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Showing posts from August, 2007

Faith schools - down under

Still in Australia, hence only occasional postings. I wrote this for the Sydney Morning Herald . It appears Monday, I think... The War For Children’s Minds Stephen Law In both Australia and my native U.K. faith schools are booming as a direct result of Government policy. These schools are popular. British parents have been known to fake religious commitment to get their child into the right school. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has just confirmed that Australian parents are also abandoning public education in favour of the new, government-subsidized faith schools. This rapid rise in religious schooling has, of course, been accompanied by concerns, not least of which is that faith schools can be deeply socially divisive. While I share that worry, my greatest concern is that that the smoke generated by the battle over whether religious schools are a good idea has obscured a more fundamental question: a question about the kind of religious education schools offer. To what exte

Atheism a faith position - down under.

Just found another example of "atheism is a faith position too". This one is a classic from The Australian Scout Handbook , 1973 repr. 1985. There are many questions that arise out of the normal and natural experiences of life — plain human questions. The answers are always of faith. Nobody knows what the correct answers really are. They can only be given on the basis of a man’s belief — answers of faith. To say, ‘I believe there is no meaning in life’ is a belief, as surely as the one which says, ‘I believe in God who made me and loves me.’ But you can never find proof of either statement ... Scouting embraces all faiths. Every religious faith has its own particular discipline. Know what it is and practise it well, for beneath the outward sign of religion can be a great depth of meaning. Source: James Franklin's excellent book Corrupting The Youth .