Since launching the FIRIS campaign on March 25th, we’ve been blessed with all kinds of support and well wishes. Routinely, when parents contact us they say “we thought we were all alone”. The stories are remarkably consistent across all the school yards. No one should be surprised by this. This is what “social control” feels like – and it is exactly why the state shouldn’t do deals with Churches or fund organizations which exist to “evangelize” or “spread the gospel”. People of good will can debate what sorts of support government should give religious groups to perform humanitarian aid, run hospitals, etc … However no one should be confused about whether it is proper for the government to fund parachurch ministry to instruct children in religion.
Since this is exactly what the DEECD is doing, it isn’t any wonder that parents feel pressure to conform.
That this is going on is something people either are in denial about or have just accepted, as “just the way it is” and don’t want to rock the boat. Well, at least they were. Right across Australia, parents are saying enough and standing up to the increasingly aggressive tactics of the Christianist activists who seem to think they have a legally protected right to run curriculum in schools. This group of increasingly out of touch and biblically literalist activists should not have pissed off the greatest fighting force on the planet: mothers.
One mum, Emily Gale, who has a great gift for story telling, shares her experience:
No, Emily, once you subtract that people motivated by their religious beliefs to evangelize your child (i.e. everyone who works for Evonne Paddison et. al. you pretty much capture exactly what every Aussie Mum thinks about this state of affiars.
Follow Emily on Twitter here: