Schools dare to insert God into national anthem

Christian schools insert God into Australian National Anthem Lyrics | Image Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/3355374/School-pupils-targeted-for-singing-lessons.html

THOUSANDS of schoolchildren are being forced to sing an alternative version of the Australian national anthem that installs “Christ” as the country’s head of state and removes any reference to the Southern Cross.

In a move that outraged parents’ groups have labelled “disrespectful”, some 50 Christian schools of mixed denominations have replaced the second verse of Advance Australia Fair with the lyrics, which begin, “With Christ our head and cornerstone, we’ll build our nation’s might”, for school assembly renditions.
The contentious version was penned 23 years ago by Sri Lankan immigrant Ruth Ponniah, 75, who now lives in Sydney, as part of her local church’s bicentennial celebrations and is now sung in schools including the Penrith Christian School, St George Christian School, Westmead Christian Grammar School and Bethel Christian School in Mt Druitt.

Federal Education Minister Peter Garrett has admonished the unauthorised words, saying that under national protocols the anthem should not be modified and that the alternative verse had no place in the state’s educational institutions – regardless of their religious affiliations.

“Alternative words should not be used and schools should be teaching students to sing the two authorised verses,” he said.

But the Australian Parents Council, representing the parents of independent school students, wants Mr Garrett to go further and ban Ms Ponniah’s lyrics.

“If you’re singing the national anthem, it should be the national anthem you are singing,” said executive director Ian Dalton.

“There are many opportunities to express pride in your faith, but the national anthem is not one of them. It shouldn’t be tampered with.”

Federation of Parents and Citizens‘ Association of NSW president Helen Walton backed the APC push, saying it was “disrespectful” of schools to endorse a different version of the anthem.
“The national anthem is the national anthem of all Australians regardless of religion,” she said.

But Christian Schools Australia chief executive officer Stephen O’Doherty said: “Our schools sing it with gusto and I . . . find it inspiring to hear young voices singing those words. We encourage schools to sing this Christian response and to sing it loudly.”

Ms Ponniah is also proud it is being sung in schools.

Article From: http://www.news.com.au/national/schools-insert-god-into-australian-anthem/story-e6frfkvr-1226155301780#ixzz1ZY1ipNls | News.com.au

News.com.au, why don’t you fuck off and stop giving media primetime to these god-damned whinging crybabies. Let Christian schools do what they want. “Forced to sing” you say? What, so Christian families voluntarily going to a Christian school are being forced to take on Christian values? Holy shit, how dare they!

I thought it was only Muslims who were still allowed to celebrate religion in Australia.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating Religion nor combining patriotism with religion. What is wrong with you? Hell, we let you Athiests demean and slander religion every other day of the week and have an increasingly strong voice in politics. In fact, every other group can do whatever the hell they want, but when it comes to being Christian, we can’t go about our own business without offending some fuckheaded bitch somewhere.

Leave us alone. These lobbies and councils are quite ready to fuck with the country’s traditions and values if it forwards their agenda: if you can remove BC and AD and replace it with BCE and CE in public schools for example, we can as hell put Christ in our National Anthem. Hypocrites.

God knows we need a bit of favour from upstairs these days anyway. Have you looked around at our state of affairs? Have any of you realised lately, how embarrassingly, overtly PC our joke of a nation is compared to the UK, United States of America and other predominantly Christian democratic countries? It doesn’t hurt to live and let live. Who keeps paying all of these soapbox political correctness morons?

By the way, the so-called “parent groups” that are “outraged” in the article above are probably just a couple of professional whingers who happen to be professionally demanding that the entire Australian Parents Council rise up with nothing better to do than make it seem to the media like the entire nation gives a stuff, when in truth, no one bloody cares! The APC should instead tackle actual issues with their own godless education system. You know, issues that actually affect their offspring, like the cyber bullying epidemic in public schools and rising tertiary tuition fees and Higher-Education Loan Program places being increasingly lost to full-fee international students. But no. It’s religion Christianity they choose to target.

Freedom of speech, people. HTFU or get out.

