NSW Ethics Classes vs Scripture Classes – If Your Product’s a Dud, Don’t Blame the Competition, Jim

This week there’s a right brouhaha over the introduction of a course in secular ethics in New South Wales state schools.  Jim Wallace from the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) is concerned that ethics classes will undermine scripture teaching in New South Wales schools.

Wallace fears that the introduction of ethics classes is part of a wider secularist agenda to push religious education out of schools. He’s wrong.  I don’t know of any atheist or secularist who opposes the teaching of the cultural significance and literary history of the world’s religions to students – and that’s what religious education is.

What scripture classes offer, however, is not religious education but religious instruction.  In other words, children are not being asked to study religion in an academically detached way, but are being instructed on how to be religious.  These are two entirely different things.

As Hugh Wilson of the Australian Secular Lobby said in an interview on Brisbane’s 4BC radio this week, if you don’t understand the difference, consider whether you’d like your children to be given ‘sex instruction’ in place of  ‘sex education’!

Poor old Jim Wallace.  He is really not coping with the fact that religion is simply not relevant to today’s youth or their parents.  He says:

“We are now hearing reports of volunteer Scripture teachers at one of the 10 trial schools losing up to 60 per cent of their classes to the government’s new program – something understandable if a new subject is being offered in competition with Scripture.”

And who is to blame for that?  If parents supported the scripture classes, they wouldn’t be letting their children attend the alternative.  All this shows is that, until now, parents have been letting their children take scripture classes because the only alternative was to have them sit around twiddling their thumbs for an hour a week.

And what about the kids?  Why aren’t they clamouring to stay in their scripture classes?  Because what is being taught is obviously irrelevant, boring and didactic.

Competition is good, Jim!  Competition encourages higher achievement.  It motivates all parties to lift their act, improve their ‘product’ and to make sure their message is relevant to their target market.  If your product can’t compete,  you either have to improve it, update it or accept that it’s obsolete.  There’s no point bitching that you should have a monopoly on children’s minds – that just won’t wash any more.  Worse, it’s an abject admission that you have an old, out of date product with a fatally tarnished reputation that you just can’t sell in an open market.

If your product’s a dud, Jim, don’t blame the competition.

Chrys Stevenson

Comments on this blog are moderated but will be approved and published as quickly as possible.

 

The Australian Book of Atheism by Warren Bonett, with a chapter by Chrys Stevenson and chapters on religion and education by Kylie Sturgess, Hugh Wilson, Professor Graham Oppy, and Graham Lindenmayer will be available Australia wide in all good bookstores from Monday, 22 November 2010.

See Also:

Dr Leslie Cannold’s excellent article “Kids need protection from ads – and Bible bashers” – The Age 20/6/10


Further Action:

NSW MLC Penny Sharpe supports the ethics program.  Let her know what you think – Jim’s crowd certainly have.

Email Penny
Tweet: @PennySharpemlc
Penny’s Facebook Page

Gladly’s Book Recommendations

Gladly may be cross-eyed but he loves to read!

Gladly’s favourite book store for online purchases is Embiggen Books Australia’s specialists in philosophy books, education books and atheism books.  If you liked this article, you might like to read these books (and, if you didn’t like it, maybe you should read them!):

25 thoughts on “NSW Ethics Classes vs Scripture Classes – If Your Product’s a Dud, Don’t Blame the Competition, Jim

  1. Emily

    Got linked here from facebook =) looking forward to more posts!

    http://www.youthworks.net/index.php?s=&c=24&d=&e=&f=&g=&a=1225&w=7003&r=Y

    Dr. Jensen (you may remember him from such bigoted comments as “Atheism is as much of a religion as Christianity but shouldn’t be given equal footing”) claims that without a religious component in GOVERNMENT schools, schools will cease to be inclusive of all students. That’s funny, because I was under the assumption that current RE classes usually only espouse Christianity – how is that inclusive of other religions I wonder?

    Reply
  2. Wozza

    “If your product’s a dud, Jim, don’t blame the competition.”

    Beautifully put. And well done in getting the word out so fast. The effect was immediate. I remember someone saying once a long long time ago that we shouldn’t be doing this kind of thing because it wouldn’t work. I expect even they will be happy they were wrong. Keep up the fabulous work my little cross-eyed bear.

