More thoughts on the National School Chaplaincy Program

I recieved a new comment on my post Federal Government condones religious discrimination that really hit home because it was an actual case of discrimination, rather than a theoretical one. Tarnya wrote:

I am a Social Worker and have completed a masters paper in spirituality in state schools. I have worked as a school counsellor for more than five years, yet under John Howard’s scheme I am ineligible to apply for the recently announced positions of chaplain as I do not have a Christian affiliation which is deemed suitable by Scripture Union (the employing body).

So that got me thinking again, and I wanted to post a few more thoughts. When the original issue came up, I tried to engage both sides of the argument with a sort of middle ground stating that invariant of personal religious or atheist inclinations, the Government’s National School Chaplaincy Program should be recognised as irresponsible and divisive. I commented on Peter John Chen (against policy and religion), and Matt Glover‘s (for policy and religion) blog posts concerning the subject (to see if I could sway either side).

Opponents

I think that the common theme from many opponents of the program is the assertion that this program will necessarily lead to religious education. I think bundling an argument against religious tuition with an argument against this program complicates the issues and provides an easy target for for supporters of the program to unfairly stereotype and criticise opponents.

To some degree, it is easy to feel that evangelism is a valid concern. The Scripture Union Western Australia website lists the following on their Secondary Schools Work page (emphasis added):

Imagine…

Working together with the churches in your community to impact your local secondary school…

Having a positive impact on the students, encouraging them to live life to the full and discover a relationship with God…

Unity amongst the local churches, a community Christian presence in the school…

However, I’m confident that such evangelism as a Chaplain is generally frowned upon (particularly in public schools). Regardless, there is no reason to even discuss this issue when there are more fundamental problems with the policy: discrimination against people seeking employment in these roles without a recognised religious affiliation, and an unfair bias towards private schools (which are predominantly religious).

Supporters

A common response from supporters of the program seems to be:

How can it be discriminatory when it benefits all students?

This completely misses the point. Imagine if only men could become teachers. It’s like saying that isn’t discriminatory because these men will educate all students. It’s not the students who are being discriminated against, it’s the women who can’t become teachers! Similarly, the government’s National School Chaplaincy Program asserts that only those with a recognised religious affiliation can provide pastorial care.

Even if the chaplains provide services to all students (without a religious bias), that point is entirely moot. The discrimination lies in those that are prevented from working in that role based entirely on their lack of religious affiliation. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are atheist; It could well be that the person is simply of a different faith or denomination to the sponsoring religious body.

Final Thoughts

Let’s not make this into a religion vs. atheism issue. It’s about problems in a specific Government program. There is clearly public discord created by the program requiring religious affiliation. This creates divisions and hostility within the community. By embedding discrimination into this program, the government condones discrimination, and fosters and justifies feelings of inequality and bias.

Discord would not be present if the Government’s policy was more sensitive to these issues and made clearly non-discriminatory. For example, say that the Government pledged $90m to a National Personal and Social Wellbeing in Schools Program (NPSWSP) and clearly stipulated that persons who fill the supported positions must simply be accepted by the school and parents association.

Under such as scheme, I would imagine that a vast majority of funding would still go to support Chaplains (as they fulfill this role in a large number of communities). However, it would not overtly discriminate against those that are suitably qualified, but not affiliated with a religious organisation (even if these cases are few and far between). There would be no reason for animosity.

Given the option of the divisive NSCP or an inclusive NPSPWSP, why would the government propose the former? Is it because they are careless (at best) or antagonistic (at worse)?

26 thoughts on “More thoughts on the National School Chaplaincy Program”

  1. My understanding is that these ‘new’ chaplains can be employed quite aside from Scripture Union or CCES or anybody. If the school sees somebody they like, they can employ them. In that capacity, I can’t see why Tanya wouldn’t be able to apply – aside for the fact it has to be the school that asks for the money.

  2. Wow that was just a joke but that’s cool, i think you’d do well and would definitely vote for you haha. You could probably fight to make the local game dev industry receive more recognition, funding and stuff while you’re at it too 😉

  3. Strictly speaking, it’s not discrimination because there’s nothing stopping schools employing social workers who aren’t affiliated with a religion. There’s _just_ a strong disincentive to do so because the government won’t be funding them.