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Categories: Beliefs, Morals, Politics, Law

Author:Andrew Beato

CEO, Chief Editor and founder of Intentious. Passionate comment enthusiast, amateur philosopher, Quora contributor, audiobook and general knowledge addict.

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65 Comments on “Schools dare to insert God into national anthem”

  1. Amy
    October 2, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    The debate here isn’t whether we should suppress religious expression – it’s whether we should allow religious values to seep into the National Anthem, which stands to unify Australians. If children are raised singing a modified version of the anthem that includes a singular set of religious beliefs, we’re not doing anything to educate them that there are a variety of beliefs practised in our country, and that Christ is not, for all Australians, the nation’s figurehead. Singing the National Anthem at school is an important step in educating children about what it means to be Australian, and Ponniah’s version does nothing to encourage the diversity that modern Australia values.

  2. Anna
    October 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Why would you go to a christian school and complain about them singing about Christ.

    These schools are not government funded. The parents are paying for all this education steeped in the values and beliefs of Christianity and that’s what the school provides. Just because they do sing about Christ in their national anthem does not warrant this attention because it will not make them narrow-minded racist individuals who only believe that Christianity is the only religion in Australia.

    “If children are raised singing a modified version of the anthem that includes a singular set of religious beliefs, we’re not doing anything to educate them that there are a variety of beliefs practised in our country”

    Being from a Christian private school, I’ve had firsthand experience that being surrounded and constantly taught these values in every class, at Mass, in every prayer makes no difference to our education of the variety of beliefs and the respect we owe to this diversification. We respect and understand the multitude of values and beliefs and religions that create this multicultural land. By singing the anthem differently by incorporating Christian beliefs into it does nothing to change the values that these children would have otherwise had.

    In addition, it is a few thousand children in a few schools, it is not the indoctrination of all Christian schools across the state. Surely, there are more pressing matters to deal with. They ARE completely independent and not overseen or accredited by the state. Let the parents choose how to educate their children and respect their freedom of choice.

    • Phillip P
      October 2, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

      Anna, if you believe that these Christian schools “ARE completely independent” then perhaps you should also advocate for them to NOT take funding from the Govt… Only then will they be truly “independent”…

    • October 4, 2011 at 8:43 am #

      “By singing the anthem differently by incorporating Christian beliefs into it does nothing to change the values that these children would have otherwise had.”

      If it doesn’t then you won’t object to telling them to stop. By the way, the sovereign is the Queen, not Christ. I’m a republican, but that’s bad education at best, treason at worst.

      “In addition, it is a few thousand children in a few schools, it is not the indoctrination of all Christian schools across the state.”

      Put it this way, if some schools were teaching that whites are superior to everyone else and should be treated differently accordingly would that not be a serious concern? So why is it different if some schools are teaching that Christians are superior to everyone else and should have a special place in the cultural life of our nation? Step outside your ‘christ-centred’ view of the world and imagine how you come across to non-Christians.

      “They ARE completely independent and not overseen or accredited by the state. Let the parents choose how to educate their children and respect their freedom of choice.”

      Your ignorance about how the state manages education concerns me. What school did you go to? I want to make sure no kids of mine ever go there.

  3. October 2, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    Call me old fashioned, but isn’t is an act of treason to defile the national anthem like this? Some schools should get their funding cut for being fundies. No one should feel comfortable about our national identity being defiled like this. Our constitution makes it clear, this country does not treat one religion differently to another, they’re all crazy and don’t belong in politics.

  4. itsouraustralia
    October 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    These schools are government funded. Check out Bethel Christian School in this link – http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/RecurrentGrants/2001/Pages/WAGeneralRecurrentGrants2001.aspx

  5. itsouraustralia
    October 2, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    And no, but it may lead them to believe that Christianity is the official religion of Australia, what with only Christianity being mentioned in the “National Anthem” and all. It would be the logical conclusion……and incorrect.

    • October 5, 2011 at 11:08 am #

      It’s policing PC to this degree that I have my real problem with. Australia has no official religion, nor does Australia have an official language. However, I would bet my right arm that if you did a national census asking if this means we should therefore strive to beat down Christianity and English simply because they currently are the majority, so that in the long-term we are left with an Australia that truly has an equal spread of languages and religions, I think you’d find most Australians say no, leave it as it is. The problem is with all of this PC bashing of Christianity, you’re going to kill the current freedoms, liberties and way of life you actually do prefer. All those protesters have those democratic freedoms in place to protest historically because we live in a Christian nation. I see it as biting the hand that feeds.