    Reply
  3. Sean the Blogonaut

    Excellent post. I really think St James could do with pimping the trial a little. Getting a little web 2.0 action going. When you look at what’s planned it looks really good.

    Reply
  4. Kirsty Bruce

    Thank you Gladly for saying it better than I ever could.

    I was one of those NSW kids who never attended a scripture class. (My parents retreated from their secularist ways briefly when their oft described intelligent children were found not laughing at Dave Allen late one evening. They sent us to Sunday school for a few weeks to have that sorted out – but I digress).

    We three sisters made up just under 50% of the non-scripture attendees. During the 70’s (oh my god!) the alternative to scripture class was, shockingly, unsupervised free time. We of course got up to what any little heathens would…we sat and talked about stuff. I have no recollection of the subject matter but I have no doubt that it could have been time better spent in an ethics class. These kids at least will not look back at a wasted youth.

    Reply
  5. Edward Infiel

    Australian society has changed a lot since I attended public schools in New South Wales. That was a long time ago . I recall students being segregated into denominational groups for “Scripture”. As an impressionable primary school student instead of classmates those in other denominational groups acquired an aura of otherness. They must be different because they had been separated from my group and other groups.
    During one of her addresses to her “subjects” Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth once remarked that reigions were divisive. How true! Ethics classes are not sectarian: Christian, Muslim,Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu,Bahai,Jewish students could benefit from attending such classes. Indeed instead of being quarantined with co-religionists they would have the enriching experience of interacting with those of other faiths or of no faith for that matter.
    If the ethics classes are only offered to those students who elect not to attend RE,Bible, Scripture classes then how could the churches object to that reasonably or credibly? They could not argue that ethics classes were reducing attendance at their RE classes as the students were not intending to participate in religious education anyway. In a secular education system churches are not entitled to insist students be compelled to be indoctrinated.
    The philosophic stance I take is that freedom of choice must be a paramount consideration: the student must be allowed to choose whether or not he/she wishes to attend the ethics classes without any hint of coercion or pressure. I am tempted to tell the churches what their adherents like to tell those who do not share their primitive belief systems:”Go to hell”.

    Reply
  6. Kirsty Bruce

    Hey Chrys

    I noticed this on the QSkeptic forum posted by Jayson D Cooke who I am sure you know from the Gold Coast Skeptics – just in case you didn’t get a message yourself. As a Twitterer I received no such prompting…

    A message from NSW MLC, Penny Sharpe:

    You recently sent me an email indicating your support for the NSW Ethics
    Class trial for students in NSW public schools. Your support is very
    important at this stage.

    Since that time the Australian Christian Lobby has launched a very organised
    campaign against the trial. MPs have ha…d their inboxes filled with anti
    ethics trial messages.

    The Australian Christian Lobby have also have launched a petition against
    the trial.

    I know that there is strong support in the community for the trial. In
    response I have launched my own petition in favour of the trial. I hope you
    dont mind but I have attached this petition for your action. If you would
    like to show your support for NSW Ethics Classes, I ask that you print out
    the petition, get 10 other supporters to sign it and then return the
    original to my office as soon as possible:

    Penny Sharpe
    MLC Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport
    Australian Labor Party
    Parliament House
    Macquarie St
    Sydney NSW 2000

    An online petition would be easier but unfortunately parliament does not
    allow me to present petitions unless they are in the format attached.–
    Jayson D Cooke
    GUSSF

    Reply
  7. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

    Thanks Kirsty, Penny Sharpe’s message has been circulated widely on Facebook and Twitter but I am glad you added it here. Please note that the petition is only for residents of NSW but, if you are from NSW and support this cause, I do encourage you to download the petition, collect signatures and encourage others to do the same.

    The petition is available here: http://pennysharpe.com/files/Support%20NSW%20Ethics%20Trial%20petition.pdf

    Penny asks supporters to print it out, get 10 people (or more!) to sign it, and return it to her at:

    The Hon Penny Sharpe MLC
    Australian Labor Party
    Parliament House
    Sydney NSW 2000

    Reply
  8. Douglas N. Everingham

    1. Tho indoctrinated in NSW I’m now a Queenslander so not eligible to sign your petition.
    2. Ethics classes should include reference to positive ethics campaigns and achievements of religious persons and group like Martin L. King and South America’s worker priests. Not all religionists are bigots, not all secularists crusade against bad ethics rather than uninformed believers.
    3. Most destructive conflict, anti-social drug use etc., has its roots in fundamentalist or doctrinaire interpersonal relations inbred in infancy. Prospective parents need schooling in encouraging children and BOTH parents to take part within their developing skills in give-and-take decision and cooperation roles ( http://www.flexible-learning.org ).

