw the light.

As we know secular welfare workers or “counsellors” if you will are now on board as an option in spending your school’s $20,000 diluting that magical omnipotent lifeline to God. As reported in The Age today;

The change will open up the program to schools that have chosen not to take up chaplains, such as Essendon Keilor College in Melbourne’s north-west. Principal David Adamson said he would be applying for a secular chaplain ”as soon as the forms arrive”.

”We decided as a secular school we didn’t want to have a religious person come into the school because we have a very multicultural background in our students, so I think this is an excellent idea,” he said.

Previously schools were able to hire a secular welfare worker under the program only if they showed efforts to find an ordained chaplain had failed. Mr Garrett said the decision to add secular ”student welfare” workers was a reflection of community concerns over the religious nature of the existing system.

”It was an issue that had been raised in the consultation process … and it’s an issue which we’ve always known is one which some parents and some school groups and organisations have raised previously,” he said.

Other changes include mandated minimum qualifications, stricter guidelines for conduct and a better system for complaints. Existing school chaplains operating under the program will now have to ensure they meet a minimum skills requirement of the mental health and making referrals units of a Certificate IV in Youth Work.

New chaplains and student welfare officers appointed from 2012 will need to have completed a Certificate IV in Youth Work, Pastoral Care or an equivalent qualification.

As we noted previously the Australian Christian Lobby whose leader fought and killed foreigners for a non gay, non Islamic Australia is mighty upset. He resorted to Twitter. His calling card is the “-:”. And no subliminal suggestions please ❖. The Age continued;

The Australian Christian Lobby said widening the program broke a promise made by Prime Minister Julia Gillard in the lead-up to the 2010 election.

”The government’s commitment before the election was that the chaplaincy program would retain its unique faith-based pastoral care emphasis,” managing director Jim Wallace said. He said secular workers should be funded separately.

I’m not surprised Wallace is having a sob. That’s what your taxes pay this rather vile, bigoted, moralistic thug to do. When Howard introduced the program he (Howard) made much of the word “chaplain” as providing Christian pastoral values in times of need as opposed to secular workers. Described by many experienced teachers as “a cynical ploy”, things got worse with Rudd and Gillard. As Rupert Macgregor, Executive Director of the Australian Council of State School Organisations (ACSSO), noted just over a year ago;

What is further disturbing is the extent to which we have seen established open process overtaken by the interests of political expediency. With the promised neutral national review under way and well advanced, PM Rudd essentially pre-empted the outcome by announcing an extension of the existing arrangements beyond the determined “end date” Even more recently, during the election campaign, PM Gillard subverted the whole review process by announcing a further extension to 2014. At the same time, the Opposition basically dismissed any need for review, reverting to their original conviction that this program should continue in perpetuity.

No wonder then visitors to the ACL media page will read;

It actually speaks volumes. Volumes as to the true political favour seeking function of the ACL. That which, in their own minds, places them above and beyond not just other Australians – all too often seen as besieging them via some immoral ontological attack – but above the welfare of their fellow country men and women. Students no less.

Allow me to translate. If you are not willing to accept the narrow minded Christian option lurching at the end of a leash which we always hold, then off you go and find your own money. You should be angry. Damn angry that Über-phobes who are only too happy to mess up our children’s minds and futures just to see their own castrated view of reality seeping across the land can rail as such.

Some “broken promise”. NSW never took part in the NSCA’s NSCP charade. The method by which Australian’s were scammed into thinking 25% of schools – which were half of a carefully chosen 50% of total schools to return surveys – was actually a “97% request rate for the NSCP nationally”, is outrageous.

Scripture Union QLD are keeping the faith as we’ve already noted. As unscientific as polls are one does chuckle at these two images – the second from the above Age article;

Scripture Union QLD Tweet

Fairfax Poll

Yet to me surely the most telling tantrum was from former Liberal MP Ross Cameron, on ABC’s The Drum, last night (September 7th). Ross blamed the need to balance chaplains with secular welfare workers on student dynamics brought on by “.. one of the single most negative, corrosive, destructive forces in our community”.

Shite! Drug Lords? Terrorists? Collingwood fans? No. The Education Unions.  It’s them wot dunnit. “They are a disgrace and have systematically worked to destroy cultures of excellence within public schools”. Wow! Who’da thunk it?

Students shouldn’t be running for help as implied by the need for counsellors and he reckons the money would be better spent on preventing why they can’t just play with chaplains instead. Oh, yes – again this is such a small petty issue he’s amazed it gets coverage.

Last time he told us it was “the smallest of small beer” and that as chaplains are going in to war zones with troops they can “handle a playground full of students”.

Shut up Ross.

Secular welfare changes to school chaplaincy on The Drum

❖ Update: Speaking of subliminal… Some hours later I was on Twitter only to read:

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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.