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Tony Abbott clings onto Chaplaincy Program

It is undeniably apparent that the Abbott Government is jumping hoops to save their chaplaincy program, reports Adam Cass.

Subtly certainly hasn’t been an apparent characteristic of the Abbott Government. The government’s latest attempt to ram an ideologically motivated school chaplaincy funding model into Australia’s public education system further demonstrates its ineptitude and negligence with regard to developing responsible public policy for Australia.

The Abbott Government announced that, in an attempt to bypass the High Court’s recent invalidation of the school chaplaincy funding model, it will invite the States to administer the program. The program will remain entirely focused on faith orientated chaplains, and secular workers have been completely excluded from the funding model. However, the government has assured us that ‘chaplains would be required to respect other people’s views, values and beliefs’ and has also conceded that ‘a school chaplain may be from any faith’.

“The government believes that school chaplains make a valuable contribution to the wellbeing of students and school communities”, Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Senator Scott Ryan said.

This notion, however, raises a very important question. Why is the Abbott Government so incredibly determined to provide funding exclusively to religious based school chaplains? It appears that despite a High Court invalidation and substantial opposition from the public (91% believe irreligious welfare workers should be hired, according to a Sydney Morning Herald poll), primarily those involved in the public education sector, the Coalition is resolute in its goal to reestablish and reaffirm the program.

While participation by schools and students in the program is absolutely voluntary, there is simply no alternative program for public schools to attain welfare workers. The Abbott Government is essentially pushing public schools into a corner.

Furthermore, concerns have been raised with the generous allocation and size of the $244 million in funding, particularly in a time of supposed ‘fiscal austerity’. Australian Education Union president Angelo Gavrielatos said the school chaplaincy scheme would “undermine the secular traditions of public education”. The $244 million funding over four years should be spent on more urgent needs, such as support for children with disabilities, he said.

It is undeniably apparent that the Abbott Government is jumping hoops to save their chaplaincy program. The government has attempted to alleviate concerns by conceding that the chaplains ‘can be of any faith’. However, why must they be of a faith in the first place? Why is the government aligning itself with religion in such a close, comfortable manner, especially when more qualified secular workers can achieve far more? What also must be asked, is what can chaplains even offer to a student in need of support?

According to ACCESS Ministries, a primary school chaplaincy provider in Victoria:

“Meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of students is important as schools aim to develop the whole person and produce resilient, competent and successful individuals. While a variety of support services are required to meet the diverse range of needs within a school community, a Chaplain or Student Wellbeing Worker plays a distinct role in providing ongoing pastoral care.”

Spiritual needs? Pastoral care? As a student attending a public school that has a school chaplain, I can assure all those concerned that there has so rarely been a case of a student seeking ‘spiritual support’ or ‘pastoral care’. These are apparently the only benefits to having chaplains at schools, and even if these are genuine concerns of students, how can a Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Jewish chaplain (remember, chaplains of all faiths) provide support to a religiously diverse student? Wouldn’t that chaplain’s specific religious bias come across in advice-giving? And despite that, if there is a true desire among young people to gain spiritual guidance, almost every single community across Australia offers Sunday schooling and other religious support programs.

ACCESS Ministries even concedes that ‘faith-spirituality’ is such a small issue to students in a graph they display on their site.

graph3

Image credit: ACCESS Ministries

It’s simple, the Abbott Government’s desperate attempts at implementing the program, which may succeed granted that the states cooperate, is fuelled by a rampant desire to cling on to religious fundamentalism. The systemic indoctrination of young people to religion is dangerous, and is a familiar characteristic of conservative politics.

Secular welfare workers, specifically ones who are qualified mental health workers, should be funded by the government. It’s time that schools are given the choice, not Pyne or Abbott.


121 comments

  1. Karen Pensabene

    Again. …This Government has no idea of needs of students teachers and families. They are completely out if touch.

  2. rossleighbrisbane

    All faiths? Mm, a Scientology chaplain? An atheist chaplain? Perhaps, a satanist chaplain?
    But in spite of all their determination to eliminate bureaucracy they’re happy to add a layer in irder to ensure that chaplains can’t be secular!

  3. Terry Goulden

    It is interesting but not unexpected that sexuality concerns are even smaller than faith concerns on the graph. After all what student would talk to a chaplain about sexual concerns if they differ from the narrow sexual straight jacket of the chaplain’s faith.

  4. Hotspringer

    Screw the chaplains and the captain of Team Australia. Let’s teach science instead.

  5. Möbius Ecko

    Atheist is not a faith.

  6. silkworm

    The government can fund this programme with the money it is stripping out of the royal commission into sexual abuse in religious schools. Win win!

  7. Kaye Lee

    I do not understand the role of “school chaplains”. These people are not trained in psychology or social work or education or dealing with troubled youth. In NSW (and I am assuming in other states) we have school counsellors who are teachers first who do additional training in psychology. I have never heard of a student going to see the counsellor for advice or help about a religious matter and I can think of many issues that they would specifically NOT want to discuss with a religious chaplain. Often there is a clash with a specific teacher, or there are problems with classmates or family, or they have fallen behind in their work and are feeling overwhelmed. I would MUCH prefer to have a trained professional deal with my child than a well-meaning Sunday School teacher.

    “Concern about “religious proselytising” has been fuelled by coverage of a speech by the chief executive of ACCESS Ministries, Canon Dr Evonne Paddison, which revealed that the organisation sees the NSCP as a recruiting ground for children and young people. One of Dr Paddison’s proclamations included a statement that “in Australia we have a God-given open door to children and young people with the Gospel, our federal and state governments allow us to take the Christian faith into our schools and share it. We need to go and make disciples.”

  8. Lee

    A couple of school teacher friends say that their school chaplains are very popular with the kids and they think they do a good job. That may be so. However, for issues that are at odds with religion, or the chaplain’s religion, I do think school counsellors need to be appropriately professionally qualified to deal with the kids’ problems. I agree with Hotspringer. Let’s teach science instead.

  9. Kath Malcom

    Another example of religion trying desperately to hold on in the new age of science and technology, religion is gone gone going the religious zealots like the Coalition just ain’t twigged on yet, blind faith it’s called lol lol well they will lose they are flogging a dead horse .. They need to get on the right page with the rest of evolution, they are old fossils living in the dark ages, the new age is here and it’s science and technology, and they can try and rid and suppress it by scraping the RET and the carbon tax, but they are pushing shit up hill, they are a pack of backward Neanderthals we call a gov pffftttt…..

  10. marwill10

    My sister and I attended Methodist religious classes each Friday morning when in primary school. We were 8 and 9 years old. The Minister, Rev Guthbelet, wore a long black robe and white back to front collar and ran backwards and forwards across the classroom, screaming that we were all sinners and that he couldn’t wait to die and go to heaven. He gave me nightmares and turned my sister, who was only 8, into an atheist. I still remember him with dread, over 60 years later. I would imagine that behaviour would not be tolerated these days, but the Bible can be a very scary place to venture into,
    in the hands of a zealot, especially for the young.

  11. stephentardrew

    Damn see how even highly qualified professionals fare getting a non-secular appointment in the welfare sector. Tendering, reduction in workers wages, not management mind you, and often work conditions that include risks to life and limb few other sectors experience or would tolerate. Higher educational degrees required while offering crap wages. I seem to see a lot of empty churches not in use most days of the week while the homeless struggle through a totally inadequate system of overcrowded refuges and housing programs. How much are the churches complicit in undermining service provision through unrealistic quotes just to get government tenders. Fundamentalist play right into the hands of unethical governments attempts to marginalize and vilify the underprivileged just to save money. I have worked with some great Christians and some thorough prats nevertheless the organizations are often riddled with dysfunction and self-interest.

    Now they want to screw with our kids minds once again feeding them irrational tripe and unsupportable judgement, blame and retribution driven by fear and damnation. For your God’s sake just apply your limited intellects to understanding the facts of science then redefine your ideology in terms of initial causes and empirical evidence. In a democratic society no-one has the right to deny you your need for God however at least accepts the facts and adjust your ideological dogmatism to relate to evidentiary proof. You could start with understanding that no-one creates their reality or wishes to be born into poverty, hardship, drug addiction, violent families or with limited intellectual acuity. Now that shouldn’t be too hard should it? You are not being asked to forgo your God just stop pushing your unreasonable crap onto the rest of us and our children.