    Reply
  9. Cass

    Entertaining Blog! You have a way with words….may I ask though, when was the last time you were in a classroom? Perhaps you are unaware that the majority of all subjects taught throughout school are found to be “irrelevant, boring and didactic” by students participating in them….yes, there is always the exception to the rule and it is very good to have different people enjoying and thriving from different teachings. It seems clear to me that what is taught at school is certainly not based on its popularity but instead the aim is the provide exposure to a wide variety of teachings in the hope to inspire and esteem the future generations to be ‘all they can be’ which in return sees them investing greatly into their society. Scripture teaching is not the promotion of a ‘product’ i.e. religion; Scripture teaching simply informs students of the relationship they can have with a real and living God. I have never been paid to teach scripture, I simply love having the opportunity to speak about real life issues with teenagers and I think you will find that there is some exceptions to the rule in Scripture Classes as well – there are kids who love it! English isn’t everyone’s fancy nor is Metal work but is that really a good enough reason to get rid of it? As for ethics and its apparent competition – well, I would suggest that the Maths department would be in uproar to if the subject became an elective against teaching Gambling…. the latter is far more relevant and based on useable life skills but it doesn’t overthrow the need for traditional mathematics. Ethics is no treat to Scripture, Jesus Christ is the one who makes the difference in all moral and ethical decisions.

    Reply
    1. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

      Scripture teachers speak to students as if the Christian God was real and the Bible the word of God. There is no evidence to support the first hypothesis and a substantial amount of evidence to negate the second. I have absolutely no objection to children being taught comparative religions, providing it is taught as an academic subject and includes non-theistic philosophies like humanism. As Hugh Wilson from the Australian secular lobby says, there is a big difference between religious instruction (which is what kids get in scripture class) and religious education. To explain the difference, he suggests that while you may be happy for your teenager to have sex education at school, you probably aren’t going to be happy if she comes home and tells you she’s taking sex instruction! Of course, children should learn about religion and, if they find the evidence for one or another of them convincing, then they are perfectly free to adopt those beliefs. Our point is that children have a right to freedom of religion and there is no freedom if they are not exposed to the wide number of choices available to them, including the choice to have no religion at all. We propose that children should be given information and the skills to critically analyse that information so that they can make their own decisions – the same way they will later decide what political party they wish to support. If your religion will not stand up to such critical scrutiny or be able to hold its own in the market place of other religions and non-theistic philosophies, then perhaps your religion doesn’t deserve to survive – and certainly doesn’t deserve to be taught ‘as fact’ in our state schools.

      Reply
    2. Blamer..

      Maths class isn’t run by volunteers. And the Maths department didn’t lobby the government to drop 1hr from the middle of the school teaching week.

      Cass, I can recommend getting down to your local Philosophy department. Note the door that says Ethics, but first go into the door that says Metaphysics. Inside you’ll find a cabinet labelled Theology. One of its draws is marked Christianity and your denomination’s files will be in there somewhere. Start there and work your way backwards.

      Reply
    3. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

      Cass, I’ve just had an email from a school teacher who has asked that they not be identified. (That is, in itself, I think, an indictment on the grip religion has on our schools!). The teacher says she teaches in a school where the scripture teacher has absolutely no teaching qualifications, which means the class teacher has to remain in the room when she takes over to “ram religion down their throats”. My correspondent has, on numerous occasions, been present as the supervising teacher at those scripture classes, so is well acquainted with what goes on in them.

      The teacher says she “utterly refutes” claims that the scripture teachers “are not promoting a product”. She says, “In actual fact, that is the ONLY thing these people do when they have these children captive in the classroom.”

      She says she has heard the Scripture teacher tell the children they need not listen to what anyone else thinks of them – whether those others be family, friends, or even spouse – but to care only about what god thinks.

      “How is this anything BUT promotion of religion?” she asks.