      • jimmy
        October 6, 2011 at 12:04 am #

        Agreed!

  6. Damian
    October 3, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    @ Jason + itsouraustralia – If the government cuts funding to the schools, then the schools close down and thousands of children miss out on an education, so your solution is stupid. Secondly, if they are not taught that they have the choice of following Christ in schools when they’re young, then when will they?? If you advocate freedom of choice then as these children grow up they should HAVE a choice of more then hateful and spiteful religious-baging.

    • October 4, 2011 at 8:04 am #

      “If the government cuts funding to the schools, then the schools close down and thousands of children miss out on an education, so your solution is stupid”

      Do you think we only have *just* enough schools in Australia? Do you think the money not going to that school will just disappear? I have issues with the education system, but it’s not anywhere near that incompetent.

      “if they are not taught that they have the choice of following Christ in schools when they’re young, then when will they?”

      5 year old don’t have choices about religion. Adults do. Don’t push religion on kids, let them decide as adults which religion, if any, they want to follow. If Christianity is the best religion then you have nothing to fear, they will choose it as adults.

      “If you advocate freedom of choice then as these children grow up they should HAVE a choice of more then hateful and spiteful religious-baging.”

      If you advocate freedom of choice then you should take them to Mosque on Fridays, Synagogue on Saturdays and Church on Sundays, the Ashram on Monday, the Stupa on Tuesday, the Stone Circle on Wednesday and the Temple on Thursday. Then let them choose.

      • Damian
        October 4, 2011 at 11:31 am #

        “5 year old don’t have choices about religion. Adults do. Don’t push religion on kids, let them decide as adults which religion, if any, they want to follow.”

        How will they know anything about them when theyre adults?

        They can’t choose any path they don’t know about.

        • October 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

          I’m an atheist but I think kids should learn all about religion in school. I think it’s very important that they understand them inside and out. What annoys me is that every religion has adherents who believe their religion has a right to a monopoly on this religious education.

          • October 5, 2011 at 11:11 am #

            Wouldnt it be nice to have independent schools that taught Religion – at least the major ones – in a respectfully equal, informative and actually spiritual way, and then let the kids decide? I think that’d be grand.

  7. itsouraustralia
    October 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    @Damian, i did not even advocate that argument, and i do not believe that Philip and Jason did either. All that was said was that the schools are actually Government funded, and therefore not fully independent.
    Secondly, what does changing the anthem have to do with teaching people that they have the option of following Christ in schools? You can do that in so many other ways without disrespecting the national anthem. Scripture, compulsory Mass, e.t.c….
    How is it spiteful and hateful religion bagging? You are telling me that it is, but you are not explaining how it is.

  8. Damian
    October 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    @ itsouraustralia – My answer would be to go to this website which also carries the story: http://www.news.com.au/national/schools-insert-god-into-australian-anthem/story-e6frfkvr-1226155301780 Following the story, there are numerous examples of spiteful and hateful religion bagging. And you think these same people (who are offended by the use of this verse in the national anthem) are not going to have a problem with Scripture, compulsory Mass, etc?? They would jsut as easily not want their kids attending Mass. And yet they believe that these kids should choose. My point was that how can kids choose a path when youve restricted all but one path from them?

    • October 4, 2011 at 8:14 am #

      What?! Not everyone loves Christianity? Madness!

      “My point was that how can kids choose a path when youve restricted all but one path from them?”

      Pot calling kettle black here. There are Muslim only schools in Australia now, do you consider those children having a free choice? What about Jewish only schools?

      The only schools that give children a choice are public schools and non-religious private schools.

      • Damian
        October 4, 2011 at 11:33 am #

        Every person brought up in faith are exposed to atheism in some form or another. e.i. Those who will tell them that God does not exist, etc. THAT voice and THAT choice will ALWAYS be there because it is the loudest. If children aren’t told anything about ANY religion in schools, then when will they learn it?? They are certainly not going to seek it out if all they’ve been accustomed to is the athiest voice because they have already been conditioned to believe God does not exist, etc.