    This government has stepped through every democratic sanction that demands separation of church and state. George Pell should be castigated by the Catholic Church for his interference in government and his appalling reaction to dispensation for the sexually abused not just given a cushy job in the Vatican.

    This government, if it can be called that, are breaking the foundational principles of democracy and the secular state. What the hell does theocracy remind you of? Any guesses anyone?.

  12. diannaart

    School counselling needs to be as free from subjectivity as possible – as others have noted why would a student wish to discuss sexual issues with a priest or a nun?

    I have also noted that others called for teaching science instead? Apart from the fact science is already a part of the curriculum (although we must remain ever vigilant that it remains so) – teaching science is not a substitute for counselling (apologies for pointing out bleeding obvious).

    Also please note the atheism is not a religion – any more than not believing in Santa could be deemed a religion.

  13. Kath Malcom

    Well actually the celibacy thing is a myth, many years ago in the 60s my uncle had a job unclogging drains at a convent for nuns, and the blockage was an unborn foetus, the priests have been knocking even the nuns off for years, religion preach one thing out front door and run and do the opposite out the back door, should be called the Hypocrite church not the Catholic Church, I rang the Catholic Church last week and said what are you running a trucking company or a religion,Pell seems to be confused, last I checked truckies didn’t run schools and abuse children by the masses, I said he needs to go he is toxic to your church and the wider community, I told the Catholic Church in no uncertain terms, you can’t weadle your way out of this one, but you are exposed and yes it’s not good is it that this went on with the approval of the church for decades, religion pfffft an excuse to have a hand in destroying humanity not enhancing it that’s for sure, I hate the Catholic Church they are leaches the whole lot of them…

  14. Kathy

    Chaplains are not trained in psychology, social work, education or dealing with troubled youth. The only training they have is from religion. Considering religious people have different views on religious faith, there is no way in the world I would want one of these uneducated (lets face it none of them have a degree in psychology from a recognised university) religious people counselling my child. I would be taking my troubled child to a professional who was recommended through my real doctor who has a university degree and is qualified and who would not be ramming their religious rhetoric down their throat. The government needs to spend this money on either professionally trained people or divert the money to more help with english and math.

  15. Terry2

    The Jedi Knights, according to census results in UK, Canad(ia) and Australia, are the biggest and growing alternative religion : probably one which the kids would be happy to participate in, light sabres and all.

    To be a religion you only need to have adherents and a belief in something akin to the tooth fairy – no empirical evidence required although in the case mentioned it’s eerie how money appears under your pillow in place of a lost tooth……….

    May the force be with youse !

  16. marwill10

    My mother and her sister were left at an Catholic Orphanage in the early 1920’s. They only stayed a few months but the experience was so traumatic that they both hated the Catholic Church for the rest of their lives. My mother told my sister and I that all the nuns had double beds in their rooms, for when the old priests visited, and the ropes the nuns wore around their waists were used as whips to belt the children with. There were other stories she was sometimes on the verge of telling, but was always unable to continue. The Orphanage has been named in the Royal Commission and we believe abuse may have happened to our mother and aunty. We will never know.

  17. aravis1

    I think, while agreeing that this government is verging on lunacy about religion, and contains several fundamentalists of a particularly objectionable stripe, in the final analysis it is simply that Abbott and his crew WANT THEIR OWN WAY, all the time, on everything. They don’t want to, or cannot, consider giving up on their measures, just because they ARE their measures. Which signals to the rest of Australia that they won’t give up on anything, any part of the Budget, unless forced. IMO, that makes them breakable. Concrete poles break before wooden ones. I hope the Oppositions understand this and remain adamant.

  18. Kaye Lee

    “The main chaplain provider in NSW is Genr8 Ministries. According to its submission to a 2009 Human Rights Commission inquiry into freedom of religion, Genr8 Ministries believes “homosexual activity” and “homosexual fornication” are “serious sins … and we are committed to teaching this”.

    Of course chaplains are not permitted to proselytise. But one wonders how a chaplain who held these views would handle a gay student in crisis, a student worried that his or her most natural feelings were sinful and a source of shame.

    To channel Attorney General George Brandis for a moment, people have a right to be bigots. But they don’t usually get government funding for it.”

    Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/hot-topic-religious-instruction-in-schools-20140829-109ii3.html#ixzz3BqMx5VNM

  19. Rob031

    I remember several years ago when the chaplaincy issue got a run in the media. At the time Gillard (an unbeliever) was for it though, if I recall, it wasn’t to the exclusion of secular people.

    Part of the problem, as I see it, is that many pollies have a kinda fuzzy view of religion. Jesus meek and mild etc. And many, like me, went to Sunday School and thought the people there were well-meaning and all that. Couldn’t do any harm, etc.

    What seemed to be missing was an awareness that many new religions are quite predatory and are hell-bent on recruiting converts as well as saving souls.

    I’m not sure what the current thinking is within the current front bench. Maybe Abbott has a more mainstream view of religion whereby he believes that a bit of contact with nice Christians will introduce or facilitate an important aspect within us – an appreciation of inner stuff that science is not concerned about. Perhaps…

    I’ve heard that Morrison and one of the other MP’s are of the predatory type.

    Below is the first of a set of three parts of a show that was aired on Compass about 4 years ago. It’s not directly on-topic but I do think it illustrates some of the mentality that’s going on with Abbott and those like him. In particular Lynnette the retired teacher who sincerely believes that children need to know about god.

    Compass – Schools For Thought (1/3), Compass – Schools For Thought (2/3), Compass – Schools For Thought (3/3)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqbAWAIIEnY

  20. Ryan

    The ideological push continues….

  21. John Fraser

    <

    Opens up a whole new area for religious abuse of children.

    http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/

    Looks like the State will be the ones Parents will go after for recompense.

    I wonder if a Minister of the Crown has the same responsibilities as a Director of a company.

    Jail time, confiscation of property and the one to strike fear in their hearts …. loss of Superannuation.

  22. Rob031

    @John Fraser – that link doesn’t work (perhaps the URL was incomplete?)

  23. John Fraser

    <

    @Rob031

    Lets see if anyone else has trouble opening it.

  24. Kath Malcom

    Who are the real terrorists? the Catholic Church it terrorised kids for years, then the family were terrorised by the Catholic Churches vicious lawyers when parents wanted answers and eventually compensation for the heinous crimes committed against our most vulnerable in our society their children
    I would call that a terrorist attack and a sustained one at that on this country and it’s kids and families for decades….
    The threat is in the country and has been for years it’s called the catholic Religion

  25. Kath Malcom

    It worked for me John, and now excuse me while I grab my chuck bucket and puke…

  26. John Fraser

    <

    Thanks and sorry Kath M.

    Back to you Rob031

  27. king1394

    Apparently chaplains will be expected to respect the views, values and beliefs of others. A recent guest on Q&A put it well … “it’s like employing clowns but not requiring them to be funny”
    Seriously, these chaplains quite often have views, values and beliefs quite out of line with those of young people in public schools, who may well be growing up in complicated blended families, and who do not need a religious viewpoint on matters affecting contraception, sexuality, abortion, adultery, divorce, and other issues that they have to cope with in real life

  28. John Fraser

    <

    Its like Abbott saying he wanted to be a clown … and everyone laughed.

    Well they're not laughing now.

  29. Rob031

    @John Fraser – worked fine for me now

  30. Kaye Lee

    The fact that over 98 per cent of chaplains employed under the scheme are Christian has raised concerns that the program does not reflect Australia’s pluralistic society. The executive director of the peak body for the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, Dr Bryan Cowling, believes that the NSCP is being repeatedly misused, putting well-established religious education classes at risk by mixing faith with welfare: “if it’s a welfare position and a welfare role, why not just call it that rather than call it a chaplain”.

    A study by Philip Hughes and Margaret Sims, published by the Social Research Centre at Edith Cowan University in 2009, found that 72 per cent of the chaplains surveyed indicated that they deal with student mental health and depression issues, while one of the activities they did least was refer students to appropriate professionals. Good intentions undoubtedly lie behind the association’s statement, but is dealing with “drug abuse, depression and suicide” really within the realm of the program or within the expertise of most school chaplains?

  31. Florence nee Fedup

    I feel that there is a drive within this government to turn over all welfare responsibilities to the churches. Christian ones at that.