      The teacher insists that the scripture teacher’s message is clear, strong, and consistent during these “lessons” and the lessons taught are precisely the sorts of things you’d expect to hear in any Sunday School class or at church (and yes, the teacher is intimately acquainted with those, too).

      Reply
      1. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

        The same teacher has sent me the following transcript of a Scripture lesson taken by one of her colleagues who sat in on the class:

        She says, “The classroom teacher also remarked to me that while these kids were normally quite well behaved, they were almost a polar opposite during the scripture class.” Control and interest was only maintained by the Scripture teacher handing out chocolates and lollies to the children – the reason, the teacher speculates, that most of the children chose to attend the class.

        The quotes are the actual words of the scripture teacher, with everything else a description of what was being done in the class at the time.

        What follows, she says, is the reality of scripture classes in our public schools.

        Transcript begins:

        Handed out chocolates first.
        Handed out scrap paper, kids to write nickname and class.
        Then started setting up computer.
        Questions on board to copy down
        * nickname – explain
        * what do your friends think of you?
        * what does your family think of you?
        * how would you describe yourself
        Showed slideshow of famous people, kids to write a single word describing what they think of each person.
        Very poor control of the class – kids screaming out constantly.
        Then asking kids to consider “what we say about others, compared to what god says about us”.
        Started playing ‘celebrity head’ – focus on the descriptive questions used to work out who the person was.
        Then said no matter how else others think of us and describe us ‘the only thing that doesn’t change is what god thinks of us’.
        Wrote down a numbered list of the possible sources of her own opinion of herself – god first, then husband and kids, family, friends, sport. Says that she’d be up and down if she relied on other people, so “that’s why I rely on god for my opinion about myself”.
        Told a bible story – Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. Strongly emphasised the “fact” that god has a plan for YOU and that he will take care of you and make sure everything is right in your life.

        Pushed the “whole new way of living” that Jesus brought, that it’s important to not worry about what others think, but “to care about what the Creator thinks”.

        Showed a video of a guy rapping about “how great god is” and that all the problems in his life are solved by the presence of god in his life. John Good was the person, talking about “my god”.

        Showed a clip from “Napoleon Dynamite”.
        While it was playing, started writing out Psalm 139:13-14, with words missing for the kids to work out following the video. Also Isaiah 46:4 and Isaiah 44:2. The missing words were the parts of the verses that specifically stressed how important god is in the lives of the faithful.

        Commented that “the point of it is that if it matters what god says about us, not what others say about us, then we need to know what god says about us” – then directed kids to bibles and how to find the verses they needed to complete.

        Finished with choice of watching remainder of movie or playing marshmallow game.

        This is, apparently, how children are spending their time in Scripture classes when academic subjects are increasingly suffering.

        Putting unqualified people to proselytise at our children short-changes their education and exploits the gullibility of the young and naive.

    4. Podblack

      “Entertaining Blog! You have a way with words….may I ask though, when was the last time you were in a classroom?”

      This morning. And for eleven of the past thirteen years.

      “Perhaps you are unaware that the majority of all subjects taught throughout school are found to be “irrelevant, boring and didactic” by students participating in them…”

      Actually, Australia has a fairly good retention rate with students in both the primary and secondary years – there is evidence that Year 7/8 to Year 12 school retention rates for Indigenous students have improved over the last 10 years (from 35% in 1999 to 45% in 2009) and overall, the retention rate from Year 7/8 to Year 12 in 2009 was 45% for Indigenous students compared with 77% for non-Indigenous students. (citing: http://www.aihw.gov.au/closingthegap/documents/issues_papers/ihw/33/12176-sum.cfm)

      In terms of teacher excellence and schooling, The Programme for International Student Assessment(PISA) 2006 evaluation ranked the Australian education system as 6th for Reading, 8th for Science and 13th for Mathematics, on a worldwide scale including 56 countries. The Education Index, published with the UN’s Human Development Index in 2008, based on data from 2006, lists Australia as 0.993, amongst the highest in the world, tied for first with Denmark & Finland.

      “Yes, there is always the exception to the rule and it is very good to have different people enjoying and thriving from different teachings.”

      I agree with the last part.

