Rev. John Dickson’s insistence that SRE in our schools is not animated by a desire to proselytise has become a farce.
A kind of court theater. A jest.
On Noel Debien’s ABC Sunday night radio show, (Sunday, August 2, 2015), audio of a training film put out by the Bible Society was played for Dickson’s response.
FIRIS asserts that this material, is part of an extensive curriculum and training resource pointed at SRE teachers and unequivocally part of a pattern that demonstrates that SRE volunteers are being encouraged by the peak bodies and parachurch ministries that exploit the legislated SRE franchise, to proselytise to captive groups of children. We assert furthermore that the SRE providers rely on the trust that parents place in the Department of Education, as an implied “stamp of approval”, when really there is no departmental oversight of this material at all.
Furthermore we assert that the groups who promote SRE tell parents one thing, and actively encourage another thing.
The Bible Society funds John Dickson’s apologetics shop, “Centre for Public Christianity”, and the Bible Society published the “Wild Bible Curriculum“.
John said that he was not “sure of the status of the video” and he claimed that the video was “not shown to children”, and he asserted that the material was not “approved curriculum”.
The facts in this example are that this video was designed as a tool to train SRE instructors, and that the materials described in the video, are printed “lesson plans” for use in SRE. This is all quite clearly articulated in the videos themselves, and the lessons are published by John’s primary funding body.
So we’ve shown a video of a man who goes into state schools, dresses kids in a hessian sack, puts them in chains and a jester’s cap and tells them that the only salvation from sin is through belief in Jesus – and SRE’s defenders will still persist in attempting to sell us the line that SRE is not used for proselytising.
The mind reels. SRE teachers aren’t the only ones who can hand out jester’s hats!