        • October 4, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

          “Every person brought up in faith are exposed to atheism in some form or another. e.i. Those who will tell them that God does not exist, etc. THAT voice and THAT choice will ALWAYS be there because it is the loudest.”

          You sound almost spiteful here that atheists do get their voice heard, even though every baby is born an atheist and religious people keep brain washing atheist babies!

          The second point which I’m getting from this is that you believe most “Christians” aren’t actually “Christian” – they might know the scriptures and they might know about Jesus but they’re still insincere and disconnected from their faith and god. So you liken these kids to atheists because they haven’t developed a person relationship with Christ in their hearts, and thus going to a Christian school is giving them a choice between being a Christian-in-name-only or being a real Christian. Would that be a accurate interpretation of what you’re getting at?

          • Damian
            October 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

            “You sound almost spiteful here that atheists do get their voice heard, even though every baby is born an atheist and religious people keep brain washing atheist babies”

            Are you joking with this or are you for real? Because I would disagree with that.

            Secondly, this is going to go on for a long time and neither of us is going to convince the other. So what is it about religion that you hate? or why do my religious beliefs bother you?

            • October 4, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

              Which part? About being spiteful or all babies being atheists? I could be wrong about you being spiteful but the evidence is pretty damn strong that all babies are atheists until their parents tell them about god. If children raised by Buddhists spontaneously started talking about Allah or children raised by pagans spontaneously started talking about Jesus at age 1 then maybe I’d think otherwise.

              “what is it about religion that you hate?”

              That it’s not true. Everything else tends to flow from that.

              “why do my religious beliefs bother you?”

              Well, I don’t know exactly what yours are, and I want to be clear, I don’t think you’re a bad person straight off the bat. I think the odds are good that if we were neighbours we’d both be happy to help mend each other’s fences and share a drink together. Hell we’d probably bitch about a wide range of issues we agree upon together. However, Jesus Christ doesn’t appear to have been a real person, his “teachings” make no sense, god’s sense of morality in the bible is perverse, and frankly there is no evidence that Christians are any more moral than anyone else – as much as they like to think they are.

              • Amy
                October 7, 2011 at 12:01 am #

                I’d argue that babies would be agnostic if anything. As an Atheist, surely you’d be aware that Atheism requires just as much certainty and conviction as religion – it’s the belief that there is no god. I’m pretty sure babies don’t really think about much apart from boobs and shiny things.
                But can we refrain from an outright argument about why Christianity is flawed? Obviously, I’m not Christian myself, but I don’t think that personal religious convictions should factor into this debate. It’s about the right schooling environment for a child, and forcing Atheist beliefs on anyone is just as abhorrent as forcing Christian beliefs on them.

                • Damian
                  October 7, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

                  I believe human beings are spiritual by nature. They may not necessarily believe in God or Satan, but there’s something about this world that speaks to people’s soul. Most of us have beliefs in things that don’t seem logical or reasonable to everyone else, and most of us have taken a leap of faith of some kind. It’s what makes us human. If you there’s anyone out there that just can’t make that leap of faith now and again, then I feel sorry for you.

                  Ever had a feeling about something or someone that defies all reason or logic, and it’s turned out to be right?

              • Damian
                October 7, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

                If you hate everything that you THINK is not true, then you’d live quite the unhappy lifestyle

          • October 5, 2011 at 11:13 am #

            Every baby is also born fundamentally stupid, and we keep on brain-washing them out of that too. 😛

          • March 25, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

            what you say is not in context with reality, over 500 people saw jesus after resurrection and thousands if not ten of thousands when he did his ministry, about about his apostles. /pity

  9. itsouraustralia
    October 3, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    @Damian. -_- I meant that would be ok in religious schools, when it came to putting religion in schools, but changing the anthem was a step too far.