    We see all the DV and women’s refuges being remove from the community groups that set them up, being given to church groups. For decades we have seen foster care of children, been handed to church groups, With the demolition of the CES, most employment agencies set up were run by churches,

    Same goes for the care of refugees and prisoners.. We see prisons and detention centres run by private companies.

    The list is endless.

    This government has gone further. Those unemployed for under six months, will hyave to rely on charities to survive.

    Much of the government welfare money is channelled through church agencies.

    The question I ask is why. None have proved to be cheaper or more efficient that I know of.

    Pyne’s new education plan requires the government to with draw from all levels. Yes, from kindergarten to university.

    It is not only abou6t a few useless counsellors in schools, which are lowly paid as well.

    If one around fifty odd find themselves unemployed, they are farmed off to charities, as a part of work for the dole. I have heard, many are not treated well by the charities.

    It would not be social engineering we are witnessing. A term I have not heard of in years.

  32. Ms B

    I went to a fundraising conference a few years ago. A lead speaker was from a religious group, who showed pictures of elderly grandparents and a child on the screen. He said, this is who we aim for, because the parents have turned their back on the church, but the grandparents will take the children and teach them church ways. Then he showed a picture of a hotted up car and priest. He said that to get to kids/boys at schools they buy a fast car and take it to all the schools. The kids may think religion is uncool, but the car is a good way to reach them, getter them hooked. I stood up and left mid talk with the thought that this is exactly what the church wanted, free money from the government to increase the chance of winning back a generation of kids, whose parents haven’t told them/experienced child abuse and/or won’t talk about it….and so the kids are exposed to the church without knowledge of the sinister history. Fundraising, no, brainwashing yes.

  33. donwreford

    As far as spiritual guidance goes, I think the astrophysicists as a philosophy have something to offer to the few, could contribute a understanding beyond nationalism, and is useful to those having a condition of psychological myopia, that have the feeling their is something beyond the constructs of world news.

  34. Anne Byam

    Fantastic comments here.

    This is the REAL Abbott, insinuating himself – YET AGAIN, into the Australian way of personal life …… something he knows absolutely NOTHING about. …. he is blinkered …. obedient to his Jesuit Catholic roots and upbringing.

    Which is why he – and his Government, wants to install ‘chaplains’ instead of properly accredited psych. counsellors.

    8 of the 19 members of the H of R, are Catholic. HOW ‘Catholic’ they really are, we are not privy to.

    Chaplains are used widely in most Western spheres of military activity. That’s ok … the poor buggers who are writhing in emotional and physical pain, trying to find a way to handle the horrendous situations they are in … NEED chaplains, if only to give them a sense of comfort and hope. Our vulnerable young do not need this … it is a vastly different situation.

    They need proper guidance from qualified psychologists, and counsellors.

    Our schools, do NOT need chaplains. Too much chance to proselatise, for whatever religion a ‘chaplain’ might observe. And being human, and being deeply involved in their religious beliefs, it is impossible for chaplains not to push their beliefs onto the young and vulnerable, even if subconsciously.

    Any form of religious instruction ( as it was called in days gone by ) …. might be offered – but ONLY via some form of address / letter to the parents of children attending a secular school, and their subsequent agreement or rejection of said ‘religious instruction’ or chaplain counselling.

    If children attend a Catholic or Jewish school – then it is a given, that they will receive religious instruction accordingly …

    Meanwhile … bib out Abbott …. it is NONE of your bloody business … and how DARE you impose your less than impartial will on others – especially in the realm of religion, the seeking of assistance, and the myriad of problems that face the young of today. How DARE you.

    p.s. I note that the Abbott was born 4th of November, 1957.

    I WISH TO CHANGE MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE DETAILS – FORTHWITH. !!! Doubt that it is possible ( LOL ) … but sure wish it was. I too am a November ‘Scorpio’ person. Sheesh. !! Almost ‘shame’ !!!

  35. Jane Boswell

    Thankyou Anne Byam and most of the other comments all are valid and so is my experience. I volunteered to teach CRE at my local primary school and was supported by my local supervisor and a local pastor. If you follow the teaching material there is no place for prosletyzing in most of the lessons I was teaching preps -2 classes. However, for those that do like to prosletize it would be easy to do that as well. I stopped because I had been accepted into some training to be a chaplain – which I was assured by Access if I did this school would be made available for me. I studied I applied for registration – then they told me I was not suitable ($1,000) plus later. At the same time they asked the CRE teachers to pay for the materials they used in each class around $300 a year, which I though was quite insulting considering we did this as volunteers.
    I believe chaplaincy has a place and has been available in private schools, not just church schools either for a long time and for every one who uses their place incorrectly there are 100’s that do a great job. The training I had was to refer constantly and build up a successful network of usable resources.
    I as a chaplain would see my role to help in any way possible
    My final point is most chaplains have to fund raise to keep their positions open to them, this leaves them with a lot less time to do what they are supposed to do
    From a Gemini very changeable but so loyal about what they do

  36. Anne Byam

    @ Jane B. I acknowledge and respect your comments. Thank you.

    As a chaplain, you are honor bound and deeply conscious bound to follow what you believe… I respect that.

    Certainly, chaplaincy has an important place – in many situations, and in many places. But not necessarily in schools … especially ( as many have pointed out ) when it comes to the young ‘confiding’ their innermost fears and troubles. I can imagine a young adolescent quietly thinking to him / her .. self….. “Gee, I can’t say THAT to a CHAPLAIN “.

    The role of chaplaincy has an overpowering effect on some. …. That’s not necessarily the chaplains’ fault … it simply goes with the territory – rightly or wrongly. A chaplain / minister / priest / rabbi etc. carries with him/her, a very definite air of authority, by mere fact of their position in society, that often overthrows the ‘ordinary’ among us. They are still considered high on the evolutionary scale ( if I may put it that way ).

    It shocks me however, that as a chaplain, you have to pay to continue your calling. I must be a bit naive … I always thought that ministers / priests / chaplains of any denomination, were covered by contributions and proper fiscal handling by the denominations that they serve. And to have to fund raise ??? That seems totally counter-productive to me. If religion, ( ANY religion ) seriously wants to keep ahead of the game, and continue to preach good over evil, then perhaps they should dip into their fairly substantial resources to do so.

    Especially the Catholic Church which currently holds massive assets in all cities in Australia, and God knows what resources elsewhere.

    Have often thought they should sell off their many many almost priceless valuables, and give the proceeds to the poor among their ( and other ) flocks.

    Guess that won’t happen though. Not in my life-time.

  37. Jane Boswell

    Dear Anne,
    Thankyou for your comments.
    It would be great if particularly the Catholic church ever considered equity, in any form.
    The Anglican church appears also to be wealthy but is struggling particularly in rural areas where I live and as I am involved at a higher level in our diocese, I know we struggle and manage our finite resources.
    I would hope that if I did achieve my dream to become a chaplain that anyone could say anything to me, that is the purpose. I have no interest in banging my faith to anyone but rather live by example.
    I also believe that Tony also has a romanticised view of what a chaplain is and maybe sometime in his past he may have had a good experience with one. But he was in a seminary and being a “Devout” Catholic could not be pragmatic about any “Religious” subject.
    What I wrote is true even the way Access pays their chaplains seems to be illegal but my accountant husband says they can get away with it because they are a registered charity !!!!!!! I still get their begging letters useful for lighting the stove.
    There are still lots of clergy out there on very little or no stipend, particularly those at deacon level the last level before priesting
    There is a big assumption that the church seems to be able to pay clergy and chaplains out of nothing

  38. Anne Byam

    Dear Jane. I do certainly believe you … was never my intention to infer that I didn’t believe. It does still shock me though, that you and others, have to struggle so much for your vocation.

    And you are right … the Anglican Church does indeed hold a great deal of assets, particularly in property ( as does the Catholic Church – in ultra-prime property … CBD area – both churches ). Pity they couldn’t let go of the purse strings – hugely !

    I admire the work of people called to a religious vocation. Most are true mentors to their flock, some not quite so. Your aim to be a chaplain who people could say anything to, is so very good to hear.

    Frankly, those who go banging on about their beliefs – ( fire and brimstone style — or any style ) … is likely to be very off-putting … especially for those in personal trouble.