      “It seems clear to me that what is taught at school is certainly not based on its popularity but instead the aim is the provide exposure to a wide variety of teachings in the hope to inspire and esteem the future generations to be ‘all they can be’ which in return sees them investing greatly into their society.”

      I’m not sure what you mean there by ‘teachings’, do you mean cultural education or exposure to different ideas?

      “Scripture teaching is not the promotion of a ‘product’ i.e. religion; Scripture teaching simply informs students of the relationship they can have with a real and living God.”

      That’s coming from the assumption that there is a real and living God, for a start. Whose God?

      “I have never been paid to teach scripture, I simply love having the opportunity to speak about real life issues with teenagers and I think you will find that there is some exceptions to the rule in Scripture Classes as well – there are kids who love it!”

      I teach Religious Education and Philosophy and yes, there are students who are keen on the subject. But to assume they all come from the same faith background is erroneous. To have a broader appeal, shouldn’t the subject have a broad address of what is ‘religion’ in modern society?

      “English isn’t everyone’s fancy nor is Metal work but is that really a good enough reason to get rid of it?”

      English and Metalwork and similar adapt all the time to suit the changing environment, include technological and sociological advances. They also have developed new programs, and have embraced the fact that we have many different contributing factors that can improve the subject and make it inclusive. Does Scripture take on the idea that it’s not just one religion for all and address them, as in the case of comparative religious classes?

      “As for ethics and its apparent competition – well, I would suggest that the Maths department would be in uproar to if the subject became an elective against teaching Gambling…”

      Not a fair comparison. If you have studied the cases, you’d discover that this is an option for students to take for those who are not doing Scripture. It is not and was never intended to be ‘competition’.

      The interview I conducted with Dr Philip Cam is featured on the Token Skeptic podcast, which you can download on iTunes.

      “Ethics is no treat to Scripture, Jesus Christ is the one who makes the difference in all moral and ethical decisions.”

      What of the teachings of Zoroaster? Buddha? Socrates and Muhammad? Are different religions or secular communities completely without ‘moral or ethical decisions’?

      Would Julia Gillard, our own Prime Minister, not be making any such decisions while she runs this country? She’s an atheist.

      I hope that you do learn more about this program than you currently know, Cass. At the moment, you seem to have done little research on what it actually intended to do – and you don’t even mention that there are religious groups who understand and accept that it is a compliment and not intended to be competition. There’s interviews and discussions with the likes of Dr Cam and the St James Ethics centre that are accessible online and I hope you check them out.

      Reply
  10. ozdivergt

    Cass – I’m saddened. Was English elective at your school? Grammar & spelling! I just have one question about this “living” & “real” god – what’s your definition of real, and where is this god living? Because it seems that he hasn’t updated the good book in quite a number of years & it’s a tad out of date wouldn’t you say?

    Reply
  11. Andrew Skegg

    “….ethics classes will undermine scripture teaching in New South Wales schools”

    Could that be because religion has nothing to do with ethics, or (as you eloquently put it) Mr. Wallace is selling an outdated, superseded, antiquated, rusty broken set of divine laws being passed off as an ethical system? Someone should go him for false advertising.

    Reply
  12. AndrewFinden

    Just to be clear, if Jim Wallace had said that the introduction of ethics classes is part of a wider secularist agenda to push religious instruction out of schools, you would agree?

    It’s interesting that you describe ethics classes as a competing product – St James centre seemed to make a point of denying this, and even people like +Jensen pointed out that ethics classes should be complimentary, not in competition to SRE in terms of content.

    I would suggest that it’s not the ‘product’ or content that is in competition, but that any alternative class might have a similar effect.. of course, if Australia is becoming more secular, there are going to be more parents not seeing a need for SRE.

    I’m not opposed to SRE, but neither am I so concerned if it does get pushed out. After all, the early church didn’t exactly have such privileged access, and they did alright. I think Mr Wallace needs to ask if his God is bigger than our programmes.