  10. itsouraustralia
    October 3, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    *religion in religious schools

  11. Damian
    October 3, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    @ itsouraustralia – well I suppose my comments were directed more at Jason. However, going back to the editing of the Australian national anthem, if you go to http://www.hamilton.net.au/advance/lyrics.html you realise that the Christian schools have edited a verse that isn’t sung publicly and I doubt that very many Australians have ever heard of that verse.

    • October 4, 2011 at 8:22 am #

      I know every word from that verse of the Australian anthem, I consider myself a patriot. Just because we live amongst a generation of people who feel the words “duty” and “responsibility” are quaint and old-fashioned doesn’t mean we’re all soft. Pushing a cultural fraud like this is not only dishonest, it’s a deliberate act of sabotage on the national unity. Christians do no have a special and priviledged position in Australian society, as much as they might think they do.

      • Damian
        October 4, 2011 at 11:40 am #

        You would be one of a very few that knows every word from that verse. It’s ONE line from ONE verse that is never sung publicly and youre calling it sabotage? nice conspiracy…

        When Cathy Freemon won gold in the 2000 olympics and decided to celebrate by running with an aboriginal flag instead of an Australian flag, is that “a deliberate act of sabotage on the national unity”??

        Christians and Jews, etc, are Australians just as much as Indigenous people. Accept it.

        • October 4, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

          “It’s ONE line from ONE verse that is never sung publicly and youre calling it sabotage? nice conspiracy…”

          Tell me, are the words of the constitution just words? Are the letters of the law, just letters? Have you never felt the hairs on the back of your neck rise at the sound of a patriotic and noble song? If so, you won’t take offence if I were to say that the Bible is just words, just silly stupid words.

          As for conspiracies… history tells us that the clergy do nothing but conspire against the state in order to subvert it to their wills.

          “When Cathy Freemon won gold in the 2000 olympics and decided to celebrate by running with an aboriginal flag instead of an Australian flag, is that “a deliberate act of sabotage on the national unity”?”

          Ok, I might have used a race-based anology before to illustrate a point but /please/ Christianty, Judism and Islam are not ethnicities. They’re ideologies. They don’t have rights, people have rights. A plebesite established “Advance Australian Fair” as our national anthem, frankly I think it should be “I Am Australian” but it hasn’t worked out that way. That’s something we all have to accept, myself included. If you’re going to accept government funding you’d better toe the line with the will of the people. That’s not showing submission, that’s showing honour. This behaviour from the schools is dishonourable and in another time they would have been punished for it sternly.

          As for the Aboriginal flag, we haven’t yet had a national discussion on it, but don’t most people accept that it’s a legitimate flag of Australia? It might not be equal in importance to the Australian Flag, but it represents Australia and all Australians identify it as such.

          • Damian
            October 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

            “As for conspiracies… history tells us that the clergy do nothing but conspire against the state in order to subvert it to their wills.”

            Actually, history teaches us that it is a two way street. I may not be a psychologist but I am a History teacher.

            • October 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

              A two-way street? I suppose you’re referring to all of the European kingdoms gradually breaking free of the Church’s tentacles and becoming secular?

              That’s not a two-way street mate.

              A two-way street would be if the state wanted to dictate scripture and interpretations back to the church. But the state doesn’t care about scripture so long as Christians obey the laws.

              • Damian
                October 6, 2011 at 11:50 pm #

                The two-way street would be European princes and nobles being declared bishops without the Church’s consent. So your picture of the medieval era is that the Church had tentacles that enslaved every nation under the sun and all of these nations were scared of it??

                The thing about powerful institutions (which the Church was in those times) is that everyone wants a piece of it. You dont think these states influenced the Church to satisfy their own means?? A recent trip to Europe taught me a lot about medieval politics (middles ages being my passion) and it would be ignorant to suggest it wasnt a two-way street.

                I stand by this statement. Do some research if you dont believe me…unless you’re unable to read things that refute your beliefs…

  12. Amy
    October 3, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    Damian, I – and I’m sure a lot of these “religion-bagging” people would agree – have no problem with children enrolled in Christian schools attending mass, etc. That is the choice of their parents, and it follows a long-held tradition of their faith. Changing the national anthem, however, deviates from this, as it suggests to these children that Australian national pride and faith with Christ are intertwined, and that to be an Australian, you uphold Christ as your head of state. I agree that kids should be able to choose a path, and their parents’ preferred faith is demonstrated to them in a variety of other activities the school engages in (again, mass, etc). The national anthem is designed to represent Australian beliefs, and while it certainly isn’t un-Australian to be Christian, it is not mandatory- not for these children, or anyone.