    I wish you all the very best in your life.

  39. Jane Boswell

    thankyou

  40. Nicholas Smurthwaite

    Please research Dominionism. The Abbott government is far more to the right than even many progressives realise.

  41. Albert M White

    In view of Abbott’s draconian measures on 9 million workers, depriving them of superannuation, and impending legislation intending trampling on their employment entitlements, and Corman’s continuing whinging about the need to rescue the budget, to lash out $244m on fundamentalist indoctrination seems strange, to say the least. Abbott is at pains to point out the dangers of fundamentalism in countries he wants to participate in bombing, while fostering it at Australia. What’s the point in having a high court if those in power ignore its decisions. Does this then set a precedent which would permit all Australians to make their own rules and to hell with the “rule of law”? Who voted for Abbott and his rorting, deceptive, arse-licking capitalist mob anyway?

  42. Jane Boswell

    Dear Albert,
    Thankyou for your comment, most of which is too valid. However, the role of the chaplain should not be anything like fundamentalist indoctrination, I truly doubt you would have time. Student welfare officer is a better title, some lucky schools have both. Having gone through the selection process, I doubt whether the fundamentalist would cope. I truly believe that most of the prosletising occurs in the delivery of CRE, by a dedicated and hopefully dying group of misguided Christians, of which I trust I am not one. I often changed the lesson material to get it to work better. I don’t know where the money goes most chaplains have to fundraise to maintain their position

  43. Anne Byam

    Jane … frankly, a fundamentalist would not cope in any way, with the troubles of teens and pre-teens in this day and age. At least that’s what I believe. Fundamentalists / radicals – anything, are indoctrinated to such a degree in the beliefs of the few who spout what amounts to poison in some instances ( including many in Christianity, but certainly not all ) …. that all they could fall back on would be outright proselytising. And that could do no young person any good whatsoever.

    I admire you for taking such a stand in life, to help troubled folk, without dictating to them what they should believe or not believe. Any person in deep personal trouble, does not have the ability ( at that difficult time ) to assess, let alone take on board, what could be tantamount to an added rebuke to their already fractured self-esteem.

    Good on you …..

    Albert …. you have certainly made excellent points. Unfortunately, our esteemed PM, doesn’t seem to know at which direction he is pointed … one thing one week, the opposite the next. Which is very very alarming, to say the least.

  44. Jane Boswell

    Anne, I only wish that I could have had this opportunity, however, Access thought I was unsuitable, so Albert I am not doing what I thought would be my last career opportunity, mostly because of one very badly run interview ( by them not by me)

  45. James

    Wow you people are very over opinionated, I have read the majority of comments on here, two common things I am seeing are older people eg over 20 years old expressing their view. Secondly I am also seeing how ones understanding or take on religion or Christianity in particular is causing their opinion to be.

    You see times are changing, we often get caught up in the domination of Christianity are you Anglican, Catholic etc etc. However, it isn’t wise to talk about something you don’t fully understand. Going to church, reading things online, listening to other people doesn’t make you understand Christianity.Sure there have been groups that dwell in what is called Christianity that have given it a bad name for all.

    But if you don’t fully understand Christianity then you have no room to comment, just like I have no room to comment on say medical things (being no doctor) or how to fix your dishwasher for instance.

    The only thing you can really comment on is the fact that you a) had a bad experience with religion or do not see it’s place in society or b) that the Government should be spending it’s money else where.

    We are living in a society where secularism is breeding, and the fear of brain washing is occurring.

    The middle ground between the two sides is simply, providing a course or training to the chaplaincy people that best represent the needs of school children and for them (the workers) to have an open mind.

    For your information people of the internet not every Christian is going around shoving their views down people’s throats or had no experience with drugs (and possibly overcome it) or are even accepting of gay’s. Fancy that, I could introduce you to a few if you’d like.

    I have tried to leave my personal opinion out of this, I just cannot stand closed minded ignorant people. I am fully aware of the terrible things that religion has and can cause. But it is not the religion doing it, it is the people, the individual human beings that are conducting such a behaviour, take the extremist Muslims if you will, we walk down our streets and probably pass Muslim people all the time but that doesn’t mean they are going to behead us now does it? It is the individual not the religion that is to blame, it is like the Government crackdown on the bikie gangs, there is only a select few that ruin it for all.

    Being someone younger then the rest that appear to have commented I can tell you that my generation and the next are seeking fulfilment in life and when fast cars, women, money, an education degree, a family, etc cannot give it to you what do you do? Go to a councillor? What happens when they can’t help? Put you on medication? At least with chaplaincy if the person being the chaplain has an open enough mind might just help that kid or kids find what they are looking for.

  46. Terry2

    James,

    “secularism is breeding ” – what on earth does that mean ?

    Secular, in the context of this conversation is about keeping religion and religious teaching – no matter its complexion – out of our public school system other that as an objective and comparative analysis of world religious belief systems.

  47. Lee

    “But if you don’t fully understand Christianity then you have no room to comment”

    Mmm.. actually, if you’re an adult and still believing in fairy tales then perhaps you are the one who needs to keep your opinion to yourself. There is not one single shred of evidence to confirm that any deity exists. God botherers cause more wars and misery than any other group on the planet in their quest to prove who has the most powerful imaginary friend.

    “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
    …Stephen F Roberts

  48. silkworm

    The aim of the chaplaincy programme is to introduce impressionable children to Jesus, and not counselling. Access Ministries have said so.In fact, in Queensland, it is forbidden by law for chaplains to offer counselling. If we want to help kids who have been bullied, or who are grieving, for example, we should offer them psychological counselling by a trained counsellor. Chaplains do not have this training.

    Let’s be honest here. The aim of giving this money to unqualified chaplains is a political bribe designed to win fundamentalist Christian votes.

    And here’s a funny thing. These fundamentalist Christians who proclaim to be the guardians of values in our community are amongst the most dishonest people in our community.

  49. stephentardrew

    James: many of us grew up with Christianity with compliant parents sending us to Sunday school. You can say the same about Hinduism Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and so on however those of us who are open find out about all religions and draw our conclusions from there. What sets Christianity above any other religion, or the dogma of atheists, or dilemma of agnosticism? Only your beliefs as opposed to theirs. I am sure you have not attained absolute knowledge so a little humility is in order. There is even another domain of metaphysical context drawn out of science as well as the profound implications of non-dualist philosophy clearly enunciated by Nagarjuna. Try not to tell us how to suck eggs. You think that sixty years of life is a recipe for ignorance. Some very strange assertions. You need to get out more.

  50. Anne Byam

    @James ….ref. your line ” But if you don’t fully understand Christianity then you have no room to comment >>>”

    I would really like to know if you believe you ‘fully’ understand Christianity – because it’s highly doubtful that any follower of Christian beliefs does. That’s why they study and study until they are blue in the face, disagree in principle, or agree to disagree on so many items in scripture etc. It is an ongoing thing – never to be FULLY understood. Theologians to this day, go over scripture, continually – to try to define the meanings and mystery to it all. If you have achieved the elevated status of ‘fully’ understanding Christianity – then I suggest you choose one of the hundreds of Christian churches, sects, organisations and offer your services.

    Putting it another way – if one were to select 10 people, from 10 different Christian churches … give them all just one chapter of the Bible to interpret – and then ask them to discuss their interpretations … the noise could well be deafening as each person would interpret the chapter in a slightly or largely different way and try to put their own point and interpretation across to others. A mediator would be needed. !!!

    Ten people with different life experiences, upbringings, exposure to church teachings, study ( or not ) of the Bible, and so on. A lot of those people would lay claim to …. “only WE have the truth” ( that’s been said to me ) – and thereafter most likely a verbal punch-up would ensue. Many churches claim they are the ONLY people privy to the truth. Of course, this can not be an absolute, in any way.

    Debate rages on over religion continually.

    No one here, that I have seen at all, has claimed that ALL church people ” go around shoving religion down peoples’ throats”. Some enthusiastically proselytising preachers and church members most certainly DO – they are the zealots, but not all religious teachers or followers do that. Zealots can be found in many areas of endeavour – not only in churches. These are also radicals, and to a degree fundamentalists. Many would say the 3 descriptions mean the same thing – others would not. —

    It’s a given, that a chaplain / minister / priest can be of tremendous help to people – including the young … in many instances. In the case of schools – that might be helpful, but a listener with understanding of psychology , more than a preacher would be appropriate. I believe young ( teens etc. ) would be MORE inclined to speak openly to a counsellor, than to a minister of religion ( no matter the denomination ). And given the extreme diversity of young teens in schools these days … it would be preferable to have someone who will address only the specific problem(s) a particular teen is having. Ministers, while they in fact do study some psychology – are not graduates of that subject specifically.