  4. I really can’t see how “we’ll give you $20k if you’re affiliated with the right religious body, but nothing if you’re not” is not discrimination. You may as well try to argue that $52k per year for a man and $32k per year for a woman (for the same job) isn’t discriminatory.

  5. I’m not sure whether it is government policy to support religion in this way. I think this program may be a concession made as part of a deal with religious groups. The deal may have ensured support for some other “more important” government program that was tightly contested.

    Perhaps the government needed to get a few Family First candidates onside and promised the chaplain program as a sweetener. Or maybe some country party candidates were persuaded to reconsider views on the sale of Telstra after the promise of this program.

    Perhaps i’m being to cynical.

  6. I expect that the Government did this either to get political support from key politicians and the Church, or to appeal to a demographic they think can pull them through the next election (or both). What really concerns me is that this program wasn’t contested by the Opposition; it passed with bipartisan support.

    Such policy will produce long-term problems for the country in return for short-term political gain for the Government. These actions condone discrimination and compromise integrity. Hardly the “Australian Values” Howard proports we need to impart on young Australians.

    I had hoped that religious communities would be upstanding in declining or contesting the exclusive nature of program. We should speak out against discrimination whether or not we are the positive or negative recipient. I’d like to imagine that those of high ethical calibre would just as quickly say “they’re being hard done by” as “we’re being hard done by”.

  7. Such policy will produce long-term problems for the country in return for short-term political gain for the Government.

    Well, that’s the general plan for most party actions. Get your short term gains now, and hopefully the other guys will be in power when it hits the fan later on. It’s a joke, really.

    I had hoped that religious communities would be upstanding in declining or contesting the exclusive nature of program.

    It depends who’s getting in bed with whom. I suggest you propose to offer chaplains for say, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Ba’hai and other minority faiths where appropriate to balance things out. (I’m amused. Maybe a Scientologist or Raelian or two?) At the least, Christian, Islamic and Hindu. That’ll toss the cat in with the pidgeons.

  8. Limiting it to Christianity, Islam and Judaism is not reflective of the representation of religions in Australia, and therefore it’s simply not fair. Given that the Census data for this year won’t be out for some time, even in 1996, Buddhists outnumbered Judaists more than two to one in Australia. If anything, I’d say that trend has increased.

    http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/8174.htm

    So, it’s got to be political. The govt just doesn’t think Hindus and Buddhists need sucking up to as much.

  9. Matt:

    Took a while for your message to appear because it was tagged by the spam filter (which I don’t check very often).

    “My understanding is that these ‘new’ chaplains can be employed quite aside from Scripture Union or CCES or anybody. In that capacity, I can’t see why Tanya wouldn’t be able to apply – aside for the fact it has to be the school that asks for the money.”

    Tarnya didn’t specify if she is Christian or not; the above only helps her case if she is religious. The government also reserves power of veto over any applicants.

  10. Can I respectfully ask what is all the “Hoo Haa” about ???

    In a day when every News report has a tack-on that, Quote: “Councilling is being provided” for the involved Students/ Workers etc (by a suitably recognised/credentialled person or people if more than one is required)
    And it seems to be forgotten that “Councilling” has always been supplied for at least the last two centuries, humbly, without media publicity. With the “Availability” of a Christian Chaplain being the normal case for most of the 20th Century, in a Christian Based Country and Legal Structure.

    Why is a “Sinister Motive” attached to any Government providing a Small Sum to assist in the provision of a “Non-Compulsory” Chaplaincy Service in a place of Greatest Need.(from all International Incedent Reports, School Shootings etc)
    Governments, State & Federal provide much funding for openly or overtly Occult practices/services without reaction, and many of these are almost “Compulsory” by default unless Parents object.
    There is No Public Outcry on these issues, Is There ??? So Why the big deal on this issue ??? No Individual is “Obliged” to avail themselves of the Service. It is Simply & Humbly,there. Nothing More.

