As a fundamentalist heavily committed to using the school system to gain more converts for my religious sect, I was appalled this weekend to read a vicious attack on such a program in The Age:
Public debate on the issue was sparked by a Sunday Age revelation that the Education Department was forcing schools to host Christian religious education whether they wanted to or not.
It took a new turn last week when state Education Minister Martin Dixon granted $200,000 in extra funding to Christian religious education provider Access Ministries to improve its training.
Why are we talking about this? This transfer of public money to Christian organisations is supposed to be known by our congregations but ignored by the rest of you, so that the first you know about it is when little Jimmy comes home spouting Deuteronomy at you. It’s for their own good, even if you are too blinded by Satan to see it. Whilst I believe strongly that everyone will have a fair opportunity to come to my particular beliefs of their own free will so that later they can be judged by God according to whether they agreed with me and did what I told them to do or not, it’s clearly much easier to gain those converts when they’re young and trapped in school and our “lessons” can be presented to them as equivalent to less controversial subjects like Maths and Chemistry.
But now we have to come up with flimsy excuses for it. We’re, uh, just “educating” your child on important religions, not “indoctrinating” her. (Yes, there does only appear to be one important religion we talk about, but we’re completely objective about this faith to which we’ve dedicated our lives.) And we provide important care for your child when they come to us for counselling, all upset and nicely vulnerable to our message, I mean, our kindly independent adult advice. And, anyway, you always have the option of removing your children from our classes by traumatically separating them from their peers like the pariahs they will be if we have anything to do with it.
Look, taking away our privileged position over the public school system would be an end to religious freedom in this country, defined as our freedom to impose our views on your children. What are you going to do? Vote against the politicians who keep giving your money to us? Yeah, good luck finding some.
Face it, if God didn’t want us wasting kids’ precious educational hours with religious indoctrination, He would have made Australia a secular democracy.