    Reply
    1. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

      Simon Longstaff from the St James Ethics Centre has said clearly and repeatedly that his organization does not consider ethics classes as competition for SRE. The NSW government has made it clear that that the ethics classes are an alternative for parents who prefer their children not to attend SRE. Surely parents should have a choice? It is Jim Wallace and Philip Jensen who have kicked up a fuss about the potential for ethics classes to strip SRE of students. This blog post is my personal response. I make no secret of the fact that I believe SRE has no place in secular state schools – but I am not the St James Ethics Centre and have no influence upon them. There is no ‘wide secular agenda’ – no organized wedge strategy on this. The St James Ethics Centre is independent of us more radical atheist activists. Many of us support what they’re doing – some of us don’t. Some of us wish SRE was withdrawn from state schools, but our wishes should not be confused with the policies of the St James Ethics Centre or the motivation behind of the NSW Ethics trial.

      Reply
      1. AndrewFinden

        Yes, I know – that’s what I noted: that the St James’ centre has said it’s not in competition.

        When I used Wallace’s term ‘wide secularist agenda’ I did not mean one being set by the St James’ centre or any other specific organisation. Though I realise I used his term ‘introduction’ which does imply it – perhaps I should have used ‘support’.

        In any case, my note of interest remains – that while the St James’ centre doesn’t consider it competition, you seem to suggest it is a competing product.

  13. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

    Andrew ,it is Jensen who has been screaming that ethics is competing with SRE. That was never the intention, although it may be the unintended consequence – thus my barb.

    The genuine intention was to introduce ethics for those students not currently enrolled in SRE so that they would have a viable and fair alternative. The situation where opted out kids were not allowed to do anything meaningful or receive any instruction during that period was completely discriminatory.

    What happened once the ethics course was introduced is that many parents who had perhaps reluctantly allowed their kids to attend SRE, decided (as is their right) that they would prefer that their kids attend the alternative.

    One has to ask, “Why?” We know part of the reason because of the private correspondence we receive. Many parents are coerced, manipulated and emotionally blackmailed by Christian principals and teachers into putting their kids into SRE (“Oh, you don’t want to put Mary in SRE? What a shame. Don’t you realize she’ll be the only kid in her class not attending and she’ll have to sit in the library all alone. The other kids won’t understand and might tease her.” Or, “You know that makes it very difficult for us having to allocate extra resources to supervise your child.”)

    We also hear of numerous cases of children who have been put into SRE despite the express wishes of their parents that this *not* happen. Sometimes, the kids don’t mention it, and it is months before parents ‘twig’ to the fact that their child has been placed in a class they did not want them to attend.

    Just tonight I was told of a child whose father has early onset Alzheimers going home from school to tell her shocked mother that “The lady from the church said Daddy has a demon in him.”

    I expect that parents who have experienced this kind of thing are very happy to opt their kids out once their was an alternative.

    In other words, the SRE classes have been artificially boosted by parents who really had no commitment whatsoever to their kids being subjected to religious instruction and, even by some parents who were dead against it but were persuaded it was best for their child and/or the school.

    So, again, I stress, that the St James Ethics Centre has genuinely offered a programme, not as competition, but as an alternative to SRE.

    But, because of the way kids and parents have been coerced into supporting SRE in the past, there is now an exodus away from SRE to ethics. That can’t be blamed on the St James Ethics Centre. If the parents of kids currently enrolled in SRE classes genuinely wanted their children to receive instruction in Christian principles and if they genuinely believed their child was learning valuable lessons in the classes and were being engaged by something other than the distribution of chocolates and lollies, they would not be pulling their kids out.

    If ethics has become competition for SRE, it is not the fault of the St James Ethics Centre, it is the fault of those who have exploited the privileged position of SRE in state schools and manipulated non-religious parents into putting their children into them. It is the fault of fundamentalist teachers who frighten little children with stories of demons and hell – much to the horror of their parents. Further, it is the fault of the churches for not providing good quality teachers, for not engaging the children’s interest, and for failing to make their ‘product’ attractive to their audience. You can’t blame the St James Ethics Centre for any of that.

    SRE has simply lost a percentage of kids whose parents probably never wanted them in SRE in the first place. If that’s competition, it’s long past due.

    Reply
    1. AndrewFinden

      So, again, I stress, that the St James Ethics Centre has genuinely offered a programme, not as competition, but as an alternative to SRE.

      Again, I know, and I acknowledged that.

      You can’t blame the St James Ethics Centre for any of that.

      I didn’t.

      Reply
  14. Pingback: Religious Discrimination in State Primary Schools « Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear

  15. Pingback: ‘Head to Head’ with the Australian Christian Lobby « Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear

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