    • October 4, 2011 at 8:27 am #

      Thanks Amy, I think you’re right. But I’m one of those “religion-bagging” people who thinks faith schools are an abomination in a liberal country.

      • Damian
        October 4, 2011 at 11:16 am #

        Do you feel the same about faith hospitals? Or what about all those charities that are faith based? Are they abominations for helping people??

        And exactly where are these kids in faith schools going to go for an education? More government schools = more taxes

        • October 4, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

          Faith hospitals: are still dependent on state funding. Last one I went to was Catholic and had heaps of Jewish doctors. I think “faith hospitals” are merely cosmetic, otherwise, would you feel safe being treated in a Jehovah’s Witness’ hospital?

          Faith based charities come in two flavours: those that are mostly useless and those that are useless. I’m a psychologist and let me assure you, charity is putting bandaids on a gaping wounds. When it comes to “helping people” no one is more inefficient than religious charities.

          Like most people, I’m happy to pay higher taxes so long as I see a return on my money. Hence why I’m frustrated with how poorly money is being spent by the education departments. But that’s a whole other issue.

          • Damian
            October 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

            Safe to say you haven’t given any of your time or money to charity. Being a psychologist perhaps you can indentify that the language you use reflects someone between the ages of 19-25 who is so overwhelmed by a world so big that they comfort themselves by believing they (you) have all the answers, that you’re smarter than everyone else, and that you’re above it all. Typical development stage.

            • October 4, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

              Not true, I give my charity money to cancer research and other non-religious charities. That said, I wouldn’t feel an ounce of guilt if I didn’t give my money to any charity at all. Giving to charity to alleviate your own guilt isn’t noble, it’s selfish and self-righteous. Only the shameless can give freely of themselves.

              I don’t know who you’re referring to. I think I had best leave it at that.

              • Damian
                October 7, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

                Those of us who have given their time or money to charities of ALL kinds aren’t necesarrily feeling guilty about anything, I haven’t done anything wrong. There are people out there who have it tough and really do appreciate any help you can give them. And these people are usually the ones that are too proud to ask for help. But I have SEEN with my own eyes the happiness that charitable time and money can bring to them, and their children.

                “Giving to charity to alleviate your own guilt isn’t noble, it’s selfish and self-righteous”.

                Because calling most charities useless IS noble? Better a world full of repentant guilty people than a world full of superiority complexes.

                “That said, I wouldn’t feel an ounce of guilt if I didn’t give my money to any charity at all.”

                You’re running the risk of jinxing yourself. Although, jinxing yourself is a tad bit superstitious so I doubt you’ll worry.

    • October 5, 2011 at 11:16 am #

      I think in a nation where we publicly slag the Queen and our own PM, slag our nations’ capital, slag our politics our values our way of life and our standard of living, changing a word in the anthem is the least of our worries. Who really gives a patriotic shit enough about the national anthem? Nobody really does. It’s all just pretend banter bullcrap because it’s yet another PC thing Australians can argue about.

      • Damian
        October 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

        True enough. I have many friends who have no religious ideology and yet, while they dont think changing a line of the national anthem is smart, they couldnt care less. Most of them hate our national anthem anyway.

  13. LuciB
    October 4, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    “In addition, it is a few thousand children in a few schools, it is not the indoctrination of all Christian schools across the state.”

    I find it interesting that no one has mentioned the NSW Special Religious Education classes which are taught in all *public* NSW schools by untrained scripture teachers. This IS the indoctrination of all public school kids across the state! Children who do not want to learn about scripture are offered no viable alternative (as a child I remember being placed outside for an hour each week, left to my own devices on the school grounds). When the ethics centre tried to have secular ethics classes introduced into schools as an alternative to Christian SRE, the option was shut down due to the loud voice of Fred Nile (Christian Democratic party).