    I hope this helps you understand a little better ….

  51. jimhaz

    [I feel that there is a drive within this government to turn over all welfare responsibilities to the churches. Christian ones at that.]

    Absolutely. It is quite clear to me. Never have so many hard core religionist deceivers been running the show – and they are an incestuous conspiring group of people, and all religious people are experts at promoting false propaganda (it’s there main act!).

    The program started under Howard with his plan to redirect CES expenses to church run employment agencies. Then came this Chaplain program. He got away with these things as we had plenty of money coming in.

    Abbott is extending that reach via enforcing hurt and harm upon the unemployed and working poor. With no dole money for 6 months folks will turn to the church for assistance, and many will have the fragile mind that creates prime opportunities for the “born again” phenomena to manifest.

    The social meme that we should be tolerant of religion needs to be put totally aside. Hit the bastards every which way.

  52. Anne Byam

    @ jimhaz …. your comment second last paragraph is indeed interesting. Never thought of it that way. And I have a suspicion you are right … send the poor off to the churches – they will look after them, especially those on 6 months of nothing.

    I would certainly not like to see the ‘born again’ phenomenon get a hold, although – having said that, I think tolerance of moderate religion should be adhered to. If people want to be religious, or atheistic – it is not for anyone else to judge. We should all consider that. Might make for a more peaceful world ? Then again ……….. !!

  53. Roswell

    Jimhaz, interesting comment. You could just be right, even if it’s not his intention that people turn to the church, it may indeed be the outcome.

    But if it is intentional, then I’d suggest that Abbott is one sick bloke.

  54. Kath Malcom

    god save Tony Abbott cos nothing else will, and well I think god is busy doing more important things like …..I don’t know what god does, but Tony would be irrelevant when it comes to saving as i am sure god would have more important things to save lol sooo bye bye Tony, lucky India ends with an ia it shouldn’t be as embarrassing ashis trip toooooo Canadia lol lol

  55. Kath Malcom

    It’s intentional alright, make mistake he is dangerous and calculated, and the bible is his script and he will try and push people into religion, he was going to be a fecking priest says it all really

  56. Kath Malcom

    Oops was meant to be make NO mistake 🙂

  57. Florence nee Fedup

    Does one suspect that many in this government do not believe they have any responsibility for welfare in any way. That they believe this responsibility belongs with the church and do gooders.

    To say, if one does not accept religion, they do not understand it, is stupid statement.

    Most have been born and raised within a church. It is their understanding of the church that had let them to the belief of separation of church and government, Yes, and the belief it is the government that has the duty to look after all.

    I understand religion. I was reared in a Catholic family, a practising one at that.

    I can see no role for chaplains within the education system., If parents wart their children reared in the church, the churches there for that role, not the schools.

  58. Don Winther

    Abbott is primarily a extreme Catholic Jesuit, secondarily he is an Idiot, thirdly he is a Pom and last of all he is slightly Australian. I wouldnt associate the Catholic Church with Peace and as we are seeing it is run with smoke and mirrors the same as Abbott is trying to run our country.
    Kath Malcom he tried to be a Priest but they didnt want him because he has no heart at all. ( The Tin Man)
    Abbott, Hockey, Pyne, Shorton, Corman and Bishop are all in the same club?

  59. aravis1

    James, while I respect your feelings, you are evidently still a child, since you call people over 20, “older”. As such, you would do well to realise that your own knowledge AND understanding of complex issues is incomplete; you have misunderstood the bulk of the debate here for one thing. The principal question is not whether Christianity is good, but whether Abbott and his crew should be making it a condition for welfare workers within schools. Have a good read if you really care, and you may well learn something about debate and how to conduct it.
    And if all this sounds patronising, too bad. As you are someone well under 20 years of age, your comments seemed disrespectful to me.

  60. skepticpete

    “Subtly certainly hasn’t been an apparent characteristic of the Abbott Government”

    Subtlety

  61. I Am God

    “Abbott is primarily a extreme Catholic Jesuit,”

    Yeah, I much prefer the Anglican Jesuits. They aren’t quite as extreme.

  62. Jane Boswell

    dear I am God – there aren’t any anglican Jesuits that’s an oxymoron. Skeptic Pete I absolutely agree. Christianity should be part of a chaplaincy program WITH counselling skills and the ability to refer to all the RIGHT agencies (aravis 1) Florence nee fed up most church and private schools have chaplains and do well. Anne Byam, that is how the church functioned in Europe and in England until Henry 8. And they still do but not as completely. Also the 10 different people also would happen anyway. James the important part of Christianity is living it – which is how I live my life. It is not bound to church on Sunday, 7 days a week. I like your style though. Silkworm it’s more complex than introducing the vulnerable and impressionable to Jesus. All of you there has been a management change at Access, but I believe it’s just deck chair moving. “nuff said time for bed – Jane

  63. James.

    I could individually address all of your concerns raised with my previous comment but I am not a keyboard warrior and I do have a life to attend to.

    “The principal question is not whether Christianity is good, but whether Abbott and his crew should be making it a condition for welfare workers within schools. Have a good read if you really care, and you may well learn something about debate and how to conduct it.”

    Aravis1 if this is what the comments are supposed to be directed towards I cannot help with what I read feel there is an awful lot of opinion towards religion. I clearly came across the wrong way and I am sorry if I seem “ignorant” with what I wrote, I think it is important to note that my generation is the most the educated with more of us having degrees than say your generation, does that make us smarter probably no. Just educated.

    So if that’s is what these comments are supposed to be about despite many not I shall provide you with an educated understanding of the subject matter.

    There are economic, social and political forces at play here. Firstly funding, sure 244 million is a lot of money. The reason churches and other religious bodies help fund this is because the 244 million simply does not cover the costs involved.

    I know this as a fact, in a certain part of the country, as I have witnessed this. This chaplain goes to three schools and his wage short fall if you will is made up from donations from the public to organisations that support him. If we are to introduce welfare/councillor’s whatever you wish to call them, who pays for their wage? Because I can tell you now that $244 million certainly isn’t. Especially considering this chap already goes to three schools as it is.

    Socially, we had a chaplain and councillor at our public high school never heard or saw from them at all. Only saw the councillor if I had an issue with future planning my life. However, of what I have witnessed with this other chaplain person who goes to three schools is his involvement. He runs a breakfast club at all three schools out of his back pocket so that the kids that do not get fed and looked after at home have a place to come eat and feel wanted. Believe it or not this area is a social economic area of distress, most are unemployed, broken relationships and families etc.

    I think my point here is no matter who fills the roll Chaplain or worker. There needs to be a family orientation about it, it shouldn’t just be about this person you go see for 30 mins during your lunch break then go back to your life having talked it out and feeling a bit better. That is essentially what a councillor does, some will argue it is better to keep the relationship to purely that.

    While that may work for some kids, the ones who have no love, care, food etc at home who need the will to live and feel wanted there is a need for a person other than a teacher to offer that.

    Politically this “ACCESS ministries” only operates in Victoria, this doesn’t represent the whole country I think you will find so this article is more about Victoria as opposed to Australian wide. I’d also like to highlight this in the article: “Wouldn’t that chaplain’s specific religious bias come across in advice-giving?” It is a great question anyone’s advice giving is going to come across councilor and all.
    Mr Abbott is represented by many workers, as much as he has a say, there are going to be people within this Government that are having an opinion I do not think you can put your finger at the puppet when it should be pointed at the puppeteers.

    So there you have it, an educated contribution to the comments of an article on a website on the internet.

  64. Kath Malcom

    James really your generation is more educated, got any stats and facts on that, I suggest you go back to your busy life and let us folks get on with it here, you think you know everything at 20 by 30 you are just figuring it out by 40 you know everything but it’s all to late, yes all young people think they know more than older generation, you would be wrong, a degree does not make you smart or wise, life experiences do you twerp 🙂

  65. I Am God

    “So there you have it, an educated contribution to the comments of an article on a website on the internet.”