    If you had a “Proven” cure or treatment for some major disease and you really cared for “People” (Not “Persons”) you would make it available freely where ever permitted. Would you not ?????

    Recognised Ministry Ethics prohibits “Prosylitisation” in any “Interdenominational” situation be it Hospital/School etc.

    As to mimimum “Qualifications”.
    Christian Chaplaincy is Internationally recognised as an area of ” Christian Ministry” and therefore, without exception comes under the recognised New Testament Biblical/Scriptural qualifications requirements that are an essential safeguard for all people claiming to Represent the Lord Jesus Christ.Or aspireing to do so. (And you can’t truely represent someone if you don’t Know them Personally.)
    That is that they must be established as a person of Good Standing, committed to and in regular attendence with a Registered/Recognised (Govt. Terms) Christian Denomination. Submitted to the Accountability & Covering of that Assemblies, Authorised/Anointed/Credentialled Leaders, at all times.

    These principles ensure or greatly reduce the possibility of “Fruit-loops/Unaccountables/Fly-by-nights/Wacko’s & People with their Own Agenda. gaining positions of responsibility they can abuse.

    It has worked fairly well for many centuries where administed correctly.

    Keeping in mind that the “Receipiants” are Voluntarily Accepting a Service Offered. That Does Work, if they are willing to receive & act upon it.

    “By Their Fruits you Shall Know Them”

    You dont have to Join Them – – But You have No Grounds to Oppose Them, either.

    P.S. We have been providing a Voluntary Chaplaincy at our local College for the last 5 years by two accredited married couples (not ministers) for whom a room and facilities is provided during lunch break, weekly, by the School Council & Principle. The Students are advised through posters & their newsletter. Many from time to time drop-in to get aquainted.

    Lets Focus on The Young People, Who are in Need !!!!
    and quit this discrimination etc. crap, and if you have a better solution provide it, as well. If it is creditable it will justify Government Funding to support your effort.

    What is more Important.

    God Bless.

    Rev.Douglas G.Allen.
    Senior Pastor.
    Ambassadors of Jesus Inc.
    Christian Assemblies.
    Corryong. 3707 Victoria.

  11. Rev. Allen:

    “… providing a Small Sum Small Sum…”

    I would hardly call $90 million a small sum. It eclipses the amount that the government is spending on similar programs (sex education and building Australian values in schools).

    “Governments, State & Federal provide much funding for openly or overtly Occult practices/services without reaction, and many of these are almost “Compulsory” by default unless Parents object.”

    What in particular are you referrring to? Please provide clear examples.

    “Why the big deal on this issue ???”

    Because it is unfairly biased towards private schools and barrs those that are not affiliated with an approved religious body from providing conselling services.

    “These principles ensure or greatly reduce the possibility of “Fruit-loops/Unaccountables/Fly-by-nights/Wacko’s & People with their Own Agenda. gaining positions of responsibility they can abuse.”

    Surely there are more inclusive and objective metrics with which to measure one’s character. Just like being a Christian should not barr someone from conselling children, non-Christians who are clearly not “Fruit-loops/Unaccountables/Fly-by-nights/Wacko’s & People with their Own Agenda” should not be barred from the same role.

    “You dont have to Join Them – – But You have No Grounds to Oppose Them, either.”

    I have no opposition to chaplains. My opposition is to a government program that barrs those not affiliated with a religious organisation from being eligible for the same government support to provide the same services.

    “Lets Focus on The Young People, Who are in Need !!!!
    and quit this discrimination etc. crap, and if you have a better solution provide it, as well. If it is creditable it will justify Government Funding to support your effort.”

    Well, I’m glad that you agree in this regard. I hope that you will join me in calling upon the government to “quit this discrimination etc. crap” and support the better solution that I explained at the end of my post:

    Discord would not be present if the Government’s policy was more sensitive to these issues and made clearly non-discriminatory. For example, say that the Government pledged $90m to a National Personal and Social Wellbeing in Schools Program (NPSWSP) and clearly stipulated that persons who fill the supported positions must simply be accepted by the school and parents association.

