Intolerant Churches punishing non-believers
When I was young Catholic, I remember being struck by the contrast between two different approaches to spreading the Gospel – that of the conquistador Hernan Cortes, who did so by the sword and cannon, and that of Francis Xavier, who did so by word and example.
In the lives of the saints, Xavier was a hero to me. It appears the Churches in NSW follow in the steps of Cortes when it comes to evangelical ‘realpolitik’. Not for their state the freedom to choose a faith or citizenship tradition.
They will simply not tolerate neutral ethics classes in competition with Christian scripture classes. The Government must ban alternative perspectives and prohibit parental choice.
The irony in NSW is that the Party now committed to banning alternative views, and free choice and association, claims the ‘liberal’ name and tradition!
It is hard to fathom the political cowardice or cynicism involved in backing down to a campaign against access to ethics classes.
Hopefully it is the latter, and is simply about the votes resting in pews across the states, votes misinformed by a disgraceful propaganda campaign by the Churches that suggests that civilisation will be eroded in school yards across the State if children choose ethics classes over scripture classes.
How does anyone in the liberal tradition use Government to stop individual parents from accessing an ethics class instead of a scripture class? How does anyone in the conservative tradition think that the unchurched are best left idol during the scripture classes their parents decline for them when they might be introduced to basic ethics and civics?
The Churches in NSW have argued that they are not opposed to ethics. They say they are opposed to competition. Think about that: they admit that given a choice, the quality of their scripture classes means that parents will shift their kids in large numbers to the ethics classes.
The ethics curriculum has been offered to the Churches to help them be more competitive. Their pride and arrogance is too great to accept that alternative. That has been declined in favour of a simple ban on the alternative.
A few years ago I went to the Church service for the Queen ahead of the Commonwealth Games. A young leader from my organisation was next to me.
The hymns were stirring, and I belted out the words. The young person was impressed (or embarrassed, perhaps), but what surprised me in our subsequent discussion was that this young citizen had never – never – been in a church. There are more and more such young people.
Forcing the non-churched or non-Christians into scripture is not the answer. Providing ethics and civics class opportunities is a much better policy. But that’s just my view.
I guess the question is: if Jesus were around, would he abandon the trust he had in his Father and fall back on the State to force the Gospel on recalcitrant non-believers?
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…