    Verily I say: my minions hath quite the sense of humour, doth they not?

  66. Lee

    “I think my point here is no matter who fills the roll Chaplain or worker. There needs to be a family orientation about it, it shouldn’t just be about this person you go see for 30 mins during your lunch break then go back to your life having talked it out and feeling a bit better. That is essentially what a councillor does, some will argue it is better to keep the relationship to purely that.”

    You have admitted that your involvement with a counselor has been quite limited, so how do you know what they do with the rest of their time? I have a close friend who works as a qualified school psychologist in Victoria. She tells me about some aspects of her work and it involves quite a bit more than listening to kids pour out their problems during a lunch break. She owns some very lovely dogs and they play quite a significant role in animal-assisted therapy for the children she works with. The dogs are providing a great deal of comfort to some of the children and interacting with them helps the kids to open up about what is bothering them. I’ve heard about her group work in situations where a student has died and she has mentioned that some of the kids she works with are on suicide watch, which provides a challenging and stressful situation for her as well as for their families. I’ve also heard about some of her work with kids with autism, helping them to cope so that they are able to learn more in school. So I think there is a little more to their work than you would have us believe and it is work that requires someone with appropriate qualifications and regular access to new developments in the field.

  67. Lee

    ““So there you have it, an educated contribution to the comments of an article on a website on the internet.”

    Educated is debatable. I’d say less time in church and more time in English class is required.

  68. Florence nee Fedup

    I believe our friend is saying, there musty be no one to advise children, who are seen to undermine the authority of the parents. Not sure what or whose family values he is concerned about.

    One trouble with this belief, not all families are places of security and safety for children.

    Families can also be places of hell and terror for some.

    Yes, we need welfare workers that do understand families, all families.

    An educated person would realise this.

  69. I Am God

    Subject Anthony Abbott, verily I say unto thee, honorificabilitudinitatibus thou hast not. Speak thou the truth henceforth or stockest up on thermal underwear.

  70. Lee

    “dear I am God – there aren’t any anglican Jesuits that’s an oxymoron. ”

    I suspect I Am God knows this. I interpreted the comment as sarcasm.

  71. I Am God

    Subject Lee – thou hast gleaned your Lord’s meaning aright. For this I rewardeth you with an extra 6 months on your life span. Keep this up and you could live to be 180.

  72. Jane Boswell

    I’m sure Lee it was sarcastic, but then I’m Anglican and I hope I get another 6 months too and Florence don’t you think maybe an intelligent and not fundamentalist person may help with families that are not the norm – which I would interpret as most rather than rare. My reservations are with who runs the chaplaincy and CRE education in schools, it’s not a monopoly but there are some awful deals done and the person best suited does not get the job. I believe the need is there, the method of delivery is very wanting

  73. Lee

    “don’t you think maybe an intelligent and not fundamentalist person may help with families that are not the norm ”

    I have a very good knowledge of the Bible. I spent many years in churches and Bible study. I have also studied some psychology subjects as part of other courses and have an interest in behaviour so read a lot of scientific literature in the field. I don’t for one moment think that I have the necessary skills and knowledge to counsel school children. I have Asperger’s and yet I do not feel that I have sufficient knowledge to work with children with autism. It is a specialist field. What makes you think that chaplains are suitably qualified for the task?

    Our kids’ heads don’t need to be filled with rubbish about sin and sexual abstinence. Studies have shown that most abstinence pledges by teens are broken within 6 months and since their parents often refuse to teach them about contraception and protection from disease, those kids are at the greatest risk of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Troubled teens who think or know that they are homosexual don’t need the judgement and falsehoods perpetrated by religion. Kids who are at risk of suicide or who are using illicit drugs don’t need the church’s opinion of those activities either. It is highly inappropriate to use a chaplain for this task.

  74. Dame-Carolyn Janson

    Educated, James? An educated person in this country has a better grasp of written English than you appear to have. Further, talking down to your seniors, and talking out of your hat as well, on a subject you seem to know precious little about, is more a symptom of foolish adolescence than adult intelligence. Sorry, your overlong screed just doesn’t make the cut for reasonable adult debate.

  75. Dame-Carolyn Janson

    James’s avatar is herbertnelly. Seems appropriate. I think James is very young and thinks he is making fun of his elders. Abbott would probably be proud of him. Get on with your life, James, and when you’ve learned a lot more, come back and talk to adults. Real adults, not Abbott-adults.

  76. Lee

    “One trouble with this belief, not all families are places of security and safety for children.

    Families can also be places of hell and terror for some.”

    I agree Florence and I’ve known practising Christians who are extremely ignorant and even in denial about some of the troubling aspects of some people’s lives. It doesn’t take place in their home so they don’t believe it takes place in other homes either. My former sister-in-law and her husband are fundamentalists. I’ve witnessed neglect of their children’s safety numerous times. They are in positions of service within their church and are regarded as sensible, responsible adults by some. There’s no way I’d leave any child of mine in their care and I wouldn’t want them giving my child advice either. I’ve also seen how they treat their pets and would never leave mine in their care. These are the kind of people who are considered suitable to go into schools and work with children.

  77. Anne Byam

    @ James – ref. your comments 10.05 am, Sept. 5th. While I can admire your willingness to debate, and some of the comments you make ( I agree with some, disagree with others ) …. I rather think you have much of a way to go, to learn.

    There are different degrees of intellect, and of education. You said ” I think it is important to note that my generation is the most educated with more of us having degrees than say your generation, does that make us smarter probably no. Just educated.”

    There is education at school – secondary and tertiary level ….. and then there is education at secondary, tertiary PLUS …. that is P.L.U.S, the lessons learned IN life itself … which I believe you have overlooked, either from lack of understanding or from sheer arrogance on your part, to imply that the young – being so called ‘most educated’ …. know SOOO much more than anybody else. You obviously don’t yet have the experience in life, that teaches more than a good school or tertiary institute could ever teach.

    This comment of yours, gives me more reason to suspect your age, as it is known to most who have raised children to young adulthood, that those children ALL go through the ” I-know-far-freakin’-better-than-you – so-shove-it ” stage. I think that is what you are trying to do here. Although, to your credit, many of your points are well expressed. That however,does not make you better than me, better than anybody else here, none of us are actually ‘better’ than anyone else. It is a reasonably level playing field – it’s just that different people express themselves differently – as have you. So that’s ok, as long as you are indeed young. If you’re an old codger, taking the mickey … then that’s not being honest, or honorable !!!

    But I would suggest to you not to continue being pompous, and self-opinionated in such an overt manner.

    I have learned some serious and valuable lessons in life, but I have not yet finished learning. We learn every day, if we are open to it, as I sincerely hope you will be in your future.

  78. Anne Byam

    @ Jane Boswell. Am a little perplexed at your notations ( Sept. 5th 1.04 am ) …. which had to do with Europe and Henry the VIII, in regards to something I seem to have said ? You have mentioned quite a few other commenters in that post as well.

    I honestly don’t know what you are talking about – what did I say, and when did I say it ?.

    btw – the history of the Anglican Church ( known as it is here ) or Church of England ( in Britain ) …. is not what many think it is.

    The late 1400’s to mid 1500’s was a very barbaric time in history, as most of it was that went beforehand. Henry VIII acted upon that barbarism, pursuit of dominance and his very personal needs ( principally to have a son and heir ) … while remaining faithfully Catholic in actual practice of prayer and religious service, to his dying day. HOWEVER, the only change he wanted to make was to oust the Catholic Pope as protector of his ( Henry’s ) realm, and to put himself in total charge of it. I don’t think he even called it the Church of England then … it became that, after the reformation. Henry took advantage by cunning political manouvre to rid himself of his 1st wife, Catherine of Arragon, a devout Catholic, because of a division in the Catholic Church of Rome over interpretation of dogma, at the time of that first marriage when no son had been born, and because she had been married to his older brother.

    Thus he had 5 wives ( the one he most loved died 12 days after child birth, she gave him his son ) …. and the 6th wife he ‘married’ was Catherine Parr, a very active if secretive participant in the reformation, and birth of Protest-anism in the then still predominantly Catholic England, even when catholicism had to be practiced in secret, from time to time. Talk about confusing !!!

