Religious education ‘monocultural’

11

The Secular Education Network is calling for religious education to be scrapped from primary schools, and to just be taught in high schools.

Controversy has been brewing over the issue this week, after an Auckland primary school scrapped religious classes when parents complained to the Human Rights Commission.

"The harm is that it's totally monocultural," David Hines from the Secular Education Network told Firstline.

"What's happening in schools now, it's not education, it's a promotional programme."

Mr Hines, a former Methodist minister, believes teaching Christian education in schools is actively putting down other religions.

Written By: Briar Marbeck
continue to source article at 3news.co.nz

11 COMMENTS

  1. A minor error in the introduction to this story. The Secular Education Network isn’t calling for “religious education” to be scrapped in state primary schools. It’s calling for “religious instruction” to be scrapped … ie, the partisan Christian programmes allowed into state schools under New Zealand law. The Network is not opposed to genuine religious education, done professionally, treating religious and non-religious beliefs objectively.

    • In reply to #4 by I-am-not-a-theist:

      The Kiwis have quite a rich and wonderful source of material for their children’s religious education in schools but they call it Māori Myths, Legends and Contemporary Stories.

      Alas, from what I understand, most Maoris are Catholic these days.

  2. ‘ The Catholic Church has no problem with the science of evolution but it is something more likely to be discussed in Religious Education classes (usually in Secondary Colleges).’ ; Gerard McNulty,Tasmanian Catholic Education Office

    • In reply to #5 by hawksy:

      ‘ The Catholic Church has no problem with the science of evolution but it is something more likely to be discussed in Religious Education classes (usually in Secondary Colleges).’ ; Gerard McNulty,Tasmanian Catholic Education Office

      That would be to make sure the god-did-it bits are well mixed in with the real science – which they eventually caught up with in 2004.
      Catholic Church and evolution

      However when the RCC SAYS it BELIEVES in evolution, it is Theistic Evolution they are talking about.

  3. “Mr Hines says he was unaware until recently how much of a “put-down” religious education is for non-Christians.”

    You got THAT right, Mr. Hines. It’s a put down in two directions. RE puts down any other world view but we non-Christians also think identifying anyone as ‘religiously educated’ is a put-down to them. The minute I hear that someone went to this or that Bible College, I assume he/she is intellectually deficient and that their degree is cartoonish. Dr. of Divinity = Dr. Bigshoes Clownface.

  4. “The harm is that it’s totally monocultural”

    No, the harm is that it’s total nonsense. Here in Quebec, religious education in elementary school IS multicultural. Making it multicultural doesn’t make religious “education” better, it just makes it more confusing. Children who haven’t yet developed the intellectual faculties that would enable them to properly process the “information” presented to them. They can’t tell the wheat from the chaff and in this case, well it’s all chaff. Multicultural chaff.

    ANY religious education to children of elementary school age is bad. It’s irresponsible, abusive and idiotic to the core. Not to mention that it’s a complete waste of time and education resources that could be put to much better use like introduction to basic science and logic adapted to children’s interests (make it visual and cool and playful – puzzles, enigmas, simple problem solving, etc..). Stimulate those neurons!! And protect those precious young minds from religion at all costs!!

    • In reply to #10 by NearlyNakedApe:

      They can’t tell the wheat from the chaff and in this case, well it’s all chaff. Multicultural chaff.

      Actually, you touch on why RE is the best thing since sliced bread!

      I could legally opt my (state, non-faith) primary school kids out of RE here in the UK, but the RE is pretty secular and “multicultural”, and apart from anything else I think religion is a large part of our history, culture, legal system etc – it’s part of who we are, whether or not you believe in god. But the confusion you cite is wonderful. Kids quite sensibly learn that not all faiths are the same, and don’t always agree with each other. Hopefully they learn a bit about respecting “different” people regardless. But they will above all realise that not all of these religions can be the absolute truth, and if the majority of them are “wrong”, quite possibly all of them are. And another atheist is born!

      Most people in Britain no longer believe in a god, despite all this RE. Most people in America, where there is no RE in schools, are profoundly (and frequently idiotically) religious.

      If I were a bishop, I’d be arguing to take RE out of schools because it is costing me converts. I rest my case.

Leave a Reply