Back in March, the Herald Sun brought us the story of Ormond Primary, a lovely school in a diverse community in the bayside suburbs who woke one day to find that the local Anglican Church had elected to help itself to their school.  No one on the school council had asked for this, the Principal didn’t want it, and a few of the parents had chosen the school because it did not have a religious program.
Here is the leader of Ormond Anglican, Kevin Pedersen

whose website says that he wishes to put Jesus at the center of his community’s life and who makes no secret of the fact that his evangelical mission that includes placing people in his local school, which it happens is only a few minutes walk from his church.

FIRS was contacted by some mothers at the school who were heartsick about this.  The principal had been told to toe the line and the parents at the school had to make a choice to make waves or go along with this unfair situation.  They chose to keep their heads low and not cause division within the school – a fact that is exploited by groups who want to use the schools as “mission fields”.

Today a sign was up at the church, advertising the Church’s victory over the parents in VCAT.  Never mind that a parent, Debra Dalidakis told the Herald Sun that her family was Jewish and chose Ormond Primary because there were no religious instruction classes.

“We do not want our daughter to be separated from her classmates,” she said.

Well, Ormond Anglican wants you to know that regardless of what you say, SRI is “NOT DISCRIMINATORY”.  Do you understand Debra?

This is the way the system works in Victoria – the schools must let the local church “have the classrooms” if they want to instruct children in religion, even churches that are open that they are  performing missionary work to fulfill their mission of bringing people to Jesus.

The law gives them the right.  FIRIS is completely sorry for mothers like Debra, and the many other families who were hoping that the self evident abuse that evangelicals like Kevin Pedersen and Stu Winn (listen to his theology below) intend to bring into your family via access to your school.  It simply isn’t enough for them to have the freedom to speak and hold classes and print fliers and advertise – they want to exploit a law that says they can use your schools.

Just because we didn’t prevail, doesn’t mean that what these men are doing in this community is right – it just means that we’ll have to work harder to stop them.  They are free to have their church, its practically next door to the school, but they want the school because that is where the kids are.

Do not accept this program that divides our children by religions and caters to agenda and theology of the sort endorsed by the Australian Christian Lobby.

But don’t just take my word for it that this is an evangelical program, if you want to see what this looks and sounds like, have a listen here to the kind of thing that is pitched at teens by the church’s youth pastor:

And note the kind of literature graces the entry desk to Ormond Anglican?  Eternity Magazine, a house organ for the Australian Christian Lobby

which devotes most of its energies to combating gay marriage.

Ormond Anglican may have won the legal argument this time, by they clearly have no claim to a moral argument.  What they are doing is wrong, legal, but wrong.

A stack of Eternity Newspapers published by the Australian Christian Lobby in the lobby of Ormond Anglican.