Friday, 16 October 2015

Victoria dodges a bullet.

Victoria will abolish religious classes next year, replacing them with healthy relationship lessons.This is more or less why.....

From The Australian

Christian evangelists are teaching students they should “die for their faith if necessary’’ and to “thank God for the gift of cancer’’.

A workbook listed for religious education lessons in Year 9 in NSW government schools tells teenagers they have “sinned and deserve God’s punishment” and that the world is in “deep trouble’’.

The accompanying teachers’ manual, titled You: An Introduction, says students should be taught to “submit our bodies to God’s will … even by dying for our faith if necessary’’.

The lesson plan says students should think about their “lies, deceit, manipulation, anger, lust, jealousy, hatred and worship of ourselves’’: “It’s a heavy weight we cannot bear, and one day we will be held accountable for it and will pay for it with our death.’’

The student workbook includes a letter with the headline “Thank God for the gift of cancer!’’ written by Bronwyn Chin, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2013. “I would like to grow old with my husband and see my kids grow up. But God appears to have a better plan,’’ the letter says.

Another worksheet features a girl who wonders why her mother has cancer and concludes “my mum’s cancer was the result of a mucked-up and broken world caused by sin’’.

The teaching guide links menstruation and sickness to sin. “Now, being sick or having your period isn’t a sin — but it reminds us that the body and therefore all of humanity now live with the curse of sin,’’ it says.

Religious teachers, who are usually volunteers, are instructed to read a passage from the Bible that states “wives should submit to their husbands in everything’’.

The teaching manual elaborates that “wives are to submit to their husbands’ loving leadership’’, while husbands must “care for her needs and die for her if necessary’’.

In another lesson plan, students “address how and why the world and their lives are in deep trouble’’. The aim is to “leave students with the knowledge that our world and humanity are stuck in sin’’.

A NSW Education Department spokesman yesterday said it had not endorsed the material.

“The Anglican Church is currently revising its curriculum and is working with the department to ensure any materials used for the purposes of special religious education in NSW public schools are consistent with departmental policies and delivered in an age-appropriate manner,’’ he said.

You: An Introduction is listed as the sole curriculum resource for Year 9 students in term three by Generate Ministries, the group the NSW Education Department has authorised to deliver religious instruction in state schools. Generate Ministries, an alliance of the Scripture Union, Anglican, Presbyterian and Baptist churches, supplies religious instruction teachers for NSW state schools.

The Fairness in Religion in Schools lobby group warned the “harmful’’ workbook exposed teens to “damaging messages’’.

“These materials push views towards sex, sexuality, abortion, suicide, homosexuality, sin, death and gender roles from a conservative, evangelical Christian perspective,’’ FIRIS chief executive Lara Wood said yesterday.

The NSW Education Department does not require school teachers to supervise religious classes and has banned schools disseminating lesson details.

Religious education is conducted in every NSW state school but parents can have their children opt out.

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