    Two of his marriages ended in annulment. Two others we know about ( beheading was an accepted punishment for treason ) …. & his last wife outlived him. Nearing his death he was an ill and very confused old ( for those days – aged 55 ) man … and tried to connect in his mind, some form of Catholicism and Protest-anism. I don’t think he ever knew the extent of his 6th wifes’ ‘reformer’ activities. She was however, very good and caring to him.

    I have not mentioned this to try and tell you any of the history you most obviously would know very very well – being Anglican yourself. Henry was a mean and self-centred grump, as were many of the titled inhabitants of England and Europe of the time Frankly, by today’s standards, they were ALL nuts. ( although I sometimes wonder when I see the barbarism that is creeping back into our world, especially in the Middle East ). I have studied English history extensively, and it is fascinating … and more than a little gruesome at times.

    Anyway, that’s my contribution …. but I am still wondering what it was I said that had you mention Europe and Henry the VIII !!! in regards to some remarks attributed to me.

  79. Cassmiranda

    It does seem bizarre that qualified secular workers will be excluded. I have a theory that it is because inevitably these workers are trained in the social sciences. Anyone who learns political and sociological theory, even in a rudimentary manner, will question the structural causes of poverty and family dysfunction etc rather than just try to socialise a student into middle class culture. I do think that social engineering is being attempted in various ways by this government.

  80. Florence nee Fedup

    Everything this government does is about social engineering. It is about a concept that one allows big business the space to do as they like. That government removes all restraints and regulations that offer society some control. That government is here to cater to their needs.

    Top of the list, is to provide a compliant workforce.

    All society needs will be provided from what they create.

    Government has no role to play in supporting it’s citizens. Charities will look after those in need.

    Government is not here to create a fair and equitable society., Much not, in any way, make any attempt to redistribute income.

    Most of all, big business should be free from paying any taxes.

    Protecting the rights of business is their role, not the environment.

    Yes, social engineering on a grand scale, that hopes to install pure capitalism in this fair land of ours,

    Even out foreign aid, now can only be allocated, if our business get a cut.

    Every decision that Abbott makes, is what is in it for big corporations. Don’t even have to be Australian ones.

  81. Carol Taylor

    Cassmiranda, one other answer might be simply that school Principles might prefer trained secular counsellors to untrained religious loonies assisting children in their schools. Clearly some in the government see schools as fertile ground where souls might be saved, a bit like McDonald’s wanting to advertise their burgers in tuck shops, with the theory being that if children are exposed to that stuff often enough and in a ‘safe environment’ such as a school, then it becomes acceptable and part of one’s society.

  82. Lee

    “Anyone who learns political and sociological theory, even in a rudimentary manner, will question the structural causes of poverty and family dysfunction etc rather than just try to socialise a student into middle class culture. I do think that social engineering is being attempted in various ways by this government.”

    Yes the social engineering is obvious. Anyone with half a brain and the desire to question (especially those who question Liberal Party policy) is being weeded out.

  83. corvus boreus

    Would those posting in (albeit qualified) support of the exclusive funding of religiously based ‘pastoral counselling’ be comfortable with a publicly funded programme that excluded the participation of those expressing any theological belief, or would they feel that this was legislatively prejudicial against the religious?
    To place conditions of adherence to institutionalised belief in metaphysical superstition upon public mental health funding for our young is discriminatory, unconstitutional and potentially damaging, individually and socially.

  84. stephentardrew

    Corvus: Great Post. Nothing like a little logic to confuse the already confused.

  85. Jane Boswell

    I also agree stephantardrew, corvus boreus, how about just all of you, I know in myself that I did not have all the qualities needed to be a chaplain, honestly is there anyone who could truly, children are just as complex as adults if not more so. I did get to meet some chaplains when we all took “Compulsory” training. Funnily enough most of them were just like me. Dear Anne Btam, I don’t know how we got into English history, thanks for that, I think it came out of the Anglican Jesuits

  86. Carol Taylor

    Jane, and a danger is that a person with strong religious convictions (assumed is that anyone with ambition to be ‘a chaplain’ would have these) is likely to consider that all answers to all questions reside with their particular brand of religion – an example might be those who believe in the Ascended Masters counselling children as to the second coming. It’s Christianity but not necessarily a form of Christianity that a majority would believe is reputable. And that’s just within the Christian faith…

  87. stephentardrew

    Carol, Carol, Carol spot on however you have missed the obvious point. Tony is the second coming. Or is that cumming? Apologies to the English language.

  88. Florence nee Fedup

    If parents want their kids exposed to chaplains, all thy have to do, is sent them to church. I suspect very few attend any church on a regular basis.

    As children, we along with our mother attend church on a weekly basis. No need for chaplains in school then.

    Today, we no longer see need for them, when marrying, when being buried.

  89. Anne Byam

    Jane … I had not been aware of Anglican Jesuits before – thanks for that info. I researched it. Doesn’t surprise me that it exists within the Anglican church. It has a rather austere approach within the Anglican church – from what I gather, and no doubt Catholic Jesuits are the same. But Jesuit mission work ( be it Catholic or Anglican ) is ( from what I am reading ) widespread and of great reputation.

    Religion is a fascinating topic.

  90. Jane Boswell

    what a great world it would be if children did go to church, at church I learnt to sit still, pay attention, make noise only when requested – this behaviour I took to school as well and apart from a couple of kids from “Broken” homes who we felt sorry for.so did everyone else Anne,Austerity in the Anglican church depends on the diocese. And Carol I am aware of the fundamentalists and I shudder at their influence and the way the have risen to prominence in chaplains and religious education. Still not sure about Anglican Jesuits will consult with those who know on FB. Whatever happens it won’t change under Abbott, who if offered a chaplaincy job when he came out of the seminary, might still be there and wouldn’t out world be different

  91. Jane Boswell

    Tony is not the second anything except being very second rate

  92. I Am God

    “Still not sure about Anglican Jesuits will consult with those who know on FB.”

    Infinite Divine Sigh

  93. Anne Byam

    To Jane Boswell. ref your comment : “Austerity in the Anglican church depends on the diocese.”

    Which to my mind anyway, means that a small group of the hierarchy in a diocese, decides ( probably by vote ) what is to be what for that diocese. And if the diocesan ‘seniors’ ( for want of a better word ) decide that strict austerity is required in all matters of life in the parishes, then God help the parishioners.

    I don’t see children going to Sunday School at ALL these days. Or to Church – not here anyway. The winds of change !! Sad, really,,,

  94. Jane Boswell

    it does I live in an area that bridges two dioceses and they are very different in their approach. Except in one church which is in a large town, where there is sunday school and a youth group, I am probably the youngest that goes to church – which is sad. I have several clergy friends on FB “I am god” and they know a bit. I don’t believe there are Anglican Jesuits, because they theology of Ignacious Loyola is at odds with Anglican theology. I’m off to church

  95. corvus boreus

    Jane Boswell,
    On your way to that man-made building to listen to a man speak words written by other men about their interpretation of the wishes of the omnipotent, i recommend taking a moment under the sky to notice, reflect upon, and appreciate that which surrounds and sustains you, in it’s infinite vastness, and infinitesimal minuteness.
    I think and feel that any potential connection and alignment to the theoretical wishes of any possible divinity is probably diminished and diluted by adherence to doctrines of dogma.
    The passages in the scriptures that ring truest as guidelines to ethical and moral behavior tend to be common to other theological, and philosophical writings, across the cultures of humanity.
    There is nothing inherently wrong with a social day with like-minded people at a pleasant venue hearing words of positive affirmation and emotional comfort, so long as it does not pre-suppose sole possession of the knowledge of truth.
    Unquestioning convictions of absolute righteousness can lead to attempting to impose your own ideologies upon others, through an aggressive certainty born of hubris.

  96. Lee

    “what a great world it would be if children did go to church, at church I learnt to sit still, pay attention, make noise only when requested”

    @Jane, this may come as a surprise to you but children do manage to learn these skills without going to church at all. There is no justification for filling their heads with the complete and utter rubbish that is religion.

  97. silkworm

    There are less children going to Sunday school these days, and that’s a good thing. They will not be learning to hate gays, they will not be taught the pseudoscience of Intelligent Design and prejudiced against the teaching of evolution in high school, they will not be predisposed to hate the Jews for killing their (non-existent) Messiah, and neither will they be taught a false history that supports the Jews in their next genocidal assault on the Palestinians.

