New South Wales

Apr 12, 2017

‘Homophobic, anti-science and frightening’ religious instruction teachers remain in NSW

Some children in state schools have been told by religious instructors that cancer is the consequence of sin and a gift from God.

Josh Taylor — Journalist

Josh Taylor


NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes

Despite complaints raised by parents about controversial and potentially damaging content being taught in special religious instruction in school, the New South Wales government has decided against banning the practice in state schools.

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16 thoughts on “‘Homophobic, anti-science and frightening’ religious instruction teachers remain in NSW

  1. mikeb

    “The report also found that some teachers were teaching fundamentalist or literal interpretations of scriptures that were anti-science, including teaching creationism and claiming dinosaurs never existed.”

    I was taught 45 years ago by Christian Brothers (Catholic school) that evolution and the biblical genesis can co-exist, and that the story of the creation was not meant to be taken literally. If that was the case 45 years ago how can there currently be teachers advocating creationism? It beggars belief.

    1. drsmithy

      As society becomes less religious as a whole, the bits of it that are religious are becoming more extreme.

      1. klewso

        Stuck on the pier, raging and screaming for the boat to come back.

  2. Kelly

    I don’t think saying parents can take their kids out of class is really sufficient. Even if you take your own kid out, they are still sharing a playground with kids who may have been taught that “that people who did not believe in God would “die young”, people who did not love Jesus were “the enemy” and children who stopped going to scripture (or religious instruction) would “go to hell”.” How are school going to contain the homophobia and bigotry outside of the religious education classes?

  3. David Gewin

    Best thing parents can do is opt their kids out of this subject; waste of kids’ time.

  4. Will

    My own experience if mandatory religious education classes in public primary school many years ago is that they are a source of amusement for most kids. One class a week does little to shift opinions against the backdrop of an entire ‘modern’ syllabus of maths, science, social studies and English communication, plus TV (and now social media) science and nature shows seen after school. It’s just a waste of resources designed to play to the conservative bases of both major parties, and alleviate the consciences of more liberal parents who long ago gave up on (Christian) churchgoing and religion but think their kids should have at least a passing familiarity with it. The whole ‘issue’ is just another culture wars construct to distract from more serious issues, like the declining quality of public school education in Australia.

  5. Reckons

    Superintendent Chalmers;
    “That sounded like a prayer. A prayer? A prayer in a public school! God has no place within these walls, just like facts have no place in organised religion!”

    The earlier kids are free to learn at school without being subjected to this blatant nonsense, the more likely they are to no need or disregard religion completely.
    It’s state sanctioned child abuse to tell a kid they’re going to hell for not believing, and yet the nsw Gov are happy to keep an opt out system for primary school. Get real.

    1. leon knight

      Spot on Reckons…facts and religion are mutually exclusive.
      Victorian Labor has shown the correct way forward but NSW LNP is too stupid to follow.

  6. klewso

    It’s very instructive about what’s wrong with religion.

  7. old greybearded one

    Unfortunately, religious instruction has been outsourced to a more American, happy clappy crappy version of Christianity. I have had few problems as most of our teachers are not zealots, but this non mainstream nonsense has no place in any school. I had one once who was a guest and a 6 00o year creationist and a bloody liar. There were very crosswords spoken to the head of the minister’s fraternal I can tell you.

  8. Zarathrusta

    The French passed a law criminalising “Mental Rape” otherwise known as extreme indoctrination, maybe we should do so here also.

    There is a very good book by an ex Baptist Minister Darrel W. Ray called “The God Virus: how religion infects our lives and culture” which analyses religion as a computer virus for the mind. It’s a very useful model and explains why these people want to infect the kids before they have the mental processes to ward off the infection.

    No religion should be taught in schools, except perhaps comparative religion in the last 2 years of high school.

    1. John Hall

      “Not enough Ethics Teachers to fill demand” Once you have enough perhaps a few can be sent to Canberra where their is a clear and present danger. God help us all.

  9. AR

    Bear in mind that our atheist PM, Gillard, not only did not abolish the Rodent’s school chaplain programme but augmented its funding, presumably to appease the right wing faction just as she, an unmarried woman living with her over, opposed equal marriage.
    It is not enough to have freedom of religion, we need freedom from in the public sphere – the prayer at the opening of each session of Parliament anyone?
    End the child abuse of religious indoctrination of children, NOW!
    And while we are about it, end the State support for religious schools or ay private schools.
    Those who self exclude themselves from sane society should meet the full costs thereof, not demand that we subsidise them

  10. Mrb

    If you send your child to a government school, which as an academic who sees the end result of both private and public education, I personally believe is the best education, there should be no religious instrution. Certainly some classes on what the different faiths believe and what they stand for, this is an important part of any education, but surely a government school has no place trying to convince children of religion’s importance. I’m stunned that such backwards old school fire and brimstone instruction is considered okay.

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