    An 11 year old’s response:
    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/keep-your-politics-out-of-our-classrooms-mr-nile-20110801-1i77c.html

    Damian said: “My point was that how can kids choose a path when youve restricted all but one path from them?”

    Indeed! How can kids choose a path when all your fellow Christians do is shove Christianity down their throats?

  14. LuciB
    October 4, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    Further to my previous point:

    Creationism creeps into NSW schools:

    Students at one NSW school were told by an untrained scripture teacher they would “burn in hell” if they didn’t believe in Jesus

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/creationism-creeps-into-nsw-schools/story-e6frg6nf-1225884487850

    Queensland students taught humans coexisted with dinosaurs

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-students-taught-humans-coexisted-with-dinosaurs/story-e6freoof-1225899437968

  15. LuciB
    October 4, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    ‘In a culture that expounds the benefits of diverse, values-based education, children are being told that “God gets angry at men who marry foreign women,” that foreign nations have “disgusting customs” and that worshipping “fake gods” – that is, gods other than “the God of Israel” is a sin worse than “both adultery and murder.”…

    In the case of religious instruction, the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1966, article 13, provides that: “Education shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups.”

    Furthermore, the Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, article 14, gives children the right of choice in religion, even against parents’ wishes. Such a right depends practically on their being educated about religions.

    Segregated “Scripture” classes are chosen for children by parents or, sometimes, are forced upon children by schools (without parental knowledge). This runs counter to official policy, but it does happen.

    Special Religious Instruction allows untrained volunteers into schools, without either adequate supervision or an effective complaints mechanism. Again, this runs counter to the international covenants that Australia has ratified. This situation is both archaic and indefensible.’

    – Cathy Byrne, PhD, Macquarie University’s Centre for Research on Social Inclusion

    http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2011/04/12/3188943.htm?topic1=&topic2=

  16. Damian
    October 4, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    @ LuciB – Okay this may become a drawn out argument but i would like to have a chance to defend myself. No. 1: Every person brought up in faith are exposed to atheism in some form or another. e.i. Those who will tell them that God does not exist, etc. THAT voice and THAT choice will ALWAYS be there because it is the loudest. If children aren’t told anything about ANY religion in schools, then when will they learn it?? They are certainly not going to seek it out if all they’ve been accustomed to is the athiest voice because they have already been conditioned to believe God does not exist, etc.

    How do you suppose children can get exposed to all beliefs (I’m not just talking about Christianity here) in order to make a sound choice?

    P.S. That first paragraph of the qoute from Cathy Byrne is absolute garbage, I dont remember ever being told that

  17. Amy
    October 4, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    @Damian: You have completely misconstrued and missed the point of this discussion. There is an enormous difference between teaching about religion in faith-based schools and allowing these schools to sing an edited version of our national anthem that infers that Christ unifies Australians. The debate raised by this article does not call for the removal of faith schools or scripture (that’s another debate, a couple of people might have gone off track there), there is just an argument that changing the national anthem for these children is a bridge too far. Don’t try to suggest that this has anything in common with closing faith-based hospitals or charities – not all christian-motivated missions are the same, or of equal merit in our community.

    • Damian
      October 7, 2011 at 12:04 am #

      While I concede that your point is a far one, I would ask you: What is the author of the original article trying to achieve by using words and phrases such as “THOUSANDS of schoolchildren are being forced” or “disrespectful”?? And why did the author choose to mention 4 people who were against it and only 1 for it??

      While reasonable minded people will take it as you have, the majority of people reading this will have different takes on this, a negative one. And in my opinion it was the direct intent of the author to ignite those negative takes.

      • Amy
        October 7, 2011 at 12:10 am #

        The original article itself probably wasn’t the best example of journalism – I’d’ve aimed for a wider variety of comments too (as this is clearly a controversial topic) and the language is strong. I just happen to share the author’s view on the subject, regardless of whether it is expressed in an appropriate journalistic manner, and it’s that personal view I’m here to defend.

        • Damian
          October 7, 2011 at 12:34 am #

          And I’m here to defend my personal view. I’m not the type that publishes my views for no reason. I’ll keep my views to myself unless someone insults them.

