The fight for secular schooling is not over

WRITTEN BY ANNE KELLEY, AAI NEWS TEAM

Religious institutions are continuing to push religion into public schools – in all sorts of devious ways - despite the high court rulings against the Australian Government's placement of chaplains in schools as replacements for counsellors.

Recently in Newcastle, a scripture group called "Scripture at School" filmed children at Newcastle East State School without their parents’ consent. The footage clearly showed students’ faces. Notable statements from one 11-year-old boy included: "[I am] blessed because my family are Christian and I have been brought up to love and know Jesus. Unfortunately, it is a very different story for most of my friends. With the help of Scripture at School I hope that can change.”

Of course it transpires that this boy is actually not a student. Whilst the Department of Education for Newcastle has asked for the video to be taken down, it has been able to be viewed up to the point of writing of this article.

Read more...

Let’s not be witnesses to a load of elitist nonsense

 By: Tom Elliott

70,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses are set to arrive in Melbourne next week for a massive conference at Etihad Stadium. I’ve done some research into this religion and what I’ve discovered has convinced me that scepticism about blind faith is absolutely the right path.

Despite their earnest efforts to convert people via doorknocking, “Witnessing Jehovah” is an extremely exclusive religion. Among other things, the Jehovah’s Witnesses say that only 144,000 people globally will eventually ascend into heaven. That means that 99.99999% of the population will go somewhere far less pleasant if Judgment Day ever arrives.

Read more...

Backyard Terrorists

WRITTEN BY ANNE KELLEY, AAI NEWS TEAM

Several recent raids on Sydney and Brisbane homes have brought to light a dangerous extremist ring of Islamic ISIL/ISIS supporters with plots to carry out terrorist attacks, including a plot to abduct and behead a random member of the Australian public on camera.

Law enforcement officials have told journalists that they are worried about civil unrest after these raids, as “the people who normally calm down the hotheads are not here”. Whilst the Islamic community has come together in many displays of anti-extremist ideologies, subversive voices continue to flood into the community. Australia is now joining numerous other countries that are currently dealing with Jihadist recruiters, encouraging young Islamic Australians to partake in warfare in Syria and Iraq, taking money and people to the Middle East to waste on a religious war costing lives and sanity.

The current tension in Brisbane is pliable, with the G20 summit around the corner. Anti-terrorist measures are clear around the city, with even common trash receptacles being welded shut to prevent terrorist attacks.

With other Islamic Australians coming out publicly in favour of the ISIS/ISIL terrorist group, it is unknown how many more raids and terrorist threats from religious institutions will have to be thwarted before the terrorist threat level in Australia is lowered to a less unsettling standard: for the first time in eleven years the alert is "high". Unfortunately Australia’s more secular and multicultural way of life is being threatened by some of the very people who came here for those freedoms.

 

School chaplaincy debate ignores what ‘secular’ actually is

According to The Conversation, despite recent calls for its elimination and the High Court (again) finding that it was funded unconstitutionally, the Abbott government announced this week that it would continue its school chaplaincy program by funnelling money to the states.

However, debate about the school chaplaincy program has missed the mark. It has been informed by deficient understandings of what “secular” means, both in general and in the Australian context.

Read more...

Anger over school prayer group ban

By 

According to The Age, Lunchtime prayer and bible study groups run by teachers or volunteers have been banned at state schools in Victoria under a ministerial directive.

The new policy has angered Christian groups who say it could be in breach of human rights and religious freedom.

The ban, which has taken many by surprise, came into effect on July 14, as part of changes to the controversial special religious instruction requirements.

Read more...

Australian jihadists, and their plea for others to join Middle East terror groups

According to Daily MailDisturbing images and recruitment messages posted on the social media accounts of two notorious Australian jihadists reveal a horrifying glimpse into Islamic extremist groups fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Australian radical Khaled Sharrouf issued the call-to-arms on Twitter.

He Said: 'come and be part of what we have dreamt... for decades'.

Read more...

Christians set to become a minority in Australia

EASTER Sunday may be one of the most important Christian celebrations, but for many Australians it will just be about chocolate.

According to Northern Star, the proportion of Australians who identify as Christian is falling fast, down over 8% points in the last two years.

And if the current trend was to continue, Christians will soon be in the minority in Australia, the latest research from Roy Morgan shows.

In late 2011, Christians outnumbered the non-religious by more than two to one with  60.9% of Australians  (11.4 million) identifying as Christian compared with 29.2% (5.5 million) who said they had no religious affiliation.

Read more...

The history of education, religion and the state in Australia

Last week, the High Court ruled against the current funding model of the federal government’s controversial school chaplaincy program. It's just the latest episode in a debate over education, religion and the state that goes back to the colonial era, writes Keri Phillips.

There are two strands to the dispute over education, religion and funding. The first concerns the government funding of private schools, almost all of which are run by or affiliated with religious organisations. The second concerns the place of religious instruction in public schools. Both have been the subject of referenda and legal challenges. The relationship between religion, education and the state has been controversial since the states began introducing compulsory public schooling in the second half of the 19th century. Until then, schools had been largely run by the churches and paid for by the government.

Read more...

Australian-Ukrainian leaders slam church swastika graffiti

Australia's Ukrainian community has hit out at vandals who sprayed swastikas on the walls of a Ukrainian Catholic church in Sydney.

According to EIN News, the symbols and hate messages were sprayed on the walls of the church in the western Sydney suburb of Lidcombe on Friday night, drawing condemnation from community leaders and politicians.

The chairman of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations, Stefan Romaniw, told Fairfax Media Sunday the vandals were "extremist" and that "what's happened in Sydney is inexcusable".

Read more...

Australian prime minister “Tony Abbott” spends millions to push God in schools

The prime minister has allocated $226 million for more chaplains, all while slashing his country's education budget

According to Salon website, the Australian government’s slash and burn approach to fiscal management doesn’t appear to have stretched to the God Squad.

The right-wing conservatives have so far announced cuts to aged care, education, the environment, science and hospitals, plus introduced controversial new fees for doctor’s visits.

Yet Prime Minister Tony Abbott — a staunch Catholic who opposes gay marriage and once described abortion as “the easy way out” — has somehow managed to find $226 million for a school chaplaincy service designed to support the “emotional and spiritual wellbeing” of students. That’s like the US government allocating about $2.2 billion, relative to the size of the economy.

Read more...

Access Ministries uses taxpayer money to threaten parents over religious teaching

By Konrad Marshall

 A powerful Christian organisation has threatened a small grassroots parent group with legal action for posting its religious curriculum book online.

The main provider of religious instruction in state schools, Access Ministries, this week warned activists from Fairness in Religion in Schools (FIRIS) to remove a copy of its teaching materials from their website. 

Access Ministries, which delivers "Christian Religious Education" to around 90,000 Victorian primary students, contacted FIRIS after learning that a digital copy of its "Launch Red 1" teacher book was available for download.

For more details please check The Age Victoria