    Under such as scheme, I would imagine that a vast majority of funding would still go to support Chaplains (as they fulfill this role in a large number of communities). However, it would not overtly discriminate against those that are suitably qualified, but not affiliated with a religious organisation (even if these cases are few and far between). There would be no reason for animosity.

  12. Nick,

    Having not as yet received a copy of the Policy and Methods of Implementation, there will be points I cannot yet comment on re this issue.
    However.
    I believe we are seeing a move to “Begin to Restore” something that (as I have referred to earlier) was “Always” a part of the Australian Society of Earlier Days, certainly of most of the 20th Century. When in some cases even a Chaplain’s Office, equipment etc. was provided as was/still is, the case with Hospital Chaplaincy in which our Ministry Team have been involved Voluntarily for many years.

    The clear starting point is establishing a basis of “Accountability & Covering”. Which is the before mentioned starting point for any person entering into any function of Christian Ministry at any level. Proven over many years these principles have stood the test of time & The Word.

    I believe that when the already operating/qualified people are Formally Recognised again. Which should be a relatively “speedy” process.???
    There would be a provision to establish an Accountability & Covering Authority of similar nature and Credibility as in Christian Ministry (particularly as in Pentecostal Denominations) That would provide the necessary covering & backing for an independant individual,on which your School/Parents Council could make their selection wisely without local/political influence. In our experience. Most parents will not back a lone individual even if they have more degrees than a thermometer since many of those degrees show only an excellent ability to study but are useless at the “Coal Face” (so to speak). Eg: the largely immoral position of the current Welfare Services as against the high standards and protection of the old “Child Welfare Dept.”

    Speaking of being at the “Coal Face”. That is our position with respect to your $90 Million. from our perspective you are talking about a part time position of $400 from which it is likely that the Chaplain will have to provide Resources, Travel and possibly other expenses so the position remains largely a “Love Service to the School & Community”. A matter mostly of “Appreciated Calling”. Not Commercial Interest.

    Re: Openly or overtly occult practices/services.
    Being aware of your West Aust location (Give my regards to Mandurah & The Estuary from which I was transported Ex Kalamunda Home in 1943) you may not be aware that in Victoria, under the Bracks/Hull Socialist Anti Freedom of Speech. (So called “Anti Discrimination”) legislation. I cannot enlarge on that point or We will join our collegues Pstrs. Daniel Nalliah & Daniel Scott with a substantial $Mill bill before the Vic VCAT.

    The Accountability Principles of The Word, came from God Himself who knows the “Heart of Man or Women” something humans are hard pressed to do other than in a limited way, by serving along side at the “coal face” for a qualifying period. in the military referred to as being a battle tested or seasoned soldier in the field. You’ll never know what sort of “Tea Bag” you are until you pass through Hot Water & Come Under Pressure. Brand or Degrees are of no value unless they stand up to the test “In the Field”.

    (Non Christians who are “clearly not” Fruitloops etc.)
    Without a Covering Authority, how do you verify the “Clearly Not”??? of such individual, and safeguard the local school & school council??

    I would envisage a provision developing when necessary, outside the Christian Chaplaincy sphere, perhaps parallel to it, similar to that put in place by the Fed Attorney-Generals Dept in 2003 for Commercial Civil Marriage Celebrants who were increasing rapidly in number, but had No Accountability resulting in a lot of complaints to the Dept from couples before and after marriage. This has I believe sorted the Wood from the chaff, in what many people don’t realise is a purely “Commercial Business” and Totally different to the services of Christian Clergy Celebrants.

    The words “Pastor” & “Pastoral” are originally only used in The Word of God, and the latter is now adapted to modern society in an “Out of Context” manner, as is the word “Chaplain” where Philosophy and Psychology theories replace the Proven Truths of The Word with the theories & scientific discoveries (only that which God has given him) – of man.

    Your Non- Christian cannot give what he doesn’t have, no matter how excellent his character may be before his peers, or his degrees.
    Unless You Know the Master, you cannot experience or impart His Truth in the Power of The Holy Spirit for the healing and restoration of those in your “Pastoral Care” or outside it ,if they request assistance.
    As the Scriptures say “The unbeliever cannot “Know the Things of God”, if they have no knowledge of God (which is given by the Holy Spirit) then what they have is spiritually speaking, only of Man or of the Occult.
    In either case they are not Spiritually Qualified to do the Masters (The Lord Jesus) work in either the School or the Community.

    It stands to say that they may well be able to, in some or many situations provide a “Similar Service” but they rightly speaking, should not use the Terms: Pastor, Pastoral (as in Assistant or Carer) or Chaplain. even on an Ethical basis, since those Titles or Terms at least in our society infer a Spiritual Warrant is held by the particular Individual, and because that warrant carries a very high Accountability before The Lord. It should not be take falsely.

    I do not believe that there is any intention to discriminate against any Appropriately Qualified person. However it is irrefutably proven that (to use your terminology) a Non-Religious person cannot (without deception) provide any sort of Genuine Religious service. simply because they cannot give what they do not have !!! And if they have No Covering Organisation, the risks are far greater. in which case a Govt Authority would needed to, Vet those involved as in Secular Councilling. No School Council should be left with that responsibility alone, look at the USA since they threw God out of the Schools in 1962.
    Neither is there a basis of discrimination ($400 worth) against State Schools.
    “The labourer is worthy of his or her hire”
    “You shall not muzzel the ox that treads out the grain”
    State (far more of them) or Church, it’s small support for a Proven Worthwhile service. (which is invariably used on the students needs)

    By the way, We are Not Religious either, we hate the term and the concepts.
    We are Christians, We simply Love The Lord and enjoy walking in a Personal Relationship with Him.

    “The Word” is about: Relationship, Not Religion.
    There is a Vast, Difference.

    We pray you find it one day.

    God Bless.

    Rev. D.
    http://www.corryong.org

  13. Allen:

    Everything you have said reenforces that you think that the government should be funding Christian Chaplains (alone) to provide services only to Christians (and those willing to convert).

    This is ridiculous, narrowminded, and totally inappropriate for modern multi-cultural society. Your assertion that non-Christians cannot provide for the personal and social well-being of students is condescending and offensive.

    I am appalled when I consider that you (in your assertions) and the government (in its actions) are teaching such prejudice to our children. I find succor in the fact that most Christians are not so ostensibly biased.

    Further comments with as little merit as those above will be deleted. I won’t allow such bigotry on my blog.

  14. With concerns over the potential discrimination to all non-Christian religions, on behalf of our Pagan group I wrote to Mr Howard and received a response from his office that claims that the choice of Chaplain, AND the religious affiliations that person has, is entirely up to the school.

    I am waiting to see if a non-Christian Chaplain that is wanted by a school is rejected, and then use this letter from the PM’s office to ask why when his own office claims it is entirely up to the school.

    If anyone fits that description and/or wants a copy of that letter, then by all means get in contact! There are are number of non-Christian faiths out there – I would like to know the Christian families – would you accept a Pagan priest or Jewish Rabbi providing the Chaplaincy services to your children? If your answer is “no”, then why should a Pagan, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Hindu, etc, etc, family only have access to a Christian Chaplain to serve their children???

  15. My favourite word is ‘parochial’.

    pa·ro·chi·al
    1. of or pertaining to a parish or parishes.
    2. of or pertaining to parochial schools or the education they provide.
    3. very limited or narrow in scope or outlook; provincial: parochial views; a parochial mentality.

    Definition: narrow-minded
    Synonyms: biased, bigoted, cathedral, conservative, conventional, ecclesiastic, insular, inward-looking, limited, local, narrow, petty, prejudiced, provincial, regional, restricted, sectarian, sectional, shallow, small-minded, small-town
    Antonyms: broad-minded, cosmopolitan

    A good word to add to your anti-religious repertoire I think.

    Opps I sinned better say my hail marys and it will all be better!