    As for me, I’m off to a lunch today with my fellow atheists where we will be discussing the evils of the school chaplaincy programme.

  98. Anne Byam

    Jane … ref your comment : September 6, 2014 at 9:57 am. I took you at your word 🙂 …. where you mentioned “English History and it coming from Anglican Jesuits”. So I have looked it up again now … and found there is apparently a MOVEMENT towards Anglican Jesuit. Not only that but Anglican Dominicans as well ??? Perhaps there are groups of people who call themselves that – within the Anglican church, but they would most likely be extremists along some form of specific teaching … taken from the Catholic church.

    This however, does not surprise me … There are indeed two distinct Anglican churches ( for want of a better way of putting it ) … one is the traditional Anglican church that most everyone who is Anglican attends, and then there is the High Church of England.

    There is a beautiful but small church in Melbourne – St. Peter’s, opposite the Catholic St. Patricks Cathedral. St. Peter’s is High Church, and in attending it ( on a few occasions years ago ) one would not know of any difference from the Cathedral across the road, in it’s observance of the Mass, the confessionals there, absolutely everything is as close to Catholic as one could find. http://web.stpeters.org.au/ There are some sermons listed there, given by Fr. (names ) … and I think they retain the long cassocks etc. to go about their daily routines. Very old world.

    It is still in existence and is listed as the Anglican Parish Church for Melbourne ? Wikipedia describes this particular church as
    ‘Anglo-Catholic’ ?

    I have posted this here, because I have no other way of contacting you – even though we have gone somewhat off topic, and I admit I started that.

    Just thought you would be interested … it is specific to Melbourne, and I have the impression you live in a rural community in another State, and might not have known of it’s existence here ?

  99. Anne Byam

    @ silkworm. Christian churches ( I refer those that have kept up with the world – and NOT extremist sects ) …. do not preach hatred of Jews. Because IF they did, it would be sooo counter-productive ….. you see, Jesus himself was Jewish – an Essene Jew I believe. And no-where does he claim outright in exact words, that he was / is the Messiah.

    And the use of the word ‘history’ along with the projection of what Israel might or might not do next to the Palestinians … does not fit.

    However, I decline to go into any more of that. Thought though, I should put you right on the first point I mention here. Whether you believe or not is up to you. I am not interested one way or the other – it is your business entirely.

  100. Florence nee Fedup

    Is not it the duty of parents to teach their children to sit quietly. Even if they do not, most attend childcare or perrschool. Here they learn that skill.

    No need for the church to be involved.

    Yes, and they are also taught manners.

    The fact is, this is the way most parents wants to do it.

  101. I Am God

    My son claimeth not that we are one and that he is the Saviour? Read thou my word, sometimes called the Bible:

    (Jn 4:25-26) (Mt 16:15-17, see also Mk 8:29-30, Lk 9:20-21) (Mk 14:61-62, Mt 26:63-64, Lk 22:70) (Jn 5:17-18) (Jn 10:24-38) (Jn 13:13) (Mk 2:5-11, Lk 5:20-24) (Jn 8:57-58) (Jn 6:46)

    http://christianthinktank.com/trin03f.html

  102. silkworm

    Anne Byam, I do not accept that Jesus was an historical figure.

  103. corvus boreus

    doG mA I,
    I have read your book, and I was not impressed. I found it to be factually inaccurate, self-condradictory, and endorsing of some seriously dubious behavior, a disappointing effort for the word of the omniscient and omnipotent(was it ghost-written?).
    I suggest a re-dictation, or at least a major re-edit. There is a great deal of new information you may wish to include.
    P.s., f.y.d.e.o, granablod-sklaanesh tachkt der blrrum-berlak bor gleroshluchkt!(you know what I’m saying 😉 )

  104. Anne Byam

    Corvus … please desist in causing me to go rummaging around on the Internet for stuff that doesn’t exist. ( my problem though !! 😉 )

    If you, or anybody else is referring to the Bible – it does have some extremely conflicting advice and analogies throughout. That’s what exacerbates the mystery, in it, around it, and of it.

    As for the last of your post, it shall ever remain another mystery …. which was probably your point. !!! Or not ?

    Always good to hear from you.

  105. Anne Byam

    @ Silkworm …. that is entirely your right to do so.

  106. I Am God

    My Raving, er Raven subject,

    I doth not inspire my book to impress you. Nor doth I claim it to be factual. I can’t help it if stupid minions don’t understand fiction. I was merely pointing out that the idea that within the narrative mine son doth not declare himself to be goodly is silly.

  107. Anne Byam

    @ IamGod … Interesting link. I read it through thoroughly , and at no time does it mention ( among the myriad of mentions !! ) that Jesus claimed OUTRIGHT, to be the Messiah – in fact.

    He was labelled many many many things. “Lord” … or “Master” in the days of scribes also meant ( according to my studies ) “Rabbi” … and in fact he is called that on a number of occasions. As a true Jew, and Rabbi to boot, he would not ever have claimed to be the Messiah – and he didn’t. It would have gone against his religion and its’ history.

    I am not saying he was or he wasn’t, anything. We may know one day …… then again we might not.

    Many claims were laid at his feet – by the scribes of the day. Jesus was and has been, considered a radical influence… wanting to teach the Jewish way of thinking and believing, to those who a) believed they needed it, and b) those who had never heard of the possibility of a greater power than themselves. e.g. those who were what are called ‘heathens’ or ‘pagans’.

    No matter ….. as long as the scriptures exist there will be mystery, and much debate about every part of the scriptures, called the Bible.

    To each his / her own…..

    p.s. —- got a little off topic here, didn’t we ?

  108. I Am God

    Dear subject Anne,

    You are mistaken. Dropping the stupid lisping God persona for a second, I have a brother-in-law who’s a PhD in Theology and another who’s a PhD is History who can read the Bible in its original languages. Trust me. Jesus made no bones about who he was.

  109. corvus boreus

    dogmai,
    Make smarter minions or improve the clarity of your literary offerings.
    P.s. to clarify our relationship, I am not subjugated to any invisible/delusional dick ‘deity’.

  110. I Am God

    Yon black feathered with white base subject,

    Think ye all ye wish about subjection. Next time, however, that one doth be hassled by a flock of petulant manorina melanocephala that your Lord and creator hath sent his wrath down upon thee.

  111. corvus boreus

    Yeah, after the mites, your poxy mickey-miners, and their tree killing cousins, are your next most putrescently pestilential act of malice towards us antipodean aves.

  112. I Am God

    The grallina cyanoleucas will be next, so watch it.

  113. corvus boreus

    Pee-wee away, you tawdry purveyor of passerine plagues!
    P.s. Anne B, no, we have in no way got off topic.

  114. Anne Byam

    Dear IamGod …. As I don’t have a PhD in theology or history, I cannot argue the point on those bases. I will however, forever argue that the ( as told ) ‘son of God’ never made claim to Messianic principle, or that he was the Messiah ( that is according to the Jewish meaning of Messiah ) …. but … I acknowledge the superior knowledge – of your brothers in law.

    btw .. how did a genus of Australian endemic honey-eaters, and / or noisy miners get into your comment back to Corvus ? …… Just askin’ !!! … Just interested. !!!

    I know the wrath of noisy miners sent to vex us … and have been known to beseech the Lord and creator to quit with the screeches and aggression of these strange birds. They’ve got nothing however, on the cacatuidae which are noisy in the extreme, especially when rain is imminent.

    Ravens on the other hand, announce their presence briefly, and there is no mistaking their intentions – sombre as they occasionally sound.

    Perhaps we might start another thread … on birds. Take from that, what you will !!! 😉

  115. Jane Boswell

    Dear Anne, I could believe this and I also would have had the answer from close to the same source.(about Jesuits)
    I think this thread has been done to death now and I have unsubscribed from it. the interactions with you were good and if you contact me by email on bowerbird53@bordernet.com.au we could continue perhaps

    As for the rest of them….. I am out of this

  116. Liv

    School chaplains are predominantly cheaper than secular counsellors- this is why the government funds these programs. Claps to the Abbot Government for caring about the wellbeing of students, I’ve never been so disappointed.

  117. Pingback: Safe Schools – Australia Awaken – ignite your torches

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