The NSW Department of Education has a huge problem on its hands. One that FIRIS will be focusing on as we shift our focus to NSW as the next front in the campaign to reform SRI/SRE policy in Australian Schools.
According to John Dickson, an energetic spokesperson fronting the rapidly contracting”SRE” franchise, one of the reasons that parents in NSW simply don’t have a distaste for the groups that use NSW schools to proselytise, is that NSW is a more “religious state”.
Rev. Dickson believes that SRE is also better funded than the program in VIC.
FIRIS does not see this as a problem (just ask Moore College Alum, Stephen Hale, how money helps in this fight) – but rather a case of the “harder the come, the harder they fall”. One of the beautiful things about the FIRIS campaign is that it’s objective and fact-based. We can know and measure our progress.
One of the key things the FIRIS campaign does is to pull back the veil of euphemism that helps obscure from parents what is actually going on in with the groups running these programmes.
FIRIS has found that once parents are told the truth, and once the policy of coercion that props up this whole charade is exposed, the local sentiment is pretty rapid to voice its “distaste”.
Let’s have a look at one example at the kind of programmes running in NSW that turn our state schools into venues for child evangelists.
Meet “Rick George” from the Bible Society:
Here is his “show”, and note that Rick uses clear language about what his goals are:
So what do you think? Is this group in the schools to teach or to proselytise?
Does the larger war chest of the evangelical players in NSW mean that they’ll fight us off?
Or is Dickson right and unlike in Victoria, where this stuff was seen for what it is (i.e. child evangelism), is NSW a place where this is welcome in State schools?
Stay tuned … FIRIS thinks that parents in NSW are every bit as outraged that “Scripture” has become a venue for child evangelism and Hillsong happy clappers.
We think that NSW schools aren’t the place for this. What do you think? Leave a comment & sign up for the campaign to put SRE where it belongs, back in the church assembly halls and Sunday School timeslot!
Parents in NSW, are you really that different from the parents in Victoria? We aim to find out.