From Letters to the AGE 21 May 2011

Systemic indoctrination

THE black-stockinged rebuke to the chaplain of Melbourne Grammar by Access Ministries for upholding the value of enlightened inquiry in the face of systemic indoctrination emerges from the same cave as the ethos that drives the current program (”Chaplain blasts ‘conversion’ of pupils”, The Age, 20/5).

The primary-aged material provided by Access and other state-approved ”Scripture” courses affords fundamentalists with all they need while causing frustration to the point of abandonment for those valuing the opportunity to open the minds of young people to global questions with a range of possible answers.

Melbourne Grammar is to be commended for defending the educational opportunity from those who would drag young minds from the classroom to the soapbox without asking a few serious questions.

Archdeacon Peter MacLeod-Miller,
Reverend Grace Sharon, Albury, NSW

Pluralist imperative

WHY should we be surprised that Anglican Archbishop Philip Freier endorses the work, among the unchurched masses, of his missionaries in Access Ministries?

It should not beggar belief that an archbishop, like any ”committed Christian” by definition, will not see any difference between teaching and proselytising. The making of converts is a basic Christian imperative. This is why we should be able to rely on our supposedly pluralist and secular state and federal governments to know the difference.

Michelle Goldsmith, Eaglehawk

Crowded syllabus

AT A time when research indicates the primary school curriculum is so overcrowded that time for literacy, numeracy, social studies, science and the arts is continually under pressure, religious instruction should return to where it belongs – the family.

David Zyngier, Frankston