  16. The truth is, all religions are incapable of doing this job in our schools properly. All religions are wrong on some level at some time. All religions have hurt, lied, killed, raped, covered up their mistakes, had their own adgendas, been selfish and made mistakes. This is because all religions are made up of human beings…who are inheriantly incapable of perfection or indeed any level of equality on any level of “righteousness”. The Chrisitan’s who have participated on this blog have written out of their own experience, past hurts, and with the obvious need to justify THEIR faiths and beliefs above anothers…that right there…typical humanism…as we tussle and climb over one another to win some invisible competition that we’ve invented in our cultural imagination…religion becomes a stepping stone to hold something high that makes us feel “right”.

    Equality is a naive and unresearched concept that has been force fed to this generation as just another means of climbing the ladder of social/political success. Women are not men, children are not adults, Christians are not non-Christians, murderers are not babies, jails are not primary schools, lies are not truth, blindness is not seeing. Nothing has, is or ever will be “equal”. There must be perameters, decisions must be made, ultimate truth must exist, but we are concieted and rather stupid to think that any human ever made or makes those decisions. The only thing we are good at is doing the wrong thing…over and over and over. Again and again and again….hurting each other, hurting ourselves, the history of the world on repeat. would the first perfect human being please stand up to convince me otherwise??

    So if the argument is discrimination, than we ARE effectivly placing people/organisations/religions on some sort of ladder of worth, therefore diminishing an “equality doctrine”. If we weren’t doing this…why is it even a problem to let the Chrisitans do their thing in our Schools? If they are equal to everyone else…what’s the problem? And if all religions are equal and one isn’t any “better” than the other…why would it be a bad thing if all school students were converted to Chrisitanity?

    But that’s not really the case is it? I wonder what this argument would look like if it was hinduism, or buddism that were supporting our youth in school chaplaincy roles. This blog would’ve no doubt been started by a Chrisitan, outraged at being placed on a lower rung of the “right ladder”, demanding free range and “equality” so they can again feel like they have arrived at a safer, more controlling place in society. How sad are we to ever think that we have any control over this universe or anything in it. What a naive place to be when we truely believe that our “religion” has anything to do with right or wrong….or that we ever decided what truth was in the first place. Everyone has a religion, even those who have “no religion” carry a name and ethos that effectivly becomes their religion. We all believe in something…so someone has to be “right” right??

    There IS truth, there IS right and wrong, but “right” will not be found in our concept of equality or in fact our concept of anything…because we are too broken, to fallen, to full of our own garbage, a society truly chocking on our own vomit. So maybe the Chrisitans will stay in their position as Australia’s school chaplains, and maybe they won’t…but I don’t think for one minute that the decision is or was ever going to be made by humans. God is God…and He is in control beyond our wildest imaginations…and on the day when I see Him in all His fullness…how I will feel like a fool…we all will.

    Or maybe I’m just another crazy person…I guess that places me lower on the ladder doesn’t it?

  17. Thanks for the reality check Katie.

    Yes, if God IS, then God surely is beyond OUR ability to comprehend ‘God’? The notion that within our modern society of non-religious materialism we need religious Pastors in state schools is a difficult conundrum.

    Whenever someone at or near the top of any party, organization or religion decides to ‘lecture’ it always reflects their need for power, influence and the protection of their group.

    What attracts most individuals to groups is a base need for recognition and relevence as they have non. Establishing a power and influence base within the gruop is an easier option than acheiving it in the outside world.

    My problem with allowing any individual to work within a state school in a ‘Pastoral’ role, whilst under the influence of any religioun, is that they are lying about their intent. Their actions and direction will always be influenced by their doctrine and belief, just like a junky, they can’t stop themselves.

    Ultimately, they are there for their own agenda..it is irrelevent what they say about only being interested in the student welfare, as their chosen position in life will always dictate their interactions.

    As you say..they think they’re RIGHT and that their beliefs are RIGHT. As a result, they can only be WRONG for such positions in our State schools.

    As teenagers are seeking out life’s meanings and truths, they usually see through individuals whith alternate agendas. What is the benefit, therefore, of Pastors with religious affiliations? The notion is surely crap!

    In the USA, society is riddled with religious agendas..self-rightious, political power junkies, lying to anyone who’ll allow them a pulpit. Every interest group you can imagine is beavering away at establishing it’s power and influence base. They’re always RIGHT, they’re always trying to persuade others that their agenda is the only way!

    Worthy reflection would be to consider that the teachers in our schools should be the people who the kids can open up to and approach if they need one on one help, guidance or feedback. The fact is that too many of our State school teachers fail in this area. The ‘system’ is a reactive one to students with personal needs. The teachers often just don’t care beyond the academic results and input of their students. No, not all teachers fall under this banner but too many are untrained and uncaring when it comes to this need.

    Forget ‘Pastoral Care’ and establish professional student welfare officers. That way we’ll at least have fewer lying, power and influence junkies around the place.

  18. The issue of Chaplains seems to me a mute point. In NSW the Teachers Union has clearly prevented the the presence of Chaplains in most Government Schools. However, in NSW there are now approved Islamic and I believe a Jewish Chaplain in Non-Government Schools.

    There is a clear Code of Conduct for all National School Chaplaincy Program funded poositions which prevents pushing any religion which I believe can be viewed on the DEST website. At the end of the day the funding does not cover the cost of a Chaplain. So those organisations providing chaplains as the chaplians are employed by the provider not the school are effectively subsidising the chaplains they place in schools for what can be significant amounts of money. Why would anyone want to employ and pay for a person who clearly to be in a school who does not represent their ideological position?

    Frank

  19. Our schools avail psychologists, counsellors and social workers, to the school community (students, parents, teachers and staff), so what is so dreadful about them providing a chaplain also? The particular chaplain is selected by the school council (parents and teachers)-not the sponsoring Christian organisation. His/her role/duties are worked out and defined in cooperation with the school council. Students, parents and teachers are not forced to visit the chaplain; the chaplain is simply available in an office if anyone in the school community would like to visit them for whatever reason they wish. And the chaplain might walk around the playground at lunchtime talking to kids and kicking the footy with them, and helping teachers with student activities, and talking with kids about life matters or anything else they wish to talk about. The chaplain is simply there to assist persons wherever he/she can, and to offer encouragement to all in their endeavours. For a chaplain to work individualy with a child a parent’s request/permission form is required to be signed. So what is the problem with these anti-christian ant-chaplain types. I notice the anti-christians are too chicken to risk their life and/or risk being seen as politicly incorrect or unfashionable by getting just as loudly stuck into certain other religions. (I am pretty sure Nick wouldn’t say boo to a Muslim -certinly not to two Muslims.) But they get stuck into the religion whos founder and members advocate loving and forgiving others, including loving/forgiving one’s enemies. It seems like most anti-christians are just scaredy cats getting their jollys and a little sense of power by picking on the soft kid who doesn’t hit back; and also getting a sense of peer-group identity by picking on the one who is in current fashion for scaredy cats to pick on. Anti-christian crusaders should try getting a life and stop wasting their energy needlessly grandstanding. Perhaps you could try serving others, for their sake not your own, love all others as if they are members of your family, join a local volunteer service, annonymously support charities and assist your community, quietly and truely wish well and do well for others who ever they are, don’t withold any good that you can do for others -but be warned that if you commit to living this way, you will have become a christian, whether you realise it or not, and whether you like it or not. For christ will be moving in you, for christ is love, the offspring of god. Oh yes, and although you may gain a sense of fullfillment and purpose in your life, certain others will hate you and insult you for what you are and for what is in you. But what you are and what is in you will forgive them, will love them regardless.

  20. Gray: Did you even read this post?

    If you did, you’d probably realise that:

    1. I’m concerned about discrimination in Government policy: “Let’s not make this into a religion vs. atheism issue. It’s about problems in a specific Government program.”

    2. I’m opposed to the Government funding any position that requires a religious affiliation (including Chaplains, Imams, and Monks). This has nothing to do with singling out Christians. If anything, the Government is the only group making that distinction by calling the program the National School Chaplaincy Program.

    3. I never once stated my religious affiliation (or lack thereof). I’d like to think that personal beliefs live outside of objective argument. Surely there are some righteous religious people who would assert that their group does not deserve any special treatment or funding.

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