  18. LuciB
    October 5, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    “Those who will tell them that God does not exist, etc. THAT voice and THAT choice will ALWAYS be there because it is the loudest”

    No it is not – I’m not sure what country you are living in but in Australia, atheists are a minority. We live in a country predominantly populated by theists, so most children are indoctrinated into a religion from an early age by their parents – THAT voice is the loudest and will remain so.

    “If children aren’t told anything about ANY religion in schools, then when will they learn it??”

    Why should they be told anything about religion in a public school? Public schools are government-funded and therefore should be SECULAR. Furthermore, religion studies do nothing to prepare children for future vocations (unless they want to join the clergy).

    “How do you suppose children can get exposed to all beliefs (I’m not just talking about Christianity here) in order to make a sound choice?”

    Really? you see no other option other than schools instructing kids in religion?
    As it is with learning about other cultures, it is possible for parents to educate their children *about* ALL the major religions without being *assigned* to a religion. Unfortunately this is not the option most parents take.

    • Damian
      October 7, 2011 at 12:28 am #

      Point 1: Atheist are the minority when you compare them to those and are thiests, yes, but that doesnt automatically mean thiests therefore are louder. I think whats happened here is the we both take more notice of what troubles our beliefs than what supports it

      Point 2: Religious education is a study of history and people. To not be taught about it causes great misunderstanding and bigotry. As seen above…

  19. James Hill
    October 5, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    I honestly don’t know why the school just doesn’t have the kids sing one of the many, many pro Christian hymns that make up a huge part of Christian worship. It’s pointlessly divisive and totally unnecessary.

  20. jimmy
    October 5, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    I do not see the big issue in religious schools singing their own versions of the anthem. I personaly find the original uninspiring. Though I am a patriot. Last I recalled Australia is a free country where freedom of expression reigns… Well mostly. One big issue that I did raise my interest in the comments was the issue of religion brainwashing children. Jason, would it be true to say that the vast majority of atheists started life being brought up in one religion or another? Expecting parents to not bring their children up in their chosen system of beliefs is a foolish notion at best. Don’t people have the right to make their own spiritual journey as you and many others have? The right to choose atheism on its merits, or not. Rather than an enforced system of belief, for want of a better term.

  21. Kristie
    October 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    Though schools may believe that inserting their religious preference into the national anthem is right, it’s important to remember that the national anthem is an song that is sung by all, regardless of religious belief. If Australia had been so strongly Christian, reference to God would have been added into the song. However, by changing the lyrics, children are being taught an un-authorised song. Regardless of the well meaning action of including references to God in the national anthem, the song, and the lyrics, should most definitely stay the same. Imagine the outcry if another religion dared to include their elements within the song. If “Australia let us praise Buddha” would be decried and hounded out, perhaps religion should be kept out of our national anthem.

    • Amy
      October 7, 2011 at 12:06 am #

      Absolutely! It’s hard enough to set up a school in this country of a differing faith, can you imagine if an Islamic school taught their children a version of the anthem that implied Allah unified Australians?

      • October 7, 2011 at 3:14 am #

        Who knows what other schools already do or don’t sing. We don’t send the media in to blast any school other than Christian ones.

    • Damian
      October 7, 2011 at 12:09 am #

      “Imagine the outcry if another religion dared to include their elements within the song”. I dont think it would make the news. I dont think this story is news to be honest. And the reason I think that is because they changed just one line in the 2nd verse of the anthem. 1 week ago i didnt even know the national anthem had verses…

      • Amy
        October 7, 2011 at 12:17 am #

        I would venture that that would almost certainly make the news – if controversial proposals to build mosques in the Eastern suburbs make the news, someone will take serious issue with an Islamic or Buddhist or Sikh verse in the national anthem.

        • Damian
          October 7, 2011 at 12:38 am #

          Yeah I suppose any Muslim venture would make the news. But thats because people stubbornly make the connection that Muslims equals terrorists. Then again there’s always someone who will take serious issue with anything

          • October 7, 2011 at 3:16 am #

            I thoroughly doubt any muslim venture would make the news. No news channel would dare to criticise or even investigate the school belonging